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Electrification projects resume

Work to plan 25 kV 50 Hz electrification of the trans-Pennine and Midland Main Line routes is to resume with completion now envisaged by 2023, Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin announced on September 30. Following delays and cost overruns on the electrification of the Great Western Main Line, McLoughlin had announced on June 25 that Network Rail's works programme for 2014-19 would be reviewed and 'reset'. Planning for trans-Pennine and MML electrification was 'paused' pending this review, which is being undertaken by recently-appointed NT Chairman Sir Peter Hendy. On September 29 Hendy advised how the electrification work could continue. NR is to develop a 'firm detailed design' by the end of 2017 for electrification of the trans-Pennine route from Manchester to Leeds, York and Selby in 2018-22. The project will now aim to provide faster journey tome and more capacity, rather than just electrification. MML electrification from Bedford to Kettering and Corby is planned by 2019, and to Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield by 2023. (Item contains no further information.)

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 11, Nov. 2015. p.8.


BAM was appointed principal contractor for the £170M first-phase of Transport Scotland's Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project on October 16, working with Arcom, CH2M, Stobart Rail and Siemens. (Item contains no further information.)

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 11, Nov. 2015. p.18.


Bombardier has awarded Panattoni Europe a contract to build a new manufacturing hall at its Wroclaw plant by June 2016. This will be used to manufacture bodyshells for projects including Deutsche Bahn's ICx inter-city trains. (Item contains no further information.)

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 11, Nov. 2015. p.22.

Fighting to stay ahead

Reports on a reception organised by UNIFE at the Hessen Representation in Brussels on October 13 to discuss a draft resolution by the European Parliament's Industry, Research & Energy committee on the competitiveness of the European railway supply sector. The underlying concern for many suppliers is the looming commercial challenge from Asia, and China in particular, in a global context, where, according to UNIFE, many significant markets are becoming more difficult for European companies to access. In response, UNIFE is developing a three-pronged approach to protect what it sees as Europe's 'world leadership of our industry'. The three strands are: 'strengthen the offer' to ensure continued production of the best products on the world market; improve the business environment in both the EU and internationally; and stimulate demand for rail projects in the EU and internationally.

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 11, Nov. 2015. pp.27-28.

Enter the Aventra

Having delivered more than 2,000 cars from its Electrostar EMU family over two decades, Bombardier Transportaion has developed a successor for the UK market - the Aventra. Details the company's 'designed for use' philosophy behind London's latest commuter train. Top priority for the design team is to work out what the requirements of any new vehicle deign are. Over the past decade, Bombardier has sought to achieve this by running workshops entitled a 'A Day in the Life of the Train'. These look in detail at the intended operation of the fleet. A particular area of focus for these workshops is the driver's interface with the train. The company aims to help drivers understand how the train will react to their actions long before they actually enter the cab. Bombardier has many years of experience in maintaining its own fleets and its Design for Maintenence engineers form part of the design team for all new products. This ensures that maintenance tools such as automated inspection and diagnostic suites are included in the wider design objectives. Bombardier also takes input for a variety of passenger representative groups. Adds that Bombardier staff are encouraged to make regular use of both their own and competitors' products.

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 11, Nov. 2015. pp.50-52.

US, Japan officials envision Northeast Maglev route

US company The Northeast Maglev, working with the Central Japan Railway Co., envisions a magnetically levitated, or maglev, passenger route between Washington, DC, and New York City that will reduce travel time to an hour. Work on the environmental impact statement is looming 'in the next couple of months' for the first phase between Washington and Baltimore. Nazih Haddad, executive vice president of the company, said recently that the Maryland Department of Transportation expected to hear soon from the Federal Railroad Administration regarding a $28M application for a grant that would help fund further design and permitting. The Japanese government would fund much of the first phase, which is estimated to cost about $10bn. Haddad noted that the line would have to capture 50% of the transportation market along the Northeast Corridor to make the project viable. If the environmental impact statement is completed in three years, the initial segment would take seven years to build, he added.

Engineering News-Record, vol. 275, no. 9, 12 Oct. 2015. p.15.

New Australia chief elevates transit funding as a priority

Reports that new Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is reversing his predecessor's policy on transit funding with a $95M commitment to a 7.3km light-rail extension in the Gold Coast area of Queensland which will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Municipal officials also pledged $55M to the line, but it was not clear how much Queensland would commit towards the hundreds of millions of dollars in project funding still needed or what other public-private approaches would be used. In an announcement on October 10, Turnbull said he would support rail project investment based on 'merits'. Among those competing for federal support are Western Australia's $1.35bn Perth Rapid Transit; Sydney's $1.15bn light rail; Queensland's estimated $3.2bn River Rail core project; and Victoria's Melbourne Metro, estimated at up to $8bn.

Engineering News-Record, vol. 275, no. 10, 19 Oct. 2015. p.13.

Freight train of the future

Reports on the Sustainable Freight Railway (SUSTRAIL) - a €9.4M four-year project, launched in 2011, to design a freight vehicle track system with improved reliability at reduced cost. It was part of the seventh Framework Programme for EU research (FP7) for which the EC contributed €6.6M. SUSTRAIL aims to increase rail freight performance through a whole system approach which involves a number of work packages. The current system was benchmarked (WP1) and duty requirements established (WP2). Then two parallel but linked packages considered the freight train of the future (WP3) and sustainable track (WP4), after which a business case (WP5) was developed and the new vehicle and track systems were tested (WP6). Thirty-one organisations in twelve countries shared the work for which the project coordinator was Consorzio Train, an Italian consortium of rail research institutions. UK participants were Network Rail (technical coordinator), Tata Steel and the Universities of Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield and Huddersfield. For the freight train of the future it was concluded that innovations were required for running gear, wheelsets, braking systems, body and bogie structure and condition monitoring.


Trials of a RCF measurement system in revenue service

An investigation into the suitability and efficiency of an eddy current measurement system for the detection of rail rolling contact fatigue is reported. The Transportation Technology Center, Inc. worked with Norfolk Southern, a US railway company, to evaluate the trolley mounted device. Results of the tests are presented and discussed.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.111, no.9. Sept.2015. pp.22-26.

