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Bombardier Unveils Its New High Comfort OMNEO Premium Train for Intercity Journeys

June 13, 2014 in EV News, Trains

  • The premium version of the BOMBARDIER OMNEO double deck product platform
  • A train for intercity travel at 200 km/h
Image courtesy of Bombardier

Image courtesy of Bombardier

Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation has unveiled its high comfort OMNEO Premium train for intercity travel at 200 km/h.

Inspired by French standards of luxury, the design and the quality of furnishing meet the expectations of both business and leisure passengers.

Image courtesy of Bombardier

Image courtesy of Bombardier

The spacious double-deck cars offer travellers an elegant interior design, in particular the highly comfortable, wide reclining seats with individual armrests, tablet, footrest, reading light and electric power supply.

The self-regulating air conditioning system and the low noise and vibration levels contribute to a quiet atmosphere ideally suited for intercity services. Focusing on passenger comfort, the architecture of the train provides extra-wide cars of 3 m width while storing the technical equipment on the roof to gain space and thus improve comfort in the passenger areas further.

With its wide doors, the train offers level access from the platforms of every major train station. This train is equipped with a dedicated space for people with disabilities and offers a universally accessible toilet and an access ramp so passengers in wheelchairs can travel in full autonomy.

With a capacity of 400 to 475 seats, depending on the interior layout of its long version (110 m), the OMNEO Premium train operates at speeds up to 200 km/h. This Premium version benefits from the numerous advantages of a technical platform thanks to the Regio 2N version currently in the process of certification, which will be deployed widely in the French Regions. These advantages include delivery times, initial reliability and economies of scale for operation and maintenance costs.

The OMNEO product platform integrates BOMBARDIER ECO4 technologies such as the BOMBARDIER MITRAC permanent magnet motor which allow the highest level of energy efficiency.

“With the OMNEO Premium product, Bombardier goes beyond high comfort transportation and offers a new travel experience in tune with contemporary lifestyle demands,” said Jean Bergé, President of Bombardier Transportation France. “As the Regio 2N, the first trains of the OMNEO product platform, start operating, the OMNEO Premium train will be a step ahead in terms of delivery times and reliability. Also, maintenance and operations costs will benefit substantially from the platform model.”

About Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation, a global leader in rail technology, offers the broadest portfolio in the rail industry and delivers innovative products and services that set new standards in sustainable mobility. BOMBARDIER ECO4 technologies – built on the four cornerstones of energy, efficiency, economy and ecology – conserve energy, protect the environment and help to improve total train performance for operators and passengers. Bombardier Transportation is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and has a very diverse customer base with products or services in more than 60 countries. It has an installed base of over 100,000 vehicles worldwide.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indices. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, we posted revenues of $18.2 billion. News and information are available at or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

This article is a repost, credit: Bombardier.

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Record investment in Britain’s railways as Network Rail publishes its full-year results

June 12, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Politics, Trains

Rebuilding Manchester Victoria  Photo courtesy of NetworkRail

Rebuilding Manchester Victoria
Photo courtesy of Network Rail

Almost £7bn was invested in improving and expanding Britain’s rail network over the last 12 months, Network Rail revealed today in its full-year results for the 2013/14 financial year.

The record investment, which equates to almost £20m a day, provided new stations, new platforms, new lifts, new information systems, new concourses, new footbridges and new track to build a bigger, better railway.

Over the same 12-month period, the number of people travelling by rail grew by 86m, meaning passenger numbers have now doubled since 1995* with a further 30% growth predicted over the next ten years.

Mark Carne, chief executive, said: “We are in the middle of a rail renaissance, with record levels of passenger numbers and record levels of investment. This flourishing sector is investing heavily to improve the railway for today and for tomorrow.”

Over the year, 90% of train services ran to time, 2.5 percentage points below the regulatory target. While some of this shortfall was caused by congestion as the railway witnessed growth of 5.7% in passenger journeys during the year, extreme weather and slower improvements in asset reliability also played a part.

Mr. Carne continued: “With a million more trains on the network than 10 years ago, there are inevitable challenges – we are determined to do more to improve train reliability in the face of these challenges. We will increase the reliability of the network and make it more resilient to climate change. Continued investment in our railway will also be key if we are to grow our economy and deliver a better, improving, expanding rail network for millions of daily users.”

