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Fighting rail fatigue

Explains the degradation mechanism of rolling contact fatigue on railways and some of the steps taken to address the problem. Pearlitic rail steels have reached the limit of their exploitation and Tata Steel has now developed HPrail. This rail steel has a microstructure that has been metallurgically engineered to specifically address the RCF phenomenon while maintaining optimum performance in terms of wear and resistance to plastic deformation. Trials of the steel have exceeded expectations in terms of reduced incidence of RCF and increased wear resistance, so much so that Network Rail is looking to increase its deployment of HPrail at a much faster rate than originally intended.

Engineering Materials, winter 2012. pp.18-20.

Implementation of next-generation insulated joints in revenue service

A US industry-wide effort to improve the performance of bonded insulated joints (IJ) in heavy axle load freight service is reported. The Transportation Technology Center, Inc worked with a number of IJ manufacturers and other interested parties to design new joints; several of these designs are now undergoing in-service trials. A lifetime of 500 million gross tons (mgt) is now guaranteed, but work continues to produce IJs with a service life matching that of the surrounding rail. Improved installation methods and design improvements (IJ system, long angle cut, keyed joint, Center LinerTM) are discussed. The 82 IJs under test will be evaluated for one full life cycle following which an economic analysis will be carried out.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.108, no.12. Dec.2012. pp.20-22,24-25.

Wheel/rail interface: top 5 topics

The most important 5 topics to consider when evaluating the wheel/rail interface - wheel and rail profile, material selection, friction management, suspension systems and track condition are discussed. A table lists variables affecting the safety and performance of the wheel/rail interface.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.108, no.12. Dec.2012. pp.34,36,38.

Premium rail steels. Trials and selection for Network Rail infrastructure

The latest work on premium rail steels is reported. The development of HPrail and MHH (Microalloy Head Hardened) rail steels by Tata Steel is described; the resistance of a current pearlitic and HPrail steel to wear and RCF initiation are compared. The latter steel is under trial at a number of sites in the UK. The vertical wear and gauge corner wear rates at 3 of these are compared to R260 grade steel.

Welding Lines, no.37. Dec.2012. pp.1-4.

BAM Nuttall named as main contractor for Borders Railway

BAM Nuttall has been named as the main contractor to deliver Scotland's new £294M Borders Railway. Network Rail had announced earlier in 2012 that it was working alongside the company to design the new line, which is due to enter service in 2015. The new line will return passenger rail services to the Borders for the first time in 40 years and will include 30 miles of new railway with three existing stations and seven new ones - at Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank.

www.rail.co. 13 Dec. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/bxpnr76

On track to transform Europe's rail industry

Notes that the rail industry has a reluctance to embrace polymers, often showing a conservative approach in design and thinking of composites as new materials, despite the fact that they have been in use in the industry for over 30 years. Reports on some of the developments in the industry including: a new cab from Bombardier which had to be 40% lighter, have 75% fewer parts and be 20% less expensive than an existing cab; standbacks manufactured by Ipeco Composites for Bombardier; glass fibre and foam nose plates that enable passengers to pass more easily from carriage to carriage; the use of cork as a core material for railway interior components, floor and sidewall panels; and the use of composites in railway footbridges.

Reinforced Plastics, Nov./Dec. 2012. pp.24-28.

Rolling with the winds of change

Increasing demand for both passenger and freight transport is continuing to drive a strong market for rails. However, according to the World Rail Market Study 2012, the fortunes of the major steelmakers in this specialist sector have varied significantly between the regions. Trade data puts North America at the top of the rail importing league, thanks to very significant expenditure by Class 1 railroads. There is another huge market for rails in China, where the government has been investing heavily both to extend the network and to increase capacity on existing routes. However, in Europe the outlook is uncertain as most railways are dependent to some degree on public funding which is proving difficult to find in the current economic climate.

Railway Gazette International, Dec. 2012. pp.35-38.

Running faster in tough terrain

Russia's severe climate and difficult terrain pose many challenges for track engineers, particularly when trains are operating at 200km/h or more. Over the past decade Russian Railways has moved from jointed track to continuous welded rails for many of its main lines. One of the biggest challenges to these welded rails is the wide variation in temperature between summer and winter, which affects the compressive or tension stresses in the rail. To combat this and the difficult terrain, RZD has developed comprehensive standards for track design and maintenance which have had to be modified to allow for the operation of high speed passenger trains. Theoretical and experimental studies have enabled RZD to develop is requirements for welded rail joints, including both flash-butt electric and aluminothermic welds. An increased rail grinding regime has been put in place to ensure compliance with surface roughness requirements.

Railway Gazette International, Dec. 2012. pp.40-42.

Bombardier to supply automated mass transit system for Dubai International Airport

Bombardier has signed a contract with contractor Al Jaber Engineering to design and build an Innovia 300 automated people mover system for the Dubai International Airport. The new euros 83M automated mass transit system will connect the airport's Terminal 1 to the new Concourse 4. Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects awarded local construction contractor ALEC the contract to build the new Concourse 4 in February 2012. Bombardier is a sub-contractor to ALEC and it will lead the project to design and supply all of the system-wide electrical and mechanical elements of the 1.5 km elevated APM system over the next two years. Bombardier will build and deliver 18 driverless Innovia cars, as well as provide project management, systems engineering and integration, testing and commissioning.

www.rail.co. 28 Nov. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/cethnn7

Carillion and BAM awarded Crossrail infrastructure contracts

Carillion has been awarded the main civils contract to build a flyover at Stockley in Hillingdon which will allow Crossrail services to run to Heathrow. The new flyover, which will be built close to the Heathrow Airport junction, will be used by trains to and from the airport as well as along the Great Western Main Line. Separately, Network Rail has announced that BAM has been awarded the civils contract to build a rail underpass (dive under) at Acton freight yard in Ealing. At present freight trains entering and leaving the yard need to cross mainline passenger tracks - the new dive under will allow freight trains to access the yard without affecting passenger trains.

www.rail.co. 5 Dec. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/d88bvxm

Preliminary assessment of a second-generation hybrid composite beam span at FAST

Results of evaluation tests being carried out at the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI: Pueblo, Co, USA) of a commercially produced 42 foot hybrid composite beam (HSB) are reported. The concrete bridge at the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing, incorporating the HSB technology, also features an innovative, lightweight, modular polymer concrete ballast curb. Observations to date are detailed and span characteristics and performance testing are discussed.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.108, no.11. Nov.2012. pp.14-16.

Effect of super-elevation on vertical and lateral wheel forces

The effect of elevation change on rail forces was studied by Norfolk Southern and the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), using data collected from a test site in West Virginia. Results are discussed.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.108, no.11. Nov.2012. pp.28-30.

Network Rail boss says £28bn debt is a good sign

Network Rail's finance director has said that its debt will continue to rise for another 3 decades, after half year results showed its borrowings have passed £28bn. The organisation said its debt increased by a further £843m in the six months to September. Just over £2bn is invested in projects such as the redevelopment of Reading station and works on the East and West Coast lines. He said that the debt was sustainable and should be celebrated as a sign that infrastructure is being improved and expanded.

The Daily Telegraph, 23rd November 2012, p.B3.

Crossrail awards signalling contract to Siemens-Invensys consortium

Crossrail has awarded the signalling system contract for the £14.8bn network's central section to a consortium comprising Siemens and Invensys Rail Limited. The contract, which is estimated to be worth about £50M, covers the design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of a train control system for Crossrail's central section. The new system will be installed between Portobello Junction on the Great Western Main Line, Pudding Mill Lane Junction on the Great Eastern Main Line and Abbey Wood. Under the terms of the contract Siemens has also committed to creating around 20 apprenticeships and new jobs for unemployed people around Greater London and along the Crossrail route.

www.rail.co. 12 Nov. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/axc3spf

On the right track

Discusses how the railway industry is keeping pace with recent developments in the aerospace industry to promote the design and manufacture of lightweight composite structures for use in rolling stock. Cambridgeshire-based TRB Lightweight Structures designs and manufactures bespoke assemblies, bonded structures and composite components based on lightweight honeycomb sandwich panel technology. The company is now servicing all major sectors within the rail industry and can offer complete TRB-designed, validated and manufactured train doors. It has also launched a new lightweight toilet unit.

Composites in Manufacturing, Nov. 2012. p.31.

BS EN 14587-3:2012

Railway applications. Track. Flash butt welding of rails. Welding in association with crossing construction

[BSI] Update Standards. Nov.2012. p.13.