The world this week: politics

The first light-rail system in sub-Saharan Africa has opened in Addis Ababa (some South African cities have commuter rail services). China provided the finance and expertise.

The Economist, 26th September 2015, p.9.

Recycled Tube energy to power stations

London Underground (LU) has been trialling energy capture technology on the Victoria line that could reduce its energy bill by 5%, saving the organisation millions of pounds. In what LU claims is a world-first, an inverter system was installed at the Cloudesley Road substation for a five-week trial. According to LU, the reclaimed waste energy from Tube train brakes over a one-week period was enough to power Holborn station for two days. The technology has the potential to capture 1 Megawatt hour (MWh) per day. "This...regenerative braking system has the potential to transform how we power stations across the TfL network, unlocking massive power savings and significantly reducing our energy bills," said Chris Tong, LU's head of Power and Cooling. "We are committed to doing more to reduce our energy use, and this technology - a world first for metro railways - is one of a number of innovations we're embracing to lower our environmental impact." As well as recycling energy, the system also reduces the amount of heat generated by trains when braking. This means less cooling is required in London Underground's tunnel network, enabling increased energy efficiency. Overall potential savings are estimated to be in the region of £6m per year.

The Engineer online, 25th September 2015

Curve detection for trains plus derailment protection

Micro-Sensor has recently supplied curve detection systems for use on high speed trains on the Haramain High Speed Rail Project in Saudi Arabia. The trains travel at speeds of up to 300km/h across a 453km network between Medina and Mecca. For high speed trains travelling in excess of 160km/h, European regulations stipulate the fitting of suitable derailment safety protection systems. For this project, Micro-Sensor supplied bogie-mounted vibration sensors for improved derailment protection and curve detection systems to monitor carriage/wagon tilt in curves for better control of lubrication of the wheels during curves in the track. The environment on a bogie is harsh, with risk of damage to the sensors if they are not adequately protected from dirt, dust, rainwater and flying debris underneath the train. In order to survive in this type of environment, Micro-Sensor vibration sensors are housed in stainless steel or high thickness aluminium and certified to IP68 and EN50155. Each train is also fitted with two curve detectors - one on the front carriage of the train and one on the very end of the rear carriage. The front sensor detects when the train moves into a curve; the rear sensor detects when the train moves out of the curve. The wheel lubrication system is activated on and off by these two sensors, providing lubricant to the wheels when needed.

Industrial Technology, Sep. 2015. p.36.

Novel railway points technology unveiled by Loughborough University

Researchers at Loughborough University have created a failsafe track switch designed to eradicate a 200-year-old problem on the railway. The breakthrough technology known as Repoint is a robust and reliable points mechanism, which will improve safety, reduce maintenance costs and boost capacity on the railways. Supported by the UK Rail Safety and Standards Board, Repoint is the result of work carried out with industry experts into improved switches to override track switch failures which can lead to train derailment. Using safety concepts derived from aerospace and the nuclear industry, Repoint corrects a failed switch through a patented arrangement of interlocking rail ends which incorporate a sliding arrangement similar to a breather switch. A lift and drop mechanism allows for expansion and provides an additional locking mechanism with virtually no friction losses. The mechanism can also move the switch in fractions of a second compared to the current four seconds for conventional designs.


On the rails

Reports on the increasing use of composites in the rail industry. Essex-based Dura Composites has historically supplied composite products such as handrails and walkways to heavy industry. Three years ago, it received an enquiry from the rail industry for ballast retention systems - which sit at the side of railway tracks and protect trackside components from damage. Dura designed a new ballast retention system in fibreglass - rather than the traditional wood - that offered advantages in installation costs. The success of the project led Dura to spend time on other ideas for the sector. This resulted in the development of a composite platform, called Dura Platform, which it has spent the last three years refining. This too offers faster installation, as well as other advantages over traditional materials. Separately, Composites UK, the trade body that represents the industry, has been strengthening its ties with the rail sector recently - seeing it as a real growth area for composites. The organisation worked with HS2 last year on an event to highlight how composites can be used in rail applications. HS2's composites focus will largely be confined to infrastructure - such as platforms, overhead line gantries, roofing and bridges - rather than rolling stock. Composites companies are hoping that plans to build 11 high speed platforms at Euston station in London will offer opportunities for the industry.

Composites in Manufacturing Newsletter, Sep. 2015. http://tinyurl.com/qyh94np

Hitachi opens new UK train factory

A new £82m rail manufacturing facility has been opened by Hitachi in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The factory, expected to employ around 700 people, will be used to produce new class 800 InterCity Express (IEP) trains for the East Coast Main Line and Great Western Main Line as well as AT200 commuter trains for Scotland. Hitachi chose to base the new factory in the UK after the government awarded it a £5.7bn intercity express contract as well as a 27 year maintenance deal. The new facility is close to the Bishop Auckland to Darlington railway branch line where George Stephenson's Locomotion No 1 became the first steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public railway line.

The Engineer online, 7th September 2015.

Sheffield tram-train ready

The first of seven vehicles ordered in 2013 for the Sheffield-Rotherham tram-train pilot project is now nearing completion at Vossloh España's plant near Valencia, and is due to arrive in the UK in November. South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive says the Oslo vehicles will initially be used to increase peak capacity on the existing Sheffield Supertram network. Tram services between Sheffield and Rotherham using a new 400m connection between Supertram and a Network Rail freight line at Meadowhall are now expected to start in early 2017. The freight line is to be electrified at the tramway's 750 V DC, although the dual-system vehicles are designed to take power at 25 kV 50 Hz in the future, once Network Rail's Midland Main Line has been electrified. (Item contains no further information.)

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 8, Aug. 2015. p.16.

Pause and reset

Decisions are under way about the future shape of the UK rail industry and infrastructure, after the government announced that several enhancement schemes were to be put on hold pending a review of Network Rail's project management and financing regimes. Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin told the House of Commons on 25 June that NR's major works programme for 2014-19 had not been good enough, with important aspects 'costing more and taking longer' than planned. To keep NR spending within the £38bn allocated for the five-year Control Period 5, McLoughlin said that electrification of the Midland Main Line and Trans-Pennine would be 'paused', and the investment programme 'reset'. However, electrification of the Great Western Main Line remains a 'top priority'. The Office of Rail & Road confirmed on 16 July that it was exploring options for a different way of regulating NR, 'to drive up the quality of services and increase value for the railway's customers and taxpayers', although it accepted that decisions on the structure of the railway were a matter for government.

