Welcome to this week’s International Rail News Roundup! This Friday we explore how CSX is dealing decreasing need for coal and why WMATA have decided to increase their visible security measures. See how London is using the Crossrail to honour their Monarch, how France is forced to sell its sleeper trains and learn more about the launch of the SmartRail Europe Innovation Awards. In our rail video of the week we see the sustainable way in which London’s Crossrail deals with the earth that is removed in the tunneling process.
Rail Business: Announcement made over privatisation of French sleeper services (Global Rail News)
In France Alain Vidal, transport secretary, has announced plans to try and save the country’s struggling intercity services by selling of sleeper trains. Only two of the sleeper train lines will remain as the rest continue to make losses rather than profit. Alongside these sales new tenders will be launched after the conformation that €1.5 billion will be invested in new rolling stock for the Paris-Limoges-Toulouse, Bordeaux-Marseille, Paris-Clermont Ferrand and Paris-Cherbourg routes.
Rolling Stock: CSX adjusts to declining coal traffic (Railway Gazette)
In the last four years coal revenues have declined by $1.4 billion, and continues to decline. This is an issue that CSX has had ‘streamline’ its resources and services around as the need to transport coal has lessened alongside the decline. CSX has said they expect a 20% year-on-year fall in coal volumes this year. Chief Financial Officer Frank Lonegro said “As we look toward a future with significantly less coal, our strategy includes rationalising and realigning the network to match decreased demand in some markets and adjust to increases in others”.
Rail Innovations: Everything you need to know about the SmartRail Europe Innovation Awards 2016 (SmartRail World)
Innovation is at the heart of our SmartRail Community from our global event series’ to our web portal, news service and social media. And for us it takes many forms. It doesn’t necessarily have to be ground-breaking or world-changing (though we like those too!) but it does have to be something new, different, better or smarter that will make a positive difference to the transit industry. For this reason we are proud to be launching the SmartRail Europe Innovation Awards 2016, a continent-wide search for new products and solutions for rail and metro transport. Enter the Awards if you have a new, innovative product, service or way of working which will improve the rail industry and you want to tell the world about it!
Rail Projects: London's Crossrail to be christened as Elizabeth line (Railway Technology)
This week it has been announced that London’s long awaited Crossrail railways, a project costing £14.8 billion, is to be called the Elizabeth Line in honour of the Queen. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has said "As well as radically improving travel right across our city, the Elizabeth line will provide a lasting tribute to our longest serving monarch." Earlier in the week the Queen herself visited one of the sites to unveil the logo for the purple line which has been named after her. In 1969 Elizabeth II became the first monarch to have travelled on the London underground when she opened the Victoria line.
Rail Safety: Metro officials increase police visibility to make riders feel safer (The GW Hatchet)
In Washington efforts are being made WMATA to make passengers feel safer on the metro by introducing a number of more visible law enforcement systems. Since 2011 crime on the network overall has dropped in numbers but recently the number has begun to rise, with a number of high-profile incidents in the last six months. Safety has become a priority across the industry. Graham Jenkins, vice chair and director of communications for the WMATA Riders Union, has suggested that something as simple as increasing the visibility of police officers, will “illuminates the idea that there’s a presence there”, giving passengers someone they can approach.
Rail video of the week: Crossrail Sustainability: Sea wall breach at Wallasea Island