Siemens Mobility awarded largest ever service order from Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bahn (DB) has awarded Siemens Mobility with a contract for the revision of 40 trains of the 412 ICE 4 series. This is the largest service order ever awarded to Siemens Mobility by Deutsche Bahn. The contract also includes an option for the revision of 50 additional series 412 trains. IS 600 revisions are required for new high-speed trains operated by Deutsche Bahn when they have reached a mileage of 1.65 million kilometers. The work will begin in mid-2021 in the ‘Expert... more...
House’ service area of the Siemens Mobility Test and Validation Center in Wegberg-Wildenrath, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. “The ICE 4 is the backbone of DB’s mainline rail operations. As DB’s service partner, we will make a decisive contribution towards guaranteeing the availability and operation of the ICE 4 fleet and ensuring its sustainable performance over the entire lifecycle,” said Johannes Emmelheinz, CEO of Customer Service at Siemens Mobility. As part of the IS 600 revision, Siemens Mobility will inspect the central systems and components of the ICE 4 trains and carry out maintenance activities as planned. The maintenance work will cover, among other things, the doors, windscreen washer systems, couplings, running and traction bogies, as well as pantographs, train control systems and brakes. Maintenance work in the train interior will include fire alarm systems, passenger information systems (PIS), bistro equipment and the sanitary facilities. In addition, the wheelsets will be exchanged on all trains. Deutsche Bahn has ordered a total of 137 ICE 4 trains from Siemens Mobility since May 2011. A new ICE 4 train is currently joining DB’s mainline fleet every three weeks. By December 2020, Siemens Mobility had delivered 65 of the ordered ICE 4 trains to Deutsche Bahn. The first trains in this series have been in passenger service since 2016.
Mapping the unpredictable undulations of underground voids and searching out subterranean subsidence is a hidden but vital part of railway maintenance. Now engineers are auditioning a new player in the cast of solutions. Prometheus – from UK tech boffins Headlight AI – may have its inspiration in sci-fi, but it’s an entirely science-fact answer to a big and expensive question for railways around the world. Network Rail has long sought cheaper and easier ways of surveying the many underground caves and abandoned mines dotted around its property. The concept of a folding borehole drone, inspired by the film ‘Prometheus’, is now in development, and an in-cave flight test using a prototype is scheduled for this spring. Although the exact design is still... more...
under wraps, Headlight AI, working closely with UK universities, has demonstrated the technology to Network Rail, and has field trials already in the diary.
Revealing the remote depths Down in rural Shropshire, around Shrewsbury, the English railway junction town on the Welsh border, there are some tiny little holes opening up in the ground. Certainly not big enough for a pot-holing engineer to squeeze down. Not even big enough to deploy a drone – unless that drone folds up like a space satellite, packed into a rocket, ready to unfurl in the unexplored depths of space. Remarkably, that’s exactly what Prometheus achieves, on its way to uncovering the remote depths below the permanent way. “Drilling an inspection hole next to a railway is an expensive proposition”, says Puneet Chhabra, co-founder and chief technical officer at Headlight AI, the recent start-up that has caught the attention of Network Rail, the UK infrastructure management agency. “All over the world, the ground is a dynamic environment, it’s unpredictable, and needs constant monitoring. Heavily industrialised countries, like the UK, have centuries of underground history – from mineral extraction to abandoned and forgotten installations.” “This is a great example of how innovation engagement through companies and workshops can solve long-standing, tricky issues”, says Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain, the rail knowledge transfer manager at Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), the UK-based organisation charged with developing better links between science, creativity and business. Often, in railway terms, it just is not practical to open up an inspection hole, without closing the line and disrupting services. “Any agency, whether they be in the rail industry or any other utility, needs to guarantee the foundations upon which they are built”, says Chhabra. “There are however lots of ways to remotely inspect voids, mine-workings, caverns, caves and tunnels, and Headlight AI is involved in developing a suit of solutions. However, it’s the inaccessible, and even risky situations, where Prometheus can be deployed, with minimal or no ground disturbance, and avoiding putting anyone in a dangerous situation.”