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 8, Aug. 2015. pp.23-24.

Understanding and improving the track system

In July, work began on a second five year research programme to develop track that will cost less and last longer, with reduced maintenance needs and improved performance. Primarily funded through the UK's Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, the Track to the Future programme is a successor to the Track 21 research programme which began in 2010 and concludes in November. Undertaken by a partnership between the Universities of Southampton, Nottingham and Birmingham, in conjunction with Network Rail, Track 21 set out to develop a fundamental and linked understanding of the engineering, economic and environmental performance of track, and to provide the science needed to underpin an overhaul in techniques for track design, construction and maintenance. After five years of research some new questions have been uncovered. T2F will therefore investigate potentially significant enhancements to ballasted track and ways of reducing damage to switches and crossings by improving vehicle-track interaction. It will also develop an integrated approach to designing a low-rise, low-vibration track consistent with reduced whole-life cost and maintenance requirements. The original academic partners in Track 21 have now been joined by the University of Huddersfield.

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 8, Aug. 2015. pp.29-33.

Managing track stiffness in transition zones

Transition zones occur at the interfaces between slab and ballasted track, or where plain line traverses a built structure such as a bridge, culvert or tunnel. Discontinuities may also occur in track forms of the same type. Says that, even in an era of highly mechanised maintenance, transition zones still require particular attention to manage variations in track parameters caused by the change in the substructure. Due to the varying degrees of stiffness and the associated deflection differences, an abrupt change in track parameters from one type of superstructure to another can result in increased dynamic stress. Details how tailoring the resilient elastic support to specific locations through finite element modelling can improve track quality and reduce costs for infrastructure managers. The defined use of elastic superstructure components based on polyurethane could mitigate the problem. The properties of this material allow the stiffness of the superstructure to be defined very precisely in terms of its elastic properties, while its complementary relationship with the ballast provides protection in the long term using the material's plastic properties.

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 8, Aug. 2015. pp.34-37.

Long rails will last longer

Reports that in May Union Pacific opened the first purpose-built rail welding plant in the US, designed specially to handle very long lengths of welded rail. UP has been introducing a number of new techniques to optimise the life of its rails. Various railways around the world had identified welded rail joints as a weak point in the track structure. UP's experience had shown that welds were not lasting the life of the parent rail, with plant flash-butt welds typically failing at 1.35bn gross tonnes and the deterioration rate accelerating in recent years. In 2006 UP launched an initiative to reduce the number of welds in track by using longer rails. For some years it has been laying 440m strings of continuously welded rail, allowing more joints to be made in the plant under controlled conditions and fewer in situ. Located at the Port of Stockton in California, the plant is fed with 146m long rails imported from Japan. These are then welded into 440m lengths. Currently welding both 68 and 71 kg/m rail, the plant is equipped with a Schlatter flash-butt electric welding machine.

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 8, Aug. 2015. pp.42-43.

NR tests synthetic bridge beams

As part of a programme to develop a long term alternative to hard and softwood sleepers and bridge beams, Network Rail has started site trials with synthetic cross sleepers and longitudinal baulks made from fibre-reinforced foamed urethane. The first FFU installation on Network Rail infrastructure has been undertaken at two bridges on the Ashford-Hastings line in Kent. According to NR, the synthetic material should offer an improvement in whole life costs, with a projected service life in excess of 50 years. The increased time between inspection and maintenance interventions is expected to result in improved availability and a reduction in possession costs.

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 8, Aug. 2015. p.44.

Interim results of HAZ treated thermite weld performance in revenue service

An overlay treatment process, in which a weld bead is positioned over each of the original soft HAZs of a thermite weld after shearing but before grinding, is under observation in revenue service by the US Transportation Technology Center, Inc. The study aims to determine how the treatment could extend thermit weld lifetime. The results of laboratory and in-track tests are reported and discussed; figures show test results from treated and untreated welds. Future work is considered.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.111, no.7, 2015. pp.12-14.

Extending weld life

A review of US rail welding service providers is presented. These include Chemetron Railway Products, Holland LP, Lincoln Electric Company, Orgo-Thermit Inc, Plasser American Corporation and Railtech Boutet. All the companies reviewed are stepping up research and development into weld improvement, enhancement and automation.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.111, no.7, 2015. pp.30-32,34.

High speed

Presents a number of articles on high speed developments. The ninth UIC Congress on High Speed Rail will take place in Tokyo in July, where it will review the developments of the past half century and consider prospects for advances in technology over the next 50 years. Reviews a number of global high speed projects in countries such as the UK, Japan, China, Russia, Malaysia and Singapore, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, Spain and Germany. Funded entirely by the private sector, an initiative to build and operate a high speed line between Dallas and Houston is now undergoing regulatory. This could be the first truly high speed project in the US.

Railway Gazette, vol. 171, no. 7, July 2015. pp.31-43.

Evaluation of rail performance and optimized rail-life extension strategies at the eastern and western mega sites

The latest round of rail performance and rail-life extension testing underway at the Transportation Technology Center's eastern and western sites is reported. Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific are collaborating on the evaluation of new high strength rail steels and strategies to enhance wear performance and fatigue resistance under heavy-axle-loads. Tests undertaken and results to date are discussed.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.11, no.6. June 2015. pp.12-15.

Advances in rail grinding

New features and developments in rail grinding equipment from Harsco Rail, Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc., Orgo-Thermit, Inc. and Vossloh Rail are introduced.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.11, no.6. June 2015. pp.16-18.

BS EN 13146-10 Railway applications. Track. Test methods for fastening systems. Proof load test for pull-out resistance. (Draft British Standard 15/30304263 DC; BSI Committee RAE/2)
[BSI] Update Standards. June 2015. p.42.
EN 13674-1 Railway applications. Track. Rail. Vignole railway rails 46 kg/m and above. Amendment 1 (Draft British Standard 15/30258475 DC; BSI Committee RAE/2)
[BSI] Update Standards. May 2015. p.30.

