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August 5, 2018updated 06 Aug 2018 3:06pm

July’s top news stories

Bombardier Transportation has received an order valued at $303m to supply 36 Francilien train sets comprising 270 cars to Greater Paris public transport authority, Île-de-France Mobilités, and Indian Railways has inducted five new track maintenance machines. Railway-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from July 2018.

Bombardier wins $303m train set supply order for Greater Paris

Bombardier Transportation received a $303m order to supply 36 Francilien train sets comprising 270 cars to Greater Paris public transport authority Île-de-France Mobilités.

Awarded by French national railway company SNCF and financed by Île-de-France Mobilités, the order is an update of the original contract signed in 2006, involving the delivery of a maximum of 372 trains.

Under the new order, Bombardier will deliver 18 short train sets, totalling 126 cars, and 18 long train sets with 144 cars.


Indian Railways inducts five new track maintenance machines

Indian Railways inducted five new track maintenance machines in a bid to mechanise monitoring and maintenance, as well as improve operational safety.

The initiative follows the introduction of new track maintenance technology by inducting 13 09-3X Dynamic Tamping Express machines.

The new fleet of machines, which includes three Dynamic Track Temping Machines, one Ballast Cleaning Machine and one Points and Crossings Tamping Machine, was inaugurated by railway minister Piyush Goyal.


Manchester City Council approves SRF for Piccadilly Central station

Manchester City Council approved the 2018 Manchester Piccadilly Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF) following a public consultation.

Overseen by UK-based architecture firm Bennetts Associates, the SRF will include a major district redevelopment of Piccadilly Central railway station and the surrounding area, as rail projects such as High Speed 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will require a modernised district that is fit for a major international city.

With the aim of transforming the station into a gateway to the city, as well as integrating all modes of transport, the proposals for the Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester will create a ‘One Station’ solution that encourages all infrastructure stakeholders to work together.


Testing of first TransPennine Express Nova 1 fleet begins in UK

The testing of TransPennine Express’ Nova 1 fleet begun in the UK, with the first vehicle carrying out its maiden run between Doncaster and Darlington.

Developed by Hitachi and financed by Angel Trains, the trains are set to enter commercial service next year and will connect major cities in the north of England and Scotland. They will operate from Manchester and Liverpool to the northern cities of Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

In the coming months, the testing will include the whole route and all major stations across the north and Scotland.


Victoria orders five extra X’Trapolis trains from Alstom

Transport for Victoria (TfV) ordered five additional X’Trapolis trainsets from Alstom to support Melbourne’s suburban rail services.

The €60m order will help expand TfV’s fleet to 106 trains. Upon delivery, the trains are expected to increase the reliability and capacity of the entire suburban rail system of the city.

The new X’Trapolis trainsets will be manufactured at Alstom’s Australian facility in Ballarat, which has been delivering such units to Melbourne since 2002.


SNCF approves €2.7bn contract for 100 Avelia Horizon trains

The board of directors of SNCF Mobilités approved a €2.7bn contract for 100 nextgeneration Avelia Horizon trains from Alstom.

Alstom and SNCF jointly developed the new high-speed trains. Each train set consists of two power cars and articulated double-deck coach.

According to Alstom, the total acquisition costs are 20% lower than those of the previous generation of trains. The new fleet’s modular interior design is expected to increase passenger areas by 20% and will be able to accommodate up to 740 passengers in the highest capacity configuration envisaged by SNCF.


Singapore’s LTA awards $880m train contract to Bombardier

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) awarded a S$1.2bn ($880m) contract to Bombardier to supply 66 new six-car trains.

The trains will replace the current first-generation fleet and operate on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL). They will be designed in Germany and manufactured and assembled at Bombardier’s facility in Changchun, China.

The vehicles are expected to be delivered in batches from 2021, after which they will undergo testing before being commissioned for commercial service.


DfT introduces measures to improve travel for people with disabilities

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) revealed a number of new measures and initiatives that will help ensure easier travel for disabled people across the country’s transport network, including the railway.

Comprising a series of initiatives in partnerships with industry stakeholders, the DfT’s Transport Strategy aims to make travel accessible for passengers with both visible and less visible disabilities by 2030.

As part of the move, the UK Government has promised investments in rail accessibility infrastructure, as well as commitments to produce league tables highlighting operators that are delivering the best services for disabled people.


Keolis and MBTA develop and test new locomotive simulator lab

Keolis Commuter Services partnered with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to design, build and test a new commuter rail locomotive and control car simulator lab in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Designed to provide advanced training to engineers, the lab features a classroom, a control car simulator and a locomotive simulator, which is built from the cab of a retrofitted HSP46 train.

The simulators are capable of recreating the exact profile of track infrastructure, platforms, stations and buildings along the network.


First Hitachi class 385 train comes into service on ScotRail routes

The first Hitachi class 385 electric train was introduced on routes covered by UK rail operator ScotRail and will initially run between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley through the Falkirk High route.

The Class 385 train is part of a 70-vehicle fleet that will be gradually introduced into the service in the coming months in multiple routes across the Central Belt.

ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes said: “I am delighted that customers will be able to travel on our new Hitachi class 385 electric trains from next week. This is a significant moment as we work to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.

“The investment we are making will deliver faster journeys, more seats and better services for our customers.”

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