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April 8, 2015updated 29 Nov 2021 6:43am

March’s top stories: First hydrogen-powered tramcar, UK sells Eurostar stake

Russia unveils plan for a new high-speed transport corridor, Bombardier showcases new C30 Movia metro design, and the UK to sell its stake in Eurostar. Railway-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from March 2015.

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Russia unveils plan for new high-speed transport corridor

Russia unveiled plans for a new high-speed transport corridor, which includes a construction of a high-speed rail network to connect Asia with Europe and a mega road.

The Siberian Times reported that the plan for the Trans-Eurasian belt Development (TEPR) was revealed by Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin during a meeting of the Russian Academy of Science.

According to Yakunin, the project is expected to involve construction of a new train network alongside the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Bombardier unveils new C30 Movia metro design

Movia

Bombardier Transportation and the Stockholm Traffic Administration unveiled the design of the new C30 Movia metro for the Swedish capital’s Red line.

In June 2013, Bombardier secured a SEK5.1bn ($771m) order from Stockholm public transport body Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) to supply 96 Movia trains to the Stockholm metro.

The new metro trains are expected to increase Stockholm’s transport capacity and comfort by transporting around 60,000 passengers an hour.

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China launches first new hydrogen-powered tramcar

China launched the world’s first hydrogen-powered tramcar, as part of the country’s efforts to tackle pollution.

The Xinhua news agency reported that the new environmentally friendly vehicle was developed by China South Rail subsidiary Sifang and was rolled off the assembly line in China’s eastern Shandong Province.

The tram can be refilled with hydrogen in three minutes and will be capable of running up to 100k/h. Fitted with 60 seats, the tram is capable of accommodating more than 380 passengers.

UK Government to sell its stake in Eurostar

Eurostar

The UK Government agreed to sell its 40% stake in the Eurostar high-speed rail service to a consortium consisting of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure, in a £757.1m deal.

Under the agreement, the Anglo-Canadian consortium will acquire the government’s share for £585.1m and Eurostar will redeem HMG’s preference share, providing a further £172m for the exchequer.

Chancellor George Osborne said: "Investing in the best quality infrastructure for the UK, getting the best value for money for the taxpayer and tackling our country’s debts are key parts of our long-term economic plan, and in today’s agreement, we are delivering on all three."

Deutsche Bahn and Bombardier settle legal disputes on vehicle projects

Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Bombardier Transportation reached an out-of-court settlement on several vehicle projects.

Both the parties agreed to not to disclose the settlement details.

Rail technology firm Bombardier was sued by Deutsche Bahn for $374m in damages over alleged serious defects with brakes and wheels.

Alstom’s first Citadis tramway manufacturing line opens in Latin America

Citadis

French train manufacturer Alstom opened its first production line for Citadis trams at its Taubaté plant, São Paulo, Brazil, to better serve tramway projects in Latin America.

Launched with an investment of approximately €15m, the new facility will employ around 150 people when fully operational.

Capable of producing about seven or eight trams a month, the 16,000m² production line factory adopts advanced environmental practices, including the use of rainwater to test train leakage.

Siemens secures €1.7bn order to deliver trains and service for Rhine-Ruhr Express

Siemens

Siemens received an €1.7bn order from the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region to supply 82 Desiro HC electric multiple units for the new Rhine-Ruhr Express (RRX) rail transport.

Commissioned by the municipalities involved in the RRX rail transport concept, the new contract also includes the delivery of maintenance services for a period of 32 years.

Under this contract, Siemens will deliver newly developed high-capacity, double-decker Desiro trains.

South Africa’s Transnet secures $1.1bn funding for locomotive acquisition programme

South African rail operator Transnet raised $1.1bn in funding for its locomotive acquisition programme, the biggest rail recapitalisation programme in the country’s history.

The operator received the current financial support in two agreements with funders and financial institutions, including Barclays Africa, Investec, Standard Bank, Old Mutual and Export Development Canada.

In March last year, Transnet entered into a $4.26bn agreement to buy 599 electric and 465 diesel locomotives from General Electric, China North Rail, China South Rail and Bombardier Transportation.

Six European firms launch Railsponsible to improve sustainability in rail industry

railponsible

Six major European railway companies launched Railsponsible, a new initiative to drive sustainability throughout the supply chain.

The companies involved in this initiative include Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation, Deutsche Bahn, Knorr Bremse, Nederlandse Spoorwegen and French rail operator SNCF.

It is aimed at enhancing sustainability throughout the entire supply chain, through sharing best practices and processes, driving a common understanding across the industry, and to use and share common tools, creating efficiencies.

Thales to support Lusail light rail transit system in Qatar

Thales

Thales signed a contract with Qatar’s Lusail Light Rail Transit project civil works contractor QDVC to deliver an integrated supervision, telecommunications, security and automatic fare collection system.

Under this contract, Thales will supply a fully integrated solution that offers high-level services such as real-time information, flexible and up-to-date contactless ticketing systems, optimal security of passengers and complete integrated supervision solution.

Developed by Qatar Rail, the Lusail Light Rail Transit System covers 32km and comprises four lines that serve 37 stations along the route.

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