UK rail passenger satisfaction dips to lowest level since 2008

A survey found that passenger satisfaction with rail services in the UK dropped to the lowest level in a decade.

Conducted by rail passenger watchdog Transport Focus, the National Rail Passenger Survey found that overall satisfaction with rail services dropped to 79%, the lowest since 2008.

The study found that one out of five passengers (21%) are not satisfied with services.


US DOJ closes review of $11bn Wabtec-GE Transportation merger

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) closed its review of the $11bn merger deal between Wabtec and GE Transportation, a business unit of General Electric Company.

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Completion of the review is expected to facilitate the closure of the deal in this quarter, subject to other closing conditions.

Wabtec president and CEO Raymond T Betler said: “The DOJ’s decision to close its review of the pending merger marks a significant milestone for our customers, employees and shareholders.”


JICA offers $1.53bn loan for Philippine rail project

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) agreed to provide a JPY167.199bn ($1.53bn) loan for a rail project in Metropolitan Manila, the Philippines.

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The agency signed an agreement with the Government of the Philippines to provide an official development assistance (ODA) loan for the North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project.

Co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the extension project is expected to bolster urban transportation and reduce air pollution in and around Manila.


EMT to test technology to predict train track faults

Engineering technology start-up Enable My Team (EMT) set to test a new disruptive technology designed to predict train track, signalling equipment or other associated device failures beforehand.

The system, which is currently under development, utilises augmented reality (AR) through a smartphone or a Head Mounted Display (HMD) to identify structural faults or potential component failures in real time to facilitate repair work.

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and smart engineering solutions company Costain are also part of the project.


Malaysia ends deal with East Coast Railway Link project contractor

Malaysia reportedly terminated the contract with China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) to build the East Coast Railway Link project.

The government plans to appoint a new contractor to build the $20bn project, reported The Straits Times citing unnamed sources.

The scale of the project will be reduced by almost half, as the government plans to build it at a cost of MYR40bn ($9.67bn).


TfL selects ESG to install automatic braking system on London trams

Transport for London (TfL) awarded a contract to Engineering Support Group (ESG) to install an automatic braking system on the city tram network.

The safety system will automatically bring the moving tram to a controlled stop if it exceeds the permissible speed. Installation work is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

Work to introduce the safety feature on the network began following the fatal overturning of a tram at Sandilands, Croydon, in November 2016. The incident killed seven passengers and injured 62 others.


Indian Railways plan to recruit 230,000 people in two years

Indian Railways announced plans to recruit around 230,000 people for various positions over the next two years.

The Union Ministry of Railways stated that the decision is aimed at meeting the current manpower requirements, as well as increasing overall efficiency.

An ongoing hiring process was initiated 14 months prior to the announcement to fill around 150,000 vacant positions.


Hitachi wins $1.44bn contract to supply 600 train cars to Taiwan

Hitachi secured a contract worth nearly TWD44.3bn ($1.44bn) to supply 600 electric multiple unit (EMU) train cars to Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA).

The Japanese multinational conglomerate company secured the contract through its local subsidiary Taiwan Hitachi Asia Pacific.

The agreement orders the supply of 50 train sets comprising 12 train cars each. The EMUs to be delivered will offer intercity services.


Study finds London Underground more polluted than city roads

A study found that the pollution levels on the London Underground are significantly higher compared to busy city roads, according to media sources.

Commissioned by Transport for London (TfL), the research found that particulate matter (PM) in some tube stations was up to 30 times higher than that found on roads in London.

It reported that the Northern Line of the subway system is the most polluted, with Hampstead Station on the line recording the highest concentration of PM.


Bombardier wins $669m rail car supply contract from NJ Transit

Bombardier Transportation secured a $669m contract to supply 113 Multilevel III passenger rail cars to the New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) in the US.

An option to deliver up to 886 additional cars is also included in the contract.

The company had already delivered 429 Multilevel I and II cars to NJ Transit under two contracts awarded in 2002 and 2010.