January's top stories: SNCF's €3.75bn contract, EU to fund Warsaw Metro extension

SNCF awarded a €3.75bn contract to the Alstom-Bombardier consortium for renewal of trains on lines D and E of the Île-de-France network, and the EU is to invest €432m from the Cohesion Fund to extend Warsaw Metro in Poland. Railway-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from January 2017.


SNCF awards €3.75bn contract for renewal of trains on Île-de-France network

SNCF awarded a €3.75bn contract to the Alstom-Bombardier consortium for renewal of trains on lines D and E of the Île-de-France network.

The contract has been awarded for a total of 255 X'Trapolis Cityduplex trains (130 for the RER D and 125 for the RER E).

Each train will have the capacity to transport up to 1,860 passengers in its 130m version.

EU to invest €432m in Warsaw Metro extension

The European Union (EU) revealed plans to invest more than €432m from the Cohesion Fund to extend Warsaw Metro in Poland.

The latest move is in line with objectives of the Energy Union's low-emission mobility strategy.

Serving the city of Warsaw, the Warsaw Metro currently comprises two lines. The first segment of the east-west Line 2 opened on 8 March 2015 with financial support from the EU.

Tutor Perini wins contract to build Westside Purple Line Extension Project section

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) in the US recommended construction company Tutor Perini for building section two of Westside Purple Line Extension Project as part of a $1.377bn contract.

The project will involve construction of a 2.6-mile extension of the subway through Beverly Hills to Century City. Two new underground stations will also be built at Wilshire/Rodeo and Constellation/Avenue of the Stars.

With the subway extension, travellers will get a high-speed transit alternative to and from Los Angeles’ Westside.

DB Cargo and Toshiba partner to develop hybrid locomotives

German Rail's freight division DB Cargo entered a technology partnership with Japan’s rail vehicle technology supplier Toshiba, for the joint development of hybrid locomotives.

The agreement also involves the subsequent purchase of an initial 100 new hybrid locomotives by DB Cargo.

The vehicles will be used in regional transport operations. Initial test vehicles are expected to be available by the end of 2019.

Virgin Trains completes fleet refurbishment programme

Virgin Trains completed its fleet refurbishment programme, which involved a £40m investment in its set of 45 High-Speed and InterCity 225 trains in the UK.

As part of this £140m programme, all Virgin Trains on the east coast route have been refurbished with £21m spent on new interiors.

The new-look interiors feature leather seats and mood lighting in First Class and red cloth seats in Standard.

Construction of $1.5bn Lagos-Ibadan rail line in Nigeria to begin

The Nigerian Federal Government is set to begin construction of a 156.65km standard gauge rail line from Lagos to Ibadan.

To be built with an investment of around N458bn ($1.5bn) from the Nigerian and Chinese governments, the Lagos-Ibadan rail project will be developed by China Civil Engineering Construction (CCECC).

The Lagos-Ibadan line is the first part of a new 2,733km Lagos-Kano standard gauge line.

Survey finds UK’s Heathrow Express has 96% satisfaction rate

The National Rail Passenger Survey run by Passenger Focus revealed that UK’s Heathrow Express has recorded an overall satisfaction rating of 96%, which is the highest mark of any provider on the list.

Heathrow Express is a non-stop train service between Paddington station and Heathrow.

This rating placed Heathrow Express above the national average of 81% and 17% points ahead of the London and South East average of 80%.

FirstGroup and Trenitalia to bid for East Midlands and West Coast Partnership franchise

FirstGroup and Trenitalia UK announced plans to jointly bid for the East Midlands and West Coast Partnership rail franchise competitions that are set to be awarded next year.

The passenger rail transportation company Trenitalia is part of FS Italiane Group.

GE delivers first set of Evolution Series locomotives to Pakistan Railways

GE Transportation delivered the first seven of 55 Evolution Series locomotives to Pakistan Railways.

Designed for the harsh environmental conditions of Pakistan, the locomotives have a capacity of 4,500hp, an 8,000l fuel tank, and are each capable of pulling 40 high-capacity wagons.

TfGM awards contract to KeolisAmey to operate Metrolink light-rail network

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in the UK awarded a contract to KeolisAmey to operate and maintain the city’s Metrolink light-rail network.

Prior to their appointment, TfGM conducted a competitive process, which involved three other shortlisted bidders and has been ratified by the Combined Authority leaders of Greater Manchester.