Siemens confident it will finalise Thameslink contract

Responding to a parliamentary question, transport minister Simon Burns said that the UK Department for Transport was 'assessing options were it not possible to secure financial close' on the £1.4bn Thameslink rolling stock contract. Steve Scrimshaw, managing director of Siemens Rail, responded saying: 'the Thameslink negotiations are ongoing and although we are disappointed that they have taken longer than anticipated, we are making good progress and we remain confident that we will achieve closure of this important deal'. However, RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: 'the game is clearly up for the Siemens/Thameslink deal which is riddled with the same contamination and incompetence as the West Coast Main Line fiasco. The Government should now be forced to hand this work over to Bombardier in Derby saving thousands of key manufacturing jobs and calling a halt to this 18 months of shame'.

www.rail.co. 31 Oct. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/a4na6db

Bombardier wins MARC contract

Reports that Bombardier has won a contract to operate Maryland Transit Administration's MARC Train commuter services on the Camden and Brunswick lines into Baltimore and Washington DC. Bombardier's tender of $204.7M for the five year, eight month contract beat bids from Keolis and Veolia. The contract replaces a deal with CSX Transportation which has decided to end its involvement in passenger operations. Bombardier will operate and maintain MTA's locomotives and coaches, with CSX retaining ownership of the infrastructure. Amtrak will continue to run the Penn route.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 168, no. 11, Nov. 2012. p.8.

Chiltern Railways

The UK government has granted legal powers for the £130M Evergreen 3 project to provide a new route between London and Oxford. A chord will be built at Bicester to link two existing lines, and a new Water Eaton Parkway station will enable passengers to avoid road congestion in central Oxford. (Item contains little further information).

Railway Gazette International, vol. 168, no. 11, Nov. 2012. p.11.

Euros 4.7bn rail spend proposed

Reports that rail forms 47% of Spain's Ministry of Development's proposed investment budget for 2013 with total planned spending of euros 4.7bn. Euros 3.3bn of this amount is to be spent on high speed projects, with euros 332M allocated to the conventional network, euros 116M to rolling stock, euros 585M to administration and maintenance and euros 82M to suburban networks. Amongst the highspeed projects, euros 1.07bn has been allocated for the route from Madrid to Ourense and Vigo. Major projects on the conventional network include level crossing elimination between Medina del Campo and Fuentes de Onoro and track renewals between Almoraima and Algeciras. Freight projects include new rail access to the Port of Barcelona which is to receive euros 60M.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 168, no. 11, Nov. 2012. p.11.

Gas fuelled locos on test

Reports that Canadian National is testing two EMD SD40-2 locomotives which have been converted to use natural gas for 90% of their fuel needs with diesel for ignition. The 3,000 hp locos are fitted with gas conversion kits supplied by Energy Conversions which expects that gas-diesel fuelling will reduce CO2 emissions by 30% and NOx by 70%. CN is also developing a natural gas engine and standardised tender in partnership with EMD, Westport Innovations and Gaz Metro Transport Solutions. CN is to provide two 4,300 hp SD70M-2 locos, and EMD will integrate the natural gas engine and controls, including Westport high pressure direct injection and gas technologies.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 168, no. 11, Nov. 2012. p.12.


Siemens has opened its first centre for sustainable urban development in London. The centre cost euros 35M and will serve as a conference centre, urban dialogue platform, and technology and innovation centre all in one. The building is home to Siemens' first Centre of Competence for cities. Similar, smaller centres are planned for Shanghai and Washington DC.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 168, no. 11, Nov. 2012. p.25.

Wabtec buys LH Group for US$48m

Wabtec Rail Group has completed its $48M acquisition of UK-based diesel engine, transmission and bogie overhaul and industrial locomotive supplier LH Group. LH has around 350 employees and annual sales of $65M, about 10% of which are in non-rail markets. Wabtec expects the transaction to be accretive in the first year.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 168, no. 11, Nov. 2012. p.25.

MTU to supply IEP powerpacks

Hitachi Rail Europe has named MTU as preferred bidder for the supply of 250 underfloor powerpacks for its Super Express Train fleet, which will operate 200 km/h intercity services on the Great Western and East Coast main lines. Hitachi is to supply 596 cars in a mixture of five, eight and nine-car formations in both electric and dual mode configurations. Having provided an engine for test bed trials at the Hitachi plant in Kasado, Japan, MTU has now finalised a novel design designated 12V 1600 R80L which is rated at 700 kW. For the electric variant, the diesel powerpack is intended to provide 'emergency hotel and self-rescue power' in the event of a failure of overhead electric supply.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 168, no. 11, Nov. 2012. p.62.

Steelmaker on the march

Steel producer Evraz has signed two agreements in Berlin aimed at supporting its expansion into the European rail steel and wheel market. It has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GHH-Valdunes to collaborate in the distribution of steel wheel products, with a view to the partnership being formalised in December 2012. It has also concluded a five year contract with Uralvagonzavod for the supply of rail wheels and metal products for vehicle bodyshells. Evraz says that it can match its competitors in terms of technological development, maintaining that its technologies include 100m continuous welded rail production and the use of high-carbon pearlitic grades and micro-alloy rail head hardening techniques.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 168, no. 11, Nov. 2012. p.75.

Welding school established

Infrastructure contractors Strukton Rail and Volker-Rail have jointly established a rail welding school to train and recertify welders to work on the ProRail network. According to the two firms, there are insufficient numbers of rail welders in the Netherlands to justify a centrally-managed government scheme, but equally there was a significant training gap which needed to be filled. This led the two firms to create Rail Lasopleidingen Netherlands to train specialists to requirements set out by ProRail. RLN was audited by the Dutch national institute of welding (Nederlands Instituut voor Lastechniek) in early October, paving the way for the joint venture to be recognised as providing the official training programme for rail welding in the Netherlands.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 168, no. 11, Nov. 2012. p.86.

Los Angeles rolls along with massive rail and road plan

Reports on a number of projects by which the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is attempting to transform the city out of the car culture. A loan has been secured for a 8.5 mile, six station extension to reach Los Angeles International Airport. Of an estimated $40bn expected to result from Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters in 2008, 35% is marked for a dozen major rail projects. One, a four mile extension of a 14-mile bus rapid transit line from Canoga Park to Chatsworth, has already opened this summer. There are also currently proposals for Measure J which, if passed, would extend the sales tax increase by 30 years to 2069.

Engineering News-Record, vol. 269, no. 11, 15 Oct. 2012. p.12.

No driverless trains on the Tube until 2020 at the earliest

Mike Brown, managing director of London Underground and London Rail, has said there will be no driverless trains running on London's underground network until 2020 at the earliest. he added that it would take at least eight years to secure funding, carry out design modifications and do the necessary analysis for driverless trains on London's deep tube tunnel system. Mayor of London Boris Johnson has pledged to introduce automatic train control on 48% of rolling stock by the end of 2014, which he said would pave the way for the first driverless train to be run within a decade. Transport for London said it would consider all options if funding for the technology was agreed, including staffing.

www.rail.co 18 Oct. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/8haz7cd

£130m Oxford-London rail line gets the go-ahead

The Secretary of State for Transport has given Chiltern Railways the go ahead with plans for a £130M rail link between Oxford and London. Chiltern will begin running services between London Marylebone and Oxford from 2015. The project will include new stations in Bicester and Water Eaton, north Oxford.

www.rail.co 18 Oct. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/8mr8b54

Balfour Beatty awarded £50m electrification contract

Balfour Beatty has been awarded the £50M North West Electrification Phase 2 contract. The project will be led by Balfour Beatty Rail in a joint venture with Balfour Beatty Engineering Services who will be undertaking the power and distribution works. Invensys Rail will carry out the signalling, telecoms and SCADA works. The contract will include the installation of 90 single track kilometres of new electrification.

www.rail.co 10 Oct. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/8hrfjdz

Hitachi rail research centre to support IEP

Hitachi has set up the European Rail Research Centre, which will be based at its head office in London and look at rolling stock design - interior and exterior - manufacturing practices, maintenance and Traffic Management Systems. Research carried out at the centre will also support the development of a £20M Traffic Management System prototype - a contract which was awarded to Hitachi as part of a joint venture with Signalling Solutions and Thales. The centre will also work on the Intercity express programme.

www.rail.co 10 Oct. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/92kor3w

Hitachi seeks more rail projects in emerging nations

Hitachi has revealed plans to set up a business office in charge of marketing and engineering in India later this year ands a joint venture in brazil in 2013 with a local firm to make preparations for production in the country. With many railway projects under development in emerging countries, the company aims to double the ratio of overseas sales for its railway business to 60% by strengthening its supply structure. Hitachi is also to consider placing offices in Vietnam and Thailand.

The Nikkei Weekly, vol. 50, no. 2,562, 8 Oct. 2012. p.6.

