Algeria ink MoUs with German, Portuguese firms for Railway projects

24/06/2016 (Ennahar Online - Algeria): The National agency for studies and monitoring of railway investments “Anesrif” inked Tuesday two Memorandums of Understandings with two, German and Portuguese companies to cooperate in implementing railway and high speed rails projects management and implementation, according to APSThe agreements have been signed in the presence of Transport Minister Boudjemaa Talai and ambassadors of Germany and Portugal to Algiers. The first MoU signed between Director General of Anersif Azzedine Fridi and Director of international relations at DB Engineering&Consulting GmbH, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG, Michel Auli, relates to assistance in the management and implementation of railway projects. "This partnership will enable us develop a concerted approach in general and specialized assistance in replacement projects or other projects underway and studies for implementation and electrification of new rails," Auli stressed at the signing ceremony.  Highlighting the importance of the Algerian market in which DB Engineering&Consulting GmbH's presence dates back to 1961, the same official stated that this agreement will also enable assistance partnership and share experiences.24/05/2016

Saudi Arabia’s Mecca metro project delayed by financial restructuring

25/05/2016 (The National - UAE): A US$16.5 billion metro railway project planned for Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca has been delayed so that its financing can be restructured, an official said on Wednesday, but he later retracted the statement.Ali Abdelfattah, chief executive-designate of the Saudi government’s Mecca Mass Rail Transit (MMRT), initially told a construction industry conference in Dubai: “The reason for the delay is some restructuring financially".He said that while work on privately funded schemes was largely unaffected in Saudi Arabia, all government-funded projects were going through some sort of restructuring or replanning.New budgeting constraints have caused changes to the Mecca plan such as modifications to the design of the metro stations, Mr Abdelfattah said.However, Mr Abdelfattah later told Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television that the project was progressing well and that there was no delay.

Dubai firms award Dh30bn plus contracts for mega projects

31/05/2016 (Emirates 24/7 - UAE): Dubai companies have awarded projects worth Dh30.46 billion in the first months of 2016, according to a report by consultancy firm, Deloitte. In its annual publication: “GCC Powers of Construction 2016: The funding equation”, the consultancy said that the largest award is theRoyal Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah, followed by the first tower at the Dubai Creek Harbour development and the Palm Gateway Towers, a three tower residential complex.

Saudi Arabia gives Spanish firms extra time to finish high-speed railway

10/05/2016 (Middle East Online - UK): RIYADH - Saudi Arabia has given a Spanish consortium charged with building a high-speed railway linking Mecca and Medina an extra 14 months to complete the project, Spain's government said Tuesday.Public Works Minister Ana Pastor announced the extension of the deadline to complete the railway, which has run into technical difficulties, during a visit to a public works project in eastern Spain, a spokesman for her ministry said.She also said Saudi Arabia, which is facing a budget squeeze due to low oil prices, had agreed to settle its arrears in payments to the consortium "as soon as possible", the spokesman added.Spanish firms that are part of the consortium had complained of delays of several months in getting payment.The high-speed railway linking Mecca and Medina was due to be completed in January 2017.The extension will push the opening of the railways to the first quarter of 2018, said a spokesman for Spanish state-run train operator Renfe, one of the leading firms in the consortium.Renfe head Pablo Vasquez, who also heads the consortium, recently returned from a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Bulgaria Completes Overhaul of Railway to Border with Greece, Turkey

16/05/2016 (Novinite - Bulgaria): A railroad connecting Bulgaria's second-biggest city Plovdiv with the Greek and Turkish borders is now completely modernized, Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski said on Sunday. Under a project using EU funding, several sections of the railway have been fully overhauled to meet present-day standards, with Moskovski and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov taking a ride from the southern Bulgarian town of Lyubimets (whose train station has also been upgraded) to the border town of Svilengrad, located immediately next to the point where the borders of Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece meet. After the event Borisov published on Facebook pictures of him driving along the 38-km track, at a speed said to be 205 kmh.  "Today we are launching the train which reaches 226 kmh and has an average speed of 170 kmh. You will see that in about two years we will go to the sea or to Istanbul with high-speed Wi-Fi in our compartments, but to this end we will have to raise more money for new locomotives," daily 24 Chasa quotes him as saying. -,+Turkey

