West Midlands Trains puts first Class 230 D Train in service

UK-based train operating company West Midlands Trains deployed the first Vivarail-developed Class 230 D Train for commercial services.

The train will operate on the Marston Vale line between Bletchley and Bedford.

Last year, West Midlands Trains awarded a contract to Vivarail to deliver three Class 230 D Trains for its London Northwestern Railway brand.


Siemens submits plans to build £200m UK rail manufacturing unit

Siemens Mobility submitted an outline planning application to build a £200m rail manufacturing facility in Goole, East Yorkshire, in the UK.

The plan, which was submitted to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, encompasses the construction of a manufacturing and commissioning facility on a 104-acre site in Goole at junction 36.

The 80,000m² facility will include warehouse buildings and stabling sidings, as well as a four-storey office building.


VR Group orders 60 diesel-electric locomotives from Stadler

Finnish railway company VR Group placed an order of 60 diesel-electric locomotives with Stadler following a competitive tender process.

The overall contract includes the option for the delivery of up to 100 additional locomotives, as well as maintenance services from Stadler.

The value of the contract is approximately €200m ($225m).


Auckland City Rail Link project cost swells to $2.97bn

The cost of building the Auckland City Rail Link, one of the largest transport infrastructure projects in New Zealand, increased by around NZD1bn ($670m) to NZD4.419bn ($2.97bn).

City Rail Link (CRL), the company responsible for delivering the project, announced the revised cost. The estimate has been submitted to the project’s sponsors, the government and Auckland Council for approval.

CRL chief executive Dr Sean Sweeney said that the revised cost has been prepared following a comprehensive review of project costs.


Cambodia and Thailand resume rail services after 45 years

Cambodia and Thailand revived a cross-border railway link 45 years after its closure to cut travel times and encourage trade between the countries.

It inaugurated by Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The rail link connects Poipet town railway station in Cambodia with Ban Khlong Luek railway station in Thailand’s Aranyaprathet district.


JSPL delivers first rail order to Indian Railways

Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) completed the delivery of its first order for Indian Railways that involved the supply of 97,400t of long rails.

The company secured 20% of the global Rs25bn ($358.43m) tender to supply rails to the national transporter in July last year.

The contract required JSPL to supply rails to the Indian Railways over a period of one year. The company started deliveries in August and completed the consignment this month, nearly four months ahead of schedule.


Greenbrier to buy ARI’s manufacturing business in $400m deal

Greenbrier signed a $400m definitive agreement to acquire the manufacturing business of American Railcar Industries (ARI) from ITE Management, an affiliate of ITE Rail Fund.

The unit’s gross purchase price totals $430m, which includes an investment of $30m in ARI’s railcar lining operations and other facility improvements.

The gross purchase price also includes convertible notes issued by Greenbrier to ARI in the principal amount of $50m.


Vossloh secures deals worth €100m for switch components

German rail technology company Vossloh signed multi-year framework agreements with a combined value of up to €100m to deliver switch components to Sweden and Italy.

In Sweden, the company signed the agreements with local transport administration Trafikverket. The tenure of the agreements is four years with the option of two two-year extensions.

If all options are exercised, the total sales volume will amount to more than €75m.


Network Rail blames helium balloons for rising train delays

A rising number of straying helium balloons was blamed for causing hundreds of train delays across the UK every year.

Highlighting the issue, Network Rail said that it has recorded 619 balloon-related incidents in the last year across England, Scotland and Wales.

Balloons that become tangled around high-voltage overhead wires cause delays and disruptions in services as the electricity on the line needs to be turned off to remove them.


UK launches interactive map to make train stations disabled-friendly

British rail industry membership body Rail Delivery Group launched an interactive map that will enable passengers to procure information on accessibility at train stations.

The Access Map is specifically launched to boost disabled passengers’ confidence to take the train.

The map has accessibility information about all railway stations in the country. Passengers can search for any specific station or scroll through to get the details.