Monday, 8 August 2011

Rail Factoids

Today, we start a new service, "Rail Factoids"¹, offering readers facts (with sources) published about railways around the world.  It's a trial for the time being but it is hoped it will grow into a recognised database that can be used by the industry to help their businesses. Here's the first list:
  • DB Schenker reports that it has moved 15% more cars by rail in Q1 2011 than it did for the same period in 2010.  Source: DBS, Doncaster, UK, 15 July 2011.
  • Union Pacific of the USA reported a 10% increase in income from its rail freight operations in Q2 of 2011.  Source: UP, Omaha, NE, USA, 21 July 2011.
  • China has built 20,000km of new railways in the last five years, bringing the country's network up to 70,000km. Source: IRJ, August 2011.
  • The Indonesian island of Sumatra has 1,348km of 1,067mm gauge rail lines, while Java has 3,425km. Source: IRJ, August 2011.
  • The world's longest high speed line opened in China between Beijing and Shanghai on 30th June 2011. The line is 1,318km long and offers an end to end journey time of under 5 hours.  Source: RGI, August 2011.
  • The new Chinese high speed line is reported as costing US$25million per kilometre. This is less than 50% of what it would cost to build in the UK.  BBC, 24 July 2011.
  • The maximum axle load for a rail vehicle in Europe is 22 tonnes.  In the UK it is 25 tonnes but in Australia some heavy haul freight line operate with 40 tonne axle loads. Source: RGI August 2011.
  • Network Rail in Britain is switching its civil engineering standards from British Standards to Eurocodes. Source:, 2 August 2011.
  • The Bombardier contract for 300 new metro cars for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) works out at a price of US$1.1million per car.  Source RGI, August 2011.
  • An order for 108 metro cars for Santiago, Chile is priced at US$1.33million per car. RGI, August 2011.
RGI = Railway Gazette International; IRJ = International Railway Journal.

Footnote 1:  With thanks to Steve Wright of BBC Radio 2.

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