The International Rail News Roundup is back to welcome you once again to the weekend! This week we hop across the globe to take a look at plans to build a new Cross River Rail route in Brisbane, see how delays are causing commuters dismay in the UK and explore Alstom’s acquisition of CTLE in South Africa. We also take a look at proposed plans that hope to bring more life to Los Angeles’ Union Station and we then head to Sweden to see how upgrades to the interior of SJ’s passenger trains will increase capacity by 15%. This week’s Rail Video of the Week takes us to Japan to see renowned architect Kazuyo Sejima’s designs for the ‘invisible’ train.
Passenger: How Metro Plans to Reinvent Union Station From Transit Hub to Urban Destination (Mass Transit)
Built in 1939, Los Angeles Union station now sees thousands of passengers passing through its doors at peak times, but in the middle of the day the beautiful station (pictured above) sits practically empty. Transportation officials and planners have this week suggested plans to revitalise and restore the iconic station, making it into a destination. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority hopes to make the most of this landmark building through hiring out the space for concerts, events and to restaurants so now we just need to wait to see the results.
Rail Projects: Delivery authority to build case for new-look Cross River Rail route (Global Rail News)
On Monday Queensland State Government unveiled plans to build the Cross River Rail line, which will include 5.9 kilometres of tunnel beneath Brisbane and five new stations. It is hoped that through approaching the private sector it is hoped that the project can be brought to life. When speaking about the plans, Jack Trad, acting Premier has argued that “Cross River Rail is not only a critical infrastructure project but also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape Brisbane through this major city-making initiative.”
Rail Business: Alstom acquires 51% stake in South Africa's CTLE (Railway Technology)
This week Alstom has announced their acquisition of a 51% share in Commuter Transport & Locomotive Engineering (CTLE), a South African rail company specialising in the modernisation of trains. Manging Director of Alstom, Yvan Eriau, has said that the investment will allow Alstom to be closer to its customers and will allow them “to create a stronger industrial and commercial base able to offer a full range of rail products and solutions in Southern Africa." The acquisition is a step forward for the improvement of transport in the region.
Rail Ticketing: “We apologise for the delay.” Why delay repay has come into focus in the UK (SmartRail World)
Everyone that has used a train is likely to have been stopped in their tracks by the sudden announcement of a delay. Though we all know delays can be impossible to avoid, they still get us all hot and bothered. So, unsurprisingly, many passengers who get delayed feel they are owed compensation. This week SmartRail World takes a look into how this topic has come under the limelight recently. Exploring why delay repay, automatic compensation or the lack of compensation altogether has become the theme of articles, consumer group complaints and rail operators press releases.
Rolling Stock: Swedtrac to refurbish SJ X2000 tilting trains (International Railway Journal)
On Thursday SJ (Sweden’s national passenger operator) announced that they had signed a 1 billion Swedish Krona contract with Swedtrac, a subsidiary of Knorr Bremse. The contract covers the refurbishment of SJ’s fleet of X2000 tilting inter-city trains, roughly 227 vehicles. The interior upgrades will increase capacity by 15%. The contract forms part of a larger of the 3.5 billion Krona modernisation project due to be completed by 2019 which will upgrade everything from train control systems to passenger entertainment equipment.
Rail Video of the Week: New Design Will Make Japanese Trains Almost 'Invisible'
What is the International Rail News Roundup?