Preview of the Railvolution 4/2006

SBB's Class RABe 514 Double-Deck EMUs
In February 2003 Siemens was awarded a 447 million CHF contract by SBB for 35 four-car double-deck suburban EMUs, to be delivered between October 2005 and January 2008. Exactly three years later, on 8 February 2006, SBB took up an option clause for 25 more RABe 514s. These trains, worth 220 million EUR, will be delivered in 2008/9.
Here we see the most recent and one of the older Zürich S-Bahn trains at Wallisellen during the publicity event held in the Zürich area on 3 December 2005. 514 003 encounters 450 013.
Photo: Sven Klein
Desiro Mainline
At InnoTrans 2004 Siemens exhibited computer-generated illustrations of its future train for suburban and middle-distance services. Over the following two years the project for the Desiro Mainline was developed further, and was presented in its definitive form on 23 June 2006 at a me-dia workshop held at Krefeld.
Transatlantic Desiro contrasts, as a TransPennine Express DMU (185132) poses alongside 4003, the third NCTD Desiro Classic (right), at Krefeld on 23 June 2006. The lower photo shows the two cars of the seventh Californian Desiro during assembly.
Photo: Petr Kadeřávek
The GTW Family Continues Envolving
Stadler's GTW DMUs supplied to Südtiroler Transportstrukturen for the recently reopened Merano to Málles Venosta line in the South Tyrolