This week we bring you news of plans for a £600m metro network in Wales, a new generation of rolling stock in Train Zero, how Google and the FRA are working together to save lives on America’s rail crossings, a great analysis on the US and High-Speed Rail, we look at why Mastercard are moving into transit ticketing learn about a new maintenance contract for Siemens, plus our Rail Video of the Week which shows a very lucky escape for some passengers in Mumbai, India…
Metro Projects: £600m South Wales Metro to prevent transport 'chaos' (BBC Wales)
Up to £600m is to be spent on a new metro for south east Wales (potential network map pictured right) within five years, it has been announced. It is likely to be a mix of light rail, trams, improved trains and faster buses by 2020 in Cardiff and the valleys. It is in addition to planned rail electrification and will run as a "not-for-dividend" part of the next all-Wales rail franchise from 2018. The economy minister said it could be "chaos" on roads unless the issue of transport infrastructure is sorted out.Rolling Stock: Train Zero: making next-generation rolling stock safer and more reliable (Railway Technology)
Hailed as a cutting-edge testing facility, Test Zero has been designed with the goal of making the next generation of rolling stock safer and more reliable, improving the all-round performance of trains. In turn, passengers can expect a tangibly ameliorated service. Notably, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was on hand to open the £1.6m, Derby-based facility in December. With Bombardier set to provide 65 trains to Crossrail by 2018 - having secured the £1bn contract in 2014 - Train Zero will play a vital role in ensuring rolling stock progresses off the production line and onto the tracks as seamlessly as possible.Transport Safety: Google and FRA partner to tackle rising rail crossing accident rate. (SmartRail World)
Can one of the nation’s newest, fastest-moving industries help to solve one of transportation’s oldest problems? The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) think the answer is yes and as a result are announcing a partnership with Google to make rail crossings safer for drivers and their passengers. Writing on her blog, ahead of a formal announcement next week, Sarah Feinberg, Acting Administrator of the FRA has confirmed that Google has agreed to integrate FRA’s GIS data, which pinpoints the location of the nation's approximately 250,000 public and private railroad crossings, into its mapping services.
Future Railway: Why America is betting big on bullet trains (Fortune)
Americans love cars, which goes a long way to explain why we’ve failed to build a serious high-speed-rail network. Yes, we have Amtrak’s Acela Express, which runs from Boston to Washington, D.C., but that passenger train only occasionally hits 150 miles per hour—its average speed is a paltry 68 mph. (Too much speed contributed to the fatal Amtrak regional train crash in May.) By comparison Shanghai’s maglev train hits a high of 268 mph and averages 143 mph. That might be about to change, as crowded highways, growing populations, and a generation of millennials lukewarm on car ownership have encouraged entrepreneurs and state officials in California, Texas, and Florida to start building the next generation of bullet trains.
Preventative maintenance: All Aboard Florida inks 30-year maintenance contract with Siemens (Progressive Railroading)
All Aboard Florida (AAF) awarded Siemens a 30-year contract to maintain and service all aspects of the passenger railroad's trainsets. The maintenance work includes inspections, corrective and preventative maintenance, and provisioning of parts and labor. Siemens will perform the work at a new facility south of Orlando International Airport and at a smaller complex to be built in West Palm Beach, Fla., AAF officials said in a press release.
Metro ticketing: MasterCard cashes in on smart transit (Financial Times)
MasterCard is building a network of partnerships to realise the potential of contactless and mobile payments to make urban transit systems work more efficiently, as it looks to the trend for “smart cities” as a means of expanding the market for its cards. In tests from Philadelphia to Gujarat, MasterCard has begun to integrate payment systems for train, metro, bus and road toll systems.
Rail Video of the Week: Passengers leap from derailed train in Mumbai (BBC News)
Footage shows a passenger train at Mumbai's Churchgate station overshooting the platform and injuring several people. CCTV footage was released by authorities at Churchgate station showing the moment when the train hit the buffers and partly mounted the platform. Five passengers were injured and train services were disrupted for a while after the crash on Sunday. Railway authorities have blamed "human error".
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.
Recent Editions of the International Rail News Roundup: