Deal worth $0.75 million signed for Saudi railway modernization

19/03/2015 (Al Arabiya - UAE): Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) has signed a SR2.84 million, or $0.75 million, contract to update the railway master plan project.The six-month contract was signed by SRO President Muhammad Al-Suwaiket with Dornier Consulting Gmbh.The main objective of updating the Saudi Railways Master Plan (SRMP) is to have an integrated and clear future vision for a safer, better and bigger railway network as well as a conceptual framework in place for the long-term development of a future passenger and freight transport network.Al-Suwaiket said the SRO is keen to expand the railway network for transporting passengers and goods so as to increase its share of the freight market and passenger transport.He emphasized the advantages of movement by train in terms of safety and security as well as significant benefits to the national economy as rail transport could help reduce accidents on the roads and road maintenance costs while cutting environmental pollution...

Etihad Rail To Begin Commercial Operations In 2015

18/03/2015 (Gulf Business -UAE): Etihad Rail, the UAE’s national rail network, is set to begin commercial operations by 2015, a senior Federal Transport Authority (FTA) official said.In his opening remarks at the ongoing Middle East Rail conference, FTA Director General Salem Ali Zaabi said: “In 2015, there will be milestone for the UAE as we will start operating the first phase of the 240 kilometres of rail network in the region.“The second phase of the network will be finished by 2016 while all three phases will be completed by 2018.”The first phase of the Dhs40 billion Etihad Rail project, has been in the testing stage since 2013. A 266-kilometre long rail network constructed at a cost of Dhs4.7 billion, it will run from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais, carrying sulphur granules from ADNOC factories to Ruwais port.Although the initial communication was that the first phase will begin commercial operations in 2014, rail authorities said that the network is still under the testing phase...

Uncertainty surrounds 2018 GCC rail deadline

17/03/2015 (Gulf News -UAE): Dubai: Further questions have been raised over whether a regional rail network connecting all six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries by 2018 will be completed on time.A representative of the GCC, which include the UAE, said in Dubai on Tuesday that the borders of the six states will be connected “by 2018” but also admitted that individual national rail networks “might be delayed a bit.”He did not state which countries could see delays or by what length of time.Two weeks ago, UAE Minister of Public Works, Abdullah Bel Haif Al Nuaimi, who opened Middle East Rail on Tuesday, said that the GCC network might not be completed until 2020. The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, also made up of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, are building national rail networks that will connect with each other along their borders. The GCC states previously agreed to connect their national rail networks with each other by 2018...

BoI: Israel public transport lags behind OECD

18/03/2015 (Globes - Israel): Israel is lagging behind other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries in the scope and quality of sea and land transportation infrastructure, according to a 2014 Bank of Israel report slated for publication next month. The report explains that these conditions have a negative effect on growth and the quality of life in Israel.

In order to assess the level of public transportation in OECD countries, the Bank of Israel conducted a comparison between 41 metropolitan areas in 23 OECD countries. The Bank of Israel took into account variables such as the number of journeys per traveler and the proportion of total journeys in which public transportation was used. The report also gives weight to other variables, such as per capita GDP, average family size in the metropolis, and population density..

New railway projects to be initiated in 2015

 05/03/2015 (Sabah - Turkey): The Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway line will be opened this year, announced the Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication, Lütfi Elvan, while inaugurating the fifth International Rolling Stock, Infrastructure & Exhibition of Eurasia. Elvan pointed to other major projects that will also commence this year, including the high-speed railway line that will connect the Adana-Mersin route to Khabur.The fair, which is the third largest of its kind in the world, was attended by a total of 300 companies, 142 of which were foreign from 25 countries including Germany, Russia, France, Iran, Italy and the Czech Republic.Touching on investments in railway lines across the country, Elvan said that work on the Ankara-İzmir and Ankara-Sivas high-speed railway lines is underway, and the 60-kilometer-long railway line that will connect Bursa to Eskişehir-Istanbul route is being constructed.

Iran’s first automatic railway control system launched

20/03/2015 (Pakistan Herald - Pakistan): The inauguration ceremony was attended by first Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri and Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi. The highly advanced system is one of the safety systems for railway networks that was developed by domestic experts based on the latest standards being used in the world, IRNA reported. The new system controls the speed of trains and allows a train to move at a specified pace based on its type and features of the Railway, and therefore upgrades the safety of commution along the railway.

India's first railway varsity to come up at Vadodara

22/03/2015 (The Times of India - India): VADODARA: Vadodara will become home to country's first railway university as the railway ministry has decided to upgrade Pratapnagar-based National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) into a full-fledged university. In January, Union railways minister Suresh Prabhu had visited the academy to attend it 64th foundation day.NAIR, formerly known as the Railway Staff College, is the apex level training and management development institute for the officers of the Indian Railways.Prabhu had announced during the railway budget that the ministry was in process of setting up a full-fledged university during 2015-16.Replying to questions by two MPs in Rajya Sabha, minister of state for railway Manoj Sinha informed the house that NAIR will be upgraded into a railway university.

New details emerge about high-speed rail link from Moscow to Beijing

04/03/2015 (The Siberian Times - Russia): Further details of the proposed high-speed railway to link Moscow and Beijing through Siberia in just 33 hours have been unveiled. The 20.5billion rouble project will see a new 400km/hr line running between the capital cities in a venture that would eclipse the iconic Trans-Siberian Railway.During the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum last week, it was revealed that two potential options for the routing of the track are being considered.Alexander Misharin, the First Vice-President of Russian Railways, said talks were taking place about going through either Kazakhstan or across the Altai region.He said: 'There are two ways: through Kazakhstan, and our colleagues there are already planning that, and the second option through Barnaul and Novosibirsk, and through the Altai. The difference in the routes is 290km.'A third option is to take the Eurasian rail link through Mongolia, allowing it to stop at Krasnoyarsk. But the current focus is on the first part of the route between Moscow and Kazan.The project was announced back in October 2014 and both sides began to work on ways to bring it to fruition. Later this month Russian authorities will announce a competition to design the first section of the route to Kazan.

Serbia And Albania To Propose Joint Infrastructure Projects

22/03/2015 (News - Serbia): BELGRADE – Serbia and Albania will propose to EU officials joint priority projects that can be funded from the EU funds meant for the Western Balkans, Serbia’s State Secretary for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Dejan Trifunovic said on Sunday.The two sides have agreed on which priority projects will be proposed, and they are two roads and four railway infrastructure projects, Trifunovic told TV Pink.This is the realisation of the agreement between Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and his counterpart from Albania Edi Rama, and the two sides’ working groups have already met four times since January, he pointed out.Serbia and Albania will propose their priority projects as part of the second conference of the Western Balkan countries, which will be held in Vienna in August.

China firm wants to build railway in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta hub

14/03/2015 (Tuoitrenews - Vietnam): A Chinese firm has expressed interest in setting up a railway system in the southern Vietnamese city of Can Tho, an authorized representative of the company said Friday.The railway would connect the Mekong Delta hub with Ho Chi Minh City and the Cambodian cities of Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, Kim Hak Min, Dean of Industry-Academy Cooperation with South Korea’s Soonchunhyang University, said during a meeting with the city’s administration.Kim is the urban development consultant for Can Tho, and has been authorized by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) to propose the investment to the city’s leaders.The South Korean expert led a group of consultants to introduce a plan to turn Can Tho into an outstanding destination in Vietnam in the future, and a “city of happiness.”