ROLLS-ROYCE will supply MTU Series 4000 rail engines for KiwiRail’s locomotives. Fifteen 20V 4000 R43 engines are due to be delivered from July 2017 by China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC).
The engines are destined to power 15 DL-class freight locomotives. This is the fourth order that KiwiRail has placed for these rail vehicles since 2009, its current fleet consisting of 48 DL-class diesel-electric locomotives.
The 20V 4000 R43 engines each deliver 2700kW and are EU Stage IIIA-compliant. Their outstanding features include high power density and low fuel consumption.
KiwiRail has been deploying the 108t DL-class locomotives since 2010 for service on the North Island. This service is provided in the cities of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
“The fact that KiwiRail has again decided to place an order for CRRC-built freight locomotives equipped with powerful and cost-efficient engines from MTU is a tremendous mark of confidence. We are delighted to be continuing our partnerships with CRRC and KiwiRail,” Bernd Krüper, vice-president of industrial business at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said.
Alstom traction system for Chinese metro
ALSTOM supplied the traction system for the entire Chengdu metro Line 4 in China, which entered complete commercial service in June.
With the opening of Chengdu Line 4 phase two, Alstom has supplied the traction system for a total of 324 metro cars following two contracts awarded by Chengdu Metro Group Co Ltd in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Also for Chengdu Line 4, Alstom supplied the OptONIX system, which is specifically designed and developed for the Chinese market. It includes traction inverters, motors, auxiliary converters and a train monitoring system. The OptONIX system is designed to improve operational performance and reduce lifecycle costs by using regenerative electrical braking.
Chengdu Line 4 forms part of the city’s core metro network along with Line 1, Line 2 and Line 3. It is 41.3km long and has 30 stations connecting Chengdu city from the west to the east. The line passes important landmarks including Chengdu CBD, Chengdu University, Chengdu Railway Station and Chengdu Hospital.
All traction systems are manufactured by Alstom’s joint-venture, Shanghai Alstom Transport Electrical Equipment Co Ltd (SATEE) in China, with support from Xi’an Alstom Yongji Electric Equipment Co and four Alstom sites in Europe.
Consortium named for Ballarat line upgrade
A CONSORTIUM of Lend Lease, Coleman Rail and SMEC has been named as the preferred bidder to transform the Ballarat line under the Victorian Government’s Regional Rail Revival program.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the experienced consortium had been chosen to build the $518 million Ballarat line upgrade after a competitive evaluation process.
The upgrade will duplicate 18km of track between Deer Park West and Melton, paving the way for future electrification of the line to Melton.
The project will also deliver extra passing loops, new train stabling, better stations and more car parking, and relocate stabling at Bacchus Marsh station to Maddingley, away from homes – making it quieter for local residents.
These upgrades will enable more trains, more often for passengers in Melbourne’s west and right along the Ballarat line, including trains every 40 minutes during off-peak periods.
The Ballarat line upgrade is the first project under way as part of the state government’s Regional Rail Revival program – a once-in-a-generation investment that will improve every regional passenger line in Victoria.
Since February more than 200 site investigations have been conducted and nearly 90 boreholes have been dug to enable the team to understand ground conditions along the Ballarat corridor and to inform design and construction of the project.
Extensive community consultation has also been undertaken, including meetings with councils and landowners, an online survey completed by more than 150 people and engagement with more than 2000 local passengers.
A final proposal will now be developed, with a contract due to be awarded by the end of 2017. Major construction is expected to start early in 2018.
China Railway to build HSR for Russia
CHINA Railway Group Ltd and Ural Highway signed a $US2.5 billion ($3.15b) memorandum of understanding to build a high-speed railway in Russia connecting Yekaterinburg with Chelyabinsk, China Daily reports. The new rail connection will allow trains to run at speeds of up to 250km/h.
The MoU was signed during the Fourth China-Russia Exposition held in the north-eastern Chinese city of Harbin.
“It is a promising project with huge potential. We believe it will boost the region’s economic development and benefit local people after its completion. The experience of the Moscow–Kazan railway positions us well in the industry. We are ready to make full use of our cutting-edge technology in this project,” Zhang Xian, vice-president of the company said.
The new rail link would be part of the high-speed rail corridor passing through Berlin, Moscow, Astana and Beijing, Boris Dubrovskiy governor of Chelyabinsk region said.
Contract for mid-life loco overhaul
ALSTOM has been chosen by major European locomotive leasing company Akiem to carry out the mid-life overhaul of 23 BB 36000 locomotives.
The contract follows a first agreement signed at the end of April 2016 for the mid-life overhaul of seven locomotives of the same type operated in Morocco.
The BB 36000 locomotives were designed and manufactured by Alstom at its Belfort, France, factory and entered service in 1996. Under the new €20 million ($30m) contract Alstom will extend the life and commercial operation of the locomotives by about 15 years.
The work involves the heavy maintenance of the locomotives and includes the renovation of rolling stock at mid-life, guaranteeing increased longevity and reliability.
The maintenance work covers overhauls to be carried out after 20 years, including bogie overhauls, obsolescence monitoring, repair of parts and modernisation of driver’s cabins.
This new contract will ensure continuity of production, with the last BB 36000 scheduled to be delivered to Akiem by 2024.
Akiem owns a 370-strong locomotive fleet and operates in several European countries and has 50 customers that operate in freight or passenger transport.
Network Rail goes with Harsco for track geometry
NETWORK Rail, the owner and manager of the mainline railway infrastructure in Great Britain, has ordered seven of Harsco Rail’s Stoneblower track geometry machines.
The order calls for deliveries over two years starting in late 2019, when they will succeed a fleet of retiring Stoneblower units that has logged more than two decades of service for Network Rail.
The Stoneblower automates the traditional process for restoring track geometry by using pneumatic stone insertion below the cross ties, or sleepers. The latest generation units are equipped with a computerised measurement and design system and automatic stone metering system. The resulting track maintains the highest level of ballast compaction, ensures full line speed hand-back and maintains track geometry up to three times longer than equivalent tamping methods, thereby reducing track maintenance cycles and preserving the condition of the ballast and cross ties.
Network Rail spans approximately 20,000 miles (32,000km) of track and 40,000 bridges and tunnels throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Along with the equipment order, Harsco Rail will also provide a long-term parts agreement whereby Harsco Rail will maintain availability for original equipment manufacturer spare parts and software support.
Brookfield Rail changes name to ARC
THE operator of Western Australia’s 5500km freight rail network, Brookfield Rail, has changed its name to Arc Infrastructure.
The company said its teams were heavily involved in the development of the new brand and the chosen name embodied their aspirations for the future while being true to the heart of the core business.
More information about Arc Infrastructure is available online at www.arcinfra.com.
SNCF rebrands France’s TGV services
FRENCH State Railways (SNCF) is rebranding its high-speed network (TGV) and will gradually introduce ‘inOui’ across the network, beginning with the new high-speed line between Tours and Bordeaux which opened on 2 July . It is aiming to complete the rollout across all services by 2020.
This strategy was announced in an effort to attract 15 million customers to its flagship high-speed services by 2020.
To boost TGV and deliver high levels of customer service under the new inOui brand, SNCF said it was investing €1.5 billion ($2.2b) in its Oceane train fleet as well as retraining 5000 agents to improve customer relations skills. It will invest €300 million ($446.8m) in deploying Wi-Fi across its train fleet. It is also overhauling its online ticketing platform to make it easier for passengers to distinguish between its different offerings and to improve the customer experience.
SNCF said that since this new approach to customer service was adopted on its Paris–Lyon services at the start of 2017, ridership had increased by seven per cent.