Network Rail sets track renewal records

In August, Network Rail's new track relaying system - known as System 4 - replaced 1,800 yards of rail and sleepers in 16 hours. The same system working on the Carlisle to Newcastle line on September 7 relaid 968 yards in just over seven hours. System 4 consists of two trains: one to dig up the old track and relay it, the other to replace and clean the ballast. Network Rail has also employed a new system to quickly replace sets of points, which saw a crossing at Wool in Dorset replaced over midweek nights rather than blocking a line over an entire weekend - a first in modern British railway history.

www.rail.co 1 Oct. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/dx2few9

Alstom Prima II tested in Channel Tunnel

Plans to standardise rail freight services between the UK and Europe have received a boost with the successful trial runs of the Alstom Prima II locomotive in the Channel Tunnel. Until now, Class 92 locomotives, which are not approved to run on the French RFF network, have operated exclusively through the tunnel, but in July, Eurotunnel obtained agreement that Technical Specifications for Interoperability should be applied to freight trains travelling through the tunnel to allow for open access. Overnight between September 29 and 30, a Prima II locomotive, in standard configuration and hauling wagons with a total weight of 950 tonnes, entered the tunnel via the French portal at 22.20 before conducting a series of traction, brake and pantograph tests. The locomotive exited the tunnel at Folkestone at approximately 03.00, before departing for a second series of tests on the return journey to France.

www.rail.co 1 Oct. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/ckk54cc

Brazilian rail officials meet Derby firms

Brazilian rail officials have recently visited Derby to see what part firms in the East Midlands could play in delivering the country?s massive upcoming rail infrastructure programme. In August, the Brazilian government pledged R$56bn to rail infrastructure projects in the next five years, including the creation of 12 new national railways to boost the quality of transport services in the run up to the World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The group were invited by UK Trade & Investment East Midlands and visited the state-of-the-art control centre for Network Rail, TQ Catalis, a rail training company which specialises in signalling and track safety, and software and technology company Delta Rail.

www.rail.co 2 Oct. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/bpzs5p5

Smart grid leads to more efficient electric trains

Capturing the electrical energy generated when electric trains brake is simple, but efficiently redistributing it through the power grid is not. In a conventional electric train, the electrical energy generated while stopping is fed immediately into the third rail (or the overhead power lines). The problem is that the third rail has a very limited capacity for absorbing a sudden flood of electrical energy. However, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has now embarked on a pilot project to better absorb and reuse braking energy. Their engineering studies showed that while practical banks of ultracapacitors cannot provide sufficient additional capacity, banks of lithium-ion batteries can. The power is not only recovered efficiently, but is fed back into the regional power grid rather than remaining confined within the commuter train's third rail system.


Rolling stock condition monitoring using wheel/rail forces

Train operators and infrastructure owners need to keep rails, wheels and vehicles in an acceptable condition as wheel wear affects the dynamic characteristics of vehicles and the dynamic force impact on the rail. Details research in Sweden which measured the wheel/rail forces, both lateral and vertical, at the points of contact in a curve with a 484m radius at speeds of up to 100 km/h. Analyses data to show differences for various wheel positions and determines the robustness of the system.

Insight, vol. 54, no. 8, Aug. 2012. pp.451-455.

Geoographic information system-based railway maintenance and renewal system

A railway maintenance and repair planning tool, the MR.GIS (Maintenance and Renewal based on Geographic Information System), is described. This tool enables the visualisation and analysis of railway track data helping track managers and engineers decide when maintenance and repair is necessary. Rules developed to operate the MR.GIS are detailed and cover track geometry, rails, sleepers, track bed layers, life-cycle costs, and rail grinding costs.

Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Transport, vol.65, no. TR4. Nov.2012. pp.289-302.

Emerging Europe in the Spotlight (Rail for Growth)

A joint Polish-Romanian trade mission met in London last week to highlight the business opportunities presented by the rail sector in the two largest markets in Central and Eastern Europe.

During meetings with Network Rail, the Office of Rail Regulation, the Railway Industry Association, the Rail Safety and Standards Board, and other relevant stakeholders in the UK, participants looked at opportunities in the railway sector and discussed the challenges that Polish and Romanian authorities face in making it viable and attractive for investors.

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Standards updates

EN WI 00256634 Railway applications. Track. Mechanical requirements for joints in running rails. (New work started; BSI Committee RAE/2)
[BSI] Update Standards. Oct.2012. p.36.
EN 13232-7 Railway applications. Track. Switches and crossings for Vignole rails. Crossings with movable parts. (New work started; BSI Committee RAE/2; will supersede 2006 edition and A1:2011)
[BSI] Update Standards. Oct.2012. p.37.
EN 13232-8 Railway applications. Track. Switches and crossings for Vignole rails. Expansion devices. (New work started; BSI Committee RAE/2; will supersede 2007 edition and A1:2011)
[BSI] Update Standards. Oct.2012. p.37.
EN 13232-9 Railway applications. Track. Switches and crossings for Vignole rails. Layouts. (New work started; BSI Committee RAE/2; will supersede 2006 edition and A1:2011)
[BSI] Update Standards. Oct.2012. p.37.
EN 16432-2 Railway applications. Ballastless track systems. Subsystems and components. (New work started; BSI Committee RAE/2)
[BSI] Update Standards. Oct.2012. p.37.
EN 16432-3 Railway applications. Ballastless track systems. Acceptance. (New work started; BSI Committee RAE/2)
[BSI] Update Standards. Oct.2012. p.37.

'Electric spine' provides backbone to future rail plans

Reports on the government's £9.4bn programme of rail improvements. Crossrail, Thameslink, and electrification between London and Cardiff, Manchester to Liverpool and Preston, and across the Pennines, are among £5.2bn of projects already committed to during 2014-2019. New schemes, totalling £4.2bn, include: a high capacity 'electric spine' running from Yorkshire and the West Midlands to South Coast ports; upgrades to stations and tracks; faster journeys and more train capacity; the extension of electric rail beyond Cardiff to Swansea; a new £500M rail link between the Great Western Main line and Heathrow; and completion in full of the 'Northern Hub' cluster of rail improvements.

Railway Strategies, Aug./Sep. 2012. pp.8-10.

New ultrasonic test train enters service

Network Rail has launched its fourth ultrasonic rail testing train into service, complete with ground penetrating radar, ultrasonics and rail profile laser scanner. The ultrasonic equipment is used to detect minute flaws in the track. This fourth train has more accurate positioning systems and an improved ability to test the track. It can also be used at higher speeds. With the original three units being used at their full capacity to keep the track compliant, the addition of a fourth unit means that one can be taken out of use for servicing, making the service much more flexible.

Railway Strategies, Aug./Sep. 2012. p.13.

Regulator consults on proposals to formalise the Rail Delivery Group

The Office of Rail Regulation has launched a consultation on proposals aimed at formalising the Rail Delivery Group, the rail leadership body established in 2011 to promote change in Britain's railways. The RDG is focusing its efforts on identifying and delivering cross-industry efficiency opportunities through: collaboration in asset, programme and supply chain management; reform of contractual and regulatory arrangements; coordinated industry planning; production of a rail technical strategy; uprating working practices; and improvements in train procurement and utilisation.

Railway Strategies, Aug./Sep. 2012 p.13.

Rohmann brings eddy current technology to the rails

Railway tracks are subject to great stress and must therefore be inspected very carefully to detect potential defects; this article details some of the eddy current systems offered by German company Rohmann for these applications. The WPG D340 draisine integrated eddy current device can be equipped with four channels and thereby simultaneously record four test tracks. The company also offers machine-integrated test systems. The WPS SBM test system detects and evaluates damage in rails before and after their processing, and provides verification of lack of defects.

Railway Strategies, Aug./Sep. 2012. pp.24-25.

£4.5 billion investment in new trains creates new jobs

Agility Trains, a consortium made up of Hitachi and John Laing, has been awarded the contract to build and maintain the trains under the Intercity Express Programme, the project to replace Britain's Intercity 125 trains with new higher capacity trains. Hitachi will assemble a fleet of 92 complete trains at a new, purpose-built, factory at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, and in the process will create 730 skilled jobs, with a further 200 during the construction of the factory itself. Hitachi will also construct maintenance depots in Bristol, Swansea, west London and Doncaster, and will upgrade existing maintenance depots throughout Britain.

Railway Strategies, Aug./Sep. 2012. pp.36-37.

Set for success

Reports on the activities of Lucchini UK which has an extensive machining facility for all types of wheels, axles and tyres - that is among the most modern and flexible in Europe. The company's Trafford Park plant in Manchester is unique in having been the first plant in the world solely laid out for the mass production of railway wheels and axles. Through its parent company Lucchini RS, the company has access to its own electric arc steelworks along with ancillary facilities. The company believes that, with three quarters of the spend over the life of a train being on maintenance, the use of longer lasting components is more beneficial than focusing on front and construction costs.