Financial highlights

  • Capital expenditure was £6,873m (2012/13: £5,050m) contributing to an increased asset value of £49,833m (£46,411m last year)
  • Revenue was £6,333m (£6,197m in 2012/13)
  • Profit after tax was £1,256m (up 86%** from £677m) with all profits reinvested
  • Operating profit was £2,001m (£2,207m last year)
  • Net debt at year end was £32,987m (£30,358m) with a gearing ratio of 65%, comfortably within the regulator’s 75% limit

Patrick Butcher, group finance director, said: “The last year has been one of operational and financial challenges. We have been disappointed with train performance but celebrate continued strong growth, savings made, swiftly repairing the railway following extreme weather and hundreds of projects completed to improve and expand the railway.

“Our determination cannot waver over the coming years as we look to restore train punctuality to record high levels and wisely invest £38bn to improve and expand our railway for passengers and businesses across Britain.”


  • Britain’s railway has one the best passenger safety performances in Europe
  • Level crossing risk has been reduced by 31% and 804 level crossings have been closed over the last four years
  • A further £100m has been earmarked over the coming years to continue the closure programme and make further safety improvements at crossings

Performance results

  • In 2013/14, 90% of passenger trains ran on time, down on 90.9% last year
  • Over the last ten years Network Rail has added over a million more train services a year, increased passenger journeys by half a billion and doubled the number of passengers arriving on time
  • Passenger growth is running at double the rate forecast in 2009, with a 5.7% increase to 1,587m during the year

Investment highlights

Network Rail is managing many vital enhancement projects to add capacity to the railway and drive economic growth. Some highlights include:

  • New, bigger, better facilities have been delivered at King’s Cross by its £550m renovation and rebuilding providing a magnificent gateway to the north
  • Opening of the new concourse at Reading station as part of the ongoing £850m project to unblock one of Britain’s worst railway bottlenecks
  • The continuing work to connect towns of the Scottish Borders to Edinburgh with the building of 30 miles of new railway – the £300m Borders Railway project
  • A more reliable and affordable railway for the people of Manchester, Liverpool and the North West through the £400m project to electrify railway in the region
  • Many freight projects were completed to improve capacity, speed and reliability of services including the completion of new chords (small curves of railway) at Ipswich and Doncaster; container gauge enhancement from Birmingham to Doncaster and stretches of the East Coast Main Line; and capacity enhancements from Felixstowe to the Midlands
  • During the year we also acquired some 100 freight sites around the country for £189m that will generate valuable revenue and enable us to more easily respond to growth and demand in this sector

As well as these significant milestones, over 5,000 projects have been completed over the course of the last five years (control period 4 CP4 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2014). These smaller, but just as important projects, aimed at making incremental improvements to the railway for the benefit of passengers, have seen:

  • Over 2,000 miles of track renewed
  • Improvements at over 500 stations across the country
  • Almost 200 lifts installed at stations
  • Over 140 platforms lengthened across London and the South East


  • *The Office of Rail Regulation issued a rail statistics bulleting on 5 June detailing that 1,587m passenger journeys were made in 2013/14, up 5.7% on previous year. The equivalent number for 1994/5 was 761m
  • ** The increase in profit after tax is as a result of accounting gains on hedging instruments of £304m (2012/13 £43m loss) and a tax credit of £221m (2012/13 charge of £70m). All hedging is done to manage the impact of potential volatility from interest rate and currency fluctuation

About Network Rail

Network Rail is the not for dividend owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations – the largest of which we also manage. We aim to provide a safe, reliable and efficient rail infrastructure for freight and passenger trains to use. Twitter: @networkrailPR

This article is a repost, credit: Network Rail.

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Alstom unveils its new main-line train, the Coradia Liner V200

June 12, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Trains

Coradia Liner V200. Copyright: Alstom Transport / Design & Styling Courtesy of Alstom

Coradia Liner V200. Copyright: Alstom Transport / Design & Styling
Courtesy of Alstom

Today Alstom introduced the Coradia Liner V200, its latest, innovative main-line train, at the European Mobility Exhibition for Public Transport at the Parc des Expositions in Paris.

