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19 Июля 2017

RLL Container Report - 19 July 2017

From: John Keir, Ross Learmont Ltd. Email: john.keir@telia.com Date: 19 July 2017

A veritable hive of railway activity

The railway construction fever has infected the whole of eastern and western Europe and is now infecting the inhabitants of the Middle East, who are just as keen to “get in on the act”.

Iranian Railways are in discussion with their colleagues from RZD in Russia regarding the scheme to electrify the rail line from Teheran to Tabriz, a distance of some 600 km. At the same time, RZD is planning to start early next year the electrification of a second line from Ince-Burun, on the border with Turkmenistan to Garmsar. The Iranian authorities are also studying the possibility of running a line from western Iran to the new Turkish interchange point at Kars. Azerbaijan had proposed a line through its southern province but RZD may come up with a more attractive and cheaper option. Rather than construct a relatively short broad gauge line, RZD could offer to construct a European standard gauge line right through Armenia to connect with the Turkish network at Kars. This would eliminate two costly changes of gauge. The advantage of this Armenian approach is that RZD effectively controls Armenian Railways in addition to which the new line would greatly improve both domestic and international rail passenger as well as freight traffic via the Caucasian republic.

Up in the far North, the Swedes are working on plans to rehabilitate an inland rail line by co-operating with a private investor. The route in question is the 1,000-km long line linking Mora in central Sweden via Östersund with Gällivare in the north. This Inland Railway is owned by various municipalities along the route, which are in discussion with the banking group, Macquirie to find the USD 20 million of private funding that will be required to upgrade the line. Last year, the line transported 62 million tonne-km of freight, mainly in the form of timber and processed wood products. In addition, the line could generate more income from passenger traffic transported by modern rolling stock. Earlier this year, a Diesel Multiple Unit provided by the Croatian company, TZV Gredelj travelled on the line between Östersund and Mora to promote regular regional passenger services.

At the same time, the European Union’s efforts to unify technical standards among the more recent entrants in the railway sector are beginning to bear fruit in Central Europe, Poland’s long-distance rail operator PKP Intercity has issued a call for tender for 55 coaches with a closing date for bids of July 14. The order will comprise five first-class and 36 second-class coaches, plus seven second-class coaches with facilities for disabled passengers, and seven coaches each equipped with eight bicycle racks. PKP Intercity expects the coaches to be delivered within 30 months of signing the contract. The Poles have inserted a requirement that the supplier must certify the coaches for operation not only in Poland but also in the surrounding countries of the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Slowly but surely, a unified rail network is being established in Continental Europe.

John Keir, Ross Learmont Ltd.
19 July 2017

Copyright ©, 2017, John Keir

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