CRRC permanent magnet motor loco

CRRC Qishuyan is testing a 3 000 hp hybrid locomotive for use at ports and industrial sites which is equipped with a 1 000 kWh battery and a 1 750 kW diesel engine as well as permanent magnet traction motors. The manufacturer said it is ‘energy saving, highly efficient, has flexible configuration characteristics and is also environmentally friendly’.

DB Ukraine aid train

Welcoming the European Commission’s plan for Solidarity Lanes to facilitate Ukraine’s agricultural exports and trade with the EU, on May 20 the Community of European Railway & Infrastructure Companies said railways are actively working with the commission to implement the most effective solutions in close co-operation with local, regional, national and EU-level authorities, as well as with other railways and transport actors. CER said ’strong co-ordination remains key in responding to the crisis and its developments’.

CRE train cars at Xi'an terminal

On April 1 Nippon Express launched a weekly China – Europe intermodal service which avoids Russia by using rail from various locations in China to Aktau in Kazakhstan. The service crosses the Caspian Sea to Baku by ship, then uses rail to Istanbul and then rail or road to destinations throughout Europe. The lead time is approximately 50 to 55 days from Xi’an to Duisburg.

A study by UK-based clean-energy group Smart Ports and Arcadis predicts that hydrogen produced usingammonia-to-hydrogen cracking could be cheaper than diesel within two years, and if used to power trains on Australia’s future 1 700 km Inland Rail freight corridor could reduce CO2 emissions by 763 000 tonnes/year. Cracking involves converting hydrogen to liquid ammonia for transport, then re-converting the ammonia back to hydrogen at the point of storage and use. This overcomes challenges associated with transporting hydrogen.

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra has approved revisions to Canada’s Rail Operating Rules and Locomotive Inspection & Safety Rules to reduce the risk of uncontrolled movements of trains. This will establish performance standards for locomotives equipped with rollaway protection; safety procedures and requirements that must be met before leaving a locomotive; and testing procedures to ensure that the rollaway protection system is operating properly.

The Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail has launched consultations on national rules concerning electronic rail transport documents, and on national rules concerning negotiable transport documents and whether it is necessary to introduce the possibility of using these documents for the transport of goods under the CIM Uniform Rules.


SNCF subsidiary VIIA has restarted its ‘rail motorway’ service between Barcelona and Bettembourg which was launched in February 2019 but ended in March 2020 as a result of the closure of car assembly plants and the general fall in demand during the early days of the pandemic. There are initially three trains each way per week, with plans for six. VIIA and Lohr Industrie are planning to install horizontal loading facilities in Barcelona, and are considering connections to other parts of Iberia.