European Commission rejects Siemens-Alstom merger

The European Commission (EC) blocked the proposed merger of Siemens and Alstom mobility businesses, preventing the creation of a European rail business leader.

The decision was made following an in-depth investigation of the deal.

In a statement, the EU said that the merger would have created a dominant player in the industry, affecting railway signalling systems and high-speed train manufacturing markets.

California plans to scale back $77.3bn high-speed rail project

The US state of California decided to significantly reduce the scope of its $77.3bn high-speed rail project due to spiralling costs, delays and lack of transparency.

The scale back plans were announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom in his first State of the State Address.

According to the revised plan, the under-construction 119-mile (191km) rail link between Merced and Bakersfield within the state’s Central Valley region will be completed, while the larger project connecting San Francisco with Los Angeles (LA) will be dropped.

Deutsche Bahn to invest $12.1bn to upgrade rail network

Deutsche Bahn made plans to invest €10.7bn ($12.1bn) this year to modernise the railway network across Germany.

The German rail company increased this year’s investment from €9.4bn spent in 2018 to address the growing incidents of delays and disruptions across the network.

As per the plan, Deutsche Bahn will use the money to upgrade 500km of rail track, around 300 bridges and nearly 650 railway stations.

Wabtec completes $11bn merger with GE Transportation

Wabtec completed its $11bn merger deal with GE Transportation to become a major player in rail equipment, transportation and associated services.

The merger combines Wabtec’s freight, locomotive, transit vehicle manufacturing and electronics products portfolio with GE Transportation’s solutions for various industry verticals.

Wabtec president and CEO Raymond T Betler said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together nearly four centuries of collective experience to create a technologically advanced leader with a highly complementary set of capabilities to move and improve the world.

RDIF and Siemens sign deal for $4.5bn high-speed rail link in Russia

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) signed an agreement with Germany’s Siemens Mobility to develop the RUR300bn ($4.5bn) Ural High-Speed Rail project.

The project involves constructing a 220km-long double-track high-speed rail link connecting the cities of Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg in Russia.

It also includes building four railway stations (Balandino and Koltsovo airports, Snezhinsk and Sysert), ten intermediate stations and station complexes, as well as a high-speed rolling stock depot.

Momentum Trains wins $900m regional rail fleet delivery contract

The consortium of Momentum Trains has secured an A$1.26bn ($900m) contract from the New South Wales Government in Australia to deliver a regional rail fleet.

Under the terms of the contract, the consortium will design, manufacture, finance and maintain 117 carriages to replace the older vehicles.

The carriages will be configured into ten regional intercity trains, nine short regional trains and ten long regional trains.

China Mobile and Huawei to launch 5G network in Shanghai station

Telecommunications equipment supplier Huawei partnered with China Mobile’s Shanghai unit to launch the 5G Digital Indoor System in the city’s Hongqiao Railway Station.

The digital indoor system, expected to be deployed by the end of the year, will offer fast 5G network services to all passengers.

The 5G network involves high-bandwidth and low-latency. However, signalling becomes weaker while penetrating buildings, which poses a challenge when offering next-generation connectivity in indoor locations with a large number of users.

BNSF to invest $3.57bn on railway networks this year

US-based freight railroad operator BNSF Railway Company made plans to invest $3.57bn on railway networks this year.

The latest plan includes a maintenance budget of nearly $2.47bn, which will be used to maintain the company’s core network and associated assets.

Maintenance projects to be carried out this year include replacement and upgrading rail and track infrastructures such as ballast and rail ties. Overall, it will include around 12,000 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, as well as replacing 535 miles of rail and nearly 2.3 million rail ties.

India approves $1.88bn Patna metro rail project

The Government of India approved the Rs133.66bn ($1.88bn) Patna Metro Rail Project in the state of Bihar. The project will comprise two corridors and is expected to be completed in five years.

In a statement, the government said that the metro system will offer an eco-friendly and convenient transportation alternative to the 2.6 million residents of the city.

The first metro rail corridor will stretch from Danapur to Mithapur, traversing through the densely populated areas of Raza Bazar, Secretariat, High Court and Law University Railway Station. The 16.94km corridor will feature three elevated and eight underground stations.

SJIF and ASEZA to build $700m rail network in Jordan

The Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund (SJIF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) to invest more than $700m to build a rail network in Jordan.

The network will connect Jordan’s port city Aqaba to a planned dry port in Ma’an.

Once developed, the public-private partnership (PPP) project will form the first part of Jordan’s national railway network, bolstering transporting capabilities of the country.