KiwiRail to receive government funding to upgrade electric trains

KiwiRail is set to receive NZD35m ($23m) in funding from the Government of New Zealand to modernise 15 of its electric trains that operate between Hamilton and Palmerston North.

Funding will be provided over a period of four years, in addition to the NZD4bn ($2.6bn) investment in the public transport and rail sector under the government’s National Land Transport Programme.

Train and electric control system upgrades are expected to help the government meet its long-term emissions goals and extend the work life of the electric locomotives (EFs) by ten years.


Vivarail delays delivery of London Northwestern Class 230 trains

Vivarail postponed the delivery of Class 230 trains to London Northwestern Railway due to technical issues.

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Problems with the first train delayed the entry of Class 230 units into passenger service on the London Northwestern Railway’s Marston Vale Line between Bletchley and Bedford, UK.

The trains were supposed to enter service when the timetable changes in December. Vivarail aims to have the Class 230 fleet ready for service in the New Year.


Trafikverket selects Efacec for level-crossing protection systems

Swedish rail and road infrastructure manager Trafikverket contracted Efacec and its local partner to develop new-generation automatic level-crossing protection systems.

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The €5m a year contract follows a global competitive tender bid and is valid for five years, with an option to be renewed for up to 30 years.

Efacec will supply its XSafe solution, which will be customised in accordance with Swedish requirements.


Hitachi to acquire Elliott’s stake in Ansaldo for €808m

Hitachi signed an agreement to purchase Elliott International’s 31.794% stake in Ansaldo, for a total sum of €808m.

The agreement was signed by both Hitachi and its indirectly owned subsidiary, Hitachi Rail Italy Investments.

Ansaldo is based in Italy and primarily provides rail signalling solutions, while Elliot International is an investment management firm.


Northern starts operation of refurbished Class 170 train

Northern started the commercial operation of its upgraded Class 170 train, which mainly runs between York and Leeds via Harrogate in the UK.

The train is the 100th refurbished unit in Northern’s fleet and represents the company’s comprehensive modernisation programme.

The Class 170 train is equipped with improved seats and lighting to offer a brighter and more comfortable journey to its passengers, as well as free Wi-Fi and power outlets.


UK Government to provide £350m loan to Crossrail

The UK Government is set to provide a £350m loan to Crossrail to complete its Elizabeth line, which will operate between Shenfield, Stratford and Abbey Wood through central London to Reading and Heathrow.

In August, Crossrail announced that the launch of the Elizabeth line would be delayed until next year due to financial shortages. Crossrail is a subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL).

The loan will be used to complete the final phase of the tunnels, as well as work on safety and reliability testing required for railway systems.


Port of Los Angeles receives grant for rail yard expansion

The Port of Los Angeles in the US received a $21m grant from California’s Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) to support the expansion of its on-dock rail operations.

As part of the $34m Terminal Island Railyard Enhancement Project, Port of Los Angeles intends to expand an intermodal rail storage yard on Terminal Island.

Tracks will be expanded by 31,000 linear feet to increase the number of storage tracks from six to 11.


ŠkodaTranstech to provide two trams to Germany’s SRS

ŠkodaTranstech finalised a deal to provide two ForCity Smart Artic pre-series trams to Germany’s Schöneicher-Rüdersdorfer Strassenbahn (SRS).

Based in Finland, ŠkodaTranstech is a subsidiary of Škoda Transportation Group’s.

Finland’s Helsinki City Transport (HKL) is also involved in the deal, which was reached after a two-month trial period.


Rheinbahn Düsseldorf installs Knorr-Bremse’s iCOM on three vehicles

Germany-based light rail operator Rheinbahn Düsseldorf installed iCOM digital platforms provided by Knorr-Bremse on three of its vehicles.

Installation began in June and is expected to help Rheinbahn improve efficiency, as well as reduce downtimes and cost of vehicles.

In January, Knorr-Bremse and Rheinbahn Düsseldorf started their joint iCOM project.


EGI sponsors railroad operator IRP to help form RailUSA

Equity Group Investments (EGI) offered its sponsorship to US-based railroads operator and owner International Rail Partners (IRP) to support the formation of RailUSA.

EGI led a group of co-investors, including IRP, in a commitment valued at more than $200m for RailUSA to carry out short-line and regional railroad investment opportunities.

RailUSA transports nearly 10,000 carloads of freight per year.