State of Victoria announces $50bn proposal for underground rail loop

The Government of Victoria in Australia published a $50bn proposal to build an underground rail loop able to connect all lines in the suburban areas of Melbourne.

The launch of such a service will mean that passengers commuting across the city by train will no longer need to pass through the Central Business District.

Claimed to be the biggest public transport project so far in Australia, the project will consist of 12 stations, including the one at Tullamarine Airport. The project could also include stations at Monash and Doncaster in the eastern part of Melbourne.

CDPQ Infra receives $980m loan for Montreal’s REM project

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec Infra (CDPQ Infra) is set to receive a C$1.28bn ($980m) loan from Canada Infrastructure Bank for the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) project in Montreal.

CDPQ Infra signed a business agreement, subject to final documentation, to procure the 15-year senior secured loan.

The latest investment will complete the REM project’s $6.3bn ($4.8bn) financing.

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India Government to launch $1bn Indore – Manmad railway line project

India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust of the Ministry of Shipping is to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the country’s Ministry of Railways and the Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh to develop the Rs85.75bn ($1bn) Indore – Manmad Railway Line Project.

Construction works of the 362km rail line are scheduled to be completed within a period of six years, with the ultimate aim to reduce the distance from Mumbai/Pune to major central Indian destinations by 171km.

The line will go through the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor nodes of Igatpuri, Nashik and Sinnar, Pune and Khed, as well as Dhule and Nardana.

UWC and TMH partner to boost rail freight market in South America

Russia’s United Wagon Company (UWC) and TMH International signed an agreement aimed at bolstering rail freight operations in South America.

TMH is a subsidiary of rolling stock manufacturer JSC Transmashholding.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will cooperate in the sales and deliveries of integrated freight transport solutions to the South American nations of Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Keolis wins contract for tram network operations in Shanghai

Keolis’ Chinese joint venture Shanghai Keolis secured a contract to operate and maintain the Songjiang Tramway network in Shanghai.

The five-year contract encompasses the operation of two tram lines (T1 and T2) in the Songjiang District.

Keolis owns a 49% stake of Shanghai Keolis, while the remaining 51% stake belongs to the Shanghai Shentong Metro Group.

UK to test 5G connectivity on Trans Pennine Railway

The UK Government is set to conduct 5G connectivity trials on the Trans Pennine Railway route between Leeds and Manchester in a bid to improve internet connectivity of railways.

The government issued expressions of interest seeking applications from companies willing to take part in the new 5G project.

A part of the government’s plan to explore the usage of 5G connectivity in the transport sector, the Trans Pennine Initiative (TPI) will test different ways to offer high-quality internet connectivity to trains.

Austria’s ÖBB signs deal for 700 passenger coaches

Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) signed a framework agreement to procure up to 700 passenger coaches from Siemens Mobility over the next five years.

The initial order from ÖBB comprises eight nine-car trains for day service and 13 seven-car trains for night service.

If all the service options are executed, the overall contract agreement will value more than €1.5bn.

Stadler wins contract to supply 71 trains to Wales

Stadler Rail secured a contract from railway franchise Wales and Borders to supply South Wales Metro with 71 trains.

The contract involves the supply of 36 three-car CITYLINK tram-trains and 35 FLIRT trains, which are expected to come into service from 2022.

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.

Approved by the state’s planning board National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the investment 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 as official confirmation is yet to be issued.

EBRD to provide €205m loan to revamp Cairo Metro Line 1

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed to provide a €205m loan to support the partial refurbishment of Cairo Metro Line 1, one of the main transport systems in the Egyptian capital.

The rehabilitation programme will receive an additional €350m loan from the European Investment Bank and another €50m loan from French development agency Agence Française de Développement.

Funds will be used to carry out urgent upgrade works on Cairo Metro Line 1, which is used by nearly 500 million passengers annually.