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Indian Railways resumes Darjeeling-Ghum Joy ride services

Financial Express  August 17, 2021  From 16 August 2021, Indian Railways has resumed Joy ride services between Darjeeling - Ghum - Darjeeling. Darjeeling Himalayan Railways Joy Rides: Good news for tourists! Indian Railways has resumed Joy ride services in Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR) for the benefit of passengers. According to the Northeast Frontier Railway zone, from 16 August 2021, the national transporter has resumed Joy ride services between Darjeeling – Ghum – Darjeeling. Interested tourists or passengers can book tickets for DHR Joy trains online on the IRCTC website or at Passenger Reservation System (PRS) across the Indian Railways network, and at Darjeeling railway station (for joy rides).  Source

August 24 at 05:36 AM

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"All set for Rolling off new signalling system " LRMC

Light Rail manila Corporation (LRMC) ,Manila LRT -1 Private operator which is a  joint venture company of  Metro Pacific Investments , Sumitomo Corporations Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation(MPLRC) ,Ayala Corporation’s  AC Infrastructure  Holdings Corporation (AC Infra) and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructures Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte Ltd  are set to deliver a modern reliable and faster railway system to their passengers .The legacy signalling system on Line 1 has been replaced with Alstom’s communication based  system  ,is part of LRMC’s ₱11.6B investment for the rehabilitation, restoration, and upgrade of  existing system. Alstom system continuously control and Monitor the operation of the trains. Moreover the new signalling system along the existing line -Baclaran to Balintawak Station -will facilitate the testing ,commissioning and operation for revenue service of the 4 th Generation trainsets which is targeted to start in Mid -2022 Source : LRMC completes upgrade of LRT-1 signalling system – Light Rail Manila Corporation  

February 04 at 07:36 AM

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$14 billion Auckland light rail bid gets green light, decision on second Waitematā Harbour crossing in 2023

News Hub  28 January, 2022 (New Zealand) A decision on light rail in Auckland has finally been reached.  The Government has selected partially-tunnelled light rail from Auckland CBD to the airport, a proposal that comes with a $14.6 billion price tag.  It will become the "spine" of Auckland's future transport network and will eventually integrate with light rail and with new rapid transit to the North Shore and northwest.  That will be possible thanks to an additional Waitematā Harbour crossing, with decisions on that mammoth task to be brought forward to 2023.  While it's expected to generate up to 97,000 new jobs and 66,000 homes by 2051, the construction will be a huge disruption for businesses - Auckland's City Rail Link is a prime example. The Government has committed to a support package to be developed alongside affected businesses. But the benefits, not least of all a cleaner way for Aucklanders to get around, will mean that transport will be available every five minutes from approximately 18 stops, cutting travel times from the CBD to the airport in half for many.  "Where previous governments and councils have failed to plan for the long term, we are committed to preparing for and safeguarding our country's economic future today," Finance Minister Grant Robertson said on Friday. Transport Minister Michael Wood added: "Our largest city needs a linked-up rapid transit transport network that will serve Aucklanders into the future, making it faster to move through the city, connecting communities, providing greater access to businesses, all while reducing congestion." Getting to this point has been rocky, which you can catch up on here.  But setting the drama aside, light rail offers some exciting prospects for a city expected to have 31,000 additional households by 2051.  The chosen light rail option will be 24km with up to 18 stations or stops from the CBD to Māngere and the airport, running every five minutes so people can turn up and go.  It will be capable of carrying up to 15,000 passengers per hour at peak, which is four times more passengers than a dedicated busway or trackless trams. It will also take an estimated 12,000 cars off the road. The light rail track will integrate with current train and bus hubs and the City Rail Link stations and connections. Light rail can also be extended to the North Shore and northwest without having to transfer from one line to the other.  It will see light rail in a tunnel from Wynyard Quarter to Mt Roskill, which comes to the surface and runs alongside the SH20 motorway to the airport. There will also be safe walking and cycling along the corridor and with connections to all stations. The Greens are pleased Auckland will have a clean transport option.  "For years the Greens have been pushing for accessible public transport options for Aucklanders that reduce traffic congestion, cut climate pollution, and make it easier to get around without a car. Today we can see part of that vision becoming a reality," said transport spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March. "While the Green Party's preferred option has always been more accessible street-level light rail down Dominion Rd, it's time to get on with building better transport options for Aucklanders." Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick said it was "encouraging" that modelling shows building light rail with a boring machine will cause much less disruption than the trenching seen with the City Rail Link. The Greens also welcomed the decision to move forward with an additional Waitematā Harbour crossing.  But ACT wants politics taken out of transport projects.  "The light rail process to date has been a disaster. We've spent four years trying to figure out how to make a political promise from Jacinda Ardern work. In the meantime, we've seen billions of dollars moved away from road building, projects cancelled, rescoped and deferred, fuel taxes increased, and regions neglected," said transport spokesperson Simon Court.  "New Zealanders deserve better." Court said ACT isn't opposed to light rail in principle. But he's concerned about the process and what the project could do to Auckland. "Auckland is staring down a decade of disruption. Questions need to be asked about whether we could be taking actions today at less cost to deliver light rail in the future. For example, options like investing in the bus network and repurposing it for light rail later could be reconsidered." But according to Wood, the Northern Busway is growing by 20 percent a year and will run out of capacity in 10 to 15 years, so new transport options for the future are required.  "Addressing future disruption is front of mind for the Government, and designing a support package alongside business will be a major part of this engagement in 2022," Wood said.  "We are making a commitment to businesses in the area that significant disruption will be addressed through a comprehensive package, including direct financial support." Source

