September's top stories: HTT signs MoU with India's APEDB, Amtrak to equip 310 locomotives with PTC

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with APEDB in India to develop a hyperloop route from Amravati to Vijayawada. Amtrak is set to install PTC technology on-board nearly 310 locomotives. Railway-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from September 2017.


HTT signs deal to introduce India's first hyperloop transportation system

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) in India to facilitate the development of a hyperloop route from Amravati to Vijayawada.

The project is expected to reduce the journey time between the two cities from more than an hour to just six minutes.

HTT’s Hyperloop Transportation System will be developed under a public private partnership that will create roughly 2,500 new jobs.


Amtrak to equip 310 locomotives with PTC technology

Amtrak is set to install positive train control (PTC) technology on-board nearly 310 locomotives before the federal deadline for the requirement on 31 December next year.

The PTC technology will be installed on Amtrak-owned diesel locomotives operating on the national Amtrak network and state-sponsored routes across the country's East and Midwest regions.

The technology is effective in preventing train-to-train collisions and excessive speed, as well as other human-errors such as misaligned track switches.


Laing O’Rourke JV wins $191m Sydenham Station upgrade contract in Sydney

A joint venture (JV) comprising Laing O’Rourke and John Holland secured an A$240m ($191m) contract to upgrade Sydenham Station in Sydney, Australia.

The contracted works are expected to enable Sydenham Station to operate under the city’s new metro system.

The JV is scheduled to carry out signalling works and utility relocations, as well as install new train control systems as part of the deal.


UK DfT grants £59.8m for Midland Metro extension

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) agreed to provide £59.8m for a Midland Metro tram route extension, which is expected to link Birmingham city centre with Edgbaston and the city's growing Westside area.

The new grant completes the total sum of £149m needed to fund the project, while another £84m has been raised locally by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Birmingham City Council, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and other entities.


ABB to install solar inverters at 750 Indian railway stations

ABB is set to deliver solar power inverters to 750 railway stations across the northern part of India, as part of an initiative to reduce the need for conventional electricity sources.

India's northern region is one of the Indian Railways' busiest corridors, carrying more than eight billion passengers annually.

The project will see ABB supply TRIO and PVI series solar invertors with power configurations ranging from 5kW to 50kW, which are to be installed based on the individual size and requirements of each station.


Thales wins third LRT project contract in Taiwan

Thales secured a new contract from the China Steel Corporation (CSC) for the planned Ankeng Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in Taiwan, which forms a part of the wider transportation expansion plan in the Greater Taipei region.

The project is expected to help reduce traffic congestion in the metropolitan area and will be carried out under the planning of the New Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems.

Thales also secured contracts for Danhai and Kaohsiung LRT projects prior to the latest announcement.


Bombardier upgrades Wuppertal station's signalling system in Germany

Bombardier Transportation and its German joint venture (JV) InoSig began upgrade works on several electrical interlocking units at Wuppertal station, Germany.

The upgrade initiative will see the company replace three 40-year old electrical interlocking units, which form an important part of the rail signalling system.

Bombardier is expected to replace the existing systems with its advanced EBI Lock 950 computer-based rail control solutions.


Sapphire wins Beijing metro extension contract

Sapphire secured a rail engineering contract worth approximately RMB276m ($42.27m) for the second phase of the Beijing Metro's Changping Line in China.

The deal will see Sapphire’s fully owned engineering, procurement and construction subsidiary Ranken Railway Construction Group carry out a variety of civil engineering works along part of the 12.6km, 12-station Changping Line's South Extension region.

The contracted works are expected to be completed by 31 December 2020.


Siemens to deliver 30 Vectron locomotives to MRCE

Siemens has been contracted to deliver 30 Vectron trains to full-service locomotive leasing company Mitsui Rail Capital Europe (MRCE).

The deal will see ten units delivered for use as multisystem Vectron MS locomotives for cross-border operations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands, while the remaining 20 will operate as direct-current trains (Vectron DC) in Italy.

Siemens is scheduled to begin delivery of the trains from January next year.


TfL and ARL to improve London Overground customer service

The UK's Transport for London (TfL) and operator Arriva Rail London (ARL) planned to review and modernise customer service on the London Overground network.

Under the new initiative, ARL intends to increase the availability of London Overground staff at the stations after discussing with the respective trade unions to ensure that passengers receive the necessary assistance and information.

The company also intends to modernise the process of selling tickets and increase the number of employees in permanent roles to reduce the dependence on agencies.