Designed to renew the pleasure of travelling on major European lines as well as to replace the Intercity rolling stock currently being used on French “Main lines”1, the Coradia Liner is a concentration of the technology created during of over 30 years’ experience in high-speed rail.

Electric or dual-mode (electric and thermal), equipped with ERTMS technology2 and consistent with European standards, the Coradia Liner can run on all conventional rail networks. It can reach speeds of 200 km/h and accommodate up to 900 passengers3.

The Coradia Liner meets operators’ needs in terms of performance and maintainability whilst offering travellers an unparalleled level of service and comfort. It is designed to be accessible to all thanks to the platform-height double doors and its low floor. The Coradia Liner is 100% consistent with STI PMR4 standards.

Particularly suitable for longer trips, it offers unprecedented comfort with its reclining seats equipped with electrical sockets and reading lights, and its service areas – children’s play area, restaurant/bar & hospitality areas. Particular attention has been paid to acoustic comfort. To improve the fluidity of movement on-board, the hospitality and travel areas are spacious, with wide corridors.

Also designed for operators, the Coradia Liner has a distributed traction system, over the entire train, providing outstanding acceleration and braking, allowing greater coverage of the national territory without increasing travel time. Being lighter, its consumption is 30% less than that of the current Corail and has become the national and European eco-mobility train. Its architecture makes for easy maintenance.

The Coradia Liner V200 design is based on the modular Coradia trains, with the ensuing benefits of over 30 years of operational experience in Europe: more than 3,000 Coradia are currently operating and have travelled more than 4 billion km in Germany (Coradia Lint and Continental), Denmark, Spain, France (Coradia Polyvalent and Coradia Duplex ZTER – 200Km/h), Italy (Coradia Meridian), Luxembourg (Coradia Duplex, the Netherlands (Coradia Lint), Portugal (Tagus Coradia DD) and Sweden (Coradia Duplex X40 – 200km/h).

Six of the eleven Alstom sites in France have participated in the Coradia Liner project: Reichshoffen for the design and assembly, Ornans for the motors, Le Creusot for the bogies, Tarbes for the traction chains, Villeurbanne for the on-board computer system and Saint-Ouen for the design. This project has contributed to the perpetuation of more than 4000 jobs both within Alstom and across the French rail sector.

1 – “Main lines” such as Paris-Clermont-Ferrand, Paris-Orléans-Limoges-Toulouse (POLT) or Paris-Caen-Cherbourg. 2 – European Rail Traffic Management System 3 – With multiple units 4 – STI: Spécification Technique d’Interopérabilité/Technical Specification for Interoperability PMR: Personnes à Mobilité Réduite/Persons with reduced Mobility
About Alstom Transport

A promoter of sustainable mobility, Alstom Transport develops and offers the most complete range of systems, equipment and services in the railway sector. Alstom Transport manages entire transport systems, including rolling stock, signalling and infrastructure, and offers its customers all-inclusive solutions. Alstom Transport recorded sales of 5.9 billion euros for 2013-2014. Alstom Transport is present in over sixty countries and employs approximately 26,700 people. Present on 11 sites in France, Alstom Transport is the leading French railway company and contributes to the vitality of local economies. Its approximately 8,900 employees in France provide a pool of expertise to serve French and international clients. A job at Alstom creates about three amongst its suppliers.

About Alstom

Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 93,000 people in around 100 countries. It had sales of over €20 billion and booked €21.5 billion in orders in 2013/14.

This article is a repost (6-11-14), credit: Alstom.

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Long Island Rail Road Marks Its 180th Anniversary with Celebration at Mineola Station

April 25, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Trains

Celebrating LIRR 180th anniversary Photo courtesy of NYMTA

Celebrating LIRR 180th anniversary
Photo courtesy of NYMTA

Nation’s Oldest & Busiest Commuter Railroad Looks Back with Pride & Ahead to Improvements That Will Make Long Island an Even Better Place to Live & Work

The MTA Long Island Rail Road today (4-24-14) marked its 180th anniversary with a celebration in Mineola where business and community leaders pointed with pride to the Railroad’s long history of service to the region.

The Long Island Rail Road was chartered by the State of New York on April 24, 1834 and is the nation’s oldest railroad still operating under its original name. In 2013, the LIRR carried 83.4 million customers, making it the busiest commuter rail line in the U.S.