February 04 at 09:30 AM

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$5.7 Billion Budget Allocated for Metronet Projects in Western Australia | Thousands of jobs

9 September 2021 Project schedules adjusted to suit current economic conditions Today’s State Budget delivered a $5.7 billion investment in 15 METRONET projects over the next four years, with $1.5 billion to be spent in 2021-22, creating and supporting thousands of local jobs. With government projects competing for the same resources as the private sector, coupled with the height of the pandemic last year, project timelines have been adjusted to suit the current climate. As part of this, two METRONET projects have had their project schedules adjusted –  Thornlie-Cockburn Link  has been deferred by one year, with operations now to commence in late-2024, and the  Yanchep Rail Extension  has been deferred by one year with operations now to commence in late-2023. There are currently 15 METRONET projects planned, under construction or complete which have created local jobs, providing opportunities for local businesses, and transforming Perth's public transport network for all Western Australians. News Source:

September 09 at 04:29 PM

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$600m Philippine rail car order won by Japan's Sumitomo, JR East unit

Nikkei Asia March 18, 2022 (Manila, Philippines) A rail car covered by the contract is displayed at an event celebrating the deal. Manila commuter line intended to reduce traffic, pollution Japanese trading house Sumitomo and a unit of East Japan Railway won an order from the Philippines on Friday worth just over $600 million for 304 rail cars, part of a commuter line extension connecting Manila with cities to the north and south. Source,to%20the%20north%20and%20south.  

March 21 at 06:08 AM

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$7bn Philippine rail scheme attracts bids from 17 international contractors

Global Construction Review 23 July 2021 | By GCR Staff Seventeen big-hitting contractors from around the world have joined consortia to bid for the first of six work packages of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Calamba project, which has an expected cost of around $7bn. They are up against and six local firms also bidding. Arthur Tugade, the country’s transport secretary, said: “I believe the impressive turnout of bidders for the  PNR Calamba Project’s  contract packages is proof of the infrastructure sector’s trust in the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure programme.”  The 56km line will include 41km of viaducts, 13 elevated stations and 22ha of depots. When complete in 2028, it is expected to serve more than 500,000 passengers a day and cut travel time from Manila to Laguna from roughly four hours by car to one hour. The international bidders, by country, are: China Construction First Group Corporation, Chun Wo Construction and Leighton Contractors DL Engineering & Construction, Dong-ah Geological Engineering, GS Engineering & Construction, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Lotte Engineering and Construction, Posco Engineering & Construction and Samsung Construction & Trading, all from Korea Adhi Kary, PP and Wijaya Karya from Indonesia Gülermak Ağır Sanayi from Turkey Acciona from Spain Italian-Thai Development Public Company from Thailand Sumitomo Mitsui Construction from Japan The domestic companies in the running are: DM Consunji, EEI Corporation, First Balfour, Megawide Construction, Prime Metro BMD and Santa Clara International. The project is part of the 147km North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), which will stretch from Calamba in the south of the island of Luzon to the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, north of Manila. NSCR System will have a fleet of 58 trainsets, including seven for the Airport Express. The project is being financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Tugade commented that it was “the single largest project being financed by the ADB in its history, and is the longest commuter railway being financed by JICA”. He added that work on the northern segment of the NSCR was in “full swing”. This involves 90km of rail line and 16 stations. Image ©Image by  Eduardo Davad  from  Pixabay   News Source:

August 24 at 02:44 AM

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'Billions saved' in high-speed rail deal

Bangkok Post 15 March, 2022 (Thailand) The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has said it will now be able to save billions of baht in additional costs in the execution of a high-speed rail project linking Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-tapao airports. SRT said this is possible due to the concessionaire, Asia Era One, agreeing to amend the construction contract and shoulder costs. The SRT expects to save up to 27 billion baht, said SRT governor Nirut Maneephan.   Some 9.2 billion baht of this figure is required to fund the construction of a high-speed railway structure the project is sharing with the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project, he said. The SRT also expects to save billions of baht in interest that would have needed to have been paid if it had not agreed to begin repaying construction costs of the project to Asia Era One from the 21st month instead of the 25th month as agreed in the initial contract and shorten the repayment period from 10 years to seven years, he said. The early repayment and shorter repayment period were agreed in trade of the agreement by Asia Era One to shoulder the 9.2-billion-baht construction of the shared rail structure, he said. Asia Era One, formerly known as Eastern High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports Co, is the CP-led consortium that won the bid to build a high-speed rail linking three airports. The agreement between the SRT and Asia Era One is expected to be approved by the government committee directing the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) policy and then endorsed by the cabinet by the end of this month, he said. The high-speed rail system linking the three airports is one of the key infrastructure projects in the flagship EEC. Also as part of the deal, Asia Era One and the SRT signed a memorandum of understanding in which both sides agreed to work together to find a solution to the overdue payment by Asia Era One of 10.6 billion baht for the so-called joint venture right it was supposed to have done on Oct 24. Source

March 16 at 03:01 AM

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'Derailment' at Wolverhampton causes disruption

BBC  14 November 2021 (UK) A derailed engineering train is set to cause disruption to rail services until the end of the day. The train has blocked the line immediately north of Wolverhampton station in the West Midlands. The issue is "causing major disruption to trains" due to call at the station and services may be cancelled or diverted, National Rail said. Avanti West Coast cannot get trains out of its depot near Wolverhampton and will have fewer trains in service.   Source

November 15 at 04:21 AM

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'Disappointment' at Bristol to Portishead rail line delay

BBC 20 April 2022 (UK) Plans to build a new £100m rail line connecting Bristol and Portishead have been delayed until February 2023. On Monday the Department for Transport said the extension was necessary so North Somerset Council could demonstrate it had secured funding for the "entire scheme". Transport minister Robert Courts said the delay was made "without prejudice" on the application's outcome. The council said it was "incredibly disappointed" with the decision. Its leader Don Davies insisted the line remained "key" to its economic growth strategy for the area. However he said he recognised the pandemic and rising energy prices had resulted in "very significant" increases to costs. But he said the DfT was a "key funding" partner and by not committing any further money it was "undermining our ability to deliver the project". "We will continue to lobby government for additional funding to address the shortfall," he added. Rail services double as MetroWest begins Park and ride plan receives cash boost Funding boost for railway line restoration The council originally submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) application for the scheme - which would re-open the Portishead to Bristol rail line - in November 2019. A deadline for the application was previously delayed last July to "allow further consideration of environmental matters", the DfT said at the time. The plan would see the train services on the Severn Beach Line and the Bath Spa to Bristol Line upgraded. It also includes a new rail station at Portishead and the reopening of the former station at Pill. MetroWest - which is part of the West of England Combined Authority - said the project would generate more than a million new rail journeys and give 80,000 more people access to services. Source

April 22 at 05:35 AM

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'Dramatically more powerful': world’s first battery-electric freight train unveiled