Implementation of improved insulated rail joints in revenue service

The long term performance of insulated rail joints is being studied at the Transportation Technology Center (USA). Common failure modes and in-track service life are being determined for both premium and next generation insulated joints (IJ). Premium IJ designs include ceramic end posts, high modulus bars, improved epoxy, centre supported, and with 48 inch, 8 hole bars. The two next generation IJs under test are a taper cut design and a keyed design. Some test results are presented.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.111, no.5. May 2015. pp.11-14.

UK's IRR to participate in Euros18m EU Shift2Rail initiative

The Institute of Railway Research at Huddersfield is to investigate novel rail switches and crossings and look at possibilities for new kinds of track system. Researchers will help develop radical new technologies such as 'self-correcting', maintenance-free tracks, as they take part in a major project designed to ensure that railways are fit for the future. The EU has approved a six-year initiative named Shift2Rail, co-financed by the private sector. Its three main targets are to boost the capacity of Europe's railway network to cope with soaring demand; increase the reliability and quality of rail services; and make big reductions in costs. As a vital preliminary, the EU has announced three railway research programmes - dubbed 'lighthouse projects' - that will feed into Shift2Rail. These are: Roll2Rail, which will cover rolling stock; IT2Rail, which deals with information technology; and In2Rail, which investigates track and infrastructure and will be led by the UK's Network Rail and Swedish railway administrator Trafikverket.


Rolling Stock Market - Forecast and Analysis to 2019: By Rolling Stock Type (Locomotives, Rapid Transit Vehicles, Wagons),by Locomotive Technology (Conventional Locomotive, Turbocharged and MAGLEVs) and by Region

The demand for rolling stock depends on economic development of the country and the government support to develop the country's infrastructure. The rolling stock market is governed by urbanisation following population growth and economic development in emerging nations. The global economic meltdown from 2008-2013 has slowed down growth. However, the long-term outlook of the rail transportation industry remains positive, given the fact that investment projects in rail transportation systems are not significantly impacted by this situation. Rolling stock suppliers are focusing on global expansion and securing orders from overseas to diversify their regional revenue mix and capitalise on growing markets of Latin America and Africa. This has led to development of region-specific solutions depending on the application and seamless integration with the existing transport infrastructure. Details a new report from MarketsandMarkets which analyses the global rolling stock market in terms of volume (units) and value ($million).


Partnership on track to deliver advanced trains of the future

Imperial College London has joined with China South Railway Sifang Corporation - a rolling stock manufacturer that is the world's largest maker of electric locomotives - to establish the Sifang-Imperial Centre for Rail Transportation Manufacturing Technologies. The Centre will focus on developing rail technologies to streamline the construction and testing of high speed trains, so that they are safer, more cost effective and environmentally friendly. Using the latest manufacturing techniques, the researchers aim to create trains that are made from advanced materials and fewer components, making them lighter and more fuel efficient. The new Centre will be based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College and headed by Professor Jianguo Lin, a world-leading expert in using materials processing and moulding or plasticity technologies for the production of structural components, with applications in the transport industry. The researchers at the Centre will further develop advanced forming techniques that should enable railway manufacturers to make complex shaped structural panel components that are lightweight and ultra-high strength. The researchers will also investigate new methods for joining these next-generation lightweight materials together and monitoring the performance of safety critical components, such as wheels and shafts.


Broken rails are leading cause of train derailments

Reports that, in the USA, broken rails and welds are the major causes of train derailments, being more then twice as likely as the other common causes. According to the US Federal Railroad Administration, broken rails and welds are involved in over 15% of all derailments

Scientific American, 13 May 2015

National Express

National Express has awarded Bombardier a £143M, 10-year contract to maintain the 74 Electrostar EMUs operated on the Essex Thameside franchise. Bombardier will deploy its Automatic Vehicle Inspection System, which uses cameras and sensors around and under the track to analyse a vehicle's condition, automatically generating work orders and safety alerts. (Item contains no further information.)

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 5, May 2015. p.19.

Ricardo buys Lloyd's Register Rail

Ricardo has agreed to acquire consultancy and assurance business Lloyd's register Rail and will pay Lloyd's Register Group £42.5M on a cash-free and debt-free basis, funded from its £75M bank facilities: Lloyds Bank has increased Ricardo's revolving credit facility from £20M to £40M. The transaction is expected to be completed by July 1, with LR Rail to be combined with Ricardo's rail activities under the Ricardo Rail brand. In parallel, a standalone assurance management entity called Ricardo Certification will be established to hold and manage all future accreditations, enabling the independence of assurance services.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 5, May 2015. p.20.

Down to earth

Morgan Advanced Materials has launched an axle earthing unit designed to reduce movement between the brush box and shaft, improve brush-shaft contact and offer lower maintenance costs. It uses a freshly-designed single piece casing, in contrast to previous composite designs, which along with the flange and brushes is insulated with a high-strength powder coating. The brush is CM1S grade while the whole unit has been both vibration and shock tested to RIA20, category 3 standard. The entire unit is fitted within the wheelset assembly of a railway vehicle. (Item contains no further information.)

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 5, May 2015. p.21.

15% fuel saving

Deutsche Bahn's VT642 test DMU achieved a 15% reduction in fuel consumption compared to a conventional diesel multiple-unit when MTU undertook trials with a hybrid version of its PowerPack. MTU's PowerPacks combine a DMU engine, transmission after-treatment, auxiliaries and cooling systems into a single unit mounted on a support frame. The Hybrid version adds an electric propulsion module with battery and control system. MTU believes that further fuel savings would be possible on a route with a profile which is more favourable for regenerative braking. Hybrid PowerPacks could also be combined with electrification to produce an electro-diesel hybrid. Noise of the moving DMU was reduced by a 'clearly noticeable five decibels', while stationary noise was 21 dB lower, because auxiliary systems were powered by the batteries with the engine switched off.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 5, May 2015. p.21.