“On the occasion of our 180th anniversary, I would like to thank our customers for their loyal patronage of the critical service that we provide to Long Island and to the region,” said Helena E. Williams, the LIRR’s President. “We remain committed to delivering safe, secure and reliable rail transportation for Long Island and we look forward to expanding our ridership in the years ahead. I also salute the men and women of the LIRR who work around the clock to keep the Railroad running and have for 180 years. I know they take very seriously the motto that appears on the side of every train: ‘We Serve With Pride.’”

Joining Williams at the ceremony were MTA Board Members Mitch Pally of Suffolk County and John. J. Molloy of Nassau County, representatives of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Council to the MTA and the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council as well as two well-known LIRR historians.

Public officials, including Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, sent their best wishes with the Governor and both County Executives issuing proclamations marking the LIRR big birthday.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said: “As the oldest and busiest commuter rail road in the country, the LIRR continues to serve as an economic engine for Long Island, connecting residents to employment and recreational opportunities in New York City while helping to grow the region’s economy. One hundred and eighty years after it was first chartered by the State of New York, the LIRR and the men and women who keep it operating around the clock 365 days a year play a vital role in helping to make Long Island one of the most desirable places to live in the nation.”

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said: “History reveals that the LIRR has been one of the most important strategic assets in our county’s ability to grow, nurture our economy and provide residents with access to one of the most dynamic cities in the world,” said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. “It is hard to conceive what Long Island would be like were it not for the railroad’s ability to move people and commerce in a safe and efficient manner. I look forward to witnessing the LIRR’s continued efforts to strengthen its role as the mass transportation artery we have all come to depend upon.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “Stretching from the eastern tips of Suffolk County to the Big Apple, the Long Island Rail Road has connected the lives of millions of Long Islanders, helping to bolster our local economy and promote cost-effective, eco-friendly transportation. We look forward to the continued modernization of the country’s oldest commuter rail line and encourage all New Yorkers to take in scenic views and beautiful scenery that the LIRR offers from Manhattan to Montauk. I congratulate the Long Island Railroad as it celebrates its 180th birthday.”

MTA Chairman & CEO Thomas Prendergast said: “As a former president of the Long Island Rail Road, I know that this milestone is a tremendous source of pride for the LIRR workforce and an important reminder of the pivotal role the Railroad plays in the day to day life of so many Long Islanders. We want today’s LIRR customers the children and grandchildren of yesteryear’s Dashing Dans and Dotties – to know that the MTA is committed to the continued improvement of service on this great Railroad and we are backing that commitment with the financial resources to make it a reality.”

Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association, the region’s largest and most influential business group, said the LIRR continues to play a key role in growing Long Island’s economy. “The Long Island Rail Road strengthens our region by connecting us to New York City and, on its 180th birthday, it remains an economic engine that with continued investments will enhance Long Island’s future growth,” Law said.

“When we started operation, Long Island was a very rural area,” Williams said. “Andrew Jackson was in the White House and horses ruled the roads. Today, the LIRR is a key economic driver for Long Island, connecting its residents to high-skilled, high-paying jobs in New York City as well as the wealth of leisure opportunities the city has to offer.”

Looking forward, Williams reminded Long Islanders that the MTA’s East Side Access project, which will allow the LIRR to offer direct service to Grand Central Terminal and the East Side of Manhattan for the first time, promises to trim commuting by up to 40 minutes a day for those traveling to the East Side, a game changer that will help keep Long Island’s housing market competitive.

As a “thank you” to customers, commuters at Mineola Station queued up to enter a drawing for free tickets to the New York International Auto Show, now at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, as well as New York Cosmos professional soccer games and New York Lizards professional lacrosse games.

LIRR historians, the author Dave Morrison, a retired LIRR branch line manager, and Steve Quigley, the president of the Long Island Sunrise Trail Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, spoke about the history of the LIRR and along with Williams and other guests checked out the historic photographs and artifacts on special display inside the station waiting room.

This article is a repost (4-24-14), credit: NYMTA.

