EriksRailNews.comLinks Press Releases Archive In Your Phone About Guestbook

January 2003

Wireless Broadband on Linx Trains Linx is testing wireless broadband internet for passengers on their Göteborg-København trains. The system is being provided by Icomera and uses satellites for broadband capacity and multiple GSM links in parallel for reliability. Passengers access the internet by bringing laptops with wireless LAN. See also Linx press release in Swedish. find (January 31st)

photo by Dead in Sydney Commuter Train Derailment Nine people died and 45 were injured when a double deck EMU derailed 30 km south of Sydney on Friday the 31st. The 6.24am from Sydney Central to Pt Kembla derailed in a cutting, the first two carriages hitting a retaining wall and the other two tipping over. Rescue efforts were hampered by the inaccessible location of the crash. The line may have buckled in 40°C heat, then contracted in cooler weather overnight. The stretch of track where the accident occurred is subject to a 50 km/h speed limit due to the curve of the track. It was the fourth passenger service to use the line that morning. See also an article detailing possible causes of the crash, photo gallery, and info on train type. (January 31st, reported by David Bromage; photo by Sydney Morning Herald)

mapJFK Airport Gets Rail New York's John F Kennedy Airport light railway, AirTrain JFK, is over 90% complete and will open this year. It is a 110 km/h, 13 km long tram line with ten stations. It connects to other subway and rail lines at two terminals, where passengers may change trains to get to Manhattan. See also conceptual map. find (January 31st, thanks John Brydle)

Arriva Cancels in Denmark Arriva, the new franchisee for Jutland regional rail, has cancelled 82 trains in the first three weeks of the year, compared to six last year when DSB ran the trains. Arriva says a driver shortage is to blame, which will be over March 1st. Arriva criticises DSB's training monopoly for new train drivers. See also DSB press release and Arriva Denmark's website. find (January 28th)

Tube Shuts After Crash and Fireman Strike The London Underground is suffering widespread shutdowns after a train train derailed on Saturday the 25th; also, underground stations with lifts were closed as firefighters staged a 48-hour walkout from 0900 Tuesday the 28th. A traction motor fell off the underside of one of the rear carriages causing it to leave the rails and hit the tunnel walls. See also BBC stories 1 and 2. (January 28th, thanks Patrick L Lucas)

100 Trains Cut in England More than 100 trains a day from several franchises are to be cut in England in an effort to cut congestion and improve punctuality. (January 28th, thanks Matt Carlson)

Tågkompaniet Buys Six Locos Swedish Tågkompaniet has bought six used Norwegian El16 locomotives, similar to the Swedish electric Rc4. What they will be used for after June is unclear, since Tågkompaniet has lost its main franchise, night trains to the North, to Connex. (January 28th, thanks Toma Bacic)

Two Dead in France Two trains collided at 1100 local time on Monday the 27th in a tunnel in south-eastern France, killing two people and injuring several more, according to French media reports. The cause of the accident is unknown. (January 27th)

Amtrak Threatens Shutdown Again Amtrak warned Congress on Wednesday the 15th they could begin a shutdown within months if lawmakers made wholesale cuts in Amtrak's request for $1.2bn in funding. They threatened a similar shutdown during the budget crisis last summer, which was resolved before any service disruption with a $300m package of loans and cash from the government to maintain operations. See also press releases from Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration. (January 17th)

Network Rail Cancels Maintenance Deal British Network Rail is removing the troubled contractor Amey from the job of maintaining track and signals between Paddington and Reading and will, instead, do the work itself. Up to 500 staff will be transferred from Amey, and Network rail is considering doing this on one or two further routes. Network Rail says contractors' costs are too high and it wants to compare the cost of completing the maintenance itself. Another maintenance company, Jarvis, remains at the centre of the on-going investigation into the May 2002 Potters Bar crash that claimed seven lives. See also IRJ bulletin. (January 17th, thanks Roland Newman)

Trans Siberian Fully Electrified The full electrification of the Trans-Siberian railway was completed on Christmas Day. "The line can now work as a unified system," said Viktor Popov, chairman of the Far Eastern section of the 9267 km line line. The Far Eastern section of the line runs 7500 km and carries more than 30% of all Russian exports. Officials said they hoped the electrification would boost traffic on the Trans-Siberian by up to 40%. (January 7th, thanks Alan Reekie)

Delhi Metro TrainNew Delhians Swamp New Metro The first 8 km of New Delhi's metro opened December 26th. Phase one comprises 62 km and will be ready by 2005. The first day of operation saw six times as many passengers as the system is designed for. Many passengers took home souvenirs of their metro trips and the state-of-the-art metro ran out of electronic tokens. Drivers had to switch off emergency intercoms in the trains because of passengers buzzing them to tell them to go faster. The metro then ran newspaper ads asking people to postpone pleasure trips on the air-conditioned metro carriages. See also official page, the BBC's photos of the fun, and Metroplanet page. (January 7th, thanks Alan Reekie)

Two Dead in Spain At least two people died and 15 others were injured when a Spanish intercity Talgo train jumped the tracks near the central town of Albacete on Sunday the 5th. The engine, a freight wagon and the first carriage left the rails. The cause of the accident is unknown. See also BBC story. (January 7th, thanks Toma Bacic and Glenn Olesen)

More Rail in Sydney Vision Under a vision for 2020 contained in the western Sydney report from the area's economic development board, the city's public transport system would focus on the west instead of radiating out of central Sydney. Also a high-speed rail link could run down the middle of the Western Sydney Orbital Freeway, due to be built by 2007. Rail lines would form an outer ring linking the new land release areas with the existing rail network. See also future highway map and Major Sydney construction projects. (January 7th, thanks David Bromage)

Swiss ETCS Proceeds With Caution SBB is supplementing the new ETCS signalling system on the new Mattstetten - Rothrist line with a conventional system because the new one is not reliable enough. Trials have been underway since April 2002, and poor performance is forcing SBB to lower the maximum speed from 200 to 160 km/h. The trains will take two minutes longer and several train connections will be missed. See also transport authority press release. find (January 4th, thanks Richard Mlynarik)

Erik's Rail News Front Page