Egypt railways lose $131M from bomb attacks

15/02/2015 (The Cairo Post - Egypt): CAIRO: More than 1 billion EGP ($131 million) in losses have been incurred by Egyptian National Railways (ENR) in the past seven months due to deliberate explosions on railways, an official source at ENR told Youm7 Sunday.Railway lines and more than 64 carriages have been damaged from bombs b=planted by anonymous people, the source said.Train movement on the Cairo-Alexandria railway was halted for approximately two hours Sunday morning after bombs detonated on the ties of a railway at the city of Tanta and Gharbia. The same line was targeted at Menoufia, where the line was halted for over 40 minutes before a highly explosive bomb was neutralized, according to Youm7.

Spanish high-speed rail fiasco in Saudi Arabia

09/02/2015 (IrishTimes - Ireland): It was meant to be a pioneering feat of engineering and an international showcase for Spain’s mastery of high-speed rail infrastructure. But less than two years ahead of its scheduled inauguration, the Medina-Mecca rail link is plagued by delays, political tensions and technical headaches.The Haramain High Speed rail system will carry up to half a million Muslim pilgrims each day a distance of 450km between the holy cities of Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia, at a speed of 300km/h. In 2011, the Saudi government awarded the contract for the work to a consortium of 12 Spanish companies and two Saudi firms, with a budget of €6.7 billion. The deal also includes supplying 35 trains and operating the line for 12 years.

India on wheels: Bombardier plans to cash in on Railways FDI, eyes projects worth $7-8 billion

09/02/2015 (Economic Times - India): MUMBAI: With the Modi government opening up Indian railway infrastructure projects to foreign investments as part of its larger Make in India push, Canada's transportation giant Bombardier is eyeing key projects worth at least $7-8 billion that will come up for grabs over the next 5-7 years. In particular, it has zeroed in on projects in four of its core areas of expertise--high and semi-high speed trains, locomotives, signaling systems and integrated urban transit systems such as metro, light rail vehicles (trams) or monorail projects.

Israel Railways passenger traffic up 7.5% in 2014

01/02/2015 (Globes - Israel): Israel Railways carried 48.5 million passengers in 2014, a 7.5% increase, compared with 45.1 million passengers in 2013, according to Israel Railways yearly summary. Israel Railways attributed its growth to better service, new routes, more frequent routes, and more stringent adherence to timetables.In mid-June 2014, a new timetable completely changing Israel Railways' method of operation from the past 16 years was issued. The new timetable included dozens more trains, a change in operating hours, and consistency in hours. In November-December, the first representative months after the timetable was implemented (after Operation Protective Edge, the school vacation, and the High Holy Days), a new daily record of 196,000 passengers was set.

Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway line to open in 2015

05/02/2015 (Daily Sabah - Turkey): Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said yesterday that the Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway line will begin operating this year during his visit to Azerbaijan. Visiting the Azerbaijani capital of Baku for a series of official talks, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci met his Azeri counterpart, Shahin Mustafayev at Baku Biznes Center.During a press conference held after the bilateral talks, Zeybekci said the two ministers addressed the development, growth and liberalization of trade between Turkey and Azerbaijan.The Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway line will directly connect Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Construction work on the regional rail link project began in 2007 and is expected to be completed in 2015, although the project was originally due to be completed in 2010. The 826-kilometer railway will transport about one million passengers and some 6.5 million tons of freight in its initial stages. This capacity will later reach three million passengers and over 15 million tons of freight.

