Railroad High Speed Rail

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Copyright 2019 by Richard O. Aichele & Information Works Inc.


Fast. Smooth. Comfortable. High Speed Railroad trains at speeds up to 220 Miles Per Hour revitalize the way people travel, conduct business and make positive environmental impacts in Europe and Asia.


220 MPH High Speed Rail (HSR) Revitalizing Passenger Train Travel

Infrastructure and Technology Investments Ensure Steady Progress

china HSR

Photo taken from a HSR driver's seat as the HSR train traveled through a tunnel on China's Chongqing-Guiyang Railway, Jan. 12, 2018.


Siemens Mobility Selected For Russian Railways

Russian Railways (RZD) has ordered 13 high-speed Sapsan trains for the expansion of service between Moscow and St Petersburg at a cost of €1·1bn. “The fact that Russian Railways RZD is relying on Siemens Mobility for the third time in expanding its high-speed fleet reflects the strong performance of our Velaro platform, which increases value sustainably over the entire lifecycle, enhances passenger experience and optimizes availability...The Velaro has already proven its reliability in Russia after covering more than 50 million fleet kilometres since 2009,” said Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Siemens Mobility.

This phase of the RZD expansion includes Siemens Mobility and the Ural Locomotives that is a joint venture of Siemens and Sinara Group. The contract includes 30 years of maintenance. Simultaneously Siemens Mobility and Sinara Group including Ural Locomotives are developing plans for a joint engineering center in Russia. The goal is to develope innovative High Speed Rail rolling stock suitable for the Russian gauge (1,520 millimetres), operation at speeds up to 400 KPH and in temperature extremes ranging from -40 to +40 degrees Celsius. The order signed at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum after successful business for the initial eight Velaro RUS trainsets supplied by Siemens to RZD in 2006 and a subsequent order order for eight trainsets in 2011.


Air Travel Option: Milan - Rome HSR

"The journey between Milan and Rome is a busy corridor for tourists and commuters alike, served by the 320km/h Frecciarossa, Italy's fastest trains. Leaving Rome's central station, the frequent Alta Velocità (AV) trains complete the journey to Milan in just under three hours - that's one hour less than flying from the capital. As of February of this year, the HSR link is expanding to the capitals of Umbria and Lombardy, when new trains will be launched to serve Florence, Bologna, Turin and Perugia." . . information source: . . . 320km/h Frecciarossa HSR Between Milan - Rome


Air Travel Option: Paris - London HSR

"Since its opening in 1994, the Eurostar has become a symbol of fast, comfortable and uncomplicated transnational rail journey. With a daily schedule of 14 trains to Paris and ten to Brussels, and tickets starting at little more than €50, passengers can get from one city centre to the next in just two hours. In fact, the itinerary qualifies among the 14 major European travel routes on which travelling by train is unequivocally faster, as identified by travel platform GoEuro. Taking the train from Brussels to London can slash three hours and 18 minutes off the total journey time compared to flying, while London to Paris saves one hour and 41 minutes. ... In addition to time and cost savings, the Eurostar also advertises its green credentials. According to the company's statistics, a Eurostar journey from London to Paris already emits 90% less greenhouse gas than the equivalent short haul flight, and produces less carbon per passenger than a single car journey from central London to Heathrow Airport. In January, the service revealed its new environmental targets in line with the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement." Additional information published at . . . London - Paris - Brussels High Speed Rail


The Goal: Safe, Convenient, Efficient and Green HSR

According to Xinhua,englishnews.cn, on July 29, 2018, "China's transport investment remained stable in the first half of the year due to continued government efforts to improve infrastructure. More than 1.3 trillion yuan (about 195 billion U.S. dollars) was pumped into transport projects in January-June period, largely stable compared with a year ago, according to data provided by the Ministry of Transport. ... Infrastructure investment is significant to people's livelihoods and steady economic growth. The country plans to spend at least 2.6 trillion yuan on transport infrastructure this year, with goals to further expand rail and road networks. By 2020, China aims to have a modern transportation system that is safe, convenient, efficient and green. Premier Li Keqiang asked earlier this week for faster construction of the Sichuan-Tibet railway during an inspection tour in its Lhasa-Nyingchi section. With total investment of 270 billion yuan, the railway is a major project included in the country's 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020)."


