Alstom begins passenger locomotive production at Kazakh facility

French rolling stock manufacturer Alstom started the production of passenger electric locomotives Prima M4 KZ4AT at its Kazakhstan facility in Nur-Sultan (Astana).

The Kazakh facility is owned by EKZ, a joint venture between Alstom (75%) and Transmashholding (25%).

Once completed, the locomotives will be delivered to Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) as part of a previously signed contract.

GVC consortium to deliver €735m rail project in Uruguay

Sacyr-led Grupo Vía Central consortium (GVC) received a contract to deliver the €735m Uruguay Central Railroad project.

In addition to Sacyr, Uruguayan companies Saceem and Berkes, as well as French company NGE, are part of the GVC consortium.

The Central Railroad project involves overhauling 273km of the railway, which connects Paso de los Toros city and Uruguayan capital of Montevideo.

Slovenia places order for 26 additional FLIRT trains with Stadler

Slovenian state rail operator Slovenske Železnice exercised an option under a previous contract to order 26 additional FLIRT multiple units from Stadler.

The latest order, which will include a combination of single and double-deck trains, is valued at more than €150m.

Slovenske Železnice placed an initial order of 26 single and double-decker multiple units in April last year in a bid to modernise rail transport in Slovenia.

Manchester and Liverpool mayors call for Northern rail termination

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram urged the government to terminate the Northern rail franchise.

The operator has been accused of failing to deliver promised improvements, including deteriorating punctuality, poor customer service and ineffective management of services following timetable changes last year.

The two mayors stated that Northern, a subsidiary of Arriva UK Trains, has failed to deliver its legally binding franchise requirements.

New Zealand allocates $651m to strengthen railway infrastructure

The Government of New Zealand allocated NZD1bn ($651m) in the latest national budget to bolster railway infrastructure.

The funding will be available to state-owned rail operator KiwiRail over the next two years.

Of the total funding, around NZD375m will be utilised to replace the ageing fleet with new wagons and locomotives.

Hong Kong MTR resumes testing of signalling system on East Rail Line

Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) resumed testing of the signalling system on the East Rail Line during non-traffic hours.

The testing was suspended in March following a rare train collision during trials on the Tsuen Wan line.

Although the signalling systems on the two lines are different, MTR suspended all train tests relating to signalling systems to ensure safety and prevent incidents.

Traxens to deploy tracking system on CFL Multimodal’s freight wagons

France-based TRAXENS signed an agreement to install its cargo tracking IoT system on CFL Multimodal’s connected freight wagons.

The system will enable the operator to track rail wagons delivering cargo in Europe and China.

The agreement follows the successes of initial trials at the end of last year, where CFL installed Traxens Box devices on flat wagons travelling between European destinations.

Irish Rail initiates process to procure up to 600 rail carriages

Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) initiated the process to procure up to 600 electric / battery-electric powered carriages.

The Irish rail operator, supported by the National Transport Authority (Nta), sought expressions of interest from rolling stock manufacturers to deliver the rail carriages.

The overall procurement will support fleet expansion, replacement of the older fleet and help to allocate additional carriages to support future growth.

Bombardier to build Cairo monorail system

Bombardier Transportation was selected as the preferred bidder to deliver a multibillion-euro monorail system in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

The company will deliver project works in a partnership with two Egyptian firms, Orascom Construction and the Arab Contractors.

The monorail system will connect East Cairo and the New Administrative City. It will stretch 54km.

First stage of Sydney Metro begins commercial operations

The first stage of Sydney Metro in the Australian province of New South Wales, The North West Metro line, commenced commercial services.

The 36km-long rail line is the first fully automated driverless metro system in the country. It stretches from Rouse Hill to Chatswood and includes 13 stations, as well as a depot.

Alstom was responsible for the metro line’s project management, signalling and delivery of 22 Metropolis trains to run on the Sydney Metro line, under a contract awarded in September 2014.