Trial operation of a double-stack container train on the 306 km Rewari – Madar section of Indian’s Western Dedicated Freight Corridor was undertaken on December 27. Trials are being undertaken with prototype BLCS-A and BLCS-B double-stack container wagons with 25 tonne axleloads which have been developed by RDSO for Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp of India Ltd.
The first intermodal service from Xi’an to the Sławków freight terminal on the 1 520 mm gauge LHS line in Poland left the Chinese city on December 24, travelling on a 9 477 km route via Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. The use of 1 520 mm gauge from Dostyk on the Chinese-Kazakh border to the Polish terminal eliminates the need to tranship containers at the EU border.
On December 30 Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure, national railway UZ and Wabtec signed a memorandum of understanding for the supply and maintenance of a further 40 TE33A locomotives, which would take the fleet to 70. A firm order is to be placed once financing is in place.
On December 30 Canadian Pacific said it had completed the acquisition of the Central Maine & Quebec Railway, which had been announced on November 30. Acquisition of CMQ in the USA remains subject to Surface Transportation Board approval.
Russia’s state-owned VEB.RF Group has bought a 25% stake in leasing company Transfin-M’s Atlant business, and plans to transfer its entire fleet of around 40 000 wagons to Atlant. This would take the Atlant fleet to 75 000 wagons, the third largest fleet in Russia.
Polish infrastructure manager PKP PLK and Grupa Azoty have signed an agreement covering the 122m złoty first phase of a project to improve rail access to the port of Police. This includes the construction of a viaduct to grade separate the railway from a road.
Russia’s Far Eastern Shipping Co won an auction to acquire a 25% plus one share stake in Russian Railways’ Troika business with a bid of 622m roubles.
The US Department of Transportation has announced the Railroad Rehabilitation & Investment Financing Express pilot programme designed to reduce the time and costs associated with securing loans to modernise aging infrastructure. ‘This new financing programme will strengthen the short line and regional railroad system, promote economic growth in rural communities, and boost America’s economic competitiveness’, said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Letters of interest will be accepted between January 12 and April 11.
The Russian government has allocated 8·23bn roubles for RZD to finance the development of the Mezhdurechensk – Taishet railway, providing access from Kuzbass to the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur lines.
The US Federal Railroad Administration has launched a webpage where people can report occasions when level crossings are blocked by trains which are stopped for extended periods. ‘Railroads, states and local jurisdictions are best positioned to address blocked highway crossings and I’ve asked them to work together to minimise unwanted impacts’, said Administrator Ronald L Batory. ‘FRA expects that collecting this data will help us identify where chronic problems exist and better assess the underlying causes and overall impacts of blocked crossings, locally, regionally and nationwide.’
On behalf of Continent Group, Freight One organised the transport of grinding balls from Russia’s Kemerovo region by road to Novosibirsk-Zapadny station and then by rail to Kazakhstan. ‘Today, cargo owners are interested in delivering door-to-door products, organising warehouse storage, minimising their own efforts and costs’, said Evgeniy Dolzhenko, Director of Freight One’s Novosibirsk branch. ‘The main difficulty in organising multimodal services is the co-ordination of all involved modes of transport, as well as the ability to take into account all external factors that may affect the process. The branch’s specialists have enough experience and opportunities to provide services on a regular basis.’
Suzanne M Vautrinot, President of cybersecurity strategy and technology consulting firm Kilovolt Consulting, has been appointed to the CSX Corp board, serving on the audit and governance committees.