Hello! Friday is here again and so is this week’s SmartRail World International News Roundup. This week has seen Alstom’s plans to refocus on rail begin, has welcomed the news that Iran’s trade sanctions have been lifted and opened the doors to numerous opportunities, whilst at the same time Canadian Pacific have estimated that another 1,000 jobs are to be cut this year. Once again, the weather has caused havoc as 100,000 workers in China attempting to travel home for the New Year are stranded in Guangzhou station. In Spain ERTMS is brought into focus, and Thailand and the UK formalise a partnership to work together on training and research. In our rail video of the week we follow the lost teddy and take a look at East Midland Trains approach to great service…
The Passenger: At least 100,000 Chinese New Year travellers stuck at railway station (The Guardian)
On Monday, migrant workers attempting to travel home for the Chinese New Year next week were stopped in their tracks. Extreme weather conditions left at least 100,000 travellers stranded in Guangzhou’s main railway station as 23 trains were delayed. About 176,000 passengers had been due to pass through the station on Monday alone. It is little wonder that the travel rush for the Lunar New Year has been described as the ‘greatest annual human migration on earth’.
Rail Business: Canadian Pacific railway to shed 1,000 jobs (Business Standard)
Since embarking on a restructuring of its operations in 2012, Canadian Pacific has cut roughly 6,500 positions, partially because many of them remained unfilled after employees retired. The railway has announced that this year another 1,000 positions will be lost as the volume of goods it transports slumps, freight volumes fell by 3% in 2015.
Rail Maintenance: Hola ERTMS! Expert consortium to install system on Spanish west coast (SmartRail World)
A big name consortium has come together to install the more commonly known as ERTMS, on Spain’s Atlantic coast. Work is now underway on ERTMS, the train command and control system adopted by the European Union to be outfitted on all European new lines. The objective for the roll-out of it is to ensure that rail signalling and communications between the track and on-board train equipment is compatible throughout Europe. This will then help to enable railway traffic interoperability among the various EU states. The Level 1 version of ERTMS is now being installed on the La Coruña-Santiago and Santiago-Vigo rail lines.
Training: UK and Thai universities form railway partnership (Railway Gazette)
This week the partnership between the University of Birmingham in the UK and Thailand’s Suranaree University of Technology had been finalised, meaning that the two universities will now work alongside one another to research railways and transport as well as offer education and training. Dr Sak Kaewunruen, Senior Lecturer in Railway & Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham has said: ‘We hope to grow this integral seed of relationship for long-term and mutual gains from future development and translation into practice of railway and transportation research and education.’
Rail Business: Alstom: refocusing on rail (Railway Technology)
Alstom has recently announced plans to focus its attention on the rail industry. As a kick-start to the new era, the company used part of the proceeds to acquire GE Signalling for €700m, in a deal which also covers 1,200 employees. Railway Technology spoke to Pascal Clere, Alstom's senior Vice President for transport signalling information solutions, about what this focus means for Alstom and its customers.
Rail Projects: Rail rush for $25bn of Iran opportunities as trade sanctions lifted (SmartRail World)
The lifting of economic sanctions on Iran following its agreement to roll back the scope of its nuclear activities has resulted in multinational firms rushing to establish a position in the country – and the major rail companies are no different. The sanctions that had isolated and severely limited the Iranian economy have been lifted, making the country the largest to re-join the global economy since the re-emergence of Russia in the early 1990s. Already companies like Airbus, Peugeot and Italian steel firm Daniel have signed contracts to invest in Iran with dozens more looking at opportunities.
Rail Video of the Week: Lost Teddy
Head the East Midlands Trains site to take a look at the story behind the video.
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