china HSR

Map published by China Discovery https://www.chinadiscovery.com


New York - Washington HSR Improvements Planned

"For those wanting to travel between New York and Washington, the most common advice found online is to take the Acela Express, a train designed to travel at maximum 241km/h, getting there in three and a half hours. Despite its speed capabilities, more often than not, bottlenecks along the Northeastern Corridor force trains to routinely slow down to 160km/h. Still, the Acela carried just under 3.5 million passengers in 2016, and during the 13 years since it began operating, it has been attracting a solid share of travellers from airlines. However, a spate of fatal accidents on the network in recent years has weakened Amtrak's popularity, with concerns being raised regarding its operational and safety standards. Now, the rail operator is preparing to launch the Avelia Liberty trainsets in 2021. The new fleet will consists of 28 next-generation, high-speed trains built by Alstom. Developers promise it will carry up to 33% more passengers than the current Acela trains, and will feature an improved design for enhanced safety." Additional information published at . . . New York - Washington High Speed Rail


HSR Options For Hong Kong Airport Travellers

Still bruised from a typhoon that grounded hundreds of flights, Hong Kong’s status as Asia’s top aviation hub faces a new threat: Chinese bullet trains. The world’s longest high-speed rail network extends to downtown Hong Kong starting Sunday, providing a direct connection to 44 mainland destinations. With the addition of services from Guangzhou and Shenzhen — the major cities closest to Hong Kong — a daylong train trip to Beijing would be cut to nine hours. China’s high-speed network stretches for 25,000 kilometers (15,500 miles) and is a strong competitor for airlines in a market where congested airspace and limited landing slots mean regular flight delays. Since China’s first bullet-train service connected Beijing to the nearby port city of Tianjin a decade ago, Chinese airlines have lost customers, especially for journeys shorter than 800 kilometers — roughly the distance from Hong Kong to Changsha, the capital of Mao Zedong’s home province of Hunan. “The fact that passengers will get off the train in downtown Hong Kong rather than at the airport on an island and then have to take another train ride to the city will prompt many to choose trains,” said Yu Zhanfu, a partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants in Beijing.," reported an article in bloomberg.com. Additional information published at . . . Bullet Trains Coming For Airlines


Siemens Unvieled new HSR concept at InnoTrans

According to Sabrina Soussan, CEO of the Mobility Division at Siemens., " The Velaro Novo sets newstandards for efficiency and sustainability and at the same time offers the highest passenger comfort and convenience. Siemens has developed the new high-speed platform for service from 250 up to 360 km/h throughout the world. The Velaro Novo is our answer to global demands in high-speed transport. The new train writes a new chapter in the Velaro's success story and enables operators to offer improved passenger comfort and economy over the train's entire lifecycle. What we are presenting today is the result of five years of development: a platform offering uniquely optimized energy consumption and maintenance costs, as well asmaximum flexibility and reliability. Running at 300 km/h, the new high-speed train uses 30 percent less energy than previous Velaro models, which translates to average savings of 1,375 tons of CO2 a year. Thanks to its lightweight construction, the train’s weight was reduced by 15 percent. At the same time, available space for passengers was increased by ten percent. The car body is based on the empty tube concept, meaning that there are no permanent installations inside the car and the interior can be furnished according to customer wishes. Configuration options like this make the Velaro Novo futureproof and flexible."


China's Latest Generation HSR Achieves 350 kph Speed

china350km"China on Wednesday [August 8, 2018] increased the maximum speed of the bullet trains on the Beijing-Tianjin high-speed railway from 300 km per hour (kph) to 350 kph. The Fuxing (Rejuvenation) trains, the newest bullet train model developed in China, first ran at 350 kph on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, with the Beijing-Tianjin line the second to receive the upgrade. The increase will shorten travel time between Beijing South Railway Station and Tianjin Railway Station from 35 minutes to 30 minutes with no price difference in fares," according to an article in usa.chinadaily news. It also reported, "The Fuxing trains are a substantial upgrade of the previous CRH bullet trains, said Pan Yu, an assistant engineer from the China Railway Beijing Group (CRBG). Fuxing trains are taller and more spacious, and can run in an environment between minus 40 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius. The streamline design has reduced resistance by 7.5 percent to 12.3 percent, which reduces energy consumption to a large extent. The Beijing-Tianjin high-speed railway was China's first high-speed railway line which went into operation in 2008. Over the past ten years, 250 million passengers have been carried on the line." Photo courtesy of XINHUANET.


