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Zishui bridge along Changde-Yiyang-Changsha railway under construction

Global Times July 18, 2022 (China) The construction site of Zishui super major bridge along Changde-Yiyang-Changsha railway, in central China's Hunan Province.    Source https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202207/1270845.shtml

6 months ago

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Zimbabwe: Govt pledges $2bn for NRZ rehab

News Day 25 November 2021 (Zimbabwe) Government has pledged to fund rehabilitation of National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) infrastructure to the tune of $2 billion. Speaking during a tour of the NRZ workshop in Bulawayo yesterday, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Monitoring and Implementation, Joram Gumbo said this year the target is to refurbish four mainline and five shunt locomotives, as well as 940 wagons.  “I urge you to apply yourselves fully to this project given the fact that for the entity to operate optimally, 122 locomotives, 6 130 wagons and 170 coaches are required.  A constructive railway system is mandatory for a landlocked country like Zimbabwe,” Gumbo said. “An effective and efficient railway system is significant because it enhances our ability to compete and integrate into regional and international markets.  It is however, a matter for regret that a considerate portion of our rail network is in an advanced state of despair and the rolling stock has outlived its usefulness lifespan.” He said government intended to quicken the unbundling of NRZ into a State-owned railway infrastructure company. “It is also the intention of the government to expedite the restructuring and unbundling of the NRZ into a State-owned railway infrastructure company to be responsible for infrastructure management and a privately-owned railway services company to focus on operations. “The expectation is that this will bring efficiency in the operations of the country and thereby contribute to the country’s development efforts. Because rail is no longer being used for transportation while road is, this has led to the increase of road consignment which damages the roads leading to accidents.  As a result, it is mandatory for rail to be fixed.” Gumbo said the rapid increase in road freight led to congestion and rising accident rates. Source https://www.newsday.co.zw/local-news/article/200004057/govt-pledges-2bn-for-nrz-rehab

2 months ago

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Zim plans to construct railway line to link Zambia

News Day  21 December 2021 (Zimbabwe) THERE are plans to construct a railway line linking Harare and Kafue in Zambia to decongest roads, Transport minister Felix Mhona said during his tour of Kariba on Saturday. “We got a very good investor willing to partake in the construction of a railway line that will connect Harare and Kafue, Zambia,” Mhona said. The purpose of the railway line is to decongest the roads and for an easier and cheaper model of transportation. Instead of moving cargo by roads, we will move them by rail and in terms of budgetary issues; the feasibility study is in process. The technical team was supposed to come this December but because of COVID-19, we now expect it in the first quarter of 2022.” Meanwhile, there is noticeable improvement in the state of roads in Mashonaland West province. Under Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2, government through the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration is rehabilitating roads in Karoi, Kariba, Chinhoyi, Chegutu, Kadoma and other towns in the province. Source https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/12/zim-plans-to-construct-railway-line-to-link-zambia/

one year ago

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Young American determined to save SL train line in Kumamoto

