March's top stories: Trimble and Railhead to integrate on-board video and CH2M withdraws from contract

Trimble and Railhead to integrate real-time remote monitoring, diagnostics, and on-board video to increase locomotive asset usage and productivity for railway operators, and CH2M confirmed its withdrawal of interest from HS2 Phase IIb development partner contract. Railway-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from March 2017.


Trimble and Railhead to integrate on-board video to boost railway productivity

US-based Trimble and Railhead joined forces to integrate real-time remote monitoring, diagnostics, and on-board video to increase locomotive asset usage and productivity for railway operators.

The collaboration is expected to improve tracking, safety, and operations.

Railhead will also offer the Trimble R2M remote diagnostic system as part of its US portfolio.

CH2M withdrew from HS2 Phase IIb development contract

US-based engineering company CH2M confirmed its withdrawal of interest from HS2 Phase IIb development partner contract.

The latest decision follows discussions between HS2 and CH2M with regard to the award of the contract.

CH2M claimed prolonged delays and project uncertainty risks critical national infrastructure and would increase costs to both UK taxpayers and the company.

GMXT to gain Florida East Coast Railway for $2.1bn

Grupo México’s transportation business unit GMéxico Transportes (GMXT) signed a $2.1bn agreement to acquire Florida East Coast Railway (FEC).

As a railroad owner in the US, GMXT's acquisition will also add a key Florida rail line to the company’s existing operations in Texas.

GMXT's president and chief executive officer (CEO) Alfredo Casar said: “The acquisition of FEC is an important strategic addition to our North American transportation service offering.

Bombardier to supply Innovia trains for Malaysia’s Kelana Jaya LRT Line

Bombardier Transportation and its local partner Hartasuma are set to deliver an additional 27 Innovia Metro 300 trains for the Kelana Jaya Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The $388m order for Prasarana Malaysia Berhad is expected to be complete in 2022.

Bombardier Transportation's rail control solutions and South East Asia president Peter Cedervall said:  “We are very pleased to receive, together with Hartasuma, this further order that comes in addition to our ongoing delivery of 14 new trains previously ordered and refurbishment of the original fleet."

LTA and SMRT to trial new signalling system on NSL

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore and SMRT are set to trial a new signalling system on the North-South Line (NSL) during an hour of passenger service.

Part of LTA and SMRT’s ongoing efforts to rejuvenate the country’s ageing rail network, the system upgrade will involve modernisation of the NSL’s signalling from the existing fixed block system to new communications-based train control solution.

With the new system in place, trains will be capable of running at closer intervals, which can improve peak-hour capacity by up to 20%.

IO and Metrolinx sought parties for Lakeshore East-East Corridor Expansion

Canada's Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) inviting interested parties to build and finance the Lakeshore East-East Corridor Expansion project.

Through the infrastructure upgrades, planned expansion of GO Transit rail service can be accommodated on the Lakeshore East line.

The RFQ outlines the scope of work required, which includes right-of-way (ROW) works for the construction of 11km of third track infrastructure between Beechgrove Road and Durham Junction.

Alstom won €400m deal to provide Euroduplex Océane trains for SNCF Mobilités

Alstom secured a €400m deal to provide 15 Euroduplex Océane train sets to France's state-owned railway company SNCF Mobilités.

Expected to be commissioned by 2019 and 2020 for the Paris-Bordeaux service, the new train sets will replace older models currently being used on the route.

The train sets will be pre-fitted for a new automatic speed control system generation, meeting the latest European standards (ERTMS), and will be equipped with a device that helps with door-locating.

London Midland selected start-ups to improve train journeys

UK train operator London Midland announced a group of ten start-ups that will work to improve passengers' experiences.

This group comprises coders, white-hat hackers, big data analysts, and computer scientists, who will together develop technology-based solutions to improve modern rail travel.

Consisting of Kompas, RailRepay, Braci, Sphere, TransReport, Qshy, Popwork, Touchbyte, Warwick Analytics, and Limitless Travel, the companies were selected from among more than 100 start-ups.

CSX and Schneider signed rail service deal

US-based CSX Transportation signed an agreement to continue to serve as one of Schneider’s primary rail providers.

In 2008, when CSX became Schneider’s primary Eastern rail provider, the companies continued to improve their performance to deliver truck-like service to shippers.

Schneider's intermodal senior vice-president and general manager Jim Filter said: “Renewing our relationship with CSX allows us to continue providing the exceptional service that our customers expect from Schneider Intermodal."

GB Railfreight to test Hitachi’s electric trains on East Coast Main Line

UK-based GB Railfreight (GBRf) prepared to test Hitachi Rail Europe's newly built electric intercity trains on the East Coast Main Line (ECML).

The company plans to begin testing this year.

Together, GBRf and Hitachi have worked since September 2013 to facilitate testing and commissioning of the new bi-mode intercity trains, part of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).