The time has come, Friday is here and so is this week’s International Rail News Roundup. This Friday we reflect on the stories of the week, taking a look at the way the rail industry is trying to face the problem of rail suicides, and see how rail expertise and training is being encouraged in Bangkok. In other news we hear about the impact of emissions on rail staff and passengers across Europe, see how BART moved a broken down train out of one of their tunnels and learn more about the novel pacer trains made from the bus frames running in England and Wales. In this week’s rail video of the week we get a sneak peek at the London Crossrail naming ceremony.
Training: Bangkok railway engineering education agreement signed (Railway Gazette)
In Bangkok this week Bombardier announced its plans to collaborate with Navamindradhiraj University, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Krungthep Thanakom, Bangkok Mass Transit System and AMR Asia Co. to develop an associate degree programme in rail technology. The degree hopes to encourage expertise in the area. Gregory Enjalbert, head of Asia-Pacific at Bombardier’s Rail Control Solutions business has expressed that Bombardier will be proud to contribute to the programme and offer the expertise and experience.
Passenger: Industry seeks new responses to tackle the rising rail suicide rate (SmartRail World)
As the number of people using trains has risen, so too has the number of suicides committed on the railways. In Europe in 2015 alone, at least 2,868 passengers took their lives on railway network. And last year, SmartRail World reported that suicides on railways in the UK had reached an all-time high. More recently, we featured a video exploring how in the UK the Samaritans have worked with Network Rail on a training programme, teaching people how to deal with and hopefully resolve these difficult situations. Leading us to question the ways the rail industry is attempting help prevent suicide.
Rolling Stock: Pacers: The train that the UK has struggled to get rid of (BBC)
Ministers from the North of England have declared war on the pacer trains that are still running across the country, vowing to take them out of service by 2020. You may be asking what a pacer train is, but as BBC highlights they are recognisable to many across the region as the bouncy, loud and shuddering trains made from bus frames. The buses on train wheels were only ever meant to be a temporary measure to make up for rolling stock shortages in the 1980s, yet 200 plus pacers are still making their way around northern and south-west England as well as South Wales, and it is no wonder that these trains have remained a strange curiosity.
Rolling Stock: The big stink: how much do trains really emit? (Railway Technology)
This week, Railway Technology explored the environmental impact of train emissions. Findings have shown that in enclosed stations running diesel trains the air quality was well below standard, posing a risk to station users and staff. An evaluation of London Paddington, which serves 38 million passengers a year, for example found the air to be more polluted than a busy road. In the UK stations do not have to meet the air standards set by the EU, in fact many of the rail vehicles in use were purchased prior to EU regulations taking effect, a shocking fact when you consider that over eight million people use the stations daily.
Rail Safety: BART Train Shuts Down Between SF Stations, Causing Major Delays (Mass Transit)
This Monday in San Francisco passengers on BART trains faced delays as one of the train making its way to Fremont unexpectedly broke down in a tunnel. Luckily, no one was harmed, though the cause for the fault remain unknown. In order to move the broken down train from the tunnel and bring an end to the delays another train was called and had to be used to push the broken down train into the next station.
Rail video of the week: Crossrail renamed the Elizabeth Line
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