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News from the UK Rail Industry for September 2018

Posted by: Warren Drobac
Industry News

Bidders for New Tyne and Wear Metros Revealed

The firms who are bidding for the contract to build the new Tyne and Wear Metros were revealed this September. Competitors for the £360m include some of the biggest names in the train building industry from around the world. The five companies in the running are Stadler Bussnang from Switzerland, Hitachi Rail Group, the Spanish company CAF, Bombardier and a joint bid from Downer and CRRC.
£337m of a total £600 million in funding that will be provided as part of North of the Tyne devolution will be going to replacing the old Tyne and Wear Metro trains. One of the five bidding companies will be awarded the contract in 2019, and the first new trains are expected within the following two years. The shortlisted bidders are expected to submit train designs with a modern appearance and efficient, robust operation. Some of the aims for the new trains include improving the flow of passengers and dwell times at stations.  Read the full story


Network Rail Extends Contract with British Steel

Network Rail has chosen to extend a contract with British Steel by a further two years, continuing their supply of long steel rail. The contract, which runs from March 2019 to March 2021, is for 200,000 tonnes of rail (approximately), which will be largely used for maintaining and renewing existing rails. Most of Network Rail's rails are from British Steel, around 95 percent, and the company has provided material for recent major projects, such as the reopening of the Scottish Borders Railway.
British Steel is currently constructing a new facility at its Scunthorpe location to boost its capacity and increase its support for Network Rail. They will be focusing on providing new, more sustainable rail types, such as Zinoco coated rails that help to prevent corrosion. The extension of the partnership between these two businesses is a positive for British business. Ron Deelen, Chief Marketing Officer, British Steel, said: “We enjoy an excellent partnership with Network Rail and over the course of the current contract, and the new one, we look forward to further strengthening that and ensuring Britain’s railways remain on the right track.”  Read the full story


Plans for Rail Central Freight Interchange Submitted

Proposals for a new Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) in Northamptonshire called Rail Central have been submitted for inspection. The plans have been put forward by Ashfield Land and Gazeley, proposing the SRFI be built at the intersection of the West Coast Main Line and Northampton Loop Line.
The plans are not without controversy, despite having the potential to create 8,000 new jobs. The freight interchange will span up to eight million sqft, leading to concerns from local residents about how it may affect the Northamptonshire countryside. There is also concern that the location of the site, between the villages of Blisworth and Milton Malsor might merge the two villages together. A group called Stop Rail Central has been set up in opposition to the plans, while developers promised to make changes to limit the impact of the interchange. If the plans are approved, construction wouldn't begin until at least late 2019.  Read the full story
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