The Guardian  16 September 2021 (US) The train, known as the FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive, underwent successful trials in California earlier this year where it was found to have cut fuel consumption by 11%. Photograph: Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon (Photo) Wabtec shows off locomotive amid fresh attempt by some US lawmakers to slash carbon emissions from rail transport The world’s first battery-electric freight train was unveiled at an event in Pittsburgh on Friday, amid a fresh attempt by some US lawmakers to slash carbon emissions from rail transport in order to address the climate crisis. Wabtec, the Pittsburgh-based rail freight company, showed off its locomotive at Carnegie Mellon University as part of a new venture between the two organizations to develop zero emissions technology to help move the 1.7bn tons of goods that are shipped on American railroads each year. Perched upon a strip of rail at Carnegie Mellon’s technology campus on the banks of the Monongahela River, the cherry red, 75ft-long train provided a striking background to politicians, rail executives and academics who urged a swifter industry transition away from fossil fuels. Dignitaries were allowed to clamber up a vertiginous ladder on to the train to inspect its confines, which included a small driver’s cabin in front of 500 lithium-ion battery modules, arrayed in stacks in the heart of the vehicle. The new train, known as the FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive, underwent successful trials in California earlier this year where it was found to have cut fuel consumption by 11%, which meant reducing the amount of diesel used by 6,200 gallons .  Wabtec said that the next iteration of the locomotive, to be rolled out within two years, will be able to cut the consumption of diesel, the fossil fuel traditionally used in freight rail, by nearly a third. The company also said emissions will be entirely eliminated through the development of accompanying hydrogen fuel cells. If the technology is used worldwide, Wabtec estimates planet-heating emissions could be cut by 300m tons a year, with nearly half of those saved emissions occurring in the US. Source

September 17 at 05:33 AM

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'Hedgehog highway' created at Lanark station

BBC 7 December 2021 A "hedgehog highway" has been created at a South Lanarkshire railway station. Small holes have been cut at regular intervals along the bottom of the boundary fencing at Lanark to allow the animals to move around the station grounds more freely. A concerned local resident contacted Network Rail earlier this year after noticing hedgehogs were becoming trapped under a fence at the station. A team, which included an ecologist, visited the site to better understand the situation and devise ways to stop the animals from getting trapped. The highway has been marked with hedgehog signs and an information board has been installed to highlight the reasons behind the work as well as raising the profile of hedgehogs in general. Network Rail said it intended to add a small hedgehog-friendly hole at the base of fences at other stations. Ashleigh Wylie, Network Rail Scotland ecologist, said: “We really appreciate members of the public taking the time to bring things to our attention – particularly where animals may be at risk and we can do something to help – as with the hedgehogs at Lanark station." Source

December 08 at 04:45 AM

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'Incredible' Roman statues unearthed in England's HS2 rail excavation

CNN  29th October 2021 (UK) Archeologists have uncovered a set of "incredible" rare Roman statues while excavating a site in England ahead of a high speed rail project, the rail company said in a statement. Two complete statues of a woman and a man, along with the head of a child, were found at the site of the old St Mary's Norman church in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, south east England, while archeologists were excavating a ditch around the foundations of an Anglo-Saxon tower.   As experts working on the High Speed 2 (HS2) project dug down, they found the three "stylistically Roman" busts, a discovery which archeologists have described as "astounding."   "For us to end the dig with these utterly astounding finds is beyond exciting," Rachel Wood, lead archaeologist for Fusion JV, who is working on the project, said in a statement.   "The statues are exceptionally well preserved, and you really get an impression of the people they depict -- literally looking into the faces of the past is a unique experience," Wood added.   "Of course, it leads us to wonder what else might be buried beneath England's medieval village churches. This has truly been a once in a lifetime site and we are all looking forward to hearing what more the specialists can tell us about these incredible statues and the history of the site before the construction of the Norman church."   Two of the busts were made up of a head and torso which had been split apart, which experts say "is not entirely unusual," because statues were commonly vandalized before being torn down.   Experts also retrieved an "incredibly well-preserved" hexagonal glass Roman jug -- which, though it is presumed to be over 1,000 years old, had large pieces intact -- as well as large roof tiles, painted wall plaster and Roman cremation urns.   The team believe that the site -- a natural mound, covered with soil to make a taller mound -- may have been a Bronze Age burial site. This was later replaced by a square building, which experts think is a Roman mausoleum.   "Roman materials found in the ditch around are too ornate and not enough in number to suggest the site was a domestic building," HS2 said in a press release.   The findings will be transferred to a specialist laboratory, where they will be cleaned and examined. Source

November 03 at 06:15 AM

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