Network Rail unveils £47bn five-year plan

The UK’s Network Rail published its five-year plan from 2019 to 2024 (Control Period 6, CP6), which will see the company spend up to £47bn to improve railway services across the country.

The total expenditure proposed under the plan marks a 25% increase over the amount outlined for the previous CP5 (2014-2019).

An additional £10bn railway enhancement fund has also been allocated by the government, which will be made available to Network Rail and other companies to finance different railway projects.

Thailand seeks bids for $40bn rail network upgrade

The Government of Thailand issued a bidding proposal that sought to find private investors willing to carry out a $40bn upgrade of its rail network.

The upgrade involved the construction of dual-track rail lines.

According to Thailand Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, the government had already approved THB123bn ($3.7bn) of the total amount earmarked for the upgrades and planned to approve nine additional projects worth THB407bn ($12.3bn) by the end of 2018.

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Saudi Arabia opens $7.87bn Haramain Railway high-speed line

Saudi Arabia opened a $7.87bn high-speed Haramain Railway to connect the holy cities of Mecca and Medina with Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.

The Haramain Railway line spans 450km and is expected to transport 60 million passengers a year.

Furthermore, the line is set to connect to a new terminal at Jeddah airport, which is the main point of entry for Hajj pilgrims.

London Underground awards £1.5bn deal to Siemens for 94 Tube trains

Transport for London (TfL) subsidiary London Underground awarded a contract valued at around £1.5bn to Siemens Mobility to design and build 94 Tube trains.

The trains will be deployed on all four Deep Tube lines in London, which are Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City.

Delivery of the Inspiro London trains is scheduled to begin in 2023 for testing on the Piccadilly line.

GE Transportation signs $900m locomotive contracts with KTZ

GE Transportation signed two contracts with Kazakhstan’s state-run railroad Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), which have a combined value of more than $900m.

The deals cover the delivery of 300 shunter locomotives, as well as an 18-year service agreement to provide maintenance services for 175 passenger Evolution Series trains.

The first two shunter units are expected to be delivered in 2019, while the remaining 298 vehicles will be provided over the next 10 years.

Ontario to invest $8.7bn in initial phase of high-speed rail project

The Government of Ontario in Canada invested more than C$11bn ($8.7bn) to support the development of Phase I of the high-speed rail project between Ontario cities Toronto and London.

The project will reduce journey times by half along the Toronto-Windsor corridor and provide a more sustainable travel option.

China approves $11.45bn investment in Changchun rail projects

The Chinese Government approved a CNY78.7bn ($11.45bn) investment in urban railway projects in Changchun, the capital of the Jilin province.

The investment, approved by the state’s planning board National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), will be used to develop eight subway lines with a combined length of 135.4km in Changchun, National Business Daily (NBD) reported.

According to the media outlet, the funding was announced by the Jilin Development and Reform Commission on its website but was soon withdrawn until official confirmation was made.

SNCF approves €2.7bn contract for 100 Avelia Horizon trains

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

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

According to Alstom, the total acquisition costs were 20% lower than those of the previous generation of trains.

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

JICA and Philippines sign $985m loan for Metro Manila Subway

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) entered an agreement with the Philippine Government to provide an official development assistance (ODA) loan of up to JPY104.53bn ($985m) for the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway project.

According to the deal, the loan will have an annual interest of 0.10%, which needs to be repaid in 40 years with a grace period of 12 years.

The loan will be used to construct stations, underground tunnels between stations, depots and other public works, as well as procure rail systems and rolling stocks.