Spanish-Saudi rail group gets $811 mln loan

02/07/2012 (Swissinfo.CH): JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - A Spanish-Saudi consortium which will build a high-speed railway linking the holy cities of Mecca and Medina said on Monday it had obtained a 3.04 billion riyal ($811 million) loan facility needed to start the project.
The loan was syndicated through Spanish banks BBVA, Banesto, Banco De Sabadell and CaixaBank as well as Spanish operations of Credit Agricole and Deutsche Bank...

Qatar Rail appoints seven firms to first legal panel

03/07/2012 (The Lawyer - UK): Allen & Overy, Gulf-based Al Tamimi, Clifford Chance, K&L Gates, SNR Denton, Mubarak Al Sulaiti and White & Case have all won spots on Qatar Rail’s first panel following a competitive tender process. Fifteen law firms pitched for the panel, which is designed to provide and maintain legal support for Qatar Rail and its future railway and metro projects....

Train derailment incident sparks concerns in Saudi Arabia

03/07/2012 (Al Arabiya - UAE):A train accident in Saudi Arabia that left more than 35 passengers injured on Wednesday has been spotlighted by the Saudi press this week after the monarch issued a decree to sack the president of the Saudi Railway Organization. 
Abdul Aziz al-Hoqail, was removed from his position, according to the Saudi Press Agency, amid fears that the derailment accident could be repeated..

Israel, China agree to build Eilat railway

03/07/2012 (Globes- Israel):Israel and China today signed historic cooperation agreements to build the Eilat railway and future projects, including the inland canal port north of Eilat. Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz and China's Minister of Transport Li Shenglin signed the memorandum of understanding in Beijing..

Ethiopia signs $3.2 bln deals for new railway line

03/07/2012 (Reuters Africa - USA): ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia has signed two deals worth $3.2 billion with Chinese and Turkish companies to construct a railway to link the land-locked Horn of Africa nation to Djibouti's Tadjourah port to export potash, officials said...

A new high-speed train opens in Central China

03/07/2012 (Travel Daily News - Asia): YICHANG - The Hanyi Railway, a section of a major high-speed rail corridor between the eastern metropolis of Shanghai and southwest China’s city of Chengdu, opened on Sunday, July 1st. The 293-km Hanyi Railway links Wuhan and Yichang, two large cities in central China’s Hubei province. The railway reduces travel time between the cities to one hour and 39 minutes, said Yang Tao, an official with the Wuhan railway bureau. The Hanyi Railway is part of the Shanghai-Wuhan-Chengdu Railway, or Huhanrong Railway, a major east-west high-speed rail corridor outlined in China’s national high-speed railway development plan..

EGP 10.8bn budget for railways, deficit reaches EGP 1.2bn

05/07/2012 (Daily News - Egypt):The government estimated that the total budget for the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) for the 2012-2013 fiscal year will be EGP 10.8bn and that the deficit will approximately be EGP 1.2bn.

Total expenditures will be approximately EGP 5.2bn, compared to EGP 4bn in revenues.

Hany Hegab, President of the ERA, predicted that revenues would increase in the current fiscal year...


China set to build strategic railway in Israel, gas export deal may follow

05/07/2012(People's Daily Online - China):Israeli Minister of Transport 

& Road Safety Israel Katz gave his vote of confidence toChinese 

transportation construction companies Wednesday, after signing a 

strategicmemorandum of understanding (MOU) with his Chinese

 counterpart in the capital cityon Tuesday.

According to the MOU between the Chinese Ministry of Transport and 

the IsraeliMinistry of Transport, the State-owned China Communications Construction Companyhas been 

chosen by the Chinese government to build a 350-kilometer high-speedrailway linking Tel Aviv near the Mediterranean and Port of Eilat 

on the Red Sea, with adesignated speed of 250-300 kilometers an hour, Katz told reporters at the IsraeliEmbassy in Beijing..

