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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Updates from Parsons, L.B. Foster, Siemens Mobility, Transportation Certification Services and Unit Rail


• A joint venture comprising Parsons, Denmark-based Rambøll, U.K.-based Atkins and Swiss-based Emch+Berger was awarded a 12-year multidisciplinary consultancy contract (with options) to upgrade and modernize the Danish railway network by 2021. The scope of work includes tender preparation; contract negotiation; supplier oversight; implementation of an early deployment scheme; and roll-out over the entire Danish mainline rail network of a European Rail Traffic Management System and a communication-based train control system to the Copenhagen commuter network. The nearly $5 billion Denmark Signaling Program covers more than 1,980 miles of track and 560 train sets and locomotives from four major operators.

• This month, L.B. Foster Co. will deliver the final rail-product shipment under a $9 million contract with Skanska USA Civil Southeast for use in the construction of The Tide light-rail system in Norfolk, Va. Hampton Roads Transit is building the 7.4-mile light-rail line linking the Eastern Virginia Medical Center, downtown Norfolk and Interstate 264. L.B. Foster provided new rail, relay rail, insulated rail joints, direct fixation fasteners and trackwork for the new rail link. The system is scheduled to begin service along Norfolk's east/west transportation corridor in 2010.

• Siemens Mobility formed a joint venture with Portuguese maintenance company EMEF, a subsidiary of Portugal’s national railway Comboios de Portugal (CP), to service and maintain 54 locomotives — 25 LE 4700 type and 29 LE 5600 type Eurosprinter units — for 10 years. Siemens holds a 49 percent share in the joint venture; EMEF, 51 percent. CP operates a rail network that stretches more than 1,860 miles, and transports more than 133 million passengers and 10 million metric tons of freight annually.

• Transportation Certification Services Inc. (TCS) was selected to train equipment operators for Minnesota’s Northstar commuter-rail service. TCS trained the first class of equipment operators earlier this year. In preparation for North Star’s Nov. 16 debut, TCS began training additional equipment operators Sept. 14. The 40-mile North Star will begin service with five roundtrips daily between Big Lake and Minneapolis, with stops at Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley.

• Unit Rail, the rail fastening division of Amsted Rail, named Thai Nguyen design engineer. He’ll be responsible for the design, test and “manufacturability” of fastening components for the company’s end users in both the freight and transit railroad segments, according to a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/17/2009