French SNCF Next Generation HSR

alstomhorizonEurope's High Speed Rail network is again expanding technically and operationally. France's SNCH announced awarding a 2.7 billion Euro contract to Alstom "for 100 next–generation Avelia Horizon trains. Alstom and SNCF have together developed the new high-speed trains. Each train set consists of two power cars and articulated double-deck coach." The new Avelia Horizon trains will be capable of a maximum speed of 350km/h. Photo is courtesy of Alstom Design & Styling. Technical advances will include regenerative braking energy systems that will lower energy consumption and are part of the overall design objective to reduce out of service maintenance periods. Additional details were published by Railway-Technology . . . SNCF approves €2.7bn contract for 100 Avelia Horizon trains.


New Undersea Tunnel for China's HSR

The world's leader in the development and installtion of national High Speed Rail systems as 2018 ends is China. The national investments continues to steadily improve and expand the rail network. ;"China will build its first undersea tunnel for high-speed trains, connecting two cities in eastern province of Zhejiang, according to local authorities. The train project, connecting the city of Ningbo with the island city of Zhoushan in east Zhejiang, is 70.92 km in total length, with an undersea tunnel section of 16.2 km, according to the construction plan. Trains are designed to run at 250 km per hour, cutting the trip between the two cities from 1.5 hours to less than 30 minutes. China's high-speed rail has reached 25,000 kilometers in length, accounting for more than 60 percent of the world's total. Zhejiang was among the earliest provinces in the country to build high-speed rail," according to xinhuanet.com. Information credit at . . . New Underseas Tunnel


Texas (USA) HSR Plan Advances

Texas Central in Dallas, Texas has chosen Renfe, in partnership with Spanish rail infrastructure manager Adif, to operate services on the planned Texas Central Railway, otherwise known as the Texas Bullet Train. The 240 mile Texas high-speed railway would connect the north Texas region to Houston in 90 minutes including a midway stop in the Brazos Valley. The investor-owned project is not receiving federal or state grants and expects to create 10,000 direct jobs during construction according to the Texas Central organization.

According to the announcement, "The pair will provide technical advice on the design and construction of the project and assist in the further development of operation and maintenance plans to prepare the high-speed line for passenger service. The operator will also: run the trains; maintain system components, such as the engines, signals and other equipment; oversee ticketing and other services. Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar said: 'Renfe has established a reputation for excellence in railroad operation in Spain and across the world, and we welcome them aboard. Having the operator, the design build and technology teams all on board and able to collaborate will ensure all aspects of the railroad are integrated and efficient. The combination of these best-in-class global experts sets the foundation for the new jobs-creating industry we are bringing to Texas.”

Renfe president Isaías Táboas said the announcement was “extraordinary news” for Texans and for the Spanish rail industry and added: “Texas Central represents a large high-speed train project in a country with high-growth potential, for which the Spanish experience will be of great help. “Both Renfe Operadora and Adif have accumulated years and miles of high-speed railway development with professional teams, extensive experience and specialised knowledge. We are committed to the success of Texas Central in improving the mobility of Texans and others in the U.S.” Renfe runs 5,000 trains daily on 7,500 miles of track. In 2017 it moved more than 487 million passengers and 19.6 million tons of freight.

In May 2018, Texas Central had reached an agreement with Amtrak. The company's release noted: "Developers of Texas’ high-speed train have forged an agreement with Amtrak, allowing passengers to use Amtrak’s reservation system to buy tickets for through travel on both the Texas Bullet Train and Amtrak’s National routes. .. Texas Central will offer a convenient transfer service connecting riders between Amtrak passenger staHons and the high-speed train stations in Dallas and Houston."