Educating the world of rail

Reports how, in a bid to cater for rapidly-growing demand for a wide variety of railway skills and expertise, the city of Birmingham is working to become a world centre for railway education, research and innovation. The city has recently been selected as the main hub for Britain's National High Speed Rail College and the headquarters of HS2 Ltd. With Network Rail completing a £500M transformation of the main station at New Street, the city is planning a major redevelopment around the planned station at Curzon Street, served by the first pase of High Speed 2. The University of Birmingham is already home to the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research & Education, which is now one of the world's largest railway-focused inter-disciplinary academic groups. The Centre works with the University's schools of Civil and of Electrical, Electronic & Syastems Engineering to offer a range of taught undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Also, a partnership between the Centre and the National Structural Integrity Research Centre will fund doctoral research projects over the next four years to study axle bearing fault detection, structural health monitoring of rails and sleepers, wear resistance, new composite materials and related theoretical and applied topics.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 5, May 2015. pp.40-43.

Costs research funded

RSSB and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council have agreed to fund three academic research projects loking at how novel materials could reduce the whole-life costs of railway assets. The projects are: whole-life cost assessment of novel materials for use in railway drainage systems - this project will look at the use of lightweight and string materials within track drainage systems; rail-energy knowledge exchange on emerging materials - this project will study the potental for life-extension of high-value track components, including switch-blades, crossing noses and insulated block joints; and designing steel composition and microstructures to better resist degradation during wheel rail contact - this project aims to provide a better understanding of the response of various microstructural constituents of steels to the loads imposed on them during wheel-rail contact - it also aims to identify the characteristics of the steel which are important to resist the key degradation mechanisms, and develop a methodology for optimising steel grade choices at a granular level based on cost:benefit analysis.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 5, May 2015. p.75.

Maglev testing tops 600 km/h

A new speed record for a magnetically-levitated behicle was set on April 21, when Central Japan Railway powered one of its Series L0 superconducting Maglev units up to a maximum of 603 km/h on the test guideway in Yamanashi prefecture. JR Central said that a speed of more than 600 km/h was maintained for 10.8 seconds, during which time the unit travelled 1.8km. The seven-car set had earlier achieved 590 km/h during a series of passenger-carrying trials, surpassing the 581 km/h record established by the MLX01 prototype in December 2003 before the test guideway was lengthened from 18.4km to 42.8km. Following the recommissioning of the lengthened guideway in August 2013 and the delivery of additional Series L0 vehicles, JR Central has been undertaking endurance testing with two seven-car sets to investigate the reliability and durability of sustained high speed running. This is seen as an essential precursor to construction of the planned Chuo maglev between Tokyo, Nagoya and eventually Osaka.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 5, May 2015. p.76.

Rolls-Royce in line for hybrid trains deal

A new generation of more efficient, quieter and greener trains could be coming to Britain's railway lines, driven by a new hybrid power system built by Rolls-Royce. The company is developing a combined diesel-electric system that also incorporates batteries. The system also utilises regenerative braking systems first seen in Formula 1 cars. These store energy in the batteries that is created by slowing down, and which would otherwise be wasted. MTU, which comes under Rolls' power systems division, has been testing the new design on a Siemens train for four years in Germany, in partnership with rail operator Deutsche Bahn. The new system has been found to be 25% more fuel-efficient than current trains and much quieter. Rolls believes that its hybrid system could help Britain regain the leading role the country once held at the forefront of rail technology, and said its sees the UK as a 'key' market. Dr Ingo Wintruff, head of the MTU's rail business, said: 'Historically, many parts of the world have looked to the UK for leadership in the application of rail technology. The UK has the potential to seize the initiative again with the next generation of super-quiet, green trains.' As well as being more environmentally friendly, Rolls said the system will mean less disturbance for people who live near commuter rail lines that are not electrified, as the new trains will be able to run on internal batteries, rather than diesel engines. Although other companies have researched similar hybrid powertrains, Rolls believes it is closest to bringing a working product to market and will be launching its new product to the industry at the Railtex international exhibition in Birmingham on Tuesday.

The Daily Telegraph, 11th May 2015, B1.

Ricardo set for £42.5m swoop

West Sussex engineering company Ricardo is set to acquire rail consultancy and assurance business Lloyd's Register Rail in a multimillion-pound deal. Ricardo has signed a share and asset purchase agreement to acquire the business, operating assets and employees at LR Rail from Lloyd's Register Group. LR Rail will transfer to Ricardo for a total consideration of £42.5M on a cash-free and debt-free basis, payable in cash at completion. The transfer is expected to be materially completed on or before 1 July 2015, at which time Ricardo Rail will be launched. LR Rail currently has a 12-month order book totalling more than £50M. The business employs a total of 440 rail engineers and specialists located at offices across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


US, Canada jointly release crude-by-rail transportation rules

The US and Canada have simultaneously issued new regulations governing transportation of crude oil and other hazardous materials by rail. US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said 'Our close collaboration with Canada on new tank car standards is recognition that the trains moving unprecedented amounts of crude by rail are not US or Canadian tank cars - they are part of a North American fleet, and a shared safety challenge'. Canadian Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt said it is critical that the requirements apply equally to tank cars in both countries because they cross the Canadian-US border daily. DOT said the final US rule, which its Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration jointly developed with Canada: unveils an enhanced tank-car standard and an aggressive, risk-based retrofitting schedule for older tank cars carrying crude oil and ethanol; requires a braking standard for certain trains that will improve safety by potentially reducing an accident's severity, and the 'pile-up effect'; designates operational protocols for trains transporting large volumes of flammable liquids, such as routing requirements, speed restrictions, and information for local government agencies; and provides sampling and testing requirements to improve classification of energy products placed into transport.


