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September 4, 2014updated 29 Nov 2021 6:45am

August’s top stories: Luxury train to Iran, Perth airport link

Hungarian Railways to launch luxury Budapest-Tehran train service in October, Network Rail trialed its first battery-powered train in UK, Korea Rail Network Authority planned to undertake Paraguay’s light rail project feasibility study. wraps up the key headlines from August 2014.


Hungarian Railways to operate new luxury train service to Iran


Hungarian Railways announced plans to launch a new luxury Budapest-Tehran train service on 15 October, known as the Golden Eagle-Danube Express.

The train will pass through Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, as well as the ancient Iranian cities of Shiraz and Persepolis.

The two-week journey is expected to cost between €10,000 and €23,000 and will be operated by the Nosztalgia arm of Hungarian Railways.

NSW government to invest $2.8bn on new intercity train fleet

Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government is investing A$2.8bn to buy a next-generation intercity train fleet for commuters travelling from the South Coast, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Newcastle.

NSW transport minister Gladys Berejiklian called for expressions of interest from local and overseas trial manufacturers for the new fleet of 65 trains, totalling 520 carriages.

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The next-generation intercity train fleet is expected to be rolled out progressively from 2019 to 2024.

Network Rail begins on-track trials of first battery-powered train in UK


Network Rail began trials of its first battery-powered train on a test track in Derby, UK, after completing the retrofitting of the unit.

The on-track trials will culminate into a series of high-speed tests at the Rail Innovation and Development Centre (RIDC) in Nottinghamshire at the end of the year.

The project was co-funded by Network Rail and its industry partners Bombardier, Abellio Greater Anglia, FutureRailway and the UK Department for Transport.

Australia unveils plans for $2bn Perth Airport rail link

The Western Australian (WA) Government unveiled plans for a $2bn Forrestfield-Airport Link, which will connect Forrestfield to the Perth’s CBD.

The link will offer connectivity to the airport and reduce the rail journey from Perth’s eastern suburbs to the city to 20min.

Plans also include stations near the domestic and international terminals, as well as a bus-train interchange station in Forrestfield.

US to minimise risk of shipping hazardous materials through short-line rail


The US Department of Transportation’s (DoT) Federal Railroad Administration announced $350,000 in grants to help mitigate risk associated with shipping hazardous materials by rail.

The funding will be used in the development of a short-line safety institute. Around $250,000 of the investment will be used by the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association to begin the pilot phase of safety culture assessments.

The remaining amount will be used by the University of Connecticut to conduct initial work that will focus on the development, testing and validation of safety education, and training and development for managers and employees.

Korea Rail to conduct light rail project study in Paraguay

The Korea Rail Network Authority (KRNA) secured a contract to carry out a feasibility study into a light rail project in Paraguay, marking its entry into the South American railway market.

The move forms a part of the Paraguayan Government’s plans to establish commuter rail services in the country.

The project was initiated by the government and is supported by state-run agency Facultad de Ingeniería de la Universidad Nacional de Asunción in South America.

UK’s TfL awarded £1.4bn Crossrail services contract to MTR


The UK Transport for London (TfL) awarded a £1.4bn contract to MTR Corporation (MTR) to serve as a key partner in delivering the new Crossrail services.

The eight-year contract has an option to extend a further ten years and is expected to create 1,100 jobs.

MTR will operate services from 31 May 2015 between Liverpool Street and Shenfield which were earlier operated by Abellio Greater Anglia.

Canada records rise in rail accidents involving dangerous goods in 2013

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) recorded 1,067 rail accidents in 2013, marking a 4% increase from 1,027 incidents in 2012.

During the year, there was a total of 144 accidents involving dangerous goods, up from 119 in 2012 and up from the five-year average of 133.

TSB also recorded 127 rail fatalities in 2013, up from 83 in 2012 and up from the five-year average of 76.

US DoT funds $4.7bn Red-Purple Line Modernization Project in Chicago


The US Department of Transportation (DoT) granted $35m in funding to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for its $4.7bn Red-Purple Line Modernization Project.

The CTA will use the funds in laying the groundwork to improve service and capacity on its ageing North Red Line and Purple Line rail transit system.

Works under the improvements include the construction of a track bypass north of the CTA Belmont Station to reduce bottlenecks with the Brown Line.


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