FRANCE: SNCF Network has awarded NGE a contract to modify rail infrastructure in Saint Jean-de-Maurienne to link it to the new Lyon - Turin base tunnel. SNCF Network is the contract manager for Tunnel Euralpin Lyon Turin (TELT) project. Four NGE subsidiaries - TSO, Offroy, TSO Caténaires and Sages Rail - are involved. After studies, most of the work will take place during 2025, and during a month’s complete closure of the existing line during 2026 with the project scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2026. Work involves replacing 11.4km of track, 15km of catenary, 23km of feeder, 1400 tonnes of rail, 18,800 sleepers and 54,500 tonnes of ballast.

The inauguration of Alstom's new Valmadrera rail traction supply components plant in Italy's Lecco Province. Photo credit: Alstom

Italy: Alstom has inaugurated a new plant at Valmadrera for development and manufacture of railway, metro and light rail traction power supply components, including catenary, conductor rail and APS systems. The 0.98 hectare site includes an 8500m² building and 1300m² of warehousing. Alstom has invested around €2m in the new plant, including digital control and laboratory testing equipment and automatic storage systems. The facility will combine production previously divided over two smaller sites at Pescate and Oginate. Electrification equipment will be produced not only for Italy but also for export to France, Britain, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Dubai, Algeria and Japan.

Australia: Sydney Trains has awarded Systra a contract to act as systems integrator on its Electrical Isolations Improvement Programme (EIIP). Systra will design, type approve, construct and commission the integrated remote switching system intended to address two key challenges. The first is to accommodate a safer and more productive maintenance schedule for the electrification system. The second is to reduce the impact on passengers of power outages on the 1.5kV dc catenary and high-voltage networks.

Czech Republic: Rail infrastructure manager SŽ says the contractor to draft the necessary building permits for the Kostelc u Jihlava - Slavonice upgrade project has been selected as Sagasta-Prodin Kostelec-Slavonice. The contract value is Koruna 39.9m ($US 1.8m), 12% under the expected price. Construction work on the estimated Koruna 2.165bn project should begin in three years and involves relaying track at Telč, Sedlejov and Třešť stations along with refurbishment of the 53km line. A new station with passing loop will be built at Slaviboř and a new stop at Slavonice škola. New safety systems will enable remote control from a new regional dispatch office in Jihlava. Line speed will be increased from 50km/h to 80km/h.

An Auckland Transport EMU on the New Zealand city's 1067mm gauge commuter rail network. Photo credit: Auckland Transport

New Zealand: Work to prepare Auckland’s rail network for more frequent commuter trains is about to enter its second stage, which will see stations on the Eastern Line closed between Ōtāhuhu and Britomart. Despite severe weather in New Zealand in recent months, work on Stage 1 of the $NZ 330m ($US 205.4m) Rail Network Rebuild, involving the Southern Line between Ōtāhuhu and Newmarket and the Onehunga Line, is on schedule, with commuter services due to resume on March 20. Work on Stage 2 will begin on the same date, with Sylvia Park, Pamure, Glen Innes, Meadowbank and Ōrākei stations remaining closed until January 2024.

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