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Final Environmental Document for the Fresno to Bakersfield Project Section Made Available

April 22, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Trains

Image courtesy of California High Speed Rail Authority

Image courtesy of California High Speed Rail Authority

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Today the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIR/EIS) for the Fresno to Bakersfield project section of the California High-Speed Rail project. The Final EIR/EIS represents a comprehensive, project-level review of the section that runs approximately 114 miles long from downtown Fresno to downtown Bakersfield with proposed stations in the Kings-Tulare County region and Bakersfield to go with a Fresno station location approved in 2012.

The Final EIR/EIS identifies the preferred alternative as parts of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe alternative (BNSF), the Corcoran Bypass alternative, the Allensworth Bypass alternative and the Bakersfield Hybrid alternative. Proposed stations are identified as the Downtown Bakersfield station on Truxtun Avenue, and the East of Hanford/west of Visalia station option located near State Route 198.

The Authority and FRA have prepared the Final EIR/EIS, which includes responses to comments received through the Draft EIR/EIS (released August 2011) and the Revised Draft EIR/EIS (released July 2012) review process. The Final EIR/EIS considers, describes and summarizes the potential environmental impacts of the proposed high-speed rail between Fresno and Bakersfield. The Final EIR/EIS also identifies mitigation measures, design practices, and further measures to guide the system’s development and to avoid, where possible, or minimize potential adverse environmental impacts.

“The release of this document represents the culmination of a multi-year effort that included extensive environmental review, preliminary engineering and several opportunities for members of the communities along the alignment to participate in the process by providing feedback, public comments and frequent interaction with the project team,” said Authority CEO Jeff Morales.

On May 6 and May 7, the Authority’s Board of Directors will host a two-day Board meeting at Fresno City Hall to take public comment and will consider certification of the Final EIR/EIS and approval of all or parts of the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the project.

Authority Board Meeting Fresno City Hall 2600 Fresno Street Fresno, CA 93721

May 6, 2014 3:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Staff Presentation and Public comment on the Final EIR/EIS

May 7, 2014 10:00 a.m. Staff Presentation, Board Deliberation and Potential Action

Following the Authority Board of Director’s action on May 7, the FRA will consider approving the Fresno to Bakersfield project section and issuing a Record of Decision related to the project and the Final EIR/EIS. That action is anticipated to occur in May or June 2014.

In August 2011, the Authority and FRA prepared a Draft EIR/EIS for the Fresno to Bakersfield project section and circulated it for public and agency review and comment. In response to stakeholder, agency and public feedback on the project section’s alignment alternatives, the Authority and FRA decided that it would revise the Draft EIR/EIS to include additional route and station options. The Revised Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS was circulated in July 2012. It evaluated new alignment alternatives and station locations west of Hanford, an additional alternative through Bakersfield, and refinements to the existing Fresno to Bakersfield alternative alignments. Throughout the process, the Authority has held over 850 meetings and technical working groups in counties and cities that will be impacted by the project, and will continue to work closely with all interested parties and the project moves forward.

The Final EIR/EIS and associated documents have been posted on the Authority’s website at , the FRA website at

About California High-Speed Rail Authority

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building and operation of the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands. By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs. To learn more visit the Authority’s website at and join us on and follow us at

This article is a repost, credit: California High Speed Rail Authority. Video courtesy of California High Speed Rail Authority.

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High-Speed Rail Authority Solicits Proposals from Five World-Class Teams

April 3, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Trains

Image courtesy of California High Speed Rail Authority

Image courtesy of California High Speed Rail Authority

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Moving forward with the continued construction of the nation’s first high-speed rail system, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) today issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to five world-class teams inviting them to bid on the Construction Package 2-3 (CP 2-3) design-build contract.

CP 2-3 is the second major construction package of the high-speed rail program. It extends in excess of 60 miles through the Central Valley from East American Avenue in Fresno County to one mile north of the Kern-Tulare county line and is estimated between $1.5 billion to $2 billion. The selected design-build team will be responsible for delivering final designs for bridges, culverts, trenches and tunnels, utility relocations, aerial structures, grade separations, security and drainage.

“The release of the Request for Proposal is an important step in moving this transformative project forward,” said Authority CEO Jeff Morales. “All five world-class teams passed a rigorous review process to become qualified to bid on this project. The Authority looks forward to seeing what these teams come up with and we anticipate the bids to be very competitive.”