Namibia: President Unveils Railway Project

09/07/2012 (All Africa South Africa):In a carnival-like atmosphere attended by the nation's top political leaders and business elite, President Hifikepunye Pohamba last Thursday officially inaugurated the Northern Railway II Extension and commissioned a new railway station. Amidst pomp, colour and pageantry, the long-awaited N$87 million Northern Railway II Extension was officially opened along with a new railway station..

Northeast India to have rail links with 3 nations

09/07/2012 (The Daily Star - Pakistan):Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal may soon have rail connectivity with the northeast states of India thanks to a plan that includes establishment of links between Agartala and Akhaura.

India's Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has recently submitted a field survey report to the Railway Board which envisages connecting Tripura, Bihar, Assam, Manipur and West Bengal with the neighbouring countries to boost bilateral trade, usher development and tourism in the region..


High-speed rail officials rebuffed proposal from French railway

09/07/2012 (Los Angeles Time - USA):As state officials accelerated their effort to design a high-speed rail system in 2010, they were approached by the renowned French national railway with a suggestion: The project could use the help of an experienced bullet train operator.
Until the end of last year, SNCF, the developer of one of the world's most successful high-speed rail systems, proposed that the state use competitive bidding to partner with it or another foreign operator rather than rely on construction engineers to design a sophisticated network for 200-mph trains....

Israel Approves to Build High-speed Rail Linking Tel Aviv with Desert City

15/07/2012 (China Radio International - China):Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet on Sunday greenlighted plans to construct a high-speed rail line linking Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean coastline to the city of Beersheba in the southern Negev desert. "This is a revolution that we always dreamed about. We are carrying it out. This is huge," Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet session, according to a statement sent to Xinhua..

Top companies compete for billion dollar Saudi-Bahrain rail tender

15/07/2012 (Albawaba Business - Jordan):A number of Saudi, Turkish, American and Italian companies have shown interest in the $4.5 billion Saudi-Bahrain railway project, according to GCC sources, the Arab News has reported. The project provides a vital link to the 2,200-km GGC railway scheme, which is expected to cost $15.5bn.

In a Jeddah dateline report, the Saudi daily said, a number of Saudi and Bahraini companies would form consortiums with international firms to bid for the project, it was told by sources..

Coal India to invest Rs 7,500 cr on rail infrastructure in 3 States

15/07/2012 (The Hindu Business Line - India):Public sector miner Coal India Ltd has lined up an investment of Rs 7,500 crore to develop railway tracks and related infrastructure to evacuate coal from Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.These would help the company to evacuate around 100 million tonnes (mt) of additional coal from each of the States..

Washington to New York City in 60 minutes by train

15/07/2012 (The Washington Post - USA):A small privately owned Washington company is lobbying to develop a high-speed rail system that would take passengers from the District to Baltimore in 15 minutes and to New York in an hour. The Northeast Maglev, a downtown D.C. firm with 30 employees, is working with Central Japan Railway Co. — which operates the Shinkansen bullet train in Japan — to develop a maglev network that would connect Washington and New York, with stops in Baltimore, Wilmington and Philadelphia, including BWI Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. Eventually, the company wants to extend the line to Boston...

Spain to shake up state railways, allow competition

20/07/2012 (Reuters - USA): Main operator Renfe and two other state railway companies will be restructured to tackle inefficiencies and stem losses, Spain's minister for development, Ana Pastor, said.These losses amounted to 454 million euros ($552.41 million)for the three groups in 2011, while their cumulative debt was close to 21 billion euros...

Bahrain plans $8bn rapid transport grid

22/07/2012 (Gulf Daily News - Bahrain):A Gulf Construction report says the transport sector would achieve a quantum leap. GCC countries have already approved a $30bn project to set up a 2,200km GCC Railway Network. "The GCC railway grid project which is under construction will be a major boost for the transport sector in Bahrain," the report said. GCC states have also approved a series of railway transport projects in their respective territories amounting to a total of $106.2bn. Saudi Arabia tops the GCC states with 23 projects as part of a $25.6bn package which includes the mega Haramain High-Speed Rail which links Mecca and Medina...