Ridership keeps rising

Patronage on urban rail networks in the US increased by 3.3% in 2014 compared to the pervious year, according to annual ridership data published by the American Public Transportation Association. Overall public transport usage rose by around 1% to 10.8bn trips, the highest level for 58 years, albeit with significant variations between the cities. Light rail ridership rose by 3.6%, metro traffic by 3.3% and commuter rail usage by 2.9% Light rail growth was largely driven by the opening of new lines, with Minneapolis seeing a 57.4% increase following the opening of its Green Line to St Paul. Other cities reporting substantial light rail ridership growth included Houston (17.9%), San Diego (15.3%) and Denver (12%). In the metro sector, ridership on the new York subway increased by 4%, adding more than 107M trips; at more than 2.7bn journeys a year this network carries more than half of all urban rail travel in the USA. Overall, rail now accounts for 46% of all public transport ridership, compared with 35% in 1996.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 4, Apr. 2015. p.26.

Bringing it all together

Railway research in UK universities has increased significantly in recent years, both to meet the needs of the rail sector and to fill gaps left by the demise of British Rail Research following privatisation two decades ago. Notes that many research issues will be discussed at the inaugural Stephenson Conference on Research for Railways, which the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is holding in London on April 21-23. The conference will cover a full range of rolling stock and interface disciplines from contact mechanics to pantograph and overhead line behaviour. Details some of the initiatives that have taken place in railway research in recent years including the Advanced Railway Research Centre at the University of Sheffield and the Rail Technical Strategy which was published in 2012.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 4, Apr. 2015. pp.28-29.

Research to elevate the role of rail

Reports on the role of Japan's Railway Technical Research Institute which is involved in exploring all parts of the railway system, working on basic to applied research and specialising in both railway technology and labour science. A major priority for RTRI is to maintain and improve the level of safety and it is developing high fidelity simulation techniques so that railways are more robust and resilient when faced with natural disasters. And, as part of its efforts to prevent accidents caused by human error, it is conducting studies into driver behaviour. In the past, perhaps RTRI's most notable development was the launch of the Tokaido Shinkansen in 1964, which created a viable model for high speed rail. More recently, RTRI has developed superconducting magnetic levitation technology, paving the way for the construction of super-fast railways.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 4, Apr. 2015. pp.31-33.

Reducing wheel damage enhances safety and saves money

Hosted by the Institute of Railway Technology at Melbourne's Monash University, the Stephen Marich Lecture in Railway Engineering was this year given by Harry Tournay from Transportation Technology Center. In a presentation entitled Strategies to Counter Wheel and Rail Rolling Contact Fatigue in Heavy Haul Service, Tournay looked at the root causes of RCF problems caused by friction between wheel and rail. Among the solutions being investigated were a cost-effective track-friendly bogie and improvements in the design and manufacture of wheels. After outlining the causes of wheel RCF, Tournay turned to a possible solution - the Integrated Freight Car Truck. This is designed to reduce RCF and improve the hunting stability for loaded wagons. Ideally suited for heavy haul environments, this is a cost-effective 'compromise' design for the current AAR standard 32.5 tonne axleload, avoiding the need for expensive steering or radial trucks. Based on the predominant three-piece bogie used on North American freight wagons, the IFCT overcomes two of that design's fundamental weaknesses - poor steering in curves which results in high lateral creep force on the low rail, forcing flange contact, and low warp restraint that worsens hunting stability.

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 4, Apr. 2015. p.34.

Fatigue testing with heavy loads

An agreement signed on March 11 paves the way for tests to begin later this year in the Channel Tunnel on the durability of various track designs under heavy loads. The tests will be undertaken by Railenium, the railway research institute based in northern France of which Eurotunnel is a member. Intended to measure the 'durability of track and equipment', the tests will focus in particular on fatigue testing of ballasted and slab track forms. Eurotunnel will facilitate testing of track components under various load cycles and train speeds, as well as enabling the trial of various preventive maintenance techniques, including automated repair of components. In operating 400 shuttle trains a day with a laden weight of up to 2,400 tonnes, Eurotunnel claims that the Channel Tunnel is one of the most heavily-used railways in the world, and these extreme operating conditions permit the rapid assessment and validation of innovative railway equipment. (Item contains no further information.)

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 4, Apr. 2015. p.59.

Whole-railway learning

Revised standards are to be applied to railway apprenticeships in the UK rail sector from the 2016 academic year to ensure that young people have a sound understanding of the 'railway system' as they begin their careers. The revised course standards will apply to Level 2 and 3 apprenticeship schemes, and will require apprentices to have a 'core underlying understanding and knowledge of the various disciplines that underpin the rail sector'. Topics to be covered include electrification, track design, signalling, telecoms, traction technology and rolling stock design. Once apprentices have demonstrated competency in these fundamental areas, they will be encouraged to specialise as their course continues. The revised standards were issued by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills following consultation with the railway supply sector. (Item contains no further information.)

Railway Gazette International, vol. 171, no. 4, Apr. 2015. p.59.

Evaluation of intermediate strength rails at FAST

The development of high rail gauge-corner shells on intermediate strength rails is reported. Tests are underway on 5 rail steels (from EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel, Italy, Mittal, Steel Dynamics Inc and Trinecke Zelazarny (Czech Republic)) at the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (USA), to determine in-service rail wear, rail rolling contact fatigue and grinding, and rail shelling. The rail shelling aspect is discussed in particular in this paper, with reference to the masking of transverse rail defects. Defects are not detectable by ultrasonic testing and are found only by failure. Work is continuing to determine how rail shells develop.

Railway Track and Structures, vol.111, no.4. April 2015. pp.12-15.

Adhesives spread innovation across Europe's railways

Considerable emphasis in Europe is now being placed on developing rail as a key transport mode by promoting innovations for passenger rolling stock, freight transport and rail infrastructure. This emphasis is reflected by the European Commission's 'Shift2Rail' initiative. This new public-private partnership has been set up to invest just under ?1bn in research and innovation to support better rail services and encourage more passengers and freight onto Europe's railways. Amongst the key areas identified for investment, the initiative highlights production process improvements, new designs, weight savings, compliance to stringent safety and environmental standards and low maintenance costs. In this context, adhesives are playing an ever increasing role, providing well established solutions for all kinds of rail bonding applications. Adhesive bonding enables the most efficient methods of assembly. Whilst maximising long-term potential and performance, it also optimises manufacturing methods with easy handling and simplified assembly procedures which speed up cycle times and reduce costs in parts production. For structural parts such as roofs, doors, floors and semi-structural products such as floor coverings, seat to floor attachments, door frames and hinges, epoxy adhesive offers the advantages of ease of application, high strength and shock resistance on multi-material assemblies.

