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Urban rail news in brief September 2010

04 Sep 2010

The EIB has signed its first loan agreement with Armenia, under which Yerevan metro will receive €5m towards the renovation of rolling stock, track and power supply components, a maintenance train and water pumps. The project will be co-financed by the EBRD and a grant from the European Commission's Neighbourhood Investment Facility.

More than $500m has been allocated to public transport infrastructure improvements as part of the 'Illinois Jobs Now!' capital construction programme. Over $442m will be spent in the Chicago area, with $253m going to Chicago Transit Authority and $157m to the Metra commuter rail network.

Serco took over operation of the 5·5 km Palm Jumeirah monorail in Dubai on August 6. The privately-promoted monorail serving the offshore development had been operated by SMRT Engineering since it opened in May 2009.

At a cost of €32m, Spanish metre-gauge operator FEVE has ordered eight tram-train vehicles to operate between León and Cistierna. A €60m package of infrastructure works was due to start on the route last month, including provision for a connection with León's projected light rail network.

On July 24 New South Wales Minister for Transport John Robertson opened the A$220m maintenance facility built by Reliance Rail in Auburn to service Sydney's fleet of 626 Waratah double-deck commuter cars. The centre has seven maintenance roads, an automatic wash plant and underfloor wheel-profiling lathe. The first trainset is due to enter service in late 2010.

NVV has called tenders for operation of the line between Kassel and Schwalmstadt-Treysa, with the concessionaire to supply five trains for the December 2012 timetable change. This will replace Regiotram route RT9, allowing the LRVs to be redeployed to reduce headways on routes RT3, RT4 and RT5 to 15 min. A third track will be built at Obervellmar to increase capacity.

The first phase of HTM tram line 19 from Leidschendam-Voorburg in Den Haag to Delft entered service on July 1. When completed in 2012, the 16 km route, including 11 km of new track, will have 24 stops and will serve the Technical University and Technopolis development south of Delft.