Railway Strategies, Aug./Sep. 2012. pp.39-41.

Umeco rail interior demonstrator parts feature sandwich, prepreg construction

Reports that Umeco Structural Materials will present its rail transport exterior body panel system and interior flame-retarded prepreg systems at the forthcoming InnoTrans Rail Exhibition in Berlin, Germany. The panel is a sandwich construction, manufactured using Umeco's BPS240 format 1 body panel system, and can reduce manufacturing times by as much 50% compared with traditional composite materials. Umeco is also exhibiting a range of parts made using its MTM 82S-C glass/phenolic prepreg, which was used by Ipeco Composites to make standbacks for Bombardier Transportation's Class 379 Electrostar EMU Passenger Trains. At only 6.4 kg per unit, the standbacks provide a 40% weight reduction over a typical 10.5-kg wet lay-up structure.

CompositesWorld.com Weekly, 5 Sep. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/93uuzyu

News in brief: [London Underground]

LU is terminating its private finance iniative with the Powerlink joint venture at the mid-term break clause when it becomes due in August 2013. The company expects to save millions per year. The JV consists of UK Power Networks, ABB and Balfour Beatty.

Railway Gazette International, vol.166, no.9. Sept.2012. p.21.

Investing in longer rails

By autumn next year the Tata Steel mill at Hayange (France) will be able to electromagnetically heat treat rails up to 108 metres long, as part of an upgrade that will allow annual production to raised from 55,000 to 120,000 tonnes. This form of treatment leaves the rails with low residual stresses leading to a longer lifetime in high wear conditions.

Railway Gazette International, vol.166, no.9. Sept.2012. p.34.

Geothermal point heaters on trial

The use of geothermal heating of railway points is examined. German experience of the technology is described and trials undertaken are discussed.

Railway Gazette International, vol.166, no.9. Sept.2012. p.62-64,66.

Towards a maintenance-free rail

A new family of rail steels is to be launched by Voestalpine Schienen, under the Dobain brand, at the forthcoming Innotrans conference.

Railway Gazette International, vol.166, no.9. Sept.2012. p.174.

EN WI 00256628 Railway applications. NDT on rails in track. Requirements for describing and identifying internal and surface rail defects. (New work started; BSI Committee RAE/2)
[BSI] Update Standards. Sept.2012. p.34.
EN WI 00256629 Railway applications. NDT on rails in track. Requirements for ultrasonic inspection and evaluation principles. (New work started; BSI Committee RAE/2)
[BSI] Update Standards. Sept.2012. p.34.

Hitachi to pour $300 min into Brazil by Fy15

Hitachi has announced that it will strengthen its social infrastructure business in Brazil by investing $300M by fiscal 2015. The company plans to use the money for mergers and acquisitions, as well as for R &D in areas such as railways and power systems. It aims to quadruple group sales in Brazil to ¥120bn in fiscal 2015. The company has also announced that it is pursuing a monorail project in Sao Paulo. (Item contains no further information.)

The Nikkei Weekly, vol. 50, no. 2,553, 6 Aug. 2012. p.7.

Can trains be half plastic? (Part 1)

Today's rail vehicles use composites widely in their interiors, but exteriors are still mainly metal. The latest aircraft, however, are 50% composite - including their load-bearing primary structures. Part 1 of this article asks why this is, and looks at the use of composites in rail interiors.

Reinforced Plastics Weekly, issue 449, 8 Aug. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/94pol5h

Composites bring lightweight advantages to train interiors

Dr Joe Carruthers, until recently head of the rail vehicles group of Newcastle University's NewRail research centre, has estimated that a 10% saving in the mass of a metropolitan rail vehicle could reduce energy consumption by 7%, saving up to $100 000 annually per vehicle. In a recent case study, he said that substituting composites for metal in items as commonplace as grab rails can make a difference. Steel grab rails typically add more than half a tonne to the mass of a metro vehicle. He argues that composites could find greater acceptance if designers were to be less prescriptive in specifying interiors. He adds that introduction of new material technologies should be carefully managed, perhaps through limited pilot programmes, and that realistic lifecycle assessments would often support the case for such materials.

Reinforced Plastics Weekly, issue 449, 8 Aug. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/d366u3c

Behaviour of train-track interaction in stiffness transitions

To help improve the engineering design of transition zones on railway, e.g. tracks near bridge abutments or tunnels, rail stiffness transition zones were investigated numerically in terms of track deterioration and passenger comfort. Two analyses were employed, one using a train-transition curve model to simulate the response of the train to deflection changes in the vicinity of the transition zone, and the second, a 3D finite element representation of the railway track interacting with a passing train. Train speed, track stiffness changes and the presence of track faults were taken into account.

Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Transport, vol.165, no.TR3. Aug.2012. pp.205-214.

Electrification central to £9.4bn rail strategy

New projects aimed at creating a high capacity electric passenger and freight routes in the UK are detailed. The proposed works include a route from Yorkshire, through the West Midlands to Southampton; the Great Western electrification to Swansea; the Valley Lines (Wales); Thames Valley branch lines; and the Northern Hub.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.8. Aug.2012. p.8.

Chinese firms license light rail technology

A licensing agreement has been made between Bombardier Transportation and CSR Puzhen for a local variant of the Flexity 2 (not for production in China); Siemens has made a technology transfer agreement with CSR Corp for the Combino Plus, with the potential for joint development of local products.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.8. Aug.2012. p.15.

Tram and metro agreement

Uralvagonzavod and Bombardier Transportation are to jointly develop metro trains and trams for the challenging weather requirements of the CIS countries.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.8. Aug.2012. p.15.

Offering expertise overseas

Network Rail Consulting has been launched to offer strategic planning and advice on asset management, operations, maintenance and major projects. Strategic alliances will be forged with CH2M HIll and Atkins aimed at countries with extensive, elderly rail networks, such as the USA and India. Market potential is seen in Brazil, Europe, the Middle East, Far east and Australasia.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.8. Aug.2012. p.23.

The power of hydrogen

A demonstration hydrogen-powered train, using a 1.1 kW proton exchange membrane fuel cell to power 4 lead acid batteries and regenerative braking, is described. The train was built at the University of Birmingham from off-the-shelf components as part of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Railway Challenge contest./P>

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.8. Aug.2012. p.28.

Understanding the loading of turnout crossings

A dynamic finite element model was used to explain how impact loads and other forces acting on the crossing node of a turnout are influenced by parameters such as wheel profile, train speed and axle load. Damage to the crossing is related to the levels of contact pressure and slip. Model design, loading mechanisms, vertical impact, angular velocity and slip and plastic material behaviour (using Mn13 and Hardox) are discussed.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.8. Aug.2012. pp.32-35.

Telling the difference between studs and squats

The two visually similar forms of surface rail defects are discussed and compared. Each has very different crack initiation mechanisms and can lead to different outcomes The differences and causes are identified

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.8. Aug.2012. pp.36-38.

Tracking the trends in infrastructure costs

The Lasting Infrastructure Cost Benchmarking project, undertaken by the UIC since 1996, is described. The LICB includes continuous comparison and analysis of 15 Western European railways, plus some data from North America and Asia, in terms of annual expenditure on maintenance and renewals. The aim is to identify trends and opportunities for improvement. Trends and developments, cost drivers and comparisons are discussed and an outlook on performance is presented.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.8. Aug.2012. pp.40-43.

BS EN 13481-1:2012 Railway applications, Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Definitions. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI]Update Standards. August 2012. p.11.
BS EN 13481-2:2012 Railway applications, Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Fastening systems for concrete sleepers. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI]Update Standards. August 2012. p.11.
BS EN 13481-3:2012 Railway applications, Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Fastening systems for wooden sleepers. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI]Update Standards. August 2012. p.11.
BS EN 13481-4:2012 Railway applications, Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Fastening systems for steel sleepers. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI]Update Standards. August 2012. p.11.
BS EN 13481-5:2012 Railway applications, Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Fastening systems for slab track with rail on the surface or rail embedded in a channel. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI]Update Standards. August 2012. p.11.
BS EN 13481-7:2012 Railway applications, Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Special fastening systems for switches and crossings and check rails. (Supersedes 2003 edition)
[BSI]Update Standards. August 2012. p.11.