Exploration without alien invasion Chhabra admits that the prospect of fully-autonomous spheres that fly with no apparent means of propulsion, and map the space around them in realtime with life-like detail, is someway in the future. Yet, he is on the verge of proving trials, and presenting a deployable device. “There are significant challenges to reaching the sort of 3D capabilities seen in that film, but Prometheus is at the edge of what is achievable now, and it’s only going to get better. There are challenges the system can answer now. In the next decade, the hardware and software capabilities will evolve, and bring that sort of 3D mapping at survey-grade, right down to earth.” Prometheus will be exploring historic mine workings around Shrewsbury this Spring. There is interest too from groups seeking to re-establish rail services over long abandoned infrastructure, including some long and deep tunnels. There are possible applications on other major projects too, such as HS2. Headlight AI is about to illuminate some long forgotten and deep, dark places. Let’s just hope they don’t find any acid-blooded xenomorphs down there, especially ones with a bad attitude and a history of undermining everything in general.
A pilot route that would be the first step in creating a pan-European hyperloop network is being investigated in the largest urban area of The Netherlands, between Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Numerous local governments, Schiphol Airport, and other companies, mainly in the sector of fresh produce – such as flowers, signed a covenant earlier this week to study the preconditions and effects of a hyperloop connection for cargo. The results are expected mid-2022. The aim of the exploratory study is identifying challenges and providing solutions that similar urban areas are facing elsewhere in Europe, and hereby paving the way for investing in hyperloop infrastructure across the entire continent. Such a network would make it possible to send goods across Europe in hours rather... more...
than days, while a global network would cut transport times to just days. The parties participating in this study are part of, or involved in The Netherlands’ largest export industries. The focus is on the busiest national freight corridor between the cities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam and other important hubs in the provinces of Noord- and Zuid-Holland. Connecting producers, traders, buyers and logistics nodes on this corridor with a hyperloop, offers the potential to drastically reduce transport with existing modalities and significantly increase the speed and reliability of delivery.
Gamechanger The futuristic hyperloop network would mean a large reduction in maintenance costs for existing infrastructure and would alleviate the congestion problem. Also, a significant improvement of the air quality in the heavily populated area could be achieved by reducing CO2 emissions. The latter would be a major step for the transport sector in achieving its ambitions towards achieving the climate agreement goals. Walther Ploos van Amstel, economist and Lector City Logistics at the University of Applies Science of Amsterdam: “The hyperloop is a ’gamechanger’ for transport, like the container in the 60s of the last century. The competitiveness of regions is going to change. The Netherlands, as the logistics main port of Europe, must capitalise on it now.”
First commercial hyperloop The active involvement of these parties is done under the banner of the Hyperloop Development Program (HDP), a public-private partnership for the development of hyperloop announced in late 2020. The HDP is financially backed by the Dutch national government and focusses on developing hyperloop as a new sustainable mode of transport, for both passengers and cargo. Identifying and exploring the potential of the first cargo routes is first of its many activities. A cargo hyperloop system requires a smaller-scale infrastructure than the passenger system and soon undergoes tests at the European Hyperloop Center in the Dutch province of Groningen. After completion of these tests the system is ready for commercial operations.
Dutch export A cargo-hyperloop can offer major advantages for the fresh produce industry, which accounts for a significant part of Dutch exports. “This collaboration is an important step in the development of this new modality for goods, with which we will be able to deliver faster and at higher capacity, at lower cost, says Rik Roeske, project leader of the cargo hyperloop. “We can move goods at a speed that is very competitive with trucks, with more frequent and smaller shipments. Because the system operates autonomously and integrally, the capacity can be adjusted on-demand with platooning”. This does not only apply to Dutch industry, Roeske says. “Many other markets, such as e-commerce and pharma worldwide, also benefit from the hyperloop.” Joint feasibility study The study will touch upon topics such as product requirements, integration, socio-economic costs and benefits and operations and maintenance and the decision-making process for possible next steps and will be completed by mid-2022. The participating parties all bring in valuable experience, knowledge, and data, necessary to assess the feasibility of a hyperloop system for cargo.
