June's top stories: Victoria receives $1.14bn for regional network, Astaldi wins Polish rail upgrade contract

Victoria in Australia has secured funds worth nearly $1.14bn for a regional rail network overhaul project, and a JV between Astaldi Group and CLF has received a €82m contract to upgrade a section of the E-59 Warsaw-Poznan railway line. Railway-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from June.


Government of Victoria receives $1.14bn funding to revive regional rail network

The Government of Victoria in Australia secured funds worth nearly A$1.5bn ($1.14bn) for a regional rail network overhaul project, which will create up to additional 1,000 jobs across the state.

The federal government confirmed that the funding has been provided under the Asset Recycling Initiative for the Regional Rail Revival programme, which was announced as part of the state budget last month.


Astaldi wins Polish rail upgrade contract

A joint venture between international construction company Astaldi Group and CLF received a €82m contract to upgrade a section of the E-59 Warsaw-Poznan railway line (Lot IV) from Poland's public rail infrastructure organisation Polskie Linie Kolejowe (PKP).

Astaldi leads the joint venture with a 95% interest, while the remaining 5% stake belongs to CLF.

The scope of work includes the reconstruction of track systems for 35km on the existing line from the boundary with the Lower Silesia Province in Leszno, as well as the construction of two railway stations at Rawicz and Bojanowo.


Bombardier wins $968m contract to provide 83 Regio 2N trains to STIF

Bombardier Transportation secured an order to deliver 83 Regio 2N train sets from the French National Railway Corporation, Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF), on behalf of the Paris public transport authority Syndicat des Transports d’Ile-de-France (STIF).

The contract is valued at nearly $968m, including price escalations based on a best-faith assessment of assumptions.

The new trains are expected to enter service at the end of 2019 and will operate on Line N, which runs from Paris Montparnasse Station, as well as on portions of the RER D line.


China introduces new high-speed Fuxing train

China introduced the next-generation Fuxing bullet train, which is the first of its kind to be designed and manufactured in the country.

The name 'Fuxing' is said to mean 'rejuvenation' and the new trains are able to attain a top speed of 400km/h, reported Xinhua.

The introduction of the Chinese Standardised electric multiple unit (EMU) Fuxing Hao comes after eight years of the introduction of Hexie Hao high-speed trains, reported atimes.com.


GE signs $575m deal to supply 100 locomotives to Egyptian railways

GE signed a letter of intent (LoI) worth $575m with the Ministry of Transportation (MoT) and Egyptian National Railways (ENR) to supply 100 GE ES30ACi Light Passenger Evolution Series Locomotives.

The trains can be used for both passenger and freight rail, and are equipped with 12-cylinder, 3,200 horsepower GE Evolution Series engines. They also provide high-power output to offer better productivity, as well as flexibility in heavy-haul operations.

The parties also signed a 15-year agreement for parts and technical support for GE locomotives in ENR’s new and existing fleet.


Metro Board approves $1.4bn for Foothill Gold Line Project extension

The board of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) in the US approved a $1.4bn budget, along with partnership agreements, for the extension of the Metro Gold Line in the San Gabriel Valley for additional 11.5 miles east to Claremont.

The partnership agreement set out the funding plan and stated the shared roles and responsibilities between Metro and the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority, which is the agency chosen to build the extension.

Metro will fund a portion of the new segment that will run from Glendora to Claremont within Los Angeles County as part of the commitment.


DHL and Latvian Railways sign deal to form rail connections to China

Latvia's state-owned railway company Latvijas dzelzcelš (LDz) and freight service provider DHL Global Forwarding signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation (MUC) to focus on establishing multi-modal rail connections between China and Latvia.

The agreement will see the establishment of both freight connections and consolidation services, centred at Latvia's capital Riga City.

The new connections are set to include guaranteed transit times, as well as simplify customs and handling procedures for cargo transportation.


CIMIC Group secures $2.12bn Sydney Harbour rail tunnel contract

CIMIC Group company CPB Contractors secured a contract to build a new metro railway crossing under the Sydney Harbour at New South Wales, Australia, in collaboration with its joint venture (JV) partners.

The A$2.81bn ($2.12bn) deal was awarded by the Government of New South Wales, and involves the construction of twin tunnels and associated civil works on Stage 2 of the Sydney Metro project.

Works outlined in the contract include the construction of twin 15.5km tunnels from Chatswood to Sydenham using five tunnel boring machines (TBMs), which will travel under Sydney Harbour and the CBD.


Canada commits $970m grant for major Montreal rail project

The Government of Canada confirmed a C$1.28bn ($970m) federal commitment for the Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) light rail network in Montréal, which will connect the city to its suburbs and to its international airport.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal grant as part of the government's long-term ‘Investing in Canada’ infrastructure plan.

The grant will be subject to necessary due diligence is intended to enable the finalisation of the project's financing, as well as meet the construction schedule of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.


Thai PM to issue executive order to begin construction of $5bn railway project

The Prime Minister of Thailand Prayuth Chan-o-cha is set to issue an executive order to start construction of a collaborative railway project with China, which is valued at more than $5bn and has been subjected to multiple delays.

A government spokesperson stated that the prime minister is expected to invoke Article 44, which is a security order providing the head of the government with absolute authority to resolve legal and other complications, reported Reuters.

Prime Minister Chan-o-cha was due to discuss the issue with the cabinet in a meeting scheduled for the week following the announcement.