SPAIN: Valencian Government Railways (FGV) has awarded Stadler Rail Valencia a €102m contract for the first 16 of its new 4500 series LRVs. The Albuixech-based manufacturer was the only bidder and the contract includes an option for FGV to acquire up to 12 more LRVs in two batches of six. The order is likely to be co-financed by the European Union (EU) through the Valencian Community 2021-27 operational programme of the European Regional Development Fund. The first 16 LRVs must be delivered within 32 months of the contract being signed, with the first vehicle to be delivered within 24 months.

Czech Republic: Czech Railways (ČD) says that this year it will put into operation another 12 Siemens Vectron locomotives owned by leasing company RSL. ČD board member and deputy general director, Mr Jiří Ješeta, says that during 2023-24 the operator would continue to fulfil the framework contract with RSL for the lease of 50 Vectrons. “We will take 12 locomotives into operation this year and another 22 next year,” Ješeta says. The locomotives will operate exclusively under ETCS on the Prague - Brno - Budapest, Prague - Ostrava, and Prague - České Budějovice - Austria lines from January 1 2025.

United States: New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has begun testing two R211 open gangway metro trains that are expected to enter service in the last quarter of 2023. The testing is to determine the potential for further open gangway rolling stock purchases for the network. The two trains are part of a 535-car order for R211 vehicles that includes 20 open gangway coaches, an additional 515 cars featuring CCTV, passenger information screens, brighter lighting and signage and additional accessible seating, and 15 five-car trains for the Staten Island Railway. An order approved in October 2022 for another 640 R211 cars will bring the total to 1175 within the next two years.

Czech Republic: Czech Railways (ČD) has issued a tender for 47 dual-voltage EMUs for regional services. The successful bidder for the contract which will have a value of up to Koruna 8.4bn ($US 378m), will also provide full maintenance over 15 years. The EMUs will have a maximum speed of 160km/h, will be able to take traction current at 3kV dc and 25kV 50Hz ac and must have at least 140 seats each.

Austria: Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) has issued a tender for up to 67 passenger coaches, each with 300 seats. The coaches must be able to run at speeds of at least 200km/h and be approved for operation in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Italy: Campania regional operator Volturno Autonomous Body (EAV) has tendered a framework contract for up to 60 cars to operate on the unconnected narrow-gauge routes it operates on behalf of the Campania Region, which is the infrastructure owner. The 950mm-gauge routes include the electrified Circumflegrea, Circumvesuviana and Cumana commuter lines in Naples. The framework agreement is worth €483m in total including €420m for the delivery of the 950mm-gauge rolling stock, of which €112m is for the first order of 16 cars. The value of maintenance over five years for the 60 cars is estimated at €63m.

Russia: Moscow Metro has signed a contract with Metrowagonmash for the supply of 38 shunting locomotives which are expected to be delivered from autumn 2023. The locomotives will be used for overnight maintenance and will be required to haul track materials and heavy equipment. Features of the new locomotives include a spacious cab with improved noise insultation, ergonomic controls and air-conditioning. They are also designed to be more environmentally friendly and to produce fewer emissions in the tunnel environment.

Switzerland: DIF Capital Partners has signed an agreement with wagon leasing company Wascosa which is to acquire, for an undisclosed sum, the Rota Rail II portfolio of 564 freight wagons managed by DIF’s Core-plus Infrastructure Fund I (CIF I). DIF says it acquired and added to the wagon fleet in 2019-21 and upgraded it to ensure compliance with the latest safety standards. It says the portfolio remained resilient through the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent uncertain socio-political climate in Europe. DIF Capital Partners head of exits, Mr Andrew Freeman, said by making an early sale the company was “tapping into the favourable market” for high-quality freight vehicles, thereby generating attractive returns for CIF I investors.

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