Industrial Technology, Feb. 2015. pp.24-25.

EVRAZ supplies 100m rails for Moscow metro

EVRAZ has delivered the first batch of 100m head-hardened R65 rail for the Moscow metro. Produced by EVRAZ ZSMK, the rails have been recently installed in the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line between the Kievskaya and Slavyanskiy Bul'var stations. It is the first ever use of 100m rail in an underground transit system internationally. Ilya Shirokobrod, EVRAZ vice president, Sales, said 'the new rail has a much higher longevity; with Moscow metro's heavy traffic, this will help reduce the track maintenance cost. Doing away with welded joints - which are the most vulnerable part of the track and the most common cause for rail replacement - will help reduce the volume of maintenance and enhance safety'.

Stainless Steel World, vol. 27. Mar. 2015. p.12.

2015 Market Research Report on Global Rail Vehicle Industry

Details a new report from QY Research which covers rail vehicle basic information including definition, classification, application, industry chain structure, industry overview, policy analysis, and news analysis. For international and China market analysis, the report analyses rail vehicle markets in China and other countries or regions (such as US, Europe, Japan, etc) by presenting research on global products of different types and applications, developments and trends of market, technology, competitive landscape, and leading suppliers' and countries' 2009-2014 capacity, production, cost, price, profit, production value, and gross margin. For leading suppliers, related information is listed as products, customers, application, capacity, market position, and company contact information. 2015-2020 forecast on capacity, production, cost, price, profit, production value, and gross margin for these markets are also included. The report also includes rail vehicle new project SWOT analysis, investment feasibility analysis, investment return analysis, and development trend analysis.


Canada says unable to agree with U.S. on rail car brakes

Canada has been unable to reach agreement with the United States on whether to require advanced braking systems in new oil tank cars, so the requirement was dropped from a draft of new Canadian tank-car standards, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said. The proposed standards did not include a requirement for electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, but the draft said braking requirements would be included in new operating rules. The United States is expected to release its own standards, but the two countries have been working to harmonise requirements so they are likely to be very similar. Reuters reported in February that the US Transportation Department had recommended advanced braking systems be required on new tank cars. But the rail industry has been pushing the White House to drop the braking requirements, arguing they are too costly and would not significantly improve safety. The new tank-car standards are meant to prevent the fiery derailments that have happened across Canada and the United States in recent years as crude oil is increasingly shipped by rail as well as through pipelines.


Crude-oil train wrecks raise questions about safety claims

Four recent accidents involving trains hauling crude oil across North America have left some experts worried that public safety risks have been gravely underestimated. Crude trains have crashed in Illinois, West Virginia and twice in Ontario, Canada, forcing evacuations of residents and causing extensive environmental contamination. The industry acknowledges that it needs to perform better, but says the trains are involved in derailments no more frequently than those hauling containers, grain or motor vehicles. Although the public doesn't pay much attention, about three freight train derailments occur every day on average. Critics, however, say the industry's position misses the point. All it is going to take is one major accident to change the entire calculus. However, as long as the crashes do not threaten public safety, the economic losses to the petroleum companies do not appear to be a deterrent. The question remains why the crude-oil trains are crashing and whether they are crashing for the same reasons as other freight trains.


Chuo Maglev construction officially launched

Work has commenced on the 286 km Tokyo-Nagoya Maglev line, 85% of which will be in tunnels. The line is expected to open in 2027. Completion date for the second phase of the route, Nagoya-Osaka, should be around 2045. The superconducting Maglev trains will operate at up to 500 km/h.

Railway Gazette International, vol.171, no.2. Feb.2015. p.8.

News in brief

A prototype bi-directional battery tram has been tested by Inekon in Ostrava. The unit has been developed in partnership with Saft, the battery manufacturer. 7 trams of this type are to be supplied to Seattle (USA).

Railway Gazette International, vol.171, no.2. Feb.2015. p.13.

London appoints Crossrail 2 consultants

Four consultancy teams, selected to develop plans for the northeast-southwest mainline-standard urban railway line across London, are listed. The central section of Crossrail 2 will require 36 km of new railway, predominantly in tunnels, 2 new above-ground and 13 new underground stations. Developers, TfL and Network Rail, plan to apply for powers to build the new system in 2017.

Railway Gazette International, vol.171, no.2. Feb.2015. p.14.

World's largest train builder

China CNR Corporation and CSR Corp., both state-owned rolling stock manufacturers, have agreed terms on a merger. Together they will form the largest rolling stock manufacturer in the world - China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. The merger is aimed at improving the ability to compete in the international marketplace.

Railway Gazette International, vol.171, no.2. Feb.2015. p.18.

News in brief [Australia]

voestalpine (VAE) has been chosen by Sydney Trains as the buyer of its Bathurst Rail Fabrication Centre. A 7 year agreement has been agreed in which VAE will meet the welding, track and turnout requirements of Sydney Trains.

Railway Gazette International, vol.171, no.2. Feb.2015. p.18.

BS EN 16273:2014 Railway applications. Track. Forged rail transitions
[BSI] Update Standards. February 2015. p.14.
BS EN 13848-5 Railway applications. Track. Track geometry quality. Geometric quality levels. Plain line, switches and crossings. (Draft British Standard 14/30258524 DC; BSI Committee RAE/2)
[BSI] Update Standards. February 2015. p.34.

Prototype battery-powered train carries passengers for first time

The first battery-powered train to run on Britain's rail network in more than half a century has carried its first passengers. The event marks an important milestone in the project to demonstrate the viability of an eco-friendly battery-powered train for the twenty-first century. Network Rail says it could ultimately lead to a fleet of battery-powered trains running on Britain's rail network which are quieter and more efficient than diesel-powered trains.Network Rail and its industry partners - including Bombardier, Abellio Greater Anglia, and the Rail Executive arm of the Department for Transport - which is co-funding the project through the FutureRailway innovation programme - recognise the potential for battery-powered trains to bridge gaps between electrified parts of the network and to run on branch lines where it would be too expensive to install overhead electrification. Following its successful retrofitting and trials at test tracks in Derby and Leicestershire last year by Bombardier, the modified Class 379 Electrostar battery-powered train - also known as an Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit - will run in weekday timetable service for five weeks between Harwich International and Manningtree stations in Essex.


