September 98

The German railway is taking over a German-Dutch-American joint venture, NDX. NDX was considered an innovator in the lethargic European freight rail business, selling straight to shippers instead of through forwarders, and cutting prices. NDX was set up in 1997, but losses and the sale of one of the owners to the German railway in June set the stage for German DBAG to take over American CSX's share as well. Through subsidiary Sea-Land, CSX still owns part of NDX's collegue, ERS. ERS also runs rail shuttles out of Holland. (September 9th 1998)

A proposed maglev from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh has won $55 million in federal money for a feasibility study. (September 8th 1998)

An 8-km light rail line is being considered for Canada's capital, Ottawa. It would run along an alignment belonging to, and still used by, Canadian Pacific. Officials have been in Germany to try out some trains. Also see the stories Light rail gets signal for all aboard, Rail service urged for Barrhaven - City, and New riders key to success at the Ottawa Citizen. (September 8th 1998)

A group of leading Australian businesses may form their own team to bid for the Very Fast Train project along the eastern seaboard, The Age writes. There is much HST expertise in Australia, the article says, but fails to mention the lack of experience. This HST project on the eastern coast should not be confused with the longer inland link between Darwin on the north coast and Melbourne on the south coast. (September 8th 1998)

Union Pacific is upgrading its section of triple track in Nebraska from 60 mph to 70 mph, or 112 km/h. (September 8th 1998)

The Florida Fun Train seems headed toward an unhappy ending. The two-hour fun ride between Orlando and the south was launched last year, but has run into problems precipitated by late delivery of the carriages, which dented revenues. (September 8th 1998)

DBAG and Lufthansa are co-operating on operation some trains from the Frankfurt airport to Stuttgart to the south and the Rhen-Ruhr area to the south. This, in combination with a new station at the airport, will increase plain/train transfers fourfold. The trains will start rolling once the Köln -- Frankfurt high speed line is completed. Through ticketing and baggage handling will be available. The resulting free slots at the airport may be used for more international flights under Lufthansa's Star Alliance with other airlines. (September 8th 1998)

The Brazilian government has postponed for two months the sale of Fepasa, the final and most-prized portion of the state railway network. The government wants to evaluate the success of previous privatizations first. (September 3rd 1998)

An upgrade of Midwest passenger services has been presented by Amtrak and nine DOTs; it would reduce travel times by about a third with trains reaching 175 km/h. (September 3rd 1998, more here)

China has started construction of a 542.6 km railway linking the island of Hainan (southwest of Hong Kong) with the mainland. (September 3rd 1998)

By the end of the month, ICE trains between Berlin and Hannover will reach 250 km/h. Connections from Berlin to the west will be shortened by about an hour. (September 3rd 1998)

Magnetschnellbahn-Planungsgesellschaft mbH, the company building a maglev from Berlin to Hamburg, has dismissed claims by magazine Der Spiegel that costs have yet again swelled past targets. (September 3rd 1998)

Regina Adtranz' new concept for regional trains is called Crusaris Regina. The train is 3,45 metres wide and has five full-width seats in each row. Top speed is 180 or 200 km/h and the train may be ordered tilting or not. The train accelerates at 0,9 m/s2. A wheelchair lift is available in one low-floor vestibule in one of the cars. In "flexareas" there is room for baggage, bikes, vending machines, or a café. (June 10th 1998)

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