In this week’s international rail news roundup we learn of a budgetary crisis in the Netherlands threatening future developments and growth, understand the ongoing discussion in America on the looming Positive Train Control deadline, gain an insight into changing transit ticketing demands, see what new trains are coming down the tracks in the UK as Hitachi open a new plant, take a trip to Las Vegas where it seems the Chinese might be the ones to finally deliver high-speed rail in the USA, look at a new system for maintenance on coal trains, hop onto the Eurostar to see how its freshly refurbished carriages are going to look and in this week’s Rail Video of the Week where we see some quick work from a bus driver when her bus gets stuck on some train tracks…
Metro Projects: Prorail budgetary crisis threatens Dutch regional rail projects (International Rail Journal)
Prorail is facing a shortfall of €475m in its investment budget for 2018-2028, according to an independent financial investigation into the Dutch infrastructure manager's spending plans, which was made public this week. The Dutch Infrastructure Fund has allocated Prorail less than wants to spend during this period, meaning measures will need to be taken to control expenditure and risks in capital projects. Earlier this week it emerged that the reconstruction and expansion of the Utrecht Central station will be around €53m more expensive than previously anticipated.
Transport Safety: Lawmakers Press Railroad Nominee on PTC Deadline (New York Times)
President Obama’s nominee to lead the Federal Railroad Administration faced tough questioning by lawmakers on Thursday about the rail industry’s contention that it cannot meet a year-end deadline to install a safety technology meant to keep trains from derailing. Sarah Feinberg, 37, who was nominated by Mr. Obama in May, has been acting administrator of the agency for about nine months. During that time, there have been several train crashes attributed to excessive speeds, including in May, when an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring 200.
Metro ticketing: Taking Transit Ticketing into the Future (Mass Transit)
In its 2008 paper, ‘TransitVision 2050’, the American Public Transport Association (APTA) laid out its long-term vision for fare collection: “In 2050 … separate methods for paying for one’s travel across the modes have vanished. Whether the trip is intra-region, intercity, or international, the technology to pay a fare or a toll is the same. Roads, air services, public transportation routes and intermodal connections are designed and coordinated in a fully integrated way.”
Future Rail: Multi-million pound factory opens to produce trains of the future for the Great Western Mainline (Wales Online)
A factory which will produce the next generation of trains for the Great Western Mainline has been officially opened in the North of England. The site in County Durham is where the Government’s new InterCity Express (IEP) trains for the East Coast Main Line and Great Western Main Line, and AT200 commuter trains for Scotland, will be manufactured. Hitachi Ltd Chairman and CEO, Hiroaki Nakanishi, welcomed the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP and Rail Minister Claire Perry MP, along with over 500 invited guests, to the opening ceremony and for guided tours of the state-of-the-art rail vehicle manufacturing facility.
High-Speed Rail: Chinese led-consortium to build LA to Las Vegas high-speed rail link (SmartRail World)
Just days before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the USA, plans have been confirmed for a Beijing led consortium and XpressWest Enterprises LLC to form a joint venture to build a high-speed railway linking Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Construction could begin as soon as September 2016 and the announcement has followed four years of negotiations between the parties. This will be the first Chinese-made bullet-train project in North America and although no date has been given for completion it could well be the first high-speed train in the USA.
Preventative Maintenance: Geosystems’ latest solution for rail track maintenance (World Coal)
At INTERGEO 2015, Leica Geosystems releases SiTrack:One – an accurate rail track maintenance and refurbishment system that includes ScanStation P40 to generate 3D point clouds. SiTrack:One ensures complete coverage of the entire rail infrastructure surface without the need to receive GNSS signals for position information. With a one-of-a-kind mounting design, this total solution for rail maintenance and refurbishment produces synchronised engineering, survey-grade 3D point clouds for accurate as-built drawings.
Passenger Wi-Fi: Eurostar revamps its seating and introduces free Wi-Fi (The Telegraph)
Passengers using the Eurostar service from London to Brussels this month have been given a glimpse of the future – and seem to have liked what they’ve seen. The glimpse has been in the form of journeys in one of the slick revamped - and renamed - e300 trains that the company has brought into operation as part of a £1bn programme to modernise a fleet that first went into service in 1994. The e300 is not strictly speaking new, but is rather a completely modernised version of the Class 373 train that has been plying Eurostar’s key routes between London and Paris and London and Brussels for more than 25 years.
Rail Video of the Week: German Train Smashes Into Broken-Down School Bus While Passengers Watch – no casualties thankfully (ABC NEWS)
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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