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London Underground and Bombardier to re-let signalling contract

Bombardier Transportation and London Underground (LU) have agreed to re-let the signalling contract for the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.

The new deal currently under discussion will seek to modernise signalling on 40% of the network, and enable LU to run more trains.

The new upgrade, combined with 191 S-Stock trains, will increase the capacity on the sub-surface lines including 65% on the Hammersmith & City line, 24% on the District line, and 27% Metropolitan line.

LU will appeal for expressions of interest in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). The upgrade will be delivered in 2018.

Keolis awarded contract to operate MBTA commuter rail services


The Keolis-SNCF joint venture Keolis Commuter Services (KCS) has been awarded an eight-year contract to serve as the operator of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) commuter rail services.

The contract is effective from 1 July and will include a potential four-year extension option.

The MBTA and Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) board of directors unanimously voted in favour of KCS to run the Greater Boston commuter service.

KCS was selected over the current operator, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. (MCBR) based on quality and value for money.

UK Government shortlists bidders for new InterCity East Coast rail services

The UK Government has shortlisted three bidders to submit their proposals to deliver improved services for passengers on the Intercity East Coast rail franchise.

The companies that successfully passed the pre-qualification evaluation stage include East Coast Trains (First Group), Keolis and Eurostar East Coast (Keolis UK and Eurostar International) and Inter City Railways (Stagecoach Transport Holdings and Virgin Holdings).

The bidders can now focus on developing their plans for the franchise based on the areas set out in the InterCity East Coast prospectus. The invitation to tender is expected to be issued by the DfT at the end of February.

VR Group to unveil new double deck DuettoPlus restaurant cars


Finland-based VR Group is set to unveil the first of 26 IC2 DuettoPlus double-deck restaurant cars in late January and early February.

The new double-deck DuettoPlus restaurant cars are being built by Finnish supplier Transtech for a purchase price of €68.5m.

The first cars will be put into service to operate between Helsinki and Oulu.

Bombardier Consortium wins $4.1bn Queensland Government contract

Bombardier NGR Consortium has won a A$4.4bn ($4.1bn) contract from the Queensland Government for the New Generation Rollingstock Project.

The consortium includes Bombardier Transportation Australia, John Laing, Itochu Corporation and Uberior.

Bombardier will supply 75 6-car electrical multiple units (EMUs), a new depot and provide maintenance for 30 years. The depot design and construction will be subcontracted to Laing O’Rourke.

Victoria Tube line reopens after cement concrete leakage

London Underground’s Victoria Tube line has reopened today morning after engineers of Transport for London (TfL) fixed a cement concrete leakage.

The cement concrete was procured to fill voids as part of Victoria station renovation works, but leakage damaged signalling equipment in one of the line’s control rooms.

Following the incident, which caused massive disruption to thousands of travellers yesterday, the line was closed temporarily between Warren Street and Brixton. Other lines remained open.

Britain unveils new electric Class 700 train

Class 700

Britain has unveiled a full-scale mock-up of the new electric Class 700 train that will transform rail travel into and across London, and generate thousands of new jobs.

The new trains will be operational in early 2016, and will run on the current Thameslink network between Bedford and Brighton and the Wimbledon Loop.

The trains will also be deployed across the Great Northern routes to Cambridge and Peterborough, the route to Sevenoaks through Elephant and Castle, and new destinations off the Brighton Main Line from 2017 as infrastructure work is completed.

New Southern On Track App launched for rail passengers

British train operating company Southern has introduced a new mobile application designed to provide rail passengers with personalised real-time information and super-fast journey planning for all national rail routes.

The Southern On Track App is available for free, and has been built by the company’s parent company, the Go-Ahead Group, in partnership with passengers. The app has been developed by London mobile specialist, The App Business.

Passengers can use the application to perform activities that range from planning journeys using GPS, identifying nearest stations, purchasing train and car park tickets, through to real-time train-running information.