Hello Friday! The end of the week is finally here and it is time to see what is going on in our International Rail News Roundup. This week has seen a number of big stories, including the verdict that last week’s crash in Germany was caused by human error and that Bombardier have announced plans to cut 7,000 jobs worldwide. In the states discussions about reviving the Gulf Coat passenger railway are underway, in Argentina deals with Indra have been struck and in Iran the lifting of trade sanctions have seen a good start with the use of the ‘new silk road’. This week’s rail video of the week takes a look at Network Rail’s ingenious workshop on wheels.
Rail Business: Bombardier to cut 7,000 jobs worldwide (The Guardian)
On Wednesday Bombardier announced its second wave of cuts since last year. The Canadian plane and train manufacturer will be cutting around one-tenth of its workforce in the next year, equating to around 7,000 jobs. Roughly 1,350 of these job cuts will happen across the UK whilst Germany and Canada look to be hit the hardest. The cuts have mostly been caused by delays to the manufacturing of Bombardier’s C-series aircrafts, which have massively impacted on the company’s profit and now the employment of its staff. Bombardier have said that they “will continue to evaluate all opportunities to significantly reduce our costs, improve our competitiveness, and boost our profitability.”
Rail Safety: Prosecutor: Human error to blame for deadly German train crash (CNN)
This week it has been announced that the rail collision in the German region of Bavaria, not far from Munich, last Tuesday was caused by human error. German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has said "This is a difficult hour for the railways in Germany, [the crash is] one of the biggest we have had for years.”The trains collided head-on, killing 11 people including both of the drivers, and injuring at least 85 of the 150 passengers. The dispatcher has been named as responsible and is now to be tried in an involuntary manslaughter case.
Train Ticketing: Indra to equip Argentina's Buenos Aires rail network with ticketing technology (Railway Technology)
Yesterday, it was announced that Indra are to start work with Argentina’s national rail operator, Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (BAMA) to improve ticketing and access technology across the rail network. The contract aims to introduce ticket 1,400 ticket gates, 170 disabled entrances and contactless payment systems across 200 stations and has been valued at €35m. Indra’s technology is already in use in major cities including London, Austin, Barcelona and Shanghai.
Rolling Stock: It’s the Silk Road on Rails as first China-Iran freight train arrives (SmartRail World)
This week we see another major development for the country and all of Asia with the arrival in Tehran of the first freight train travelling on the new ‘Silk Road’ rail route from China. The train, carrying 32 containers of commercial products, arrived in the Iranian capital after a 14-day, 10,399 kilometre (6,462 mile) journey, Beginning in Yiwu City in eastern China and taking in an arc of Central Asia that included Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan before arriving in Tehran this week. The cargo train, travelling at an average distance of 700km per day, is part of a revival of the ancient Silk Road, which used to connect Asia with the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Except this time rather than camels and horses its wagons and locomotives driving the reignition of this once thriving trade and cultural connection.
Rail Projects: Amtrak reviews Gulf Coast revival (Railway Gazette)
Earlier this week it was decided that the rail route between New Orleans and Jacksonville should be re-instated. In 2005 the line that previously connected Los Angeles to Miami was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The commission between Amtrak and local authorities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida hopes to improve passenger services by connecting the Gulf Coast and it is expected that the line would be used by roughly 153,900 passengers a year.
Rail video of the week: Britain’s first ‘workshop on wheels’ – the Mobile Maintenance Train (MMT)