Bombardier Transportation said Wednesday it has received an order for the supply of 12 low-floor FLEXITY Classic trams from Hallesche Verkehrs AG (HAVAG), the transit agency serving Halle, Germany, which is located roughly 20 miles northwest of Leipzig in eastern Germany.
The contract, valued at approximately $39 million, includes an option for the delivery of another four vehicles. Vehicle delivery is scheduled between July 2012 and January 2013. HAVAG previously had received 30 vehicles of the same type from Bombardier between 2006 and 2007, Bombardier said.
Germar Wacker, president, Light Rail Vehicles, Bombardier Transportation, said: “This order is a sign of confidence in the reliability and quality of our vehicles and confirms the longstanding and successful partnership with Hallesche Verkehrs AG.”
The 12 trams will be manufactured at the Bombardier Bautzen site. Bombardier’s Siegen plant is responsible for delivering the bogies. The Mannheim site will provide the vehicle’s electrical equipment.
The bi-directional vehicles are designed for 1,000 mm gauge (narrow-gauge)tracks and can also be used in double traction service. Designed with rigid axle bogies, the FLEXITY vehicle design offers a smooth ride with reduced noise, the company said. The FLEXITY vehicles will be equipped with the proven and reliable MITRAC propulsion & control system, Bombardier added.
Fairport, N.Y.-based RailComm says it has provided a major expansion of its Yard Automation System at Transnet Freight Rail’s (TFR) Ermelo Yard in South Africa.
The company’s automation system is comprised of the DOC® (Domain Operations Controller) server-based central control system and nine (9) new associated outdoor-rated control panels. Per TFR’s requirements, the system operator is in charge of selecting the appropriate control mode based on desired operating conditions.
Additionally, the system at Ermelo utilizes RailComm RADiANT™ data radios to communicate between the office system, the control panels, and a network of power switches. The power switches are controlled by the RailComm Universal Switch Controller, providing customers the ability to utilize any power switch machine on the market. The RailComm Yard AutomationSystem is designed to increase yard safety and improve yard dwell times and switching productivity.
The system was installed using RailComm’s in-country partner, ERB Technologies. ERB is located in Midrand, South Africa.
Amtrak said Tuesday that the testing of a cleaner and renewable biodiesel fuel blend on Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer has made Time magazine’s list of “The 50 Best Inventions of 2010.”
Amtrak received a $274,000 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to carry out the research project in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation on the train operated by Amtrak with state support from both Oklahoma and Texas. The biodiesel blend is provided by a Texas-based vendor.
In previously conducted stationary locomotive enginetesting, the biodiesel blend known as B20 (20% pure biofuel and 80% diesel) reduced hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide each by 10%, reduced particulates by 15%, and reduced sulfates by 20%, Amtrak said. Detailed measurements wil lbe taken on the locomotive at the end of 12 months so any impact of the biodiesel on valves and gaskets can be measured. Amtrak will collect locomotive exhaust emissions data for analysis in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency locomotive exhaust emissions federal test protocols.
“This recognition from Time magazine is an honor to our state partners and all of us at Amtrak who are working on this project, the nation’s first test of biodiesel in an interstate passenger train,” said Amtrak Vice President, Environmental, Health and Safety Roy Deitchman. “Amtrak travel is already more energy efficient than most other forms of intercity transportation. If the test shows this use of a renewable fuel in our locomotive is successful, it’s a home run for our passengers, for our partners, and for the planet.”
Since April, General Electric P32-8 locomotive 500 has carried an Amtrak decal indicating the use of B20 fuel and other special markings to make certain only the biodiesel fuel is used in 3,200-horsepower, 12-cylinder engine, through the conclusion of the test in next April. The trial has received support on fuel and engine component evaluation from Chevron Oronite. The engine manufacturer has provided input on warranty matters, Amtrak said.
Longtime labor negotiator Theodore Kheel died Friday at age 96. Kheel was a well-known figure in New York City, even to the general public, for his roles in mediating labor conflicts and/or strikes by the newspaper, teaching, and subway unions throughout much of the latter half of the 20th century, gaining the trust of both labor and management.
In later years, Kheel became an advocate for free public transit within New York, and with the help of transit advocate Charles Koumanoff and others, and funded largely by Kheel himself, advanced a plan for congestion pricing in Manhattan which would fund such a measure.