It’s our last International Rail News Roundup of a very busy year here at SmartRail World but the stories haven’t slowed ... we learn about digital (non-fixed) signals being deployed by Siemens in Germany, see how Uber is causing more dissention within transit, this time in Toronto, learn of a big step forward for smartcards in the Philippines and a further positive train control (PTC) system contract for Wabtec, confirmed this week for this on the Chicago commuter rail network, gain an understanding of how Japan is aiming to sell its bullet trains to a high-speed line being planned between Singapore and the Malaysian capital, and bring you the latest on Canadian Pacific's (CP) attempt to take over Norfolk Southern (NS) and of course our rail video of the week which today is a festive treat – a CN Train ploughing through some very heavy snow in New Brunswick…
Rail Signalling: Operations begin on Leipzig-Erfurt route in Germany with digital signals (Railway Technology) - pictured.
Passenger operations have begun on the first stage of the new Sprint line from Erfurt to Leipzig/Halle in Germany without fixed signals. The initiation of services is part of the VDE8 transportation project and is just in time for the schedule change in December. Siemens and its consortium partner Kapsch CarrierCom Deutschland have equipped the new route with the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 without conventional fixed exterior signals. The entire 123km-long route will not have a single conventional stationary exterior signal and all of the necessary signals will be transmitted over the GSM-R digital rail telecommunications system.
Rail Business: Toronto Transit Union Says Leaders are 'Wimping Out' in Uber Showdown (Mass Transit)
The president of the Toronto transit workers' union says that Mayor John Tory and Premier Kathleen Wynne are shamelessly surrendering to the gypsy-taxi service Uber instead of protecting public safety and the rule of law, their primary responsibilities as elected leaders. On Dec. 15, Uber introduces UberHop, a transit-like service that will operate five dollar car rides on four routes to and from the downtown core during rush hours. "Tory and Wynne are simply wimping out, there's no better word for it," said Bob Kinnear, who was recently re-elected for a fifth term as the head of Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Workers.
Metro tickets: All systems go for beep card ticketing system in the Philippines (CNN)
The "tap and go" ticketing system which uses the beep card is “good to go,” the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) announced on Thursday (December 17). The new automated fare collection system (AFCS) has reached full system acceptance (FSA), marking the end of its trial period, the DOTC said. “We have been informed that we are the fastest in the world to achieve FSA, which means the system passed the standards and requirements we have set,” DOTC Secretary Joseph "Jun" Abaya said. The unified ticketing scheme will now be used in all the three train lines in Metro Manila: the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 and the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3). This will cut queuing time and make transfers from one rail to another seamless, the DOTC explained.
Positive Train Control: Wabtec wins Chicago commuter rail PTC contract (Railway Technology)
US-based Wabtec has secured contracts worth $45m from the Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad (Metra) and Parsons Transportation Group (PTG) to provide equipment and services for a positive train control (PTC) system on the Chicago commuter rail network. With a fleet of 146 locomotives, 843 passenger cars and 185 electric-propelled cars, Metra operates commuter rail service in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, serving more than 100 communities at 241 rail stations. In September, Metra has selected Parsons to install PTC anti-collision technology on its commuter trains in Chicago.
Metro projects: First stop India, next stop Singapore-Malaysia for Japan’s bullet train sales campaign (Japan Times)
Fresh from beating China in a $15 billion rail contract in India, Japan now aims to sell its bullet trains to a high-speed line being planned between Singapore and the Malaysian capital. The project would open a new market for companies from Hitachi Ltd. to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. The government supports such a bid, Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii told reporters Tuesday in Tokyo. Cooperation between the government and business leaders was crucial in clinching the deal with India last week, he said. Japan, which built the world’s first high-speed train more than half a century ago, is stepping up efforts to export its bullet-train technology to meet a pledge by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to triple infrastructure exports to ¥30 trillion by 2020.
Rail Business: Canada's Trudeau has final say on CP-NS merger (Railway Age)
Rail industry cogitation focuses so far on Canadian Pacific's (CP) prospects for securing Surface Transportation Board (STB) approval for its—at first friendly and now increasingly hostile—attempt to take over Norfolk Southern (NS). Unremarked has been the even-less predictable, but equally essential, attitude of Canada's transportation and business regulators to a deal that would see one of the country's two Class I’s disappear into the alphabet soup of American megamergers. Just how would Canada react to the notion of an NSCP reporting mark on the flanks of black and red locomotives running over tracks largely financed by public funds back in the 1800s and still revered as the “National Dream”?
Rail Video of the Week: Dashing Thru the Snow - CN Train 406 West at Salisbury, NB
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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