It’s Friday again and in this week’s International Rail News Roundup we learn about a combined effort to improve safety in Chicago, read an excellent assessment of rolling stock refurbishment and retractioning in the UK, see how rail ticket blackmarketing is being challenged in India, log onto Wi-Fi developments in London, gain an understanding of how crowdfunding could kickstart a new rail line in Germany, our regular look at plans for high-speed lines in USA, this time in Texas, and of course our rail video of the week which today comes from Italy...
Rail Safety: Union Pacific to Fund Chicago Area Safety Initiatives (Mass Transit)
Union Pacific Railroad and Metra on Nov. 11, announced that the Cary, Crystal Lake, Elmhurst, Geneva, Lake Forest, Palatine and South Chicago Heights police departments will receive funding to enhance their respective communities’ understanding of railroad safety. In all, $15,000 was distributed at Metra’s Board of Directors meeting to representatives of the seven communities to support youth education activities, school or community safety days, community safety blitzes, grade crossing educational enforcement activities and railroad safety advocacy.
Rail ticketing: Railways doubles cancellation charges 'to end ticket blackmarketing' (The Times of India)
The railways has some bittersweet news for passengers. While it doubled ticket cancellation charges, it reduced the deadline to cancel waitlisted and reservation against cancellation (RAC) tickets to half an hour prior to departure of the train. The changes, which were announced earlier, came to effect on Thursday. The railway has said the move is to make cancellations more convenient to passengers and end blackmarketing of tickets by touts.
Rolling Stock: Refurbish, rebuild, replace? Seeking value-for-money in rolling stock (International Railway Journal)
The need to provide additional capacity while improving reliability and reducing costs has energised the market for rolling stock refurbishment and retractioning in Britain. Keith Barrow considers whether innovative rebuilds of older trains can deliver passenger satisfaction and operational efficiency. According to the Department for Transport's (DfT) Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy Britain's passenger fleet is forecast to grow by between 53% and 99% over the next 30 years, and with the extension of electrification, it is estimated that between 13,000 and 19,000 new EMU vehicles will be required by 2044. Around 3050 vehicles will be delivered between 2015 and 2019 representing a capital investment of around £5bn.
Metro Projects: World's first crowdfunded rail line on track to launch next year. (SmartRail World)
A very 21st century solution to the old problem of financing a new rail line has been launched in Germany – crowdfunding. The use of crowdfunding, a way of raising finance for a project by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money is an increasingly popular way of launching a project. Though more usually driving developments in online projects, entertainment or catering it could soon be powering new long distance passenger trains between Berlin and Stuttgart if the team at Locomore get their way (... and funding).
Rail Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is now available at more than 250 London Underground stations around the capital (Global Rail News) - pictured above from Virgin Media.
Transport for London (TfL) has extended the service to a further 100 stations on the network after seeing demand soar for the service: more than half a million devices connect to the Tube Wi-Fi network every day. But despite its popularity, London Underground has said there are no immediate plans to install Wi-Fi in the tunnels. TfL and Virgin Media began the rollout in 2012. Over the past 12 months, data usage has increased from 3TB a day to 20TB.
High-Speed Rail: The Houston Bullet Train Station Might be in "Downtown" (Houston Press)
A 54-page report quietly issued last week by the Federal Railroad Administration goes over a whole bunch of route possibilities for the proposed Houston-to-Dallas high-speed rail line as part of the required environmental impact study that is being conducted by the FRA and paid for by Texas Central (the company plans on spending more than $10 billion to construct a rail line using Japanese Shinkansen technology and some Japanese funding.
Rail Video of the Week: Italo Treno by Euro Railways
What is the International Rail News Roundup? There’s never a shortage of global rail news stories, but keeping track of those launches, announcements, innovations, take-overs and developments that are crucial to your business can be a challenge. So the team here at SmartRail World bring you a regular Friday roundup of some stories you may have missed from both SmartRail World and global media sources.For the latest news, as it happens subscriber for free to SmartRail World.
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