Rail industry agrees new approach to planning Britain's future railway

The Long Term Planning Process (LTPP), developed to enable flexible rail capacity growth for up to 30 years ahead, is described. LTPP comprises of a series of studies - market (passenger and freight demand, including service frequency), route (options for future services) and cross-boundary analyses (service options crossing multiple routes). The first market study is to be completed by the end of 2013. Network-wide issues, such as technological changes, will be monitored through separate network studies.

Railway Strategies for Senior Management, no. 73. June/July 2012. p.33.

CCP resins selected for Brazilian monorail project

Reports that Bombardier Transportation, Brazil has chosen CCP Composites' FIREBLOCK product to be used in the manufacture of parts for the new Bombardier Innovia Monorail 300 system in São Paulo, Brazil. FIREBLOCK, which is a series of nonhalogenated, fire-retardant resins, was selected for this project because of its ability to meet the testing standards for the industry. The monorail parts, which will be used in the wheel house areas on the 378 new monorail cars, will be manufactured in Quebec, Canada, by FDC Composites and built by Bombardier Transportation. The new monorail vehicles will provide the transport capacity of a subway, but with less cost and faster implementation, helping to alleviate traffic congestion in the city. The new system will also help in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by providing an alternative form of transportation, taking more cars off the road and reducing the amount of travel time for the remaining vehicles.

CompositesWorld Weekly, 17 July 2012. http://tinyurl.com/d4jsrbr

CAF to set up manufacturing plant in India

Reports that Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles is planning to set up a new manufacturing hub in India to take advantage of an increasing demand for railway vehicles and equipment. CAF set up its Indian arm, CAF India Pvt Ltd, in 2010 to look after its operations in the country and is now looking for locations for the new hub. The company recently won the contract to supply 14 rakes (84 coaches) from Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation worth $155M. It is also interested in the maintenance of the Delhi Airport link of DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) and has qualified for Jaipur Metro.

www.rail.co 3 July 2012. http://tinyurl.com/cc4ezfm

Bombardier and UVZ sign deal to modernise Moscow

Bombardier has signed a deal with rail manufacturer UVZ to modernise Russia?s public transport system in time for the 2018 World Cup. Bombardier and UVZ will jointly develop and market metro trains designed for the Moscow Metro and other cities in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Bombardier is providing UVZ with a licence to manufacture and sell low-floor trams with Bombardier technology in Russia. The licensed product is a variant of the Bombardier Flexity platform of vehicles, which operate worldwide.

www.rail.co 13 July 2012. http://tinyurl.com/c8uflml

Hitachi plans Doncaster depot as part of £4.5bn deal

Transport secretary Justine Greening has confirmed that Agility Trains, a consortium made up of Hitachi and John Laing, has been awarded the contract to build and maintain the trains under the Intercity Express Programme. Hitachi will assemble an intercity fleet of 92 complete trains at a new purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. It will also construct maintenance depots in Bristol, Swansea, west London and Doncaster. The new factory is expected to create 730 jobs, a further 200 jobs during construction phase and many more in the supply chain. The IEP train fleet will be comprised of electric and bi-mode trains, some five vehicles long and others nine vehicles. These will be faster accelerating than existing stock, and will offer the potential for more frequent services.

Insider News Yorkshire. 25 July 2012. http://tinyurl.com/cqwhlc9

Need to know: Transport

According to the Public Accounts Committee, the taxpayer has been landed with a £4.8bn bill to find HS1 after 'inaccurate and wildly optimistic forecasts' of passenger demand.

The Times, 6th July 2012, p.38.

Need to know: Industrials

Germany's cartel office has fined four makers and suppliers of rail tracks a total of €124.5m. ThyssenKrupps's rail technology unit received the largest fine of €103m, with a €13m to Vossloh and a €8.5m penalty for two divisions of Voestalpine.

The Times, 6th July 2012, p.38.

Natural gas locomotive

Caterpillar is to fund the development of a natural gas-powered locomotive, working with gas specialist Westport Innovations (USA). The Caterpillar Electro-Motive Diesel division is using Westport's high pressure direct injection technology in its motors. Production for the commercial market is expected in 5 years.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.7. July 2012. p.8.

The Quadrant: MK

Network Rail's new national centre opened in Milton Keynes in June. Engineering, logistics, operations (including time tabling), IT, procurement, planning and finance will all be housed in the centre and 15 offices around the UK will be closed.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.7. July 2012. p.10.

Energy storage offers 10% saving

The metro in Macau will be the first to use a line side battery energy storage system along the whole route. The technology, B-CHOP, developed by Hitachi Vehicle Energy, is based on lithium-ion batteries and was originally aimed at the automotive sector. Power is gathered from breaking, stored and re-used for following trains, reducing overall electricity consumption and lowering maintenance costs from the reduction in mechanical breaking.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.7. July 2012. p.15.


In a UK first, London Blackfriars Station has had 1.3 km of SilentTrack rail installed. The special track was developed by Tata Steel and uses rail-mounted dampers to reduce noise.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.7. July 2012. p.18.

Putting numbers on external costs

A study that puts a value on impacts such as noise, accidents, carbon emissions and air pollution for each mode of transport is reported. Road transport is identified as producing 93% (cars 62%, lorries 14%, vans 9%, motorcycles 5%, buses 4%), air 4%, rail 2% and inland water 1%.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.7. July 2012. p.30.

Tracks across the desert

The 450 km high speed railway line across Saudi Arabia is to be constructed by three Spanish companies - Copasa, Imathia and OHL. The Haramain line will require around 108,000 tonnes of rail, type 60 E1, imported in 25m lengths and flash butt welded. Some details of the track (turnouts, crossovers, sidings, etc) are given.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.7. July 2012. p.36.

BS EN 13848-6 Railway applications. Track. Track geometry quality. Characterisation of track geometry quality. (Draft British Standard 12/30258518 DC; BSI Committee RAE/2)
[BSI] Update Standards. July 2012. p.57.
EN 13481-1:2012 Railway applications. Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Definitions
[BSI] Update Standards. July 2012. p.60.
EN 13481-2:2012 Railway applications. Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Fastening systems for concrete sleepers
[BSI] Update Standards. July 2012. p.60.
EN 13481-3:2012 Railway applications. Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Fastening systems for wood sleepers
[BSI] Update Standards. July 2012. p.60.
EN 13481-4:2012 Railway applications. Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Fastening systems for steel sleepers />[BSI] Update Standards. July 2012. p.60.
EN 13481-5:2012 Railway applications. Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Fastening systems for slab track with rail on the surface or rail embedded in a channel
[BSI] Update Standards. July 2012. p.60.
EN 13481-7:2012 Railway applications. Track. Performance requirements for fastening systems. Special fastening systems for switches and crossings and check rails
[BSI] Update Standards. July 2012. p.60.

Need to know: Engineering

Costain has won its 5th contract on the Crossrail project, in conjunction with its long-term partner Skanska of Sweden.

The Times, 21st June 2012, p.36.

Preliminary evaluation of high strength rail steels at FAST

The results of rail wear tests carried out by Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (USA) on 10 premium rail types is reported. Rail wear, internal fatigue rail base defects and rolling contact fatigue on the high rail are compared.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.108, no.5. May 2012. pp.12-14.

Application of eddy currents to the inspection of fatigue-corroded railway axles

The use of eddy currents for the detection of corrosion pits and corrosion-fatigue cracks in in-service railway axles was investigated by means of in-laboratory small-scale experiments. Test results are discussed. Results are supported by numerical simulations.

Non-Destructive Testing Australia, vol.49, no.3. May/June 2012. pp.75-79.

BS EN 13146-1:2012 Railway applications. Track. Test methods for fastening systems. Part 1: Determination of longitudinal rail restraint. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI] Update Standards. June 2012. p.16.
BS EN 13146-2:2012 Railway applications. Track. Test methods for fastening systems. Part 2: Determination of torsional resistance. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI] Update Standards. June 2012. p.16.
BS EN 13146-3:2012 Railway applications. Track. Test methods for fastening systems. Part 3: Determination of attenuation of impact loads. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI] Update Standards. June 2012. p.16.
BS EN 13146-4:2012 Railway applications. Track. Test methods for fastening systems. Part 4: Effect of repeated loading. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI] Update Standards. June 2012. p.16.
BS EN 13146-5:2012 Railway applications. Track. Test methods for fastening systems. Part 5: Determination of electrical resistance. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI] Update Standards. June 2012. p.16.
BS EN 13146-6:2012 Railway applications. Track. Test methods for fastening systems. Part 6: Effect of severe environmental conditions. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI] Update Standards. June 2012. p.16.
BS EN 13146-7:2012 Railway applications. Track. Test methods for fastening systems. Part 7: Determination of clamping force. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI] Update Standards. June 2012. p.16.
BS EN 13146-8:2012 Railway applications. Track. Test methods for fastening systems. Part 8: In service testing. (Supersedes 2002 edition)
[BSI] Update Standards. June 2012. p.16.

