Ethiopia: First Chinese Tram for Africa Completed

28/08/2014 (All Africa - SA): Changchun — The first of 41 trams for Ethiopia rolled off the production line on Tuesday in Changchun City, northeast China's Jilin Province.The tram will be put into service in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa where commuters only have a choice of buses or taxis at the moment, said Liu Gang, a manager with China CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co.. "We're bringing about 50 Ethiopian drivers and maintenance workers here for training next month," said Liu. With a maximum speed of 70km per hour, the white and green vehicle is designed to be impervious to ultraviolet light, since Addis Ababa has an altitude of 2,400 meters and the sun is exceptionally strong. Its windows block 90 percent of ultraviolet rays..

Ganja passenger car plant project to start next month

14/08/2014 (Azer News - Azerbaijan): The foundation of a passenger car plant in Azerbaijan's second largest city Ganja will be established in September, Azerbaijan's transportation minister said."The construction of the plant will be accomplished jointly with the Swiss company Stadler within 18 months," Ziya Mammadov noted.The plant is expected to produce 50 passenger cars annually both for domestic and international cargo transportation.Also, the plant will produce subway cars meeting the international standards..The passenger cars of Azerbaijan Railways are currently repaired abroad, particularly in Ukraine and Russia, due to lack of necessary infrastructure in Azerbaijan.The Swiss Stadler Rail Group has ten sites in Bussnang, Altenrhein, Winterthur (Switzerland), Berlin (Germany), Siedlce (Poland), Pusztaszabolcs, Szolnok (Hungary), Czech Republic (Prague), Italy (Meran), and Algiers (Algeria). The group is focused on regional and suburban service markets, regional express railway services, and streetcars.

Developing the Suez Canal: Egypt's future

25/08/2014 (Ahram Online - Egypt): The great projects that make Egypt proud include the High Dam, the greatest twentieth century infrastructure project in the world. It is a shield protecting Egypt from the ravages of destructive annual flooding and killer droughts. The dam gave Egypt a central reservoir of water at Lake Nasser and allowed it to add two million feddans of new agricultural land, and electric energy that enabled the country to expand industrially and remove rural areas from centuries of darkness.The Suez Canal is also a jewel in Egypt’s crown which transformed the country to become the passageway for one tenth of world trade with continuous revenues at hardly any cost, and relocated a large portion of the population outside the densely populated valley and Delta.The new Suez Canal Project is a giant engine for the Egyptian economy that could give it a strong thrust to end recession and its inability to take off for many years. The infrastructure of the project, namely the digging of a new canal and six tunnels that will link the east and west banks of the canal – including two railway tunnels – will create a large number of jobs that will improve unemployment figures.

SRO working on more railway projects

21/08/2014 (Arab News - KSA): The Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) is continuously working on developing stations, trains and railways, said SRO President Muhammad Al-Suwaiket.“We have completed blueprints for developing trains and squares in the Dammam and Riyadh stations and work on the first phase will commence after we receive the budget next year,” he said.“Four trains will be manufactured by the end of 2014, in addition to the eight trains that we already have.The SRO has also proposed insuring four more trains, bringing to 16 the number of trains that will be included in operational plans that will kick off in 2015.The organization is also doubling the track between Riyadh and Dammam, as well as removing some level crossings. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah recently approved a plan to allow trains to pass through the National Guard Ministry in Al-Ahsa. The railway track will also reach Hofuf.

Saudi Railways buys new faster passenger trains

17/08/2014 (Emirates 24/7 - UAE): Four new passenger trains will join the current fleet between Riyadh and Dammam beginning November this year.Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) President Mohammed Al-Suwaiket said first of the four trains is to arrive in the Kingdom toward the end of November and the others would follow a month after.The trains are being manufactured in Spain by CAF, a leading global rolling stock manufacturer. The train, which will arrive shortly, is being given the final touches by the manufacturer, said Al Suwaiket as quoted by Arab News.The high-speed train, which would run at a velocity of 180 kmph, will be initially deployed between Riyadh and Dammam. Subsequently, the trains will be used from Dammam to Al Ahsa and Riyadh to Al Ahsa..