The qualified teams invited to bid are listed below in alphabetical order: 

  • California Rail Builders: Ferrovial Agroman US Corp. and Granite Construction Company  
  • Dragados/Flatiron/Shimmick: Dragados USA, Inc., Flatiron West, Inc. and Shimmick Construction Co., Inc.  
  • Golden State Rail Partnership: OHL USA, Inc. and Samsung E&C America, Inc.  
  • Skanska-Ames a Joint Venture: Skanska USA Civil West California District Inc. and Ames Construction, Inc.  
  • Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, a Joint Venture: Tutor Perini Corporation, Zachry Construction Corporation and Parsons Transportation Group Inc.

The proposals will be due to the Authority on September 2, 2014. After they are received, the Authority will thoroughly evaluate and score the teams’ proposals to determine the team offering the best overall value. The scoring will be weighed 30 percent on technical and 70 percent on price. The Authority anticipates making a decision on the best written offer in November 2014.

The Authority is hosting an Industry Forum on April 8, 2014, at the Visalia Convention Center, 303 East Acequia Avenue, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. This optional event provides an opportunity for small businesses to meet with the qualified firms eligible to submit proposals.

The design-build contract will bring thousands of jobs to the Central Valley, an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in California and the nation. The route will also provide environmental benefits, relieve roadway congestion and spur economic development. This contract will follow the Authority’s aggressive 30 percent Small Business participation goal.

The RFP is available on the Authority’s website: here.

About California High-Speed Rail Authority 

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building and operation of the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands. By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs. To learn more visit the Authority’s website at and join us on and follow us at

This article is a repost, credit: High-Speed Rail Authority.

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United Kingdom: Millions to benefit from massive multi-billion pound railway investment programme

March 31, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Trains

CGI of new London Bridge station as it will be when finished Image courtesy of Network Rail

CGI of new London Bridge station as it will be when finished
Image courtesy of Network Rail

Millions of people across the country are set to benefit from an ambitious five-year £38bn spending and investment programme – part of the biggest sustained investment programme ever – that will transform today’s railway giving passengers more trains, more seats, reduced congestion and bigger, better stations.

The five-year plan will see the busiest parts of Britain’s rail network targeted making a very real difference to millions of people’s lives and providing a significant boost to the economy.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “A key part of this government’s long term economic plan is investing in world class infrastructure. That is why we are putting record amounts of government funding into our railways over the next five years. That investment will generate growth, create jobs and boost business while delivering faster journeys, greater comfort and better punctuality for passengers across the UK.”

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “Millions of passengers and freight users will benefit enormously from the plans we set out today to wisely spend and invest £38bn in transforming some of the busiest parts of our railway network.”

The people of Devon and Cornwall also heard some good news today as Network Rail confirmed that their railway will be reconnected to Britain’s network on 4 April following two months of tremendous efforts by hundreds of railway engineers in, and around, Dawlish. A massive landslip, involving the collapse of 20,000 tonnes of cliff-face near Teignmouth on 4 March, had threatened the planned opening.

“Dawlish has shown us at our best when we work in a planned, disciplined and innovative way. Our aim is to emulate that approach and embed it in our organisation so that we are continuously improving the service for our customers.”

Today, more than 1.5bn passenger journeys are made by rail each year and by 2019 the railway will be carrying more people than at any time in its history. The rail industry’s five-year plan will:

  • Provide capacity for 170,000 extra seats for commuters at peak time
  • Shorten journeys and provide for hundreds more daily services between the cities of the north (Northern Hub)
  • Electrify more than 850 miles of railway and see whole new fleets of electric trains
  • Transform hundreds of stations around the country including London Bridge, Manchester Victoria, Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Queen Street
CGI of new London Bridge station as it will be when finished  Image courtesy of Network Rail

CGI of new London Bridge station as it will be when finished
Image courtesy of Network Rail

Improving passenger, public and workforce safety will also feature prominently throughout control period 5 (2014-19) with plans to close a further 500 level crossings on top of the almost 800 closed since 2010, reducing risk by a further 25%.

Mr Carne commented: “Passenger, public and workforce safety will be at the core of our plans. Good safety performance and good train and business performance go hand-in-hand and in both, we must strive for, and deliver, continuous improvement day by day.”