The Asahi Shimbun November 9, 2022 (Kumamoto, Kyushu Japan) The odds are stacked heavily against him, but Mason Buskirk is continuing his drive for a resumption of operations on the JR Hisatsu Line here, especially a beloved steam locomotive. The efforts of the 27-year-old American have won praise and admiration from residents in this prefecture as well as other railway enthusiasts around the country. His campaign started in 2020 when Buskirk noticed that a steel bridge on the JR Hisatsu Line had disappeared. The bridge was washed away after torrential rain caused the Kumagawa river and its tributaries to overflow in July 2020. Later that month, when Buskirk had volunteered to remove mud and help in the recovery effort in nearby Hitoyoshi, he checked on the railway line. The missing bridge devastated Buskirk because one of his favorite hobbies was to ride the SL Hitoyoshi on the line and enjoy the passing scenery and chats with other passengers. Despite living in Japan for only a year or so, he had ridden on the steam locomotive at least 50 times. He wondered how much time and money would be needed to restore the bridge. LOVE OF TRAINS LED TO JAPAN Born and raised in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, Buskirk became interested in trains when his mother read “Thomas & Friends” books to him. He was particularly fond of steam locomotives and often begged his parents to take him to the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania, home to one of the oldest steam locomotives in the United States. When he was in his teens, Buskirk started collecting train-related magazines and books. His first encounter with Japanese railways was through “Steam Locomotives of Japan,” a photo book his parents gave him for his 18th birthday. Railroad photographer Naotaka Hirota published the book in 1972 with English text. Buskirk fulfilled his long-held dream of studying in Japan in 2016 when he enrolled at Rikkyo University in Tokyo to learn Japanese and other subjects. He joined a railroad club at the university and rode steam locomotives in various areas of Japan, including the SL Banetsu Monogatari connecting Niigata and Fukushima prefectures and Oigawa Railway Co.’s Thomas the Tank Engine in Shizuoka Prefecture. But he was particularly fascinated by the SL Hitoyoshi. RELOCATING TO KUMAMOTO Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu) introduced the SL excursion service on the Hisatsu Line in 2009. The train, featuring wood-based, retro-themed cars, was a steam locomotive built in 1922. The model was Japan’s first mass-produced passenger locomotive. Buskirk took his first trip on the SL Hitoyoshi from Kumamoto Station to Hitoyoshi Station in autumn 2016. At that time, he became mesmerized by the landscapes of Kumamoto Prefecture. He returned to the United States the following year but came back to Japan in spring 2019 to live in Kumamoto. He wanted to make Kumamoto his permanent base because of its rich nature, many hot springs, great food, warm-hearted people and, above all, the SL Hitoyoshi. He now works at an English preschool in Kumamoto. JAPANESE RAILWAY SOCIETY Buskirk also joined the Japanese Railway Society (JRS), an organization founded in London in 1991 that currently has about 180 members in 10 countries. Members include “toritetsu” (train photographers), “noritetsu” (train-riding enthusiasts) and “mokeitetsu” (model train fans). Stephen Turner, 58, who lives in Tokyo's Ota Ward, is a noritetsu who was born in Britain and came to Japan more than 30 years ago. According to Turner, who works in the financial sector, the JRS is a rare forum where overseas train fans can exchange information in English with no language barrier. With the average age of members increasing each year, Turner was pleased to welcome Buskirk to the group and has been overwhelmed by the young man’s passion. The society’s main activity is publishing its “Bullet-In” bulletin several times a year. Immediately after the July 2020 torrential rains Buskirk contributed a six-page article in the autumn issue, using photos and text to introduce the charms of the SL Hitoyoshi. He also explained what Hisatsu Line stations were like before and after the disaster. “The next stop en route is Sakamoto Station … that maintains its original architectural style” from the Meiji Period (1868-1912), he wrote. “Later, at Shiroishi and Isshochi, passengers are afforded a 10-minute layover where they may alight and purchase souvenirs or take pictures of these very old and idyllic stations,” he continued. "An opportunity to talk with the driver and fireman ... can be taken if you know sufficient Japanese.” FULL RECOVERY SOUGHT Two years after the flooding disaster, most operations on the Hisatsu Line remain suspended. The problem is that the railway line has long been unprofitable mainly because of the declining population. JR Kyushu has questioned the wisdom of spending large sums to restore such a money-losing operation. JR Kyushu President Yoji Furumiya recently announced that SL Hitoyoshi will end its service in March 2024. The steam locomotive has run on the Kagoshima Line since May last year, but Furumiya said it has become difficult both technically and financially to continue operating the aging train. “I know nothing lasts forever, but I felt like I was losing a friend,” Buskirk said. He remains unbowed. He has frequently interviewed members of a civic group that is calling for a resumption of Hisatsu Line. Their efforts are promoted through the JRS bulletin and other channels. Inspired by Buskirk, locals are also calling for the restoration of the line. Madoka Kubo runs a budget hotel near Hitoyoshi Station and opened Rail World Hitoyoshi, a model train and diorama shop, in one corner of the hotel after the flooding disaster. She described Buskirk as earnest and good-mannered, and said he is beloved by many locals and rail buffs of all ages. Kubo said he is a valuable asset to the community because he can promote the charms of the Hisatsu Line to the world in English while understanding the innermost feelings of the locals. “We want to work together with Mr. Buskirk and restore the Hisatsu Line and Hitoyoshi,” she said. Source https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14754350

3 months ago

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York to bid for Great Britain Railways headquarters

BBC  05 October 2021 (UK) York is to bid to become the home of a new national body for the country's railways. The city's council leader Keith Aspden said it would make "perfect sense" for Great British Railways (GBR) to be based there. A competition to find a host for the new body was announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Monday. The headquarters would go to a place "with a rich railway history", said the government announcement. Mr Aspden and the leader of North Yorkshire County Council, Carl Les, had already written earlier this year to Mr Shapps about York's potential. The new, state-owned GBR was announced in May in a plan to reform the railway system. Source https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-58799571

one year ago

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Xi Jinping to test ride Indonesia's new China-made high-speed train

Straits Times October 4, 2022 (Jakarta, Indonesia) Chinese President Xi Jinping may be one of the first passengers to ride South-east Asia's first high-speed rail (HSR) when the Jakarta-Bandung line begins operations in November. President Joko Widodo will invite his Chinese counterpart to ride on the China-made bullet train that will connect the capital Jakarta to the West Java capital after the G-20 summit in Bali on Nov 15 to 16, Indonesian Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi told The Straits Times. Source https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/xi-jinping-to-test-ride-indonesias-new-china-made-high-speed-train

4 months ago

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Would you like a metro service for Sharjah?

Khaleej Times  27 December 2022 (UAE) Dubai - Stuck in Sharjah traffic and dreaming of a metro service for the emirate? Here is a futuristic view of a metro rail network for Sharjah created by an Emirati student who wishes to submit the plan to His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. A rail network running up to 108 kilometres with four lines, five interchanges and 37 stations forms the project of Ahmad Mohammed Jalil, a fourth year student of Geography and Urban Planning, in the UAE University in Al Ain. Jalil came up with the model map of a metro network for Sharjah as part of his research paper. “My research topic is about using GIS (Geographic information System) for planning a metro in Sharjah City,” Jalil told Khaleej Times. “I chose this topic because I live in Sharjah and I know how people struggle in the morning and rush hours because of traffic congestion,” he said. During the research, Jalil and his teammate Nasir Al Hassan Ahmad distributed a survey to the residents of Sharjah about possible solutions to resolve the issue of traffic between Sharjah and Dubai. Tens of thousands of Sharjah residents commute daily to Dubai for work as they have chosen the former for residence largely due to higher rents and cost of living in Dubai. “The survey showed that people demand the metro more than any other transport mode. The metro will also enhance the sustainability in the city by reducing environmental pollution through less consumption of fossil fuels and will increase mobility and accessibility,” said Jalil. During the project to finalise a suitability model for the Sharjah metro network, Jalil contacted different authorities in Sharjah to gather authentic data about population, employment, land use and so on. He also made use of many open sources and free data that could help him accomplish the project. “The project got assistance from many professionals from GIS industry, business, economy and engineering. I also relied on many previous academic works to come up with certain criteria…. (It) helped us to make a logical model that satisfied all the criteria and objectives to serve the city in an efficient way.” At last, a suitability model that shows the best locations to establish stations and routes of the metro that will zip through the Sharjah City was developed. Obviously, Jalil said, one of the objectives was to connect it with the Dubai Metro to streamline the transportation between the two cities. “The real purpose of the Sharjah metro can be met when it joins the already existing Dubai Metro and also goes till Ajman.” In the final map that he has come up with, Jalil has given four lines (Red, Purple, Green and Blue) to the Sharjah metro unlike two in Dubai. In his design, the Red and Purple lines join the Green and Red lines in Dubai at Al Qiyadah and Al Rashidiya stations respectively, while the Blue line that covers most stations in the heart of the city runs till Ajman. Jalil said he took care to ensure the rail network was aligned with the roads and ran on primary roads and highways. Places with high employment density, commercial areas and tourist and heritage spots have been covered under this rail network. “The number of stations is high because after the study I realised there is a need to have stations close to populated areas and major landmark attractions. When you connect these locations, you will see more tourists and residents visiting these landmark areas.” The project has also connected the University City to the network, thereby serving the student community, as well. Jalil wishes to present the suitability study and metro map details to Shaikh Sultan. “I’m sure eventually Sharjah will come up with a metro. It is a must for the city. I’ll be more than happy if my suggestions will be accepted for the real Sharjah metro network,” he said, thanking all the people who were involved in his project, especially Dr. Khaula Al Kaabi, chair of Geography and Urban Planning Department at the university. Source https://www.khaleejtimes.com/transport/would-you-like-a-metro-service-for-sharjah

a month ago

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World’s Longest Undersea Rail Tunnel Back on Agenda in Estonia

Bloomberg  January 25, 2021 Estonia’s incoming government plans to restart talks about building the world’s longest undersea rail tunnel, a move that may revive the $17 billion Chinese-backed deal. The incoming government agreed on the plan as part of its agenda on Sunday. The cabinet still needs to be confirmed by a vote in parliament. The government is seeking “positive” talks with Finland on the national level on the plan to link the two nations with the tunnel, it said in its program. Estonia, a member of the European Union and NATO, rejected a planning application from a Chinese-backed Finnish venture for the rail tunnel for reasons including security concerns. Finland’s government said in 2020 it had no plans to back the project with public funds. Finnish entrepreneur Peter Vesterbacka had received a promise of about $17 billion from China’s Touchstone Capital Partners Ltd. for a tunnel between the two capitals. The project would span more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) and require the construction of at least one artificial island. Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-25/world-s-longest-undersea-rail-tunnel-bank-on-agenda-in-estonia

2 years ago

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World’s biggest carbon-emissions cutters — including TransAlta and CP Rail — also made money, new report finds