Balfour Beatty named preferred bidder for Midland Metro extension

Centro, the Midland region's transport authority, has appointed Balfour Beatty to develop a 'best and final offer' for the project bidder to build an extension of the Midland Metro through Birmingham city centre. Over the next few months Balfour Beatty will be working with Centro's project team and key stakeholders to finalise the design and construction proposals. The extension will provide a 'fast link between Birmingham's two major rail stations and deliver more than 3.5M passengers a year' into the heart of the city's shopping district. It is one element of a wider £127M project that will see a fleet of 20 new trams for the Midland Metro system, which runs between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

www.rail.co 3 May 2012. http://tinyurl.com/bwqtw5v

South West Trains & Network Rail form alliance

South West Trains and Network Rail are to launch a new alliance with 'the aim of delivering better rail services in the south and south-west of England'. A single senior joint management team now has responsibility for both trains and track on the route operating out of London Waterloo in a first for the UK rail industry. Its objective is to 'cut delays for passengers, provide better customer service, deliver more effective management of disruption, and improve the efficiency of the railway through more collaborative working and better decision-making'. The alliance is planned to run until 4 February 2017, the expiry date of the South West Trains franchise agreement.

www.rail.co 30 Apr. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/72x3zsc

Lateral resistance of railway track with frictional sleepers

Changes to the resistance of railway tracks as a result of lateral displacement, and consequent reduction in weld cracking on sharp curves, using the single sleeper push test on a frictional concrete sleeper (B70-F) were investigated. It was found that track resistance to lateral displacement was increased by around 64% with the use of B70-F sleepers.

Transport. ICE Proceedings, vol.165, no.TR2. May 2012. pp.151-155.

Improving joint bar service life by managing residual stresses

As a means of improving the performance of joint bars, used in bolted rail joints of continuously-welded rail sections, techniques for inducing beneficial residual stresses during manufacturing were investigated at the Transportation Technology Center, Inc under the Association of American Railroads' Strategic Research Initiatives Program. Residual stresses achieved using different stress relief methods are discussed.

Railway Track and Structures. April 2012. pp.12-15.

Reforming our railways

The executive summary of the UK Government's Rail Reform Command Paper is presented, together with some industry reaction.

Railway Strategies for Senior Rail Management. April/May 2012. pp.41-42.

Evacuated Tube Transport could see round the world travel in 6 hours

Reports on the Evacuated Tube Transport (ET3) system which could enable people to travel around the world in less than six hours through a network of elevated tubes. The system could see ?car sized passenger capsules travel in 1.5m diameter tubes on frictionless maglev?. Air is permanently removed from the two-way tubes that are built along a travel route. Airlocks at stations allow transfer of capsules without admitting air. Linear electric motors accelerate the capsules, which then coast through the vacuum for the remainder of the trip using no additional power. Most of the energy is regenerated as the capsules slow down. Speed in initial ET3 systems would be 370 mph for in-state trips, and could be developed to 4,000 mph for international travel that ?will allow passenger or cargo travel from New York to Beijing in 2 hours?.

www.rail.co 20 Apr. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/cemudcv

Network Rail makes changes to infrastructure projects

Changes to the way Network Rail delivers infrastructure projects worth £2bn a year have come into force, part of a wider programme of reforms at the company which ?aim to encourage competition, drive down costs and deliver a better value for money railway for Britain?. A new, commercially focused, regionally based projects delivery business - Network Rail Infrastructure Projects - has been created, with four regional directors and three programme directors responsible for delivery of major renewal and enhancement infrastructure in their area. They will manage their own profit and loss and will be charged with securing work under a new competitive structure proposed by Network Rail.

www.rail.co 19 Apr. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/buenvj6

Murphy and Siemens awarded rail electrification contract

J. Murphy & Sons Limited and Siemens Smart Grid, Rail Electrification, have been awarded the North West Electrification Phase 1 Traction Power Supply contract by Network Rail, worth over £5M. The companies will focus on the installation of two new substations at the Newton Le Willows and Ordsall Lane Junctions. The 77-week contract covers the construction of two substation compounds, trackside, as well as, associated civil engineering works. The works aim to accommodate the installation of power distribution equipment provided by Siemens under a separate supply-only contract to Network Rail.

www.rail.co 18 Apr. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/d4nckty

Building lightweight trains

In their efforts to make cars and trains more economical, manufacturers are looking for lighter materials to replace those currently used. However, lighter materials tend not to be as tough as steel or aluminium, so they cannot simply be used in place of these metals. Working together with Bombardier, KraussMaffei Kunststofftechnik, Bayer MaterialScience, DECS, the DLR?s Institute for Vehicle Concepts, the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology have now developed a polyurethane-based sandwich material that is extremely resilient. To demonstrate the material, they manufactured a component that is subject to significant stresses and which has to fulfil a number of requirements - the diesel engine housing for a train. By using this new material they reduced the component?s weight by over 35% and cut costs by 30%. The component passed its first strength test.

Materials Views, 10 Apr. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/cwvbpf8

Mott MacDonald awarded HS2 design contract

Mott MacDonald has secured a contract from HS2 Ltd to provide civil and structural design services for the new high speed rail line. URS, SENER, London Bridge Associates and Weston Williamson Architects will provide support as sub consultants. Awarded one of four design contracts under Lot 1 of HS2 Ltd's Professional Services Framework, the consultancy will design approximately 25km of new high speed rail line from the redeveloped Euston Station through north west London. Mott will also work on the link to HS1 and a new 14 platform interchange station at Old Oak Common.

www.rail.co 10 Apr. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/d4eqdb9

Bombardier bags order from Deutsche Bahn

Bombardier Transportation will deliver 16 Bombardier Twindexx Vario multiple units to Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG) for operation on the Kiel-Hamburg and Flensburg-Hamburg railway lines. Valued at approximately €160 million and is part of a framework agreement between Bombardier and DB AG from December 2008. DB AG has already ordered 135 of the variable double-deck coaches for intercity transport as well as 18 intermediate coaches and three double-deck power cars for regional services. Each of the 16 new four-car Twindexx Vario trains comprises two double-deck power cars and two intermediate coaches. The new trains will operate on the network LVS Schleswig-Holstein with speeds of up to 160km/h. The trains are scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2014. The double-deck coaches are built at Bombardier's Görlitz plant in Germany. The bogies are manufactured at the company's site in Siegen, Germany, and the propulsion and control system is manufactured at its site in Västerås, Sweden.

Titanium Update, 5th April 2012.

Alstom wins contract from Deutsche Bahn

Alstom Transport will manufacture 28 Coradia Continental regional trains for the German operator Deutsche Bahn Regio NRW GmbH. The contract is worth approximately €140 million. This is the first stage of the frame contract signed in 2011 with DB Regio for the delivery of up to 400 trains. They will enter service for DB Regio NRW GmbH in 2014. The Coradia Continental trains will be manufactured at the Alstom Salzgitter site in Germany, where a high level of experience is guaranteed: 141 trains of the same type have already been built there.

Stainless Steel World Weekly News Update, 10th April 2012.

Bombardier wins train order from Deutsche Bahn

Bombardier has secured a contract to supply 16 of its TWINDEXX Vario multiple units to Deutsche Bahn. Each of the new four-car trains comprises two double-deck power cars and two intermediate coaches. The order is valued at approximately Euros 160M and is part of a framework agreement between Bombardier and DB AG from December 2008. The new trains will operate on the Kiel-Hamburg and Flensburg-Hamburg railway lines.

www.rail.co 30 Mar. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/btd24al

Bombardier awarded contract for Beijing Metro Line 14

Together with New United Group, Bombardier Transportation has signed a contract with Beijing MTR Construction Administration Corporation for the supply of its 'MITRAC' propulsion equipment. Bombardier will supply engineering, manufacturing, testing, commissioning and maintenance as well as initial propulsion spare parts for the new metro trains, which will be built by CNR Changchun Rail Vehicles and CSR Sifang. The total value of the contract is approximately 469M Chinese Renminbi (Euros 56M), with Bombardier's share valued at approximately 208M Chinese Renminbi (Euros 25M).

www.rail.co 29 March 2012. http://tinyurl.com/csolvcq/

Locomotives get lightweighting treatment

Reports that the railway industry is thinking seriously about weight reduction programmes for diesel trains in order to reduce fuel consumption, costs and carbon dioxide emissions. Bayer MaterialScience has unveiled a newly developed sandwich material based on the Baypreg polyurethane spray system that is well suited for diesel engine enclosures. The finished component is 35% lighter and 30% less expensive than its steel-and-aluminium counterpart. The material meets all necessary fire protection requirements. The PURTrain project under which the technology was developed is a feasibility study for enclosing the diesel engines of the Itino train. Bayer MaterialScience collaborated closely with Bombardier on the project.

