This week we bring you the latest of plans for rail and the FIFA World Cup in Russia, criticism of transportation of oil and gas by rail in Canada, how a chronic shortage of rolling stock on the UK rail network is leading to 50 year old trains coming out of retirement, a promise of greater maintenance on the Singapore network, a change for how commuters can recharge their smart card on the Delhi Metro, find out where best to get Wi-Fi on the New York subway, see how Crossrail is already pushing up housing prices in London and our Rail Video of the Week is “Safety In the Extreme”- a real 1990s classic taking us into the world of the Metro in LA…
Metro Projects: RZD launches World Cup regional rail projects (Railway Gazette)
Russian Railways is making preparation to enhance regional passenger services around Volgograd and Samara ahead of the 2018 FIFA football World Cup, during which both cities will host matches. A rail link is to be completed by the end of 2017 to serve the international airport in Volgograd, RZD President Vladimir Yakunin told the TASS news agency on August 1. A railway runs close to the airport perimeter but currently there is no station to serve the airport. Shuttle services to and from the city’s main station would be provided by Aeroexpress, he said, despite the decision by the dedicated airport link operator earlier this year to pull out of regional cities and focus its business on Moscow in a dispute over subsidy payments.
Transport Safety: Shipping oil through pipelines safer than by rail, report says (Globe and Mail)
Transporting oil and gas by rail is more dangerous than moving it by pipeline, a new study has found. Oil shipments by rail are 4 1/2 times more likely to have a spill or incident than those pumped through a pipeline, says a report from the Fraser Institute, which examined data from Canada’s Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada between 2003 and 2013. “If you’re going to move a given quantity of oil or gas by rail or by pipeline, it’s considerably safer by pipeline,” said Kenneth Green, the report’s author and an energy and resources expert.
Rolling Stock: UK Rolling stock shortage prompts return of trains from the 1960s (Financial Times)
The chronic shortage of rolling stock on the UK rail network has pushed one operator to bring back British Rail diesel locomotives that are more than 50 years old, hauling “slam-door” carriages that were built in the 1970s. “Our message is there are no more trains left in the UK,” said Northern Rail, which has been using the stock on the Cumbrian Coast line in north-west England. “Those we have ... are the only ones in the country that we could lease.”
Preventative maintenance: Singapore to step up maintenance on train network (Asia One)- pictured above.
A lot more needs to be done to improve the maintenance regime of Singapore's train system, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said. But this should not translate into shutting down the system during operating hours to get the work done, he said in an interview with The Straits Times. "For an ageing system, we really need to step up our maintenance," he said, pointing out that the effort needed to maintain a 10- to 15-year-old system is "very different" from that for a 25- to 30-year-old system. Singapore's first MRT line opened in 1987, 28 years ago. A slew of improvements have boosted services and reliability, but recent breakdowns have pushed transport back into the limelight as Singapore heads for its next election in the weeks ahead.
Metro ticketing: Recharge your Delhi metro smart card the mobile way (Financial Express)
Now commuters of Delhi Metro Railway will not have to stand in long queues to recharge their smart cards as they will be able to recharge their smart card just like they recharge their mobile phone by visiting ICICI Bank Business Correspondent Network (Outlets), located across the national capital and NCR region. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) today launched top up (recharge) facility of Metro Smart Cards through approximately 800 such ICICI Bank Business Correspondent Network (Outlets), located across the national capital and NCR region
Passenger Wi-Fi: The Best & Worst Subway Lines & Stations for Free Wi-Fi (Gothamist)
It seems like just yesterday we were told we'd soon be living in a kooky world in which we'd be able to get a signal in most subway tunnels. "Pssh," we scoffed, "we'll believe we're living in the far flung future when we see a hoverboard in action." But the far flung future is here now, with 67 stations in Manhattan equipped with free Wi-Fi. And a mobile testing firm has analyzed the signal strength and determined the best and worst stations and lines for people who can't wait until they get aboveground to post a photo to Instagram (or email a tip to Gothamist).
Future Rail: The Crossrail effect: high-speed rail network is set to add £5.5 billion to property values (Evening Standard)
Crossrail isn't due to launch until 2018, but the high-speed rail service is already boosting house prices along its route. According to the company's land and property director, Ian Lindsay, Crossrail is set to add £5.5 billion to values. The latest prediction comes as 26 miles of tunnelling beneath the capital is completed, along with the first homes above a Crossrail station. The line, from Reading in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, will cut journey times to London significantly and increase the capacity of the Tube by 10 per cent.
Rail Video of the Week: L.A. Underground - Safety in the Extreme (1992)
A great view of our industry over 20 years, produced shortly before the opening of the Los Angeles Metro Red Line subway was completed, the video (1992) offers a tour of the Red Line highlighting the accessibility of and security and safety features built into the subway system. Warning features some very bright shirts and large glasses!
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