Nov 23, 2014

Bucharest exercises option for more metro trains

Photo: CAF.

Metrorex, the operator of Bucharest’s metro system, has exercised an option with CAF for eight additional metro trains.

In 2011, CAF was awarded a contract to supply 16 metro units to the Romanian capital. The extension, which is worth €47 million, will be financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The first of the new trains have been gradually introduced onto line M2 throughout the second half of 2014. Metrorex plans to move the line’s Bombardier stock to line M3, allowing the operator to decommission more of the network’s ageing Astra IVA trains.

The first four six-car trains of the €97 million order were built in Beasain, Spain. The remaining units were assembled in Grivitain, Bucharest.
Source-global rail news

SBB and Bombardier reach settlement over delayed train order

The first trains of a delayed order for 59 Twindexx Express IR 200 double-deck units from Bombardier will go into service in 2017, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has announced.

SBB and Bombardier have reached an agreement on the late delivery of the new eight-car trains. The compensation deal, which includes three free trains and spare parts, is subject to the first test trains being passed by SBB in early 2015.

SBB placed a CHF 1.9 billion order for a new fleet of long-distance trains with Bombardier in 2010, which included an option for 100 more sets. It was described at the biggest rolling stock order in SBB’s history.

In February, SBB confirmed that the delivery would be delayed until 2016 – two years later than originally planned. SBB and Bombardier now expect to commission the first train in 2017 and deliver all 62 by 2020.

In a statement, SBB said the delay had in part been caused by ‘problems in the design of the car body’.

The first train will leave Bombardier’s Hennigsdorf factory next month, closely followed by the second, which is being assembled in Villeneuve, in February 2015.
Source-global rail news

World's longest train route from China to Spain will travel 6,200 miles in 21 days

Train from Yiwu to Madrid. Image courtesy AFP

China has launched an 82-wagon cargo train that will take 21 days to travel 6,200 miles and pass through six other countries as it moves goods from the industrial city of Yiwu to the Spanish capital, Madrid marking the longest route taken by a freight train.

According to Washington Post, on November 18, the freight train left the eastern Chinese industrial city of Yiwu. The train route is longer than Russia's famed Trans-Siberian Railway. Yiwu is the largest wholesale center for small consumer goods in China. Now the city is plugged into a larger project with the freight train.

The Yiwu-Madrid line is one of a series of routes unveiled following Beijing's new effort to revitalize intercontinental land trade.
Source-dna india

ISKCON nod a major boost for Metro Rail

The temple authorities permited the construction in 18 metre wide corridor inside, on crossing Sangeet crossroads junction.

While the suspense continues about the probable alignment changes on the Metro Rail corridors, a significant breakthrough has been achieved in providing the right of way at a key site. The ISKCON temple authorities have agreed to allow the overhead viaduct across their property without affecting their two main structures.

Senior Metro Rail officials, declining to be identified, indicated that a broad agreement was reached with the temple authorities to permit construction in 18 metre wide corridor inside, on crossing Sangeet crossroads junction. A sum of close to six crore rupees is to be paid as compensation for acquiring 6,000 sq.yards of the land.

It comes as a shot in the arm for the beleaguered Metro Rail officials as the issue was hanging fire over the last couple of years and had become a major bottleneck on corridor three – Nagole – Shilparamam - Raidurg route. Apparently, patient negotiations with the property owners concerned and the Government’s support has ensured some recalcitrant cases to come around.

Senior officials are now quietly confident of acquiring parts of a prominent club in Begumpet too.

“Over the years we have managed to take over more than 1,000 properties along with old Gandhi Hospital land and defence properties through persuasion and attractive compensation package,” they point out.Court cases

Still about 500 properties including 281 key ones have to be acquired. Some of these also come under Urban Land Ceiling Act and Government Vested Municipal (GVMs) properties – listed as Government lands on official records. Thus far, 156 GVMs have been acquired while 100 more are left.