Plastics Today Automotive/Mobility. 28 Mar. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/bpolljy

Network Rail £1m fine over crossing deaths

Network Rail were fined £1m and accused of 'corporate blindness' for breaching health and safety laws when two girls were killed at Elsenham level crossing in Essex. The judge concluded that there had been a history of inadequate risk assessment and a failure to heed and act upon relevant information, and in was consistently underplayed that the crossing was being misused.

The Daily Telegraph, 16th March 2012, p.3.

Arup to design HS2 terminus at Euston station

The design, which will include a new terminus for HS2 and existing railway services, a new London underground ticket office, office and retail space, public spaces and community facilities, has the aim of improving access, space and overall experience for all rail users and the local community. Arup?s preliminary designs will include architectural design by Grimshaw and logistical infrastructure development by Costain.

www.rail.co 13 Mar. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/6shs8a9

Israel OKs $2-billion proposal as alternative to Suez Canal

Israel's government has approved a planned $2bn, 350km rail network from the Mediterranean coast to the Red Sea port of Eilat. The project, which will take five years to complete once financing is approved, would involve upgrading existing track, laying new rail in southern Israel and rebuilding 63 bridges and five tunnels. Israeli and Chinese officials have signed a memorandum of understanding for China to build the route's main 180km segment from a major phosphorus mine to the port.

Engineering News-Record, vol. 268, no. 4, 13 Feb. 2012. p.6.

IMechE launches ?Railway Challenge? competition for students and apprentices

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has launched its first ever ?Railway Challenge?, where student and apprentice teams will compete against each other to design and manufacture the best, and most efficient, small-scale locomotive. A major part of the competition will be the Energy Storage Challenge, where teams are required to store energy during braking and use it to drive the locomotive up a gradient. As well as the Energy Storage Challenge, there will be two other practical challenges focusing on traction and ride comfort. Just four teams will take part in the introductory competition, but there are plans to open it up to any UK university or railway company next year.

dpaonthenet.net, 5 Mar 2012. http://tinyurl.com/83sj3h4

London Midland and FTPE order new trains from Siemens

Reports that London Midland and First TransPennine Express have placed orders with Siemens for new Desiro electrical multiple units, to be delivered between the end of 2013 and the middle of 2014. Ten class 350/3 electrical multiple units will be used by London Midland to strengthen existing commuter services into London and along the West Coast Mainline. First TransPennine Express will introduce a further ten class 350/4 EMUs onto services on the West Coast Main Line linking Manchester Airport to Edinburgh and Glasgow. (Item contains no further information).

www.rail.co 29 Feb. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/7qvwcw6

Network Rail to sell plant subsidiary

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited has announced that it intends to sell its subsidiary, Network Rail (NDS-Plant) Limited, only months after setting it up. The NDS-Plant division was set up in November after Network Rail ?rescued? equipment supplier Hydrex from administration. Hydrex was the largest provider of road-rail vehicles to the industry and ?vital for Network Rail?s Christmas maintenance plans'. Network Rail is consulting directly with NDS-Plant staff, trade unions, customers, contractors and the Office for Rail Regulation regarding the proposed sale, which will be via an open tender process.

www.rail.co 22 Feb. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/6lnrcur

Where will the money go in 2012?

North American capital spending on freight rail is expected to reach $13 billion in 2012. This article reports on anticipated engineering works being carried out by Amtrak, BNSF, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, CSX, KCS, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.108, no.2. Feb.2012. pp.21-27.

Railway Strategies Live 2012

The supply chain conference is to be held at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham, UK on Thursday, 21st June. The conference agenda, guest speakers, and associated information are detailed. www.railwaystrategies.co.uk.

Railway Strategies for Senior Rail Management, issue 71. Feb.-March 2012. pp.26-29

Revenue up 45%

The revenue of GE Transportation for 2011 is briefly reported. Infrastructure orders reached $26.6bn in the fourth quarter and the company ended 2011 with its largest ever order backlog ($200bn).

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.3. March 2012. p.26.

No progress in London

Progress Rail, the subsidiary company of Caterpillar, has closed its Electro-Motive Diesel locomotive assembly plant in London, Ontario (Canada) following a dispute over pay and conditions. Other Progress Rail plants in the USA and South America are to take over assembly.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.3. March 2012. p.26.

Embedded rails speed tracklaying

The Prefarail system, which uses resin bonded rubber sourced from used car tyres to reduce noise and vibration, is briefly described. Manufactured by CDM (Italy), QTrack has been used by BAM Nuttall on the Blackpool tramway. QTrack-Beam and QTrack-Slab are also introduced.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.3. March 2012. p.70.

National University Rail research centre established

A university consortium, led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is to set up a rail transportation and engineering research centre. National University Rail (NUR) will be situation with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Illinois. Other participating universities are listed.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.3. March 2012. p.77.

BS EN 13231-3:2012

Railway applications. Track. Acceptance of works. Acceptance of reprofiling rails in track. (Supersedes 2006 edition.)

[BSI] Update Standards. March 2012. p.11.

BS EN 13848-4:2011

Railway applications. Track. Track geometry quality. Measuring systems. Manual and lightweight devices.

[BSI] Update Standards. March 2012. p.11.

Alstom awarded Dubai tramway contract

Alstom has secured a 13-year maintenance contract for the Al Sufouh tramway in Dubai. The Roads and Transport Authority of the Government of Dubai awarded the contract, thought to be worth around Euros 120M, to the consortium comprised of Alstom and Cofely Besix Facility Management. The contract is for the maintenance of 11 Citadis tramsets, 10 km of track, 13 stations and other equipment (electrification, signalling, ticketing systems). Phase 2 of the Dubai tramway project provides for 14 additional Citadis tramsets, as well as four additional km of track and six stations. (Item contains no further information).

Rail.co. 14 Feb. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/74pz4v9/

China's great railway boom hits the buffers

China's high-speed rail project has run out of money and will be scaled back significantly this year. more than two thirds of 23 railway projects have been suspended, partly suspended or delayed, and only 9 new lines would be commissioned this year, compared with 70 in 2011. Ticket sales have been slow, and a rail disaster and allegations of corruption in the rail ministry have added to the problem.

The Daily Telegraph, 22nd February 2012, p.17.

Coalition 'not off-the hook' over Bombardier

Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has welcomed reports that Bombardier’s Derby site has been secured for three years but ‘warns that the coalition government should not be let off the hook’. The union said ‘Britain’s last train maker needs a significant contract’ for the company to have a long-term future. The plant was under review ‘after the government controversially awarded’ a £1.6bn order for the Thameslink route to a consortium led by Siemens.

www.rail.co 9 Feb.2012. http://tinyurl.com/83w4xb2

Scomi signs Brazil monorail contract

Scomi Engineering, part of Scomi Group, has signed a contract along with three consortium partners - CR Almedia, Mendes Junior and Serveng - to design and construct a 20km straddle monorail system for the Manaus area of Brazil. Under the consortium, Scomi’s scope of works will involve the design and supply of rolling stock and depot equipment, system integration and project management.

www.rail.co 6 Feb.2012. http://tinyurl.com/6oatwov

Ultrafast Maglev nearing reality

Reports on projected developments on the line from Tokyo to Nagoya and then to Osaka. Central Japan Railway's new super high speed line will cut journey time from Tokyo to Nagoya from 100 to 40 minutes and from Tokyo to Osaka from 160 to 67 minutes. The company has called the new technology the Superconducting Maglev system. Each car will be equipped with superconducting magnets, which create intense magnetic fields. Levitation and guidance coils will be embedded in the guideway. When a train and its superconducting magnets move at high speeds above the guideway, the levitation coils are activated and become electromagnets. The electromagnets then repel, levitating the cars. The guidance coils, meanwhile, use the magnets' force of attraction to provide propulsion.

The Nikkei Weekly, vol. 50, no. 2,526, 30 Jan. 2012. pp.1,3.

Rio invests $518m in world's first automated rail network in Australia

Reports that Rio Tinto has invested $518M in pioneering the use of driverless trains at its Pilbara iron ore rail network in Australia. The company plans to deploy 150 driverless trucks as part of its AutoHaul programme, launching the first driverless train in 2014 and completing the AutoHaul automated train programme by 2015. The AutoHaul automated train programme is part of Rio's Mine of the Future proposal which also includes driverless trucks and autonomous drills.

