October's top stories: Chicago’s Red Line Extension, Bombardier to cut 7,500 jobs

The Chicago Transit Authority will advance the $2.3bn Red Line Extension Project, Bombardier announced plans to cut 7,500 jobs globally, Expolink consortium signed €2.6bn Dubai's Red metro line contract. Railway-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from October 2016.


Chicago Transit Authority to advance $2.3bn Red Line Extension project

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in the US was set to publish a draft environmental impact study (EIS) to obtain federal funding to advance the $2.3bn Red Line Extension (RLE) Project.

The project involves a 5.3-mile extension for the Red Line rail service to stretch from 130th Street to 95th Street, as well as the building of four new rail stations. These new stops are intended for near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and 130th Street.

The EIS gives detail on potential benefits and impacts of both proposed options for the project.

Bombardier to cut 7,500 jobs across its global operations

Bombardier announced plans to cut 7,500 jobs across its global workforce as part of its efforts to reduce costs and streamline operations.

Almost two-thirds of the cuts will be in the company’s rail division, Bombardier Transportation.

The news follows the company’s announcement made in February this year to cut 7,000 jobs and half of them were planned in its rail division, BBC reported.

Expolink consortium signs €2.6bn contract for Dubai's Red metro line

The Expolink consortium of Alstom, Acciona and Gulermak signed a €2.6bn contract with Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) to design and build the extension of Red metro line and upgrade the existing route.

Known as Route 2020, the project will involve construction of a 15km-long line, with 11.8km of this elevated metro line and 3.2km underground.

Connecting the city to the Expo 2020 site, the extended line is expected to start commercial service in 2020 for the World Expo.

UK researchers and Siemens develop new sensor to inspect track conditions

The University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research (IRR) in the UK is working with Siemens to develop a new sensor able to turn every rail vehicle into a track monitor to inspect the condition of rails and track beds.

The easily fitted sensor will also be capable of detecting and transmitting key information about the condition of rails throughout the network.

Siemens developed the track monitoring system ‘Tracksure’ in partnership with IRR, as part of the remote condition monitoring competition supported by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and Network Rail.

University of Huddersfield unveils new railway test rig

The UK's University of Huddersfield unveiled a new railway test rig and also launched the Centre for Innovation in Rail (CIR) to fast-track innovations in industry technology.

The university is home to the Institute of Railway Research (IRR), which has received £4.5m from the Regional Growth Fund.

Opened by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the 150t test rig enables various experiments to be conducted on a full-size railway bogie.

Network Rail submits proposals for new station building in Ilford, UK

Network Rail submitted proposals to the London Borough of Redbridge authority to build a new train station in Ilford, UK.

The new building plan is part of improvement works that are being delivered for the Crossrail project.

The new building has been designed by architect Atkins, will feature a glass façade, a ticket hall as well as new lifts that provide step-free access from street level to all platforms.

China's BYD unveils new monorail system in Shenzhen

Chinese company BYD unveiled its new monorail system in Shenzhen called SkyRail, which is the result of a $757m investment over the past five years.

SkyRail marks BYD’s entry into the mass transit market, and is a solution introduced by the company to counter traffic congestion in cities across worldwide.

BYD’s SkyRail serves as a mass transit alternative with smaller passenger capacities and delivers a number of benefits.

PolyU's fibre-optic sensing technology selected for Singapore metro lines

Fibre-optic sensing technology developed by Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is being installed on metro lines in Singapore.

In February, PolyU signed an agreement with SMRT, with a trial run was completed in June.

As well as installation of this network in tracks to monitor the trains, sensors are also installed in in-service trains to monitor the tracks the trains run on.

UK’s Virgin Trains unveils new Explorer navigation app

UK's Virgin Trains launched its new Explorer app to help customers navigate and locate friends, shops, and platforms.

International customers can use the in-station navigation app for real-time automatic sign translation to read them in their own language.

The app also provides planned updates such as messaging capability, baggage tracking and real-time travel data.

Rolls-Royce opens MTU South Africa’s upgraded facility in Cape Town

UK’s Rolls-Royce inaugurated MTU South Africa’s redesigned facility in Cape Town after completing upgrades worth €3m.

The new facility will be used to assemble, test, paint and commission around 200 20V Series 4000 R63L engines, which will be supplied to the China Railway Rolling Stock (CRRC) by MTU.

In turn, engines with a power output of 3,300kW will be installed by CRRC in Class 45 locomotives that are operated by South Africa-based Transnet Freight Rail (TFR).