In this week’s international rail news roundup we learn of a potential fix for Melbourne’s delayed rail plans thanks to the new Prime Minister, a big story from Chicago where METRA the transit agency there are threatening a shutdown if no PTC extension comes forward, we learn of a major success for TriMet with their App ticketing, find out how the yet to be approved High-Speed 2 in the UK is already being touted around to Chinese firms and investors, learn of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 maintenance potential in the Philippines , take a trip to Miami to see how Wi-Fi is going down with passengers and watch a famous name in rail become resurrected in the UK in our Rail Video of the Week…
Metro Projects: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to keep ‘open mind’ over Metro rail project (Herald Sun)
New Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has vowed to help fix Melbourne’s road and rail logjams and opened the door to unlocking $3 billion in federal funds tied to the defunct East West project. Mr Turnbull took a tram ride through the city with the Herald Sun on Thursday as he made his first visit to Melbourne since becoming Prime Minister. The renowned public transport enthusiast said Premier Daniel Andrews’ decision to scrap the East West Link toll road and tunnel was “a big mistake’’ but Canberra would look at what other projects it could support in Victoria.
Transport Safety: No PTC extension = Metra shutdown after 31st December. (SmartRail World)
The Metra Board of Directors has this week formally called on Congress to extend the Dec. 31, 2015 deadline to install Positive Train Control (PTC), agreeing with a staff analysis that in the current regulatory environment the Chicago-area commuter railroad will not be able to legally operate beyond that date. Although Metra and the rest of the U.S. railroad industry have invested significant time and money and have made significant progress on PTC implementation, they have also warned for years that the deadline can’t be met due to a variety of operational, technological and financial challenges.
Metro ticketing: TriMet Tickets Mobile App Nears 2 Million Tickets Sold in Year One (Mass Transit)
TriMet launched the TriMet Tickets mobile app on Sept. 4, 2013, becoming the first transit agency in the U.S. to implement a mobile ticket for use on both buses and trains, and now, a year later, our riders have purchased nearly two million fares with the mobile app. “Our mobile ticketing app has been an overwhelming success, quickly surpassing our expectations,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. “As part of our five year plan, we continue to focus on our riders and will look at other tools that make riding easier, while we find ways to increase the overall service level we provide.”
High-Speed Rail: HS2 bidding process to be opened up to Chinese companies (Guardian)
George Osbourne will open up the bidding process to build HS2 to Chinese firms and investors on Thursday, offering contracts worth £11.8bn to build the high-speed rail line. He will open the competition at an event in Chengdu aimed at wooing Chinese investors to back HS2 and other major UK infrastructure projects, particularly across the north of England. The seven rail contracts are to build tunnels and track beds for the first phase of HS2 linking London and Birmingham, and the Treasury will encourage British and Chinese firms to partner and bid jointly for the work.
Preventative Maintenance: Philippines to begin tender process for metro rail maintenance contract (Railway Technology)
The Philippines Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is starting the tender process for a long-term maintenance contractor for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3). The decision follows an approval from the government procurement policy board (GPPB) in recognition of the urgent need to address the railway's maintenance requirements. DOTC secretary Jun Abaya said: "We were given the 'go' signal by the GPPB to pursue this mode of negotiated procurement.
Passenger Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi on Miami Trains Keeps Riders Satisfied (Gov Tech)
In South Florida, where mass transit has always been a hard sell, companies are rolling out technological advances like Wi-Fi to keep commuters connected and occupied. Tri-Rail, a multicounty regional transportation system, has been quietly rolling out free Wi-Fi, and all 50 passenger cars are now equipped for Internet connection, spokeswoman Bonnie Arnold said. Next up are the stations. “It will probably take until the end of the year to get everything tested and working,” she said.
Rolling Stock: The Great Western Railway is back in business (Rail News UK)
Weekday commuter trains run officially under the banner of the Great Western Railway are arriving at Paddington today for the first time since 31 December 1947. FirstGroup is launching its new franchise under the brand of the former company which existed continuously from the 1830s until 1947, being the only one to survive the 'Grouping' of 1923. The GWR was nationalised along with the other three main line companies at the start of 1948, when its English and Welsh lines became the Western Region of British Railways.
Rail Video of the Week: First Great Western – Building a Greater West
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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