German operator LNVG won the European Railway Award on Monday with the hydrogen train project iLint. General Director Carmen Schwabl of LNVG received the prize at an online ceremony. Two of Alstom’s Coradia iLint hydrogen trains ran on the timetable in Lower Saxony between September 2018 and the end of February 2020, the world’s first hydrogen passenger train in mainline operation. In regular passenger transport, the hydrogen trains successfully covered more than 180,000 kilometers. The series production of the Coradia iLint is currently underway. The first series-produced train will be used in regular passenger transport in Germany from 2022. Alstom’s... more...
Coradia iLint was nominated for the award by a jury consisting of drivers from the European rail sector, EU policymakers, previous winners and journalists. The jury praised the excellent cooperation between the project partners LNVG, Alstom, the federal state of Lower Saxony, the transport company Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser GmbH (evb) and the gas and engineering company Linde.
A first in Lower Saxony “It is not self-evident that a government body stimulates and supervises a technological development of such magnitude. With our partners in the test phase, we have achieved a worldwide first in passenger transport in Lower Saxony,” said Schwabl. “Our goal was to offer a realistic alternative to diesel, to make it market-ready and to use it in the first network in daily passenger transport.” As part of the award, the winner could donate ten thousand euros to charity. LNGV chose to give the prize money to SOS-Kinderdorf and SOS-Mütterzentrum Salzgitter. “We are very pleased that our customer LNVG has received an award for our innovative hydrogen train project. Our joint project Coradia iLint shows our commitment to green mobility in combination with the latest technology. Today we can be very proud of our innovative Coradia iLint, the world’s first and only existing hydrogen train,” said Gian Luca Erbacci, senior vice president of Europe at Alstom.
Hydrogen train The Coradia iLint hydrogen train only emits water vapor and condensed water, making it a zero emission vehicle. The lithium-ion battery at the bottom of the vehicle stores energy from the fuel cell when it is not needed for traction. The battery also absorbs braking energy and returns this energy when accelerating. When driving at a constant speed, the electricity produced by the fuel cell charges the battery. The hydrogen train is designed for use on non-electrified routes and therefore enables clean and sustainable train traffic on these routes as well. The European Railway Award is organised by Unife, the European Railway Supplier Association and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER). This award has been presented every year since 2007 for outstanding achievements in the development of economically and ecologically sustainable rail transport.
Delhi-Meerut RRTS: The operational speed of the rapid rail corridor will be 160 kmphDelhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System: India is all set to adopt the European Train Control System (ETCS) in mainline railways for the very first time, with the country's premier regional rapid rail coming up between Delhi and Meerut. French multinational rolling stock manufacturer Alstom won a contract worth €106 million to design, supply, and install the signalling, train control, and telecommunication system for the 82.15 km-long Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut regional rapid transit system (RRTS) corridor. The National Capital Region Transport Corporation Ltd. (NCRTC), responsible for executing the RRTS project, awarded the contract to Alstom on January 20, 2021. (Also Read: Delhi-Meerut Rapid Rail To Have Indigenous Ballastless Track Technology )According to a statement released by Alstom, the European train control system hybrid level three signalling system will be adopted for the very first time in the country. The Delhi-Meerut semi-high-speed rail line will reduce the travel time between Delhi... more...
and Meerut to just 60 minutes, as compared to the current 90-100 minutes, and will run a maximum speed of 160 km per hour. Alstom's scope of work in the project includes design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of signalling and train control, supervision, platform screen doors, and telecommunication systems for the corridor.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMeanwhile, the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut rapid rail corridor will consist of modern and indigenous ballastless track, suitable for supporting a high design speed of 180 km per hour and operational speed of 160 km per hour. Out of the 82 km long Delhi-Meerut rapid rail corridor, the 17 km-long Sahibabad-Duhai section has been targeted to be operational by the year 2023. (Also Read: Delhi-Panipat Rapid Rail Gets Haryana Cabinet's Nod: All You Need To Know)In the first phase of the regional rapid transit system coming up in the national capital region, the other priority corridors apart from Delhi-Meerut are Delhi-Gurugram-Rewari-Alwar and Delhi-Sonipat-Panipat. The three RRTS corridors will converge at the Sarai Kale Khan station in Delhi. The interoperability of the main corridors will allow seamless commuter movement across corridors.
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