Train from China to Spain

Reports on the first direct rail freight service between China and Spain which arrived at ADIF's Madrid Abronigal intermodal terminal on 9th December. The train, which carried 30 containers, had left Yiwu on November 18, covering 13,000km in 21 days. The route, via Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland Germany, Germany and France, involved three changes of gauge, as well as locomotive changes approximately every 800km. The through service is the result of initiatives agreed by the government of China and Spain in September 2014 to develop closer trading relations. The Spanish Ministry of Development said that the trial had demonstrated the 'reliable, versatile and competitive' nature of rail, being more than 10 days faster than by sea. (Item contains no further information.

Railway Gazette International, vol 171, no. 1, Jan. 2015. p.8.

£3.3bn premium wins InterCit East Coast

The Department of Transport has named the Inter City Railways consortium of Stagecoach Group (90%) and Virgin Holdings (10%) as the winner of the InterCity East Coast franchise on November 27. ICR beat bids from FirstGroup and a consortium of Eurostar and Keolis. The franchise runs for eight years from March 1 2015 with an optional one-year extension. ICR will be branded as Virgin Trains East Coast and has committed to make premium payments of £3.3bn. ICR will negotiate to obtain paths for direct services from London to Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield, in competition with DB-owned open access operator Grand Central. It is also looking to run more trains from London to Edinburgh, Leeds, Lincoln, Shipley, Stirling, Harrogate and Bradford. The franchisees have committed to invest £140M in additional passenger benefits including £13.4M for refurbishment of existing trains, 'better wi-fi connections and onboard catering' on the new IEP trainsets, 170 ticket machines and added parking spaces. ICR has also committed to reduce long-distance standard Anytime fares by 10%.

Railway Gazette International, vol 171, no. 1, Jan. 2015. p.8.

Creeping towards a messy compromise?

Almost two years after the European Commission published its Fourth Railway Package, the legislation is still not in force and the debate on the various proposals is far from over. There is fairly wide support for the technical pillar under which the European Railway Agency would become a 'one-stop shop' for safety certification and authorisation of operators and new rolling stock across Europe, working closely with national safety authorities. There are still problems with the market pillar with a number of member states still questioning the Commission's premise that competition is the best way forward and that the market should be liberalised. Says that perhaps the most controversial elements in the Fourth Package are the measures intended to ensure greater transparency between incumbent operators and infrastructure managers.

Railway Gazette International, vol 171, no. 1, Jan. 2015. pp.26-28.

'Rail has a bright future in Europe'

Presents an interview with João Aguiar Machado, DG Move Director-General, who says that the policies being pursued by the European Commission are intended to create a strong, healthy and competitive market in the rail sector, reducing costs and encouraging investment. Topics covered include: the European Commission's transport white paper of 2011 and the concept of the Single Transport Area; the shift of transport from road to rail; the different requirements of the international and the domestic rail passenger markets; the need for railways to cooperate despite the liberalisation of the market; and the need for significant investment, despite the present economic climate.

Railway Gazette International, vol 171, no. 1, Jan. 2015. pp.32-33.

Reviving international passenger rail in Europe

Backed by young rail professionals and environmental groups, the Train2EU coalition, launched in Brussels on November 18 last year, has developed a youth-orientated manifesto aimed at growing rail's share of the international passenger transport market in Europe. The group believes that the underlying causes for rail's limited share of European travel is that the main market for train operators is still domestic. However, it does see great potential both to improve the supply of rail services and in terms of unmet demand. Sets out the groups 'aims' in terms of infrastructure managers, governments, the supply industry, environmental organisations and consumer bodies. The ultimate goal is more and better cross-border rail services in Europe, with the first issue to tackle being the complexity of rail ticket distribution. The group believes that every European country should share a standardised platform, offering the same services with access to the same fare basket, eliminating price discrepancies between retail outlets.

Railway Gazette International, vol 171, no. 1, Jan. 2015. pp.34-37.

Life-cycle costs determine asset management policy

Says that one of the major tasks facing the rail infrastructure manager is to find the right balance between maintenance and renewal. This can be determined by analysing life-cycle costs which are an essential factor in decision making. Reports on the experience of the Austrian Federal Railways. They believe that the key to achieving good track quality at an acceptable cost is to use high quality components and materials and to monitor and evaluate the efficiency of the maintenance regime. Monitoring life-cycle costs by calculating the average annual cost - taking interest rates into account - allows the infrastructure manager to identify the optimal time to reinvest. This means that it is essential to predict future maintenance needs and, even more importantly, to forecast the future behaviour of the track in terms of quality. Adds that one way to increase the service life of track is to offer lower access charges for track-friendly vehicle types to encourage train operators to invest in equipment that is less aggressive to the track.

Railway Gazette International, vol 171, no. 1, Jan. 2015. pp.44-47.

Composite technology puts UK tram on track for savings

As part of its Low Impact Light Rail initiative - funded by Innovate UK, formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board - UK Tram has appointed a research team comprising specialists from Atkins, Brecknell Willis and Cecence to look at adapting composite materials for use in the overhead line equipment used to supply power to trams. Stage one of the Composite Overhead Line Structure research project involves the development of a viable gantry design, with an ultimate aim of reducing the whole life cost of these kinds of structure. Composite materials are up to four times stiffer than metals for the same mass, and are up to ten times stronger. GFRP is electrically insulating and CFRP does not expand or contract as the temperature changes. Due to these properties the proposed new design will mean the spacing between pylons can be increased by approximately 40% which would therefore require fewer poles and less cable tensioning equipment. It would also eliminate the need for electrical isolation and reduce the amount of electrical bonding required. Although elements of the proposed design are more expensive than existing options, the estimated cost savings for the project are substantial, ranging from £50k-£100k per kilometre for a typical track where pylons are used.

Composites in Manufacturing, Feb. 2015. http://tinyurl.com/mrfwqrh