This week we bring you breaking news from Hong Kong of MTR’s ‘largest ever’ rolling stock order, funding in Massachusetts and New York for freight rail projects, big numbers even by China’s standards with the announcement that they have invested 265.1 billion yuan ($43.3 billion ) in rail in the first six months of this year alone, an extension of the maintenance contract for the London Underground, tap and go ticketing goes live in the Philippines, passenger Wi-Fi promised in Scotland, safety criticism for a line in the USA and of course our Rail Video of the Week, a new one from New York featuring some very old technology…
Rolling Stock: MTR has confirmed its “largest-ever” rolling stock order (Global Rail News)
CSR Sifang has been awarded a HK $6 billion contract for 93 eight-car metro trains, which will be delivered between 2018 and 2023. Will renew trains on the the Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Island and Tseung Kwan O lines. Lincoln Leong, chief executive officer of MTR Corporation, said: “This is the largest-ever order of new trains in MTR’s history and it represents a critically important investment to maintain our railway service at world class levels to ensure that our passengers in Hong Kong continue to enjoy safe, reliable and convenient train services well into the future.”
Metro Projects: Massachusetts, New York DOTs provide funding for freight-rail projects (Progressive Railroading)
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has awarded five grants totaling more than $2 million for freight-rail projects as part of the 2015 Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP). The grants will be matched by more than $1.7 million in private-sector funds for a total $3.7 million investment in freight-rail improvements, MassDOT officials said in a press release. Meanwhile, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is soliciting applications for $17 million in rail and port facility improvement grants through the state's Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program.
Transport Safety: US government orders rail safety review (New Civil Engineer)
The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has launched a “comprehensive, focused” safety review of the New York & Atlantic Railway’s safety culture and management practices following a collision between a train and truck earlier this month.
Future Railway: China invested $43.3bn in railway construction in H1 2015 (The BRICS Post)
China has invested more than 265.1 billion yuan ($43.3 billion ) in domestic railway construction in the first half of the year, up 12.7 percent from one year earlier, China Railway Corporation has announced in Beijing. In the first six months, an additional 2,226 km of new railway lines were put into service, the company said in a statement. Chinese policymakers have said some 8,000 kilometers (about 5,000 miles) of railway lines will be opened to domestic traffic this year.
Preventative maintenance: London Underground extends maintenance contract (Global Rail News)
London Underground has extended a four-year structures maintenance agreement with Skanska for an extra two years. The deal, which covers around two thirds of the Tube network, includes the maintenance of more than a thousand bridges and 125 tunnels on the Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, District, Bakerloo, Central, Victoria and Circle lines. Other responsibilities include track and depot drainage, vegetation management and pest control. The original four-year contract began in 2011 with an option to extend based on Skanska’s performance.
Metro ticketing: Pilot test for 'tap and go' system starts at LRT-2 in Philippines (CNN)
The Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) started testing its new "tap and go" system on Monday (July 20), selling a limited number of the new contactless smart cards at its Legarda Station. “Under the testing phase, a limited number of new single journey and stored value tickets branded as ‘beep cards’ will initially be sold for P 20.00,” the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said in a statement on Sunday (July 19). The new tickets could be bought at designated windows and at two ticket vending machines inside the station.
Passenger Wi-Fi: ScotRail operator in bid to bring "high quality and reliable" Wi-Fi to Scotland's trains (Herald Scotland)
RAIL passengers must have access to "high quality and reliable" wi-fi, the new ScotRail operator has said as it revealed plans to improve network coverage. Abellio has already committed to rolling out free wifi on all ScotRail trains by the end of 2018, but the Dutch rail firm now says it wants to upgrade the service so that it is less likely to cut out. The Scottish Government has invested more than £4.4 million in wifi across the ScotRail network, but passengers travelling on key commuter routes such as Glasgow-Edinburgh regularly complain about losing signal.
Rail Video of the Week: The 100-year-old technology still running New York's subways.
This fascinating video takes a look at the antiquated systems and techonolgy still running New York's subways, some of which look more suited to a museum that helping running one of the busiest networks in the world. And how Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) is offering the chance of a major upgrade.
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