As well as the big projects, the day-to-day task of delivering a safe and reliable railway will be even more important and tough to deliver as more services and more improvement work becomes ever more challenging to balance. Investment in this area includes:

  • Renewing over 7,000km of track – enough to reach from London to Mumbai
  • 75 football pitches worth of station platforms replaced (300,000m²)
  • Improving train punctuality to 92.5% across the country – the best performing in Europe
  • Cutting the cost of running the British railway network by 20% making it one of the most efficient in Europe
  • Investing in new technology and equipment that will deliver step-changes in productivity and efficiency

Mr Carne concluded: “Britain’s railways are a vital part of our national infrastructure. They connect homes and workplaces, businesses with markets, they create jobs, stimulate trade and support the growth of a balanced economy.

“We are good at delivering projects both great and small and at providing a safe and reliable railway but want to do even more for the people that rely on our railway network. This investment responds to the growth and demands being placed upon us by delivering bigger, better stations, more trains and seats, reopened railway lines and fewer level crossings. We all want an improving, safer, successful and better value railway for everyone, and that is what we will do.”


Control period 5 runs from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2019. Over this period, Network Rail and its industry partners will deliver a programme of investment to tackle the severe problem of congestion on the busiest parts of the network, providing capacity for 170,000 extra commuter seats at peak times including capability to run hundreds more trains a day between the key cities of the north of England and a 20% increase in central London’s commuter rail capacity through completion of the Crossrail and Thameslink projects.

Of the £38bn to be spent on Britain’s railways over the next five years, £13bn will be invested in capital expenditure projects to relieve overcrowding by building new tracks, uncorking bottlenecks, increasing capacity and upgrading outdated stations:

  • The Northern Hub programme will deliver a step-change in connectivity across the north of England, providing faster journeys and the capacity to run hundreds more trains per day between key northern cities.
  • The Thameslink programme will be completed, with 24 trains per hour each way through the centre of London, taking much needed pressure off the Tube network and relieving commuters of the aggravation of changing trains during the busiest part of the day. Crossrail trains will also be running, increasing capacity for travel through the capital by a further 10%.
  • More than 850 miles of railway will be electrified, including the Great Western Main Line from Maidenhead to Swansea, the Midland Main Line from Sheffield to Bedford and across the north and north west of England, bringing greener, more frequent and more reliable journeys for millions of people.
  • A new, electrified railway linking the Great Western, West Coast and Midland Main Lines will connect Oxford with Bedford and Milton Keynes as part of the East West Rail project.
  • More than 30 miles of new railway and seven new stations will reconnect the border towns of Scotland with Edinburgh for the first time in 50 years, reversing a Beeching closure of the 1960s and providing a faster, greener alternative to travelling by road.
  • Stations including Birmingham New Street, Manchester Victoria, Glasgow Queen Street and London Bridge will be transformed, as King’s Cross has been, restoring former Victorian glory alongside modern facilities and retail opportunities, bringing investment and jobs into our cities and further income for the railway to invest.

In addition to this capital expenditure, £12bn will be invested in replacing and renewing older parts of the network. More than 7,000km of track and nearly 6,000 sets of points will be renewed or refurbished and 7,000km of fencing and almost 300,000m2 of platforms at stations will be replaced or renewed. A further £13bn will be spent on day-to-day maintenance and the costs of operating and running one of the busiest, most intensely used networks in Europe.

Safety improvements at level crossings will continue, with the company pledging to close a further 500 crossings by 2019, investing more than £100m as part of its ongoing programme of work to improve safety and reduce risk to passengers and the wider public.

The next five years will also see Network Rail committing itself to furthering its environmental sustainability and resilience in the face of extreme weather and changing climate. By September, a series of ten route-based climate change strategies will be published, setting out specific measures to be taken to mitigate the effects of severe weather and improve the railway’s long-term sustainability.

Network Rail is committed to making even more trains run on time. By 2019 it has agreed to deliver punctuality levels of 92.5% across England, Wales and Scotland while running more trains and carrying more people than ever before. The company will also provide even better value for money for the British people, reducing annual government subsidy from around £4bn today to £2bn by 2019.

About Network Rail

Network Rail is the not for dividend owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations – the largest of which we also manage. We aim to provide a safe, reliable and efficient rail infrastructure for freight and passenger trains to use. Twitter: @networkrailPR

This article is a repost, credit: Network Rail.