Energy Business Review, Daily Newsletter, 21 Feb. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/7ly6fes

Departing Caterpillar feels force of Canada's anger

Caterpillar Inc is facing growing opposition from workers and others following its abrupt closure of the Electro-Motive Diesel plant in London, Ontario, Canada's last remaining locomotive factory. Caterpillar has demanded that workers take a 50% wage cut or lose their jobs. Canadians are using social media to call for companies to boycott Caterpillar products.

The Guardian, 16 Feb 2012. p 29.

Steelcast LLC set to enter US rail market

Steelcast is awaiting certification from the Association of American Railroads for its manufacturing facility in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. The joint venture between Steelcast and US-based Michigan Steel, will manufacture casnub bogies for railways in the US. Chetan Tamboli, chairman and managing director, said "once we get the certificate from the US agency, we will be able to bid contracts there. This would also give us advantage to bid for project of Indian Railways in future. We are hopeful for newer opportunities emanating from the proposed Delhi-Mumbai Freight Corridor as well".

www.rail.co.uk 25 Jan. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/6t9e882

Alstom's orders 'remained sound' during 2011

Reports that over the third quarter 2011/12 (from 1 October to 31 December 2011), Alstom registered orders of Euros 4.9bn, 'confirming the sustained commercial activity of the past four quarters'. Thermal Power booked the same level of orders as in the previous quarter (Euros 1.9bn), benefiting from successes in Iraq and Poland. Renewable Power booked Euros 0.3bn of orders, in the absence of large projects. Transport recorded a high number of small and medium sized contracts, reaching an order level of Euros 1.5bn. Lastly, Grid achieved its best quarter since its acquisition, with orders totaling Euros 1.2bn. Orders growth continued to be supported by emerging markets, representing around 60% of the total orders at the end of December 2011.

www.rail.co.uk 24 Jan. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/7nsn5tp

GE Transportation to expand operations in Pennsylvania

The company is investing in the construction of a new locomotive diesel engine remanufacturing plant in Grove City (PA, USA), creating 150 new jobs. Production is to commence by the end of 2012, driven by routine locomotive engine overhauling and the requirement to comply with EPA Tier 3 emissions standards by 2013.

Welding Journal, vol.91, no.2. Feb.2012. p.8.

Nearly $1 billion granted for California high-speed rail construction

A $928.6M grant for construction of the first segment, the Central Valley, of the California High-Speed Rail system has been granted by the US Transportation Secretary. Over 1M jobs are expected to be created during the project's lifespan, nearly half of these as a result of increased economic activity from the network; the population of California is forecast to grow by 60% over the next 40 years.

Welding Journal, vol.91, no.2. Feb.2012. p.10.

Industry News

Track-Weld Industries (Paducah, KY, USA), a specialist in the development of rail track and crossing repair procedures and processes, has been acquired by Welding Alloys USA.

Welding Journal, vol.91, no.2. Feb.2012. p.13.

EuroLight UK ordered

15 EuroLight UK mixed traffic diesel locomotives have been ordered from Vossloh by Direct Rail Services. The units will be fitted with Caterpillar C175 engines plus traction equipment manufactured by ABB.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.2. Feb.2012. p.10.

500 km/h supertrain

A six car ultra high-speed experimental trainset has been launched by CSR Qingdao Sifang. The unit is for research on train and track behaviour at speeds up to 500 km/h.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.2. Feb.2012. p.11.

Rolling stock

Bombardier has received a contract from Southern for 130 more Electrostar EMU cars, for manufacture at the Derby plant.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.2. Feb.2012. p.19.

Line 1 conversion makes metro history

The switch over of the Paris metro Line 1 from manual to driverless operation is detailed.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.2. Feb.2012. pp.52-54.

Twindexx: Switzerland's inter-city standard bearer

The double-decker EMU under construction by Bombardier Transportation is described. The EMU has been selected by SBB (Swiss Federal Railway) for its future inter-city and inter-regional services.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.2. Feb.2012. pp.67-69.

BS 11:1985 Specification for railway rails

This standard has been declared obsolescent but it allows for the repair and maintenance of existing track, and gives profile descriptions for supply of rails (particularly 95 lb/yd bullhead) not within the scope of BS EN 13674.

[BSI] Update Standards. Feb.2012. p.22.

Evaluation of a turnout inspection system facility and methods used

The Automated Switch Inspection Vehicle (ASIV) track inspection system under test at the Transportation Technology Center testing facility in Pueblo (Co, USA) is described and evaluated. Benefits and limitations are listed.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.108, no.1. Jan.2012. pp.15-17.

Stepping up rail-flaw detection

New products, methods and technologies from Herzog Services, Inc., Nordco, Precision Rail Stress Testing, Inc., and Sperry Rail Service for the detection of rail defects and the total assessment of rail health, are detailed.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.108, no.1. Jan.2012. pp.19-23.

Australia’s largest public transport project ‘leaps ahead’

Work on the Regional Rail Link will gather pace in 2012 following the selection of contractors to build its two longest sections as well as install the technology which will manage the flow of trains along this new line and provide ‘real-time’ information to those using it. Contracts worth more than $1.6bn have been awarded to: Thiess, Balfour Beatty, Parsons Brinckerhoff and SKM, the consortium tasked with laying 7.5km of new track between Footscray and Deer Park as well as building a new station at West Footscray; Baulderstone/ Leighton Joint Venture which will lay 25km of new track between Deer Park and West Werribee as well as build new stations at Wyndham Vale and Tarneit; UGL and Manidis Roberts, the consortium which from mid-2012 will install the fibre optics network that will support the train control and signal systems.

Rail.co. 10 Jan. 2012. http://tinyurl.com/6vahoo4

Autumn statement

Rail projects that will be supported by the UK government are listed. Support is also being given for the Northern Line extension (London); the extension of flexible commuter rail ticketing; new carriages for Southern; an upgrade of the Tyne and Wear Metro; replacement of the Caledonian Sleeper fleet; additional vehicles of the Sheffield Supertram; and the development of a network of strategic rail freight interchanges.

Railway Strategies for Senior Rail Management, no.70. Dec.2011/Jan.2012. p..

Recent new members of the Rail Alliance

Brief descriptions of the activities of 12 new Rail Alliance members, and their contact details, are presented.

Railway Strategies for Senior Rail Management, no.70. Dec.2011/Jan.2012. pp.25-26.

Spark of inspiration

Developments at Thermit Welding (GB) Ltd are briefly discussed. SmartWeld Controller measures and records the thermit welding process in real time. SmartWeld Rail Setter is a rail alignment device that allows rail alignment without the need for wedges. It is possible to use the latter within hydraulic stressing equipment.

Railway Strategies for Senior Rail Management, no.70. Dec.2011/Jan.2012. pp.134-135.

Rail win drives growth

Siemens AG has reported a 24% year-on-year rise in its order intake, with revenue growing at 9%. The company has recently received its biggest ever order from Deutsche Bahn. Siemens Mobility rail division became part of the company's Infrastructure and Cities sector on 1 Oct.2011.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.1. Jan.2012. p.21.

GE acquires software developer

RMI, a software provider to North American railways, shippers and wagon leasing companies, has been purchased by GE Transportation from The Carlyle Group.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.1. Jan.2012. p.21.

Track maintenance venture formed

A joint venture has been formed between Leighton Contractors and Swietelsky. LS Rail will provide track construction, maintenance and renewal services in Australia.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.1. Jan.2012. p.22.

Research partnership can deliver a shift to rail

Members of the European railway supply industry association, UNIFE, are leading plans to launch Shift2Rail, a European research organisation intended to provide a more structured and long-term vehicle for rail innovation which mirrors the Clean Sky initiative in the aviation sector. Shift2Rail is discussed and the partner companies are listed.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.1. Jan.2012. pp.38-39.

Autonomous measurement of track geometry

Details of the US Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) development programme to use railway service trains to carry out track monitoring are discussed. The FRA aims to develop a low cost, self-powered geometry measurement system, that can be fitted on standard rail vehicles, including passenger and freight carriages, to increase the frequency of track monitoring.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.1. Jan.2012. pp.41-44.

Optimising rail grinding strategies on the Malmbanan

The improvement in rail life on Sweden's heavy haul iron ore railway is discussed. Life extension is being achieved by the use of harder rail steels, changes to rail and wheel profiles and improvements to the rail grinding regime.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.1. Jan.2012. pp.46-50.

Controlling friction delivers longer rail life

The maintenance of target friction levels at the critical wheel-rail interface, in order to reduce metal loss through wear and rolling contact fatigue, is discussed. Gauge face lubrication, top-of-rail modifiers and the wheel-rail interface system are considered.

Railway Gazette International, vol.168, no.1. Jan.2012. pp.53-55.