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Canada proposes new regulations to improve railway safety

Canada Transport Minister Lisa Raitt proposed new regulations to penalise railway companies that violate the Railway Safety Act.

The proposal was part of a new series of railway safety rules and amendments set by the Canadian Government and the regulations are expected to improve Transport Canada’s ability to quickly enforce safety requirements.

In July 2013, an emergency directive was issued under section 33 of the Railway Safety Act to improve safety across the national rail network, following a train derailment in Quebec.

Minnesota Metropolitan Council to receive $2.5bn for Green Line projects

Metro

Minnesota Metropolitan Council in the US is to receive $2.5bn in investment for 121 construction and redevelopment projects near the Metro Green Line, as part of the Central Corridor LRT Project.

Beginning services in June, the project attracted investments for residential and commercial developments near the University of Minnesota, along University Avenue, and in both downtown St Paul and Minneapolis.

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As part of the investment, Green Line’s eastern terminus Union Depot in St Paul will see a $243m renovation.

Bombardier buys Australian rail signalling provider RSS

Bombardier Transportation bought a 100% stake in the Australian signalling firm Rail Signalling Services (RSS), in a move to extend its presence in the continent.

RSS is an integrated signalling engineering and services supplier and is involved in the design, delivery and installation of station interlocking and level crossing systems for mainline and mass transit operations.

The transaction will enable Bombardier to expand its signalling activities in a market where large investments are planned.

Canada charges MM&A in Lac-Mégantic train derailment case

Derailment

Canadian prosecutors charged Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MM&A) and three employees with criminal negligence causing death, in connection with the Lac-Mégantic train derailment case in July 2013.

The derailment involved 72 tankers carrying crude oil, which killed 47 people. It occurred after the train rolled downhill while parked on an uphill main line near Lac-Mégantic.

Of the three employees being charged, Thomas Harding was the driver of the train, while Richard Labrie was a MM&A controller and Jean Demaitre was the director of operations.

China and Kenya agree to construct new East Africa railway line

China and Kenya signed agreements to construct a new East Africa railway line.

This would run from Mombasa to Nairobi and extend through South Sudan, as well as Uganda to Rwanda.

As part of the agreements, 90% cost of first stage of the new $3.8bn standard gauge line will be funded by China’s Eximbank and the main contractor work will be a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co.

US DoT issues emergency order for rail transportation of Bakken crude oil

Bakken crude oil

The US Department of Transportation (DoT) issued an emergency order (EO) for rail transportation of Bakken crude oil, as part of a comprehensive strategy to keep oil shipments safe.

The order comes after Canada Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced a decision to phase out the 5,000 least crash-resistant DOT-111 tank cars in the country.

As per the EO, all railways that are operating trains containing more than one million gallons of Bakken crude oil, or 35 tank cars, must notify state emergency response commissions (SERCs) about the operation of these trains through their states.

Singapore’s LTA selects GE Transportation for driverless CBTC solution

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) contracted GE Transportation to deliver fully automated driverless train control and signalling solutions for the Thomson (TSL) and Eastern Region Lines (ERL).

As part of the $126m contract, GE will supply its Tempo Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) and Computer-Based Interlocking (CBI) systems to enable LTA to improve operations, service challenges and requirements.

GE will also be involved in design, manufacturing, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the signalling system and platform screen doors for both TSL and ERL lines.

Victoria government to invest $15bn in major railway infrastructure

Railway infrastructure

The Victoria government in Australia invested $15bn in a major railway infrastructure, which aims to boost the public transport network in the state.

The investment will be used in the construction of a rail link to Melbourne Airport, a new metropolitan rail tunnel and new railway stations and bus services.

According to Victoria minister for public transport Terry Mulder, the $8.5bn-$11bn Melbourne rail link will reduce delays, improve reliability and boost capacity across the network by up to 30%.