It’s not quite Friday yet, but Easter calls, so here is this week’s International News Roundup! This week we learn more about the Ningbo Metro line extension in China, and how the German based Knorr-Bremse is making headway on Brazil’s railways. We explore APTA’s findings that companies like Uber may in fact encourage more people to use public transport, and hear about the £800 million being invested into London’s Waterloo station. We also find our thoughts with Belgium after the weeks shocking events. In this week’s Rail Video of the Week we step into the life of a 1950's rail engineer.
Rail Safety: Brussels attacks: Zaventem and Maelbeek bombs kill many (BBC)
Tuesday saw the devastating terrorist attack on Brussels, leaving more than 30 people dead and many injured. At 7am (GMT) Zaventem airport was hit twice. An hour later an explosion struck the middle carriage of a train leaving Maelbeek metro station, near the EU headquarters. Panic struck, and pictures have emerged of passengers evacuating the tunnel and station shrouded in smoke. Belgium is now on the highest level terrorist alert. Prime Minister Charles Michel responded to the attacks, saying: "This is a day of tragedy, a black day... I would like to call on everyone to show calmness and solidarity."
Rail Maintenance: Knorr-Bremse to deliver braking systems for Brazil’s RUMO/ALL fleet (Railway Technology)
This week Brazilian railroad operator RUMO/ALL has announced that they have awarded a contract to the German company Knorr-Bremse to upgrade their braking system. The maintenance job will include upgrades for 8,500 freight cars, and the other Knorr-Bremse products already in use by RUMO/ALL. The contract indicates the beginning of a long term partnership between the two in the continued standardisation of RUMO/ALL’s fleet.
Rolling Stock: Ningbo metro Line 1 extended (Railway Gazette)
In China the Ningbo metro line project has announced plans to extend the second phase of its expansion project. The line extension will run east from Donghuan Nanlu to Xiapu for 25.3km. The project will also include nine stations, eight of which will be elevated. The first phase of the project was originally opened in 2014.
Rail Business: What do ride-sourcers like Uber really mean for public transport? (SmartRail World)
This week we reported that APTA’s recent study has revealed that the people using services like Uber and Lyft are actually more and not less likely to travel on public transport. The survey taken by 4,500 people showed that 50% of people travelled by train and 45% used buses frequently. The study can be viewed as insight into the impact of ride-sourcing on public transport. This has lead us here at SmartRail World to question whether the results will change the relationships between the two types of transport provider and encourage more collaboration.
Rail Projects: £800 million boost for London’s busiest railway (Rail Magazine)
Chairman of Network Rail, Sir Peter Hendy has said: “This is the biggest package of improvements for passengers travelling to and from Waterloo for decades.” His comment comes after the announcement on Wednesday that £800 million is to be invested into travel to and from London Waterloo over the next three years. Last year Waterloo saw 99 million passengers pass through its doors and is Britain’s busiest station. Things aren’t slowing down either and it is expected that by 2043 the number of passengers using the station will increase by 40%.
Rail video of the week: Portrait of an Engineer - British Railways in the 1950s
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