The Star October 12, 2022 (Canada) ‘Big polluters can move fast,’ says CEO of Corporate Knights, noting that some European companies ‘talk big’ on the issue but don’t back it up with action. Some of the world's biggest emitters of carbon have quietly achieved massive reductions in emissions over the past decade, holding out promise that the global transition necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change is possible. A report published Wednesday by ethical business research group Corporate Knights ranks the top 20 companies in the world by carbon-emissions reductions and shows that some of the biggest polluters have slashed their emissions by half or more - while also increasing their revenues.  Source https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2022/10/12/worlds-biggest-carbon-emissions-cutters-including-cp-rail-also-made-money-new-report-finds.html

4 months ago

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World's first hydrogen-energy urban train with independent IPR rolls off assembly line in SW China’s Chengdu

Global Times December 29, 2022 (China)  The world's first hydrogen-energy urban train with independent intellectual property rights jointly developed by CRRC Changchun Railway Co and Chengdu Rail Transit officially rolled off the assembly line in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, on Wednesday.  The train adopted the key core technology of the Fuxing bullet train, with a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour. The train has a built-in "hydrogen power" system, which provides a strong and durable power source that can achieve a long battery life of 600 kilometers, according to Chengdu Daily. Hydrogen energy is a clean, zero-carbon renewable energy, and it is an important new-energy choice to promote the "dual carbon" strategy.  The hydrogen-energy city train adopted an energy supply mode that combines hydrogen fuel cell and supercapacitor to replace the original catenary power supply system. The energy is generated by the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen in the hydrogen fuel cell, and the reaction product is only water without any nitrogen and sulfur byproducts, and the reaction process is stable and the noise is low, said the report.  A train of hydrogen-energy cars with a speed of 160 kilometers per hour can run 500 kilometers back and forth in a day, which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 10,000 kilograms per year, the report said, citing experts. In addition, due to getting rid of the shackles of catenary operating conditions, the train can be widely used in existing non-electrified line sections, greatly increasing the application scope of urban vehicles, while avoiding the huge infrastructure investment and maintenance costs brought about by electrification transformation efforts. China has the ambitious plan to promote the development of the hydrogen-energy industry. By 2025, the country will have about 50,000 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and its annual hydrogen production from renewable energy will reach 100,000 to 200,000 tons, according to the plan jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission, and the National Energy Administration (NEA) in March of this year.  Data from the NEA showed that China had over 270 hydrogen refueling stations by the end of June, which is quite a small network compared with the country's extensive presence of charging facilities for electric vehicles. In June, the Chinese truck maker FAW Jiefang shipped 300 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles from Northeast China's Jilin Province and delivered them to customers in Beijing, Shanghai, Shanxi and other places. These vehicles have covered application scenarios including logistics and city construction, according to the company's official website.  Source https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202212/1282909.shtml

4 weeks ago

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World's first all-electric freight locomotive to be used in western PA

Yahoo News  November 12, 2021 (Australia) Roy Hill, an iron ore mining, rail and port operation in western Australia, was the first announced buyer of Wabtec's new FLXdrive, a battery-electric locomotive built in Erie. The company's second order, however, promises to put the innovative new locomotive — which creates a hybrid train when paired with one or more diesel locomotives — on a stage closer to home. Canadian National has announced plans to purchase Wabtec's 100% battery-electric locomotive to operate on its Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad, which runs from the PIttsburgh suburb of Penn Hills to Conneaut, Ohio. Noi sale price was announced for the purchase, which was supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. While Wabtec has tested a FLXdrive with a capacity of 2.4 megawatt-hours, CN is expected to take delivery in 2023 of a model with a capacity of 7 megawatt-hours. CN expects the addition of the battery-electric locomotive to reduce fuel consumption and emissions on its trains by up to 30%. Rafael Santana, CEO of Wabtec, said in a statement that the FLXdrive represents a defining moment for the freight rail industry. "Wabtec is proud to partner with CN to accelerate the industry toward low- to zero-emission locomotives,” he said. Source https://news.yahoo.com/worlds-first-electric-freight-locomotive-030018885.html

one year ago

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World's fastest diesel locomotive will run again at Ruddington

BBC  17/07/2021 (UK)  A record-breaking diesel locomotive is being brought back into service after sitting in storage for two years. In its glory days 43159 achieved a world record speed of 148mph, which has never been beaten since being set in 1987. Many of the same type of locomotive - known as a Class 43 power car - are at risk of being scrapped. However, 43159 has gone to Nottingham, where it will transport passengers on a heritage railway. It arrived at the Great Central Railway in Ruddington on Thursday evening. Source https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-57863949

2 years ago

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