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December 8, 2014updated 29 Nov 2021 6:46am

November’s top stories: Hitachi’s bid for Ansaldo, $25bn rail works in China

Mexico cancelled China's rail project, Alstom begun slab track technology tests in Russia, and Peru announced plans for a new $9.5bn coastal railway line. Railway-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from November 2014.

Drones

Hitachi bids to acquire Finmeccanica’s rail subsidiaries

Japanese conglomerate Hitachi submitted an offer to acquire Italy-based Finmeccanica’s rail transport engineering company, AnsaldoBreda, and its 40% stake in signalling supplier Ansaldo STS.

Finmeccanica decided to sell its subsidiary in order to cut the €4.8bn ($6.1bn) debt and focus on its aerospace and defence businesses.

The company had previously shortlisted Hitachi and China’s CNR Corporation for the sale. However, the Chinese train manufacturer withdrew its bid, leaving the Japanese company as the sole remaining bidder, reported Nikkei.

Stagecoach Transport and Virgin win new East Coast franchise

Eastcoast

The UK’s Department for Transport awarded the Intercity East Coast franchise to Inter City Railways, a joint venture between Stagecoach Transport and Virgin.

Under a £3.3bn contract, the new franchise will run for a period of eight years starting from 1 March 2015.

During its term, the franchise will deliver more than £140m in investment on the line, including new trains, more services and additional seats.

Mexico cancels $3.75bn high-speed rail project contract with China

Mexico scrapped the $3.75bn contract with Chinese-led consortium for the construction of a high-speed passenger rail link between Mexico City and the central city of Queretaro.

The move came after the government was accused of favouring the group consisting of China Railway Construction Corporation and CSR Corporation. It was the only firm that submitted the bid for the tender to design, build, operate and maintain a 210km-long high-speed line.

Other bidders, including Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom, requested for extension of the tender period.

Los Angeles Metro Purple Line extension project begins

LA

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) in the US began construction of the Purple Line Extension Project.

Earlier in July, Metro awarded a $1.6bn contract to a joint venture comprising Skanska, Traylor and Shea (STS) for design and construction of the Purple Line Extension Project.

Under this project, the first subway segment will extend the 3.9 miles of Purple Line from the existing Wilshile/Western Purple Line terminus near Koreatown into Beverly Hills. It will have three underground stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega.

China approves $25bn worth of railway projects

The Chinese Government reportedly approved CNY152.7bn ($24.93bn) worth of railway projects, aimed at building five railway lines in different parts of the country.

Reuters reported that China’s National Development and Reform Commission said that the new railway lines will be in the southern province of Guangdong, south-western provinces of Guangxi and Sichuan, Inner Mongolia and the western province of Gansu.

This approval followed China’s recent decision to invest more than $113bn for railway projects, along with the construction of five airports.

Alstom begins lifecycle tests for advanced slab track technology in Russia

Alstom

French train manufacturer Alstom launched the lifecycle tests for its advanced concrete slab track technology in Russian Railways’ facility in Sherbinka near Moscow.

Under this project, Alstom will carry out the assessment of various slab tracks and their testing in local conditions with an intention to use this technology on the very high-speed lines later.

Using this NBT technology, Alstom, Roszheldorproekt design institute, Vossloh, Pandrol/Railtech and Lafarge Russia has built a 125m-long slab track section.

Peruvian Government plans to build $9.5bn coastal railway line

Peru’s Transportation and Communications Minister Jose Gallardo revealed that the government was considering plans to build a $9.5bn new coastal railway line that connects the northern and southern regions of the country.

Claimed to one of the largest railway projects in the country, the 1,340km-long line will run along the Pacific coast and links Callao province with Sullana, a province in the northern region of Piura, and with Ica, a region in southern Peru.

The major regions in the country, including Lima, Ica, Ancash, La Libertad, Lambayeque and Piura, are expected to benefit from this project.

PKP Cargo introduces drones to monitor coal theft

Drones

Polish freight transport company PKP Cargo prepared to launch drones to prevent coal theft during transportation.

Using drones equipped with several cameras, PKP Cargo will be capable of monitoring its shipments regardless of the time and weather conditions.

PKP Cargo head of security and audit office Maciej Borecki said: "Pilferage of bulk commodities when moved by our company is a phenomenon we have been tackling for many years, and ensuing losses amount to as much as several million zlotys a year."

MTR joint venture signs letter of intent for Beijing Metro Line 16

China’s Beijing Municipal Government signed a letter of intent with Beijing MTR joint venture for the investment, operations and maintenance of Beijing Metro Line 16.

In this joint venture, MTR Corporation and Beijing Capital Group each hold a stake of 49% while Beijing Infrastructure Investment Corporation owns a share of 2%.

The CNY49.5bn ($8.06bn) Line 16 project was divided into two parts with Part A to be undertaken by Beijing Infrastructure Investment Corporation. Part A involves the line’s civil construction and accounts for 70% of the project’s capital cost.

Thales and Siemens win €512m contract to modernise high-speed line in Spain

Thales

A consortium consisting of Thales España and Siemens Rail Automation received a €512m contract from Adif Alta Velocidad to modernise the control, signalling and safety equipment on the Olmedo-Ourense high-speed line section in Spain.

Under this contract, the consortium will install traffic control, automatic train protection, telecommunications and safety technologies and also maintain the section for more than 20 years.

Thales will be responsible for the installation of the ERTMS level 2 automatic train protection system, wayside LED light signals, axle counters for safe train detection, wheel sensors and landline telecommunications systems.

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