ADB approves $360m loan to Bangladesh Railway

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $360m loan to Bangladesh Railway, which will be used to purchase new rolling stock and strengthen the country’s railway network.

The loan will finance the procurement of 40 broad gauge locomotives, 125 luggage vans and 1,000 wagons for freight trains.

ADB noted that the new rolling stock will introduce auxiliary power units (APU) to Bangladesh Railway in a bid to reduce diesel consumption when the locomotives are standing idle.

Vinci-led consortium wins €400m Paris rail contract

A Vinci Construction-led consortium and Spie batignolles secured a €400m contract from France-based RATP to develop the planned Line 14 South in Paris.

The contract was awarded as a part of the wider Grand Paris Express programme.

RATP selected the consortium to conduct works package ‘GC02’ of the planned Line 14 South, which will run between Orly Airport and Olympiades in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.

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S2IP consortium wins Lyon-Turin rail tunnel contract

The S2IP consortium, which includes SYSTRA and three other engineering companies, secured a contract for a rail tunnel link between French city Lyon and Turin, Italy.

The contract was awarded by the project’s developer, Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin (TELT), and will see the consortium provide Lot 2 civil engineering project management services for the access tunnels, which are set to run from Saint-Martin-La-Porte to La Praz in the French Alps.

Both single-track parallel tunnels are slated to be 22.1km-long.

Queensland shortlists companies to build Cross River Rail project

The Government of Queensland in Australia shortlisted a number of companies for the contract to develop the Cross River Rail infrastructure project.

The firms were selected from a list of ‘Expressions of Interest’ applications.

Queensland Acting Premier Jackie Trad said that the companies have been shortlisted for the project’s two major works packages following a comprehensive assessment of all Expressions of Interest by the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority.

A consortium comprising Pulse, Qonnect and CentriQ Partnerships was shortlisted for the ‘The Tunnel, Stations and Development’ (TSD) work package under a public-private partnership.

Bombardier to supply nine Regio 2N trains to SNCF

Bombardier Transportation secured an order from French company Société nationale des chemins de fer français Mobilités (SNCF) to supply nine Regio 2N trainsets for the Greater Paris public transport authority, Ile-de-France Mobilités.

The order is valued nearly $120m, including price escalations, and forms a part of a contract originally signed in 2010 that included an option for the provision of up to 860 trains.

Virgin Hyperloop One to build first hyperloop system in India

Virgin Hyperloop One and the Indian state of Maharashtra signed an agreement to build the country’s first hyperloop system between Pune and Mumbai.

The 100% electrically operated hyperloop route is slated to connect central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai with a 25-minute journey time.

According to an initial pre-feasibility study completed by Virgin Hyperloop One, the Pune-Mumbai route could also result in up to $55bn in socio-economic benefits over 30 years of operation.

Network Rail unveils £47bn five-year plan

The UK’s Network Rail published its five-year plan from 2019 to 2024 (Control Period 6, CP6), which will see the company spend up to £47bn to improve railway services across the country.

The total expenditure proposed under the plan marks a 25% increase over the amount outlined for the previous CP5 (2014-2019).

An additional £10bn railway enhancement fund was also allocated by the government under the initiative, which will be made available to Network Rail and other companies to finance different railway projects.

UK to phase-out diesel-only trains by 2040

The UK Government announced plans to phase-out the usage of diesel-only trains by 2040 as part of an initiative to reduce carbon emissions.

UK Railway Minister Jo Johnson backed the initiative during a speech on 12 February, calling on the industry to devise plans to phase-out diesel-only trains, reported The Financial Times.

Approximately 29% of the UK locomotive fleet currently runs of diesel.

Indian Railways receives $23.3bn in union budget

The Government of India allocated Rs1.48tn ($23.3bn) for Indian Railways as part of the country’s annual budget, representing a 13% increase over last year’s figure.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated in his budget speech that a large part of the capital expenditure will be utilised for capacity creation.

The funding will also be used for the doubling of tracks and nearly 18,000km of third and fourth line works, as well as 5,000km of gauge conversion in order to eliminate capacity constraints, reported

CDPQ Infra awards two contracts for Montreal’s $5bn REM project

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec Infra (CDPQ Infra) awarded two contracts related to the development of the Montreal’s nearly $5bn Réseau express métropolitain (REM) project.

The infrastructure engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal was awarded to the Groupe NouvLR consortium, while the provision of rolling stock and systems, as well as the operation and maintenance (RSSOM) contract, was secured by Groupe des Partenaires pour la Mobilité des Montréalais (PMM).