Avenio train

Crosslinx signs C$9.1bn contract to build Toronto’s Crosstown LRT

Crosslinx Transit Solutions signed a C$9.1bn ($7bn) contract with Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx to design, build, finance and maintain the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (Crosstown LRT) project in Toronto, Canada.

The project is being delivered using the Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) model, which protects taxpayers by transferring significant risks to the private sector.

According to IO, its rigorous and competitive procurement process has enabled it to conclude a deal that is C$2bn below the original estimate.

China wins $1.6bn contract to support Hungary-Serbia high-speed rail

The governments of China and Hungary signed an agreement on the development, construction and financing of the Hungarian section of Hungary-Serbia high-speed railway.

Under the agreement, a consortium led by China Railway Group (CRG) was awarded a CNY10bn ($1.57bn) contract to build the 160km Hungarian section of a railway linking Budapest with Belgrade, and will also be responsible for the general management of the project.

In addition to CRG, the consortium includes CRG’s China Railway International Group (CRIG), China Railway International (CRI), a subsidiary of national operator China Railway Corporation and Hungarian State Railways.

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Bombardier sells 30% stake in transportation business for $1.5bn

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Canadian institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) signed an agreement to acquire a 30% stake in Bombardier Transportation for $1.5bn.

CDPQ will acquire shares in the newly created Bombardier Transportation (Investment) UK (BT Holdco), which will be convertible into common shares initially representing 30% of BT Holdco.

Subject to regulatory approval, the transaction that values Bombardier Transportation at $5bn is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

Melbourne Metro Rail to be built with private partnership

Australia’s Victoria Government announced that a major component of the Melbourne Metro Rail project will be funded and built by a partnership between the state government and the private sector.

Upon completion, the project will transform Melbourne’s train network into an international-style metro system.

The public-private partnership (PPP) will undertake construction of two 9km rail tunnels and five underground stations.

Vossloh to sell Rail Vehicles business to Stadler Rail

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German transport technology company Vossloh signed a contract to sell its Rail Vehicles business unit in Spain to Swiss train manufacturer Stadler Rail.

Stadler will make a cash payment of €48m, as well as take over debt liabilities of €124m.

Subject to merger control clearances by the relevant competition authorities, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, but will be backdated to 1 July.

Three more EU rail freight corridors become operational

The European Commission announced that three more EU rail freight corridors (RFCs) have become operational, which completes the European rail network for competitive freight.

With six corridors already in service, the new Scandinavian-Mediterranean RFC, the Baltic-Adriatic RFC and the North Sea-Baltic RFC became operational in November 2013.

The total nine corridors form the rail freight backbone of the multimodal Core Network Corridor of the EU.

French operator probes presence of children onboard derailed TGV train

French rail company SNCF reported that children were onboard the high-speed TGV train that derailed during a test run on Saturday.

The train was carrying 49 railway technicians during its test run on a new Paris-Strasbourg line in the town of Eckwersheim. The line is reportedly scheduled to be opened next April.

The authorities are investigating as to why the children were travelling in the train on its test run.

Light rail line 2 becomes operational in The Hague


Dutch transit operator HTM introduced the Siemens Avenio tram on the new light rail line 2 in The Hague, Netherlands.

Line 2 connects the western suburb of Kraayenstein with Leidschendam in the north-east via The Hague’s main station. Test runs of the Avenio light rail vehicle (LRV) has begun on line 11, the next route to become operational.

Lines 1, 9, 15 and 17 will enter service in the future.

Indian Railways orders $5.6bn worth of locomotives from GE and Alstom

Indian Railways awarded two contracts worth $5.6bn to US-based General Electric (GE) and French engineering firm Alstom for new diesel and electric locomotives.

Both firms were issued the letters of award (LOA) for establishing diesel and electric locomotive factories in Marhowra and Madhepura in the Indian state of Bihar.

The contracts marked the Indian Government’s first major foreign direct investment (FDI) in rail projects, as well as advance the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Norfolk Southern considering Canadian Pacific’s merger offer


Canadian Pacific (CP) made an offer to buy US rail company Norfolk Southern (NS) for $28.4bn, which would create the largest rail company in North America.

CP said that the proposed business combination would lead to a transcontinental railroad that will deliver enhanced levels of service to customers and communities, as well as improve competition and create significant shareholder value.

Norfolk termed the offer ‘low-premium, non-binding and highly conditional’ and noted that their board of directors, in consultation with its financial and legal advisers, would carefully evaluate the offer.