Stadler unveils first Mälartåg train in Stockholm

Stadler revealed its first new unit of Mälartåg (Mälar train) in cooperation with Mälab and Transitio at the Stockholm Central Station in Sweden.

The new train represents the first of 33 new double-decker trains ordered from Stadler by Transitio and commissioned by Mälab. It is scheduled to begin operating in Sweden’s Mälardalen region from next year.

Mälartåg is part of Stadler’s DOSTO double-deck train portfolio, which is designed to operate in Nordic winter conditions.

HS2 faces backlash against ‘green corridor’ plans

High Speed 2’s (HS2) proposed plan to build a ‘green corridor’ consisting of new wildlife habitats, native woodlands and community spaces alongside its upcoming high-speed railway is facing criticism from tree campaigners.

HS2 announced the corridor will border the first phase of the line linking London to the West Midlands and will cover around 9km² of land.

The project will also feature more than 220 new ponds, public parks, open spaces and nature reserves, in what HS2 says is the largest works ever planned with a UK infrastructure scheme.

Report reveals high-speed EU railways perform below expectations

The EU’s efforts to build efficient high-speed railway projects across the continent are bringing ‘low-added value’ and the services are failing to perform at their potential best, a study by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has revealed.

In a report published on Tuesday, the ECA hit out at Europe’s rail network and accused it of being slow, expensive and an ‘ineffective patchwork’. This, it said, is mostly due to the fact that projects are often driven by politics rather than necessity.

“The decision to build high-speed lines is often based on political considerations, and cost-benefit analyses are not used generally as a tool to support cost-efficient decision-making,” the ECA says in the report.

Welsh Government reveals plans for £100m rail testing facility

Welsh Transport Secretary Ken Skates unveiled plans to build a ‘world-leading’, £100m rail testing facility in Neath Valley, which will be used to work on next-generation train technology.

The project, which is still at the early stages, would be built on an opencast mine in Neath Port Talbot and would allow testing trains on special tracks, laid out on 4.5-mile (7.3km) and two-mile (3.1km) ovals, at speeds of up to 100mph (160km/h). The test circuits would feature their own platforms and tunnels.

The facility would be used to develop the next generation of hydrogen and battery-powered trains, as well as to test infrastructure, deploy digital signalling technology and for storage, decommissioning, maintenance and servicing.

Alstom to supply 38 Citadis trams to Frankfurt

Alstom has secured a €100m contract with transport operator Stadtwerke Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt am Main (VGF) to supply 38 of its Citadis trains to the city of Frankfurt, Germany.

The contract also involves an optional delivery of 15 additional vehicles and requires Alstom to repair equipment, as well as provide training and warranty services.

The company will deliver the first two trams in 2020. The trams will operate throughout the city’s current tramway network.

Network Rail calls for tender for new £5bn railway track alliances

Network Rail invited suppliers to bid for new track work contracts, which have to be undertaken for the upcoming funding period.

A Contract Notice was issued in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) as part of the start of the tender process.

Valued at up to £5bn, the contracts cover ten years of railway track works beginning in 2019. They will introduce three new geographically focused alliances between Network Rail, designers and construction suppliers.

Škoda to deliver 80 trams to Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr

Škoda Transportation agreed to deliver 80 modern trams to German transport company Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr (rnv) for more than €250m.

The trams will operate on routes in and around Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg. The contract includes an option for 34 additional vehicles.

Škoda chairman and Škoda transportation CEO Petr Brzezina: “This is our company’s biggest export tram contract ever, from both a financial and manufacturing point of view. Our strategy of focusing on Western markets is also paying off.”

Thailand seeks bids for $40bn rail network upgrade

The Thai Government is to issue a bidding proposal that seeks to find private investors willing to carry out a $40bn upgrade of its rail network.

The upgrade will involve the construction of dual-track rail lines.

According to Thailand Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, the government has already approved THB123bn ($3.7bn) of the total amount earmarked for the upgrades and is planning to approve nine additional projects worth THB407bn ($12.3bn) within the end of this year.

First of Northern’s £500m Class 195 train fleet arrives in the UK

The first vehicle of railway operator Northern’s new Class 195 train fleet arrived in the UK from Spain.

Rolling stock manufacturer CAF is currently building 98 such units as part of a £500m contract.

Owned by Eversholt Rail, the Class 195 trains are leased to Northern in a bid to support its modernisation plans.

Massachusetts inaugurates $2.3bn Green Line extension project

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and US Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao have launched its $2.3bn Green Line Extension (GLX) light rail project in a ceremony in Somerville, Massachusetts.

The event saw both Chao and Baker break ground in a bid to inaugurate the beginning of works to extend the public transit line about 4.7 miles through east Cambridge into Somerville and Medford.

Chao also used the event to announce a $225m federal grant agreement for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) GLX light rail project.