Hello Friday! Time for this week’s International Rail News Roundup. This week we see WMATA close their lines for the day after and electrical fire, the first time this has happened for a reason other than the weather. In Sweden we see the Dutch company Strukton win new contracts with Trafikverket. At London’s Stanstead airport, passengers are introduced to the latest ticketing machines, NextAgent. Great Western Railway celebrates the history of rail and passes free colouring books out to its passengers and Trainline (UK ticketing app) acquire Captain Train. In our rail video of the week, we take a look at the European disaster training that took place two weeks ago.
Rail Maintenance: Strukton Rail secures track renewal contract in northern Sweden (Railway Technology)
Early this week Strukton Rail, a Dutch rail technology company, were able to secure a contract with Sweden’s transport administrator, Trafikverket. The contract covers the renewal of 80km of track between Boden and Bastuträsk in Upper Norrland, northern Sweden. The three stage project should be complete by the end of October 2017 and aims to replace old sleepers, ballast and tracks with new high performance options.
Rail Business: Trainline buys Captain Train (Railway Gazette)
On Tuesday Trainline announced their purchase of Captain Train. The Trainline, a UK based booking app and train ticket retailer, is likely now to become a European leader in the industry spanning its reach across 22 countries. Trainline CEO, Clare Gilmartin, has from the start been enthusiastic about the idea of making travel in the UK and Europe easy has said of the acquisition: ‘Joining forces with Captain Train means that within a couple of clicks, any customer will be able to travel in Europe by train, something that today is really difficult to do’. It seems that the Trainline vision may soon become a reality.
Passenger: Great Western Railway puts some colour into commuting (Get Reading)
Great Western Railway’s passengers this week are offered a chance to journey back to their childhood during their commute. On Wednesday the British passenger rail company handed out colouring books to its customers depicting and celebrating their locomotives old and new. The illustrations were made in collaboration with artist Council Andy. Anthony Coulls, senior curator of rail transport and technology at the National Railway Museum, said of the quirky project: “It’s great to hear about interesting, creative initiatives to celebrate our railways and engage people in Britain’s fascinating railway history.”
Train Ticketing: Virtual ticketing agent comes online for passengers at UK airport (SmartRail World)
Most of us have at one time arrived at an airport and been perplexed by the rail options for onward travel. Whether it’s the language, currency, or choice of operators or routes buying a ticket for travel from an airport can prove an unwelcome initiation into a nation’s rail service, particularly if there are no staff around to assist. However, a new system from the company that brought you London’s Oyster card, is aiming to change this and improve ticket purchasing options for rail passengers. Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), together with Abellio (the international arm of Dutch operator NS) have started a trial for the UK's first 'video ticket office' NextAgent at Stansted Airport near London.
Rail Safety: DC Metro: Safety inspections to shut down Washington's rail system (CNN)
In big news this week Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) fully shut down its systems after an electrical fire on Monday night. The metro was due to close at 12am on Tuesday as usual but instead of opening on Wednesday it did not open until Thursday morning. WMATA stated that though not an immediate danger, hundreds of cables would need to be inspected for safety reasons. The closure caused outrage among WMATA passengers, but a similar fire last year killed a passenger at L'Enfant Plaza metro station in downtown Washington and hospitalised another 84 people.
Rail video of the week: London Fire Brigade take part in Europe's biggest ever disaster training drill
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