Happy Friday and welcome to our latest International Rail News Roundup with a feature on massive projected costs of infrastructure projects in the USA for Amtrak, see two big stories in the huge rail market of India who have agreed with Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan to discuss a rail connection and are seeing a boom in internet ticketing, learn how our ever ambitious home network in London is expanding further beyond the boundaries of the city, visit Quito in Ecuador, high in the Andean foothills where ground has been broken on a new Metro, understand some of why Siemens have secured a huge new deal in Iran and of course our rail video of the week which today showcases the Construction Progress of the Qatar Rail project...
Metro Projects: Amtrak Says New York Region’s Rail Projects Could Cost Up to $23.9 Billion (New York Times)
Amtrak officials on Wednesday provided the most detailed public account yet for the projected costs of building a new Hudson River rail tunnel and improving other critical parts of the rail infrastructure in the New York region. The project, known as the Gateway program, has been championed by Anthony Foxx, the federal transportation secretary, who on Wednesday visited the deteriorating rail tunnel that runs between New York and New Jersey. In a presentation to Mr. Foxx, Amtrak officials said the entire project could cost as much as $23.9 billion, with the largest share of about $7.7 billion going toward building the new Hudson tunnel and repairing the existing tunnel. The project includes a host of other elements, including expanding Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan at an estimated cost of $5.9 billion, and replacing rail bridges in New Jersey.
Rail Projects: India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan agree to discuss rail project (DNA India)
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal have agreed to begin discussions on the possibility of having a rail network connecting the four SAARC countries to improve connectivity and regional trade. The discussions were held during the two-day third Joint Working Group (JWG) meetings on Sub-Regional Cooperation on Water Resources Management and Power/Hydropower and on Connectivity and Transit that ended on Wednesday.
Rail Ticketing: IRCTC expects its share of rail tickets to touch 80% (Business Standard)
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) expects the share of internet ticketing through its portal to touch 80 per cent in the next three years, up from 56-58 per cent now. In 2014-15, the share of internet ticketing passengers to total passengers was 54.5 per cent.
Rail Business: TfL's London Overground is being given control over London's entire suburban rail network (The Independent)
London’s entire suburban railway network will be handed to Transport for London to be run by the capital’s Mayor, it has been announced. TfL currently runs the Tube network and London Overground services, but the capital’s extensive above-ground rail network has long been under the control of a patchwork of competing private franchises. Under the new plan, all suburban lines in the capital will be integrated into TfL’s Overground network as their current franchises expire, the city’s Evening Standard reports.
Metro Projects: Quito metro breaks ground (Railway Gazette) - Pictured.
Mayor Mauricio Rodas launched the construction of the first metro line in Quito on January 19 with a ceremony at the future southern terminus at Quitumbe The 22 km north-south Line 1 will connect El Labrador and Quitumbe with 15 stations. The end-to-end journey time is expected to be 34 min and around 400 000 passengers per day are forecast to use the line once it opens in 2018. The project is valued at US$2bn, which is being financed by the city (63%) and the national government (37%). The first phase, covering construction of El Labrador and La Magdalena stations, is worth U$7·5m. In October a consortium of Acciona and Odebrecht was awarded a US$1·54bn contract for Phase 2 works, which covers the remainder of the line.
Rolling Stock: Siemens Rail Deal With Iran Is Worth at Least $1.6 Billion (Bloomberg)
Siemens AG’s contract to build rail coaches and upgrade train lines in Iran is valued at between 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) and 2 billion euros, making Europe’s largest engineering company one of the earliest beneficiaries of the decision to lift trade sanctions on the country.
“There is a lot of opportunity building up infrastructure,” Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Davos, Switzerland. He didn’t specify the time frame of the contract. “If you look at what Iran needs to rebuild its country, it almost looks like a description of business for Siemens.”
Rail Video of the Week: Qatar Rail Construction Progress
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 full Roundup Archive click here.