Hello Friday! The week is done and the International Rail News Roundup of the Week is here to welcome you to the weekend. This week we take a look at light rail projects planned in Finland, and the upgrades that Siemen’s plan to implement across Egyptian National Railways. We also explore the causes behind the unfortunate accident that killed two Amtrak workers at the end of last week, see how MBTA are giving passengers access to more information and see how India is moving forward with high-speed rail. In this week’s Rail Video of the Week we introduce you to the quirky 1960’s “Railmobile”.
Rail Maintenance: Siemens to upgrade railway network in Egypt (Railway Technology)
This week it has been announced that Siemens has secured a contract with Egyptian National Railways (ENR) to install advanced signalling, communication and level-crossing technology across 260km of lines. The completion date will be in 2020 and upgrades will be made on corridors to the north of Cairo, and near the Suez Canal. The project comes as part of a larger plan to upgrade the rail system across the country to increase safety and to increase efficiency.
Rail Safety: Investigation Into Train Derailment Looking at a Possible Communications Breakdown (Mass Transit)
On Sunday morning two rail workers were killed as an Amtrak train travelling at over 100 mph crashed into their backhoe (a device used to clear rocks from the rail bed). Since, an investigation into who and what is responsible for the crash has been launched, and it seems that a communication breakdown was likely the cause. 37 passengers were also injured in the crash which has bought to light concerns about rail safety in North America. US senator Chris Coon’s has said of the crash that “safety has to be the number-one concern for Amtrak, and I will do everything I can to ensure Amtrak and the federal government respond to this incident appropriately.”
High-speed Rail: India launches first 160 km/h ‘semi high speed’ train (Railway Gazette)
The Gatimaan Express between Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin was opened on Tuesday. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has dubbed it “first semi-high speed train”, travelling at up to 160km per hour. The launch comes after Prabhu announced plans in February to continue to introduce high-speed rail across India. Traffic management has been fundamental to the success of this project.
Rail Projects: Finnish government backs Helsinki - Espoo LRT (International Rail Journal)
This week Finland’s government announces plans to allocate €84 million towards the implementation of the Raide-Jokeri light rail line between Helsinki and the neighbouring city of Espoo. The light rail will follow one of Helsinki’s busiest bus lines and will be able to carry up to 80,000 daily. Between 2017 and 2020 the government plan to improve the infrastructure of Finland and it is estimated that €275 million will be spent to bring their plans to life.
Passenger: Digital dashboard opens performance data for MBTA passengers (SmartRail World)
Each day more than a million passengers use the MBTA bus and subway system, and this week Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack announced the launch of MBTA's Performance Dashboard. This technology hopes to bring a new level of transparency to customers. For the first time, the public can track the daily reliability levels of the four subway lines and all 170 bus routes. It also marks the first time that performance data for all four branches of the Green Line is publicly available.
Rail Video of the Week: Pathe News Clip 'Railmobile' c1962
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