Afula railway station nears completion

01/06/2016 (Globes - Israel): The Ministry of Transport and Netivei Israel - National Transport Infrastructure Company Ltd. have announced that the third stage of the construction of the Afula railway station has been completed, and that the station is in the finishing stages. The new station is part of a large Ministry of Transport project, being carried out by Netivei Israel, for the renewal of the Jezreel Valley Railway, at a total cost of NIS 4 billion.The Afula station is the largest in the project. It covers 700 square meters and has two 300 meter-long platforms. A large transport hub is under construction next to the railway station. It covers 50,000 square meters, and will serve buses and taxis and provide 1,000 parking places.

Russia interested in purchasing Greek railway operator

26/05/2016 (RT - Russia): The Russian Transport Ministry said on Thursday it is considering taking part in the privatization of the Greek railway operator TrainOSE while maintaining the company's debt burden."We are consulting, and our interest in the competition is still there," Russian Deputy Transport Minister Evgeny Dietrich told journalists, answering a question about whether Russian Railways will continue to participate in the privatization tender of TrainOSE, given the company's debt of €850 million could be partially written off, but not completely.

Railways of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran establish North-South Project Coordinating Council

02/06/2016 (ABC - Azerbaijan): Baku, Fineko/ International railway business forum "Strategic Partnership 1520” is taking place in Sochi.CJSC Azerbaijani Railways (ADY) informs that within the forum the railway companies of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran agreed on further development of international transport corridor North-South."ADY chair Javid Gurbanov, Russian Railways’ president Oleg Belozerov and Iranian Railways’ CEO Mohsen Purseid Agai discussed the prospects of development and the matter of attraction of cargo in international transport corridor North-South and signed an agreement on cooperation in this direction," ADY reported.The parties also agreed on the establishment of the North-South Project Coordinating Committee to be similar to the Trans-Caspian international transport route."The meeting was also attended by Mikael Aro, the president of Finland’s railway company, with whom the issue of Finland’s involvement in North-South Project was discussed. Aro stated that his country is interested to participate in the project," ADY informed.

Signals Firm Said to Win Deal for Big Russian Rail Project

12/06/2016 (Caixin Online - China): China's top railroad signals system provider has secured a deal to provide control solutions for a high-speed railroad between the Russian cities of Moscow and Kazan, a source close to the matter says.Officials from the two governments and railroad executives decided at meetings on April 25 and 26 in Beijing to have China Railway Signal & Communication Corp. Ltd. build control systems for the project, an employee of the signals firm said.The 770 km, high-speed railway between Moscow and Kazan, a city east of the capital, is part of China's "belt and road" initiative, which was launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to link major economies in Europe and Asia to China through infrastructure, trade and investment.In April 2015, China Railway Group Ltd., the state-controlled firm in surveying, designing and building railroad infrastructure, won a 2.4 billion yuan contract to design the project.Then in November, China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. Ltd. (CRRC), the country's maker of trains, said it will co-build bullet trains for the project with a Russian counterpart.

Iran negotiating with Azerbaijan and Russia for funding Rasht-Astara railway

24/05/2016 (News - Azerbaijan): Azerbaijani side is interested in funding of Rasht-Astara railway, deputy head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Ahmad Khudai told APA.“We are negotiating with Azerbaijani businessmen and Russiani Railways for funding of Rasht-Astara railway project. If an agreement is reached, the construction works will be started. North-South corridor is profitable and important project for all sides. If a capital is invested, Iran will work on various versions on repayment of the funds”, Khudai said.