Oman Rail Co invites civil works bids

28/08/2014 (Railway Gazette - UK): OMAN: The government’s railway project promoter Oman Rail Co has formally invited 18 pre-qualified international consortia to bid for the civil works contract for the Sohar – Al Buraymi first phase of the planned 2 244 km national network. A total of 34 consortia bringing together 95 local and international companies had registered interest.Bids are to be submitted by December 21, and must include proposals to work with one of the five consortia which have prequalified for the railway systems subcontract. These are led by Alstom, Ansaldo STS, Bombardier/Sirti, Siemens and Thales.Italferr has undertaken preliminary designs for Phase 1, which comprises three sections of route totalling 171 km linking the port of Sohar to Buraymi and the border with the UAE. Construction of Phase 1 is planned to start in 2015 for completion in 2018.Meanwhile, award of the project management consultancy contract has been pushed back until October; Korea Rail Network Authority/Dohwa Engineering, Técnicas Reunidas and Parsons International have been shortlisted.

UAE To Award Infrastructure Projects Worth $15.18bn In 2014

07/08/2014 (Gulf Business - UAE): The UAE is expected to award infrastructure projects worth $15.18 billion in 2014, almost five times more than the value of contracts awarded in 2013, a study by construction intelligence firm Ventures Onsite showed.The Gulf Arab country’s successful bid for the Expo 2020 has further fast-tracked plans to spend on infrastructure projects such as building roads and improving transport.The UAE, in particular, is expected to spend heavily on its rail projects, with plans to spend almost $25 billion on railway infrastructure, according to the UAE’s National Transport Authority (NTA).Around $11 billion has been allocated for the UAE’s national rail network Etihad Rail, which connects all emirates while Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport has approved a budget of $8 billion for its metro project.


‘Signaling not complete but no risks’ in Turkey’s high-speed train

05/08/2014 (Hurriyet - Turkey):The signaling system of Turkey’s high-speed train, which links the country’s largest two cities, is not complete, but the train is still safe, Transportation Minister Lütfi Elvan has told Hürriyet.  “There are no security problems,” he said Aug. 4 during an interview. "Because the parts that are not complete are the conventional rails, not the high-speed ones,” he said. Turkey’s long-awaited high-speed railway line between the capital, Ankara, and the financial capital of Istanbul was inaugurated at a large ceremony on July 25, only to break down several hours later. The train stopped while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Elvan were on board. Technical teams fixed the problem in 30 minutes.On Aug. 2, the train stopped for a second time for several hours due to a power cut. Meanwhile, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told journalists yesterday he would not feel safe riding on the train...

China considers high-speed ‘silk railroad’ to Europe

07/08/2014 (New Civil Engineer - UK): China is contemplating building a high-speed rail link to Europe, which would follow the famous ‘silk road’ trade route of 2,000 years ago.It would help underpin the Chinese plan for a ‘silk road economic belt’, which aims to foster greater economic cooperation and development between China and central Asia.The link would also make it possible for China to transport goods by high-speed rail from its populous eastern seaboard directly to western Europe, avoiding transportation by sea.The 6,000km railway would run from western China’s Xinjiang Province, through the former Soviet central Asian republics, across Iran, and then connect with Turkey’s new high-speed network, another branch of which opened last week between Ankara and Istanbul - with Chinese help...

Exports of China's high-speed rail system to increase

28/08/2014 (Want China Times - China): As China continues to promote its technology for building high-speed railways abroad, a plan unveiled by Chinese railway expert Wang Zhengming for the country to extend its high-speed railway network overseas has attracted great attention, according to the Chinese-language NetEase financial news web portal.Wang, director of the China Railway First Survey and Design Institute, said in a recent interview that China is planning an eight-hour domestic high-speed railway network and is mulling extending its bullet train network abroad.Wang, who is also an engineer for the Chinese Academy of Engineering, outlined several planned high-speed rail lines. The first one is a network to connect northeast China and south China's Hainan province extending 5,700 kilometers through 11 province-level regions and with an undersea tunnel.