Significant number of remaining GVMs are on the Greenlands-Jubilee Hills route (4.5 km), also on corridor three. Only a few piers or pillars of viaduct of 117 planned have come up on this stretch due to a court case by the affected persons. The HC has already heard both parties and final judgement is awaited.
Source-the hindu

Narendra Modi government releases first rail wagon orders

Texmaco Rail, Titagarh, Cimmco, and unlisted entities such as Modern Industries, Hindustan Engineering, Besco get 50% of withheld orders

The Narendra Modi government has released its first order for railway wagons, keeping its promise of taking quick steps to give necessary boost to the Railways sector.

The Railways board issued orders to listed wagon manufacturers including Texmaco Rail, Titagarh, Cimmco, and also to unlisted entities such as Modern Industries, Hindustan Engineering, Besco and Jupiter Wagons, informing them of the decision to release 50% of their respective withheld allocations.

This is good news for wagon makers like Texmaco and Titagarh as they are in the midst of executing the earlier contract awarded in April by the previous government just before the model code of conduct kicked off on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls.

"We have received the order release letter a day back. The wagon allocation is good news for the industry in general which had suffered long drought in order flows," Texmaco Rail's chief finance officer Ashok Vijay told dna.
The allocation to individual manufacturers were done in April when 50% of that allocation was immediately ordered and the balance withheld, to be issued at a future date at the discretion of the Railways board.
To illustrate, Texmaco was allocated 2,400 wagons and order for 1,200 wagons were released on April 29.

Now, 50% of this balance 1,200 order is now being issued.

Similarly, Titagarh has been issued order for 385 wagons, or 50% of its withheld 769 units.

With this, order for a total of 2,924 wagons have been issued, with Texmaco, the largest player in the field, getting the highest number of 600 units, a study of the order issuance revealed.

The industry-wide wagon allocation by the Railways happened after a long gap of two years, when many of the wagon makers like Texmaco operated at low capacity utilisation or some like Jessop & Co were forced to close.

The biggest beneficiary in the allocation is Saroj Poddar-owned listed entity Texmaco, which got orders for 2,400 wagons while Titagarh Wagons bagged orders for 1,538 wagons in April.

Apart from the wagon manufacturers, the latest order release is good news for the core sector segments like coal, power, steel and cement, which has been suffering due to poor availability of rakes.

To address the issue the government would spend about $1 billion by 2019 to buy railway wagons and transport coal from remote mines, coal secretary Anil Swarup told a news agency on Thursday.

Its also good news for Texmaco in particular as it has just closed qualified institutional placement of shares.

"We had a target to raise Rs 300 crore and the issue has been oversubscribed," Vijay said, adding a board meeting would be held on Friday to allot the shares to the successful bidders.

"There's a good mix of domestic and foreign investors," the Texmaco CFO said.
Source-dna india

Railway officers set to adopt stations for cleaning

Looking to give a new impetus to Prime Minister NarendraModi's Swachh Bharat mission, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has suggested that officers working with the public transporter could adopt one railway station each in order to ensure proper cleanliness on the premises. 

Noting that "in Railways, cleaning is nobody's baby", Prabhu has also advocated banning of cooking and shifting out of commercial stalls, including eateries, from the platforms to keep railway stations clean and safe. 

According to the plan, about 700 stations are being identified to be taken up by individual officers for cleaning from next month. 

"In Railways, cleaning is nobody's baby. Constant tussle between medical, commercial and engineering branches on not owning the cleaning job," Prabhu said in a note sent to the Chairman, Railway Board, and other officials concerned. 

"Railways has almost as many officers (group A and B) as it has railway stations. It may be a good idea if an officer adopts a station for cleaning purposes," he added in the note. 

Although there are about 7,500 stations in the country, the number of those being chosen for cleaning is about 700 only. 

"The stations being chosen are the ones where train movement is significant," said a senior rail ministry official. 

The cleanliness drive was taken up by railways on October 2 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The then Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda himself had picked up the broom at New Delhi station as part of the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan. 

However, the drive appears to have lost steam and the new rail minister is keen to relaunch it in a dedicated way. 

With a view to take the drive forward, Prabhu has also sought a ban on cooking on platforms along with the shifting out of stalls and eateries. 

While cooking on platforms is one of the factors which contribute to uncleanliness, it is also considered to be a safety hazard.





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