Railway opens through the ‘sea of death’

22/07/2012 (Global Times - China): China finished Sunday construction on a railway to Lop Nur, a dried lake in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that is known as the "sea of death" for its high salt content.
The construction of the railway, which stretches from Hami Prefecture on the China-Mongolia border to Lop Nur near China's largest desert, the Taklamakan, started two years ago with an investment of 3 billion yuan ($476 million)...

Work on high-speed rail project faces two-year delay over EIA

22/07/2012 (The Nation - Thailand):"Undertaking an environment impact assessment together with a public hearing might take as long as two years after the feasibility study for a project is completed," Chula Sukmanop, inspector-general of the Transport Ministry and acting director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP), said last week.
For the Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed train route, the OTP has received the result of the project's feasibility study from Japan, he said...

Siemens fights for right to bid on Israel Railways contract

24/07/2012 (Haaretz - Israel): Competition is taking shape to supply Israel Railways with dozens of new passenger cars - to the chagrin of the financially strapped government company, which had already decided how it wanted to spend NIS 600 million allocated by the Finance Ministry two weeks ago to buy the rolling stock...

Iran Keen to Invest in Kyrgyzstan's Railway Sector

25/07/2012 (Fars News Agency - Iran):The issue was raised by Tehran's Ambassador to Bishkek Manouchehr Moradi on Wednesday. Moradi said the agreement on the construction of the railway link was made in a recent meeting in Afghanistan with representatives of all countries in attendance. "Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan all share the view that building such a railway line is necessary," Morahi underscored... 

India, Pakistan urged to restore Sindh-Rajasthan rail link

25/07/2012 (Business Recorder - Pakistan):KARACHI: India-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IPCCI) President S M Munir has urged the governments of Pakistan and India to restore the old Sindh Rajasthan rail route for cargo service and also open up all trade routes that exist in 1965.

Emphasising the need for improving railway connectivity between India and Pakistan, he said the railway connectivity between the two countries for cargo movement was highly irregular and suffered from shortage of wagons and lake of coordination between the Pakistani and Indian railway authorities...


Special Report - Russian Railways' family connections

25/07/2012 (Reuters - UK):A Reuters investigation has identified business ties between the son of Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin and firms and businessmen linked to the railways giant. Andrey Yakunin, 37, a London-based investor, is pursuing a $500 million plan to build hotels across Russia, partly with the help of a subsidiary of the company run by his father. He also shared offices until recently with a private venture aiming to ship millions of tonnes of freight between Asia and Europe by Russian rail, rather than traditional sea routes...

China to form high-speed railway network by 2015

25/07/2012 (Xinhuanet - China): BEIJING, July 25 (Xinhua) -- China will have established a high-speed railway network covering almost all its cities with a population of more than 500,000 by 2015, according to a latest official program.

The State Council, or China's cabinet, late Tuesday issued a plan for building a comprehensive transportation network during the 2011-2015 period.

According to the plan, China should basically complete the construction of a high-speed railway network with a total operating length of more than 40,000 kilometers by the end of 2015...

China’s loan to Africa

25/07/2012 (Business Day - Nigeria):China, in the next three years, wants to invest $20 billion in Africa, twice the amount it pledged three years ago. Most of it will be channelled to agriculture, infrastructure and small and medium-sized companies.

China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), the state-owned Chinese firm, just signed $1.49 billion contract to build the Lagos-Ibadan railway...

PMO clears roadmap for Mumbai-Ahemedabad bullet train

27/07/2012 (IBN Live- India):New Delhi: Putting the ambitious Mumbai-Ahemedabad rail cooridor on fast track, the Railways will now constitute a project steering group to examine various options available for executing the ambitious project. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Friday announced a roadmap for implementation of flagship infrastructure projects which incl ude high speed corridors, elevated rail corridor for suburban Mumbai section and redevelopment of stations among others...