Rail haulage to Lithuania via Belarus up by 43.6% in 2014

09/02/2015 (Belarusian News -Belarus) - MINSK, 9 February (BelTA) – The amount of export cargo transported by rail via Belarus to Lithuania increased by 43.6% up to 14.1 million tonnes in 2014, BelTA learned from the press center of Belarusian Railways. 
“Last year the export of cargo by railway transport from Belarus to Lithuania and its ports rose by 43.6% compared to 2013. To be more specific, the export of fertilizers increased by 66.7%, oil products by 15.8%, timber by 25.4%,” the press service informed. All in all, the amount of cargo transported to Lithuania and its ports by Belarusian Railways expanded by 22.2% in 2014 over 2013. The combined transport train project Viking is gaining momentum. In 2014 the Viking train transported 44,100 containers (twenty-foot equivalent units), up by 2.7% over 2013. Taking part in the project are railway administrations of Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Turkey's BALO (Great Anatolia Logistics Organization). “The partners are closely collaborating with railway services, cargo owners and other forwarders with a view to extending the route of the Viking train towards Turkey, Georgia and later to Azerbaijan and via the Caspian Sea to Kazakhstan,” the press center noted.

India train accident kills 11 in Karnataka

13/02/2015 (BBC News - UK): At least 11 people have died after three coaches of a train derailed in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, railway officials say.The accident took place near Anekal, about 40km (25 miles) from the state capital, Bangalore, on Friday morning.Officials said the toll was likely to rise as many bodies were trapped in the wreckage. Seventeen people are injured.There have been numerous train accidents in India in recent years, killing hundreds of people.India's railway network operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries some 18 million passengers every day.Railway officials said the Bangalore-Ernakulam Intercity Express left Bangalore a little after 06:00 local time [12:30GMT] and that the accident took place 90 minutes later."I had dozed off when there was a sudden jerk and people started falling off," Vinay, who works for an IT software company, told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi.

High-speed rail line could link Russian Far East to China in only an hour

15/02/2015 (Siberian Times - Russia): The Russian Far East could be linked to China by a high-speed rail line that would slash journey times and boost cross-Border economic ties. Officials in Beijing are keen on building a new network across the north-east of China, with a connection from the manufacturing city of HunChun to Vladivostok. The 250km/h link could cut the current five-hour car journey to just an hour or so by train, and help drive new business and tourism between the two countries.Located on the border of China, Russia and North Korea, with a population of 250,000, HunChun enjoys a strategic location with the city strong in the development of sea food processing, electronics, bio-pharmacy and textiles.MPs in China's Jilin region say a new rail network would open up the area, with officials in Russia's Far East now interesting in attracting investors to the project.Jiang Chaoliang, the head of the Jilin administration, said: 'The region should increase the level of external openness and speed up the building transport corridors linking Jilin with neighbouring countries.'During a recent session of the People's Representatives, Chinese officials said that cooperation between HunChun and Vladivostok, 180km away, was now 'very active'.

Chinese-built railway in Angola open to traffic

15/02/2015 (China Daily - China): BEIJING -- A 1,344-kilometer railway built by China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) for Angola was completed and open to traffic on Saturday, the company told Xinhua.The railway linking coastal city Lobito in the west and Luau bordering Angola is the second longest railway built by a Chinese company for Africa, after the Tanzania-Zambia railway.The Tanzania-Zambia railway was built in the 1970s.Stretching 1,860 km from Dar es Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia, the railway was formally handed over to the Tanzanian and Zambian governments in 1976.The Chinese government provided a total of $500 million in interest-free loans for the construction of the railway and technical and equipment support since its operation.The Lobito-Angola railway, built since 2004, will be linked with the Angola-Zambian railway and the Tanzania-Zambia railway in the future, according to the company.China is willing to help Africa to realize its dream of building up a high-speed railway network, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during his visit to Kenya in January. China Road and Bridge Corp is building a Mombasa-Nairobi railway that eventually will be extended to five other countries at a total cost of $13.8 billion.

Negotiations of China's high speed rail projects underway with 28 countries

13/02/2015 (CCTV - China): China is in talks with 28 countries including the United States, Russia and Brazil on potential high-speed rail projects. That's according to an announcement made by China's State Council on Wednesday. The country's top two trainmakers, namely China CNR and CSR announced their plan to merge last December to become the world's largest trainmaker. After the merger, the company is setting its eyes on the global market...a "going out" policy move advocated by the State Council. According to the National Reform and Development Commission, China's top economic planner, China's railway equipment exports accounted for 10 percent of the global market share in 2014.