Continued Growth of China's HSR Network

chinabulletChina's High Speed Rail network is the most impressive example of a national program dedicated to create and adopt the technologies in the field of high speed railroad travel. China's railroad system is already capable of carrying thousands of passengers at speeds over 200 MPH on a daily basis. The rail system is steadily expanding into regions without rail service or where it required upgrading.

View this article describing China's High Speed Rail program that was published in the British newspaper The Daily Mail . . .High Speed Rail in China


"China will implement a 3-year action plan to improve its transport network and services, according to the Ministry of Transport. The plan reaffirmed China's goals in building a fully-fledged transport network by 2020 when it will reach the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects. By 2020, China will have 30,000 kilometers of high-speed railway, covering 80 percent of Chinese cities with a population of over 1 million, according to the plan which lists 76 targets," according to an article in usa.chinadaily news . . . China 3-year Action Plan Trains.


International HSR Conference

The upcoming UIC WORLD CONGRESS ON HIGH SPEED RAIL (World High Speed Rail Congress) is being planned for May, 2019 in Ankara, Turkey. Dates to be announced.

The 10th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail was held from May 8 to May 11, 2018 in Ankara, Turkey. According to the Congress organizers, that event took place "in the frame of a decision of a UIC Statutory Meeting to benchmark the concurrent developments and assess future trends in this important field of technology, with particular reference to Infrastructure, Railway systems, Stations, Trains, Operations. This World Congress and High Speed Rail Trade Exhibition featured speakers and exhibitors from railways, supply industry and leading Institutions. International Organizations and Universities from all around the world who presented a comprehensive overview of current and future technology trends, supported by presentations of current state of the art applications and exhibited their products with the latest technologies.

During the four days of the Congress, several topics such as Infrastructure, Railway systems, Operation & Stations, Trains, Commercial & Economy & Society were diiscussed, having regard to their application potential on High speed lines." The major goal of the event was to "review current progress and to provide input to ongoing work at UIC on identifying strategic trends and convergence towards common functionalities according to the events sponsors."


Finance - Siemens-Alstom Deal Blocked

News Source - Reuters Brussels/Zurich Feb. 6, 2019

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels, John Revill in Zurich, Michelle Martin in Berlin and Matthias Blamont, Sudip Kar-Gupta in Paris, and Alison Lampert in Toronto; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Mark Potter)

"Siemens and Alstom's plan to create a European rail champion collapsed on Wednesday after EU regulators blocked the deal, prompting Germany and France to call for an overhaul of EU competition policy to better meet global challenges... France's Alstom said the veto was a clear set-back for industry in Europe, while Joe Kaeser, the chief executive of Germany's Siemens, said Europe urgently needed to reform its industrial policy to help its companies compete. "Protecting customer interests locally must not mean that Europe cannot be on a level playing field with leading nations like China, the United States and others," Kaeser said in a statement.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager dismissed Siemens and Alstom's argument about merging to compete with their bigger Chinese state-owned rival CRRC in the European market. "We don't see the Chinese coming. The Chinese are nowhere, not at all in Europe," she told a news conference.... Siemens and Alstom had wanted to combine their rail operations to compete more effectively with CRRC globally, backed by the French and German governments, which favour creating industrial champions. However, Vestager said she blocked the deal to protect competition in the European railway industry. "Without sufficient remedies, this merger would have resulted in higher prices for the signalling systems that keep passengers safe and for the next generations of very high-speed trains," she said.

Siemens makes the ICE trains for Deutsche Bahn and also builds units for Channel Tunnel operator Eurostar. Alstom is the manufacturer of France's signature bullet train, locally known as the TGV. The rolling-stock maker also sells urban and suburban trains as well as signalling systems. Canadian rival Bombardier welcomed the Commission's decision. "It would have severely undermined the health and competitiveness of the whole European rail market, leaving European consumers, both as rail users and tax payers, to pay the price," said Daniel Desjardins, Bombardier general counsel and company secretary. Bombardier, which sources say also held talks with Siemens in 2017, would have faced a rival with operations more than double its size in the European market, even though the merged group, in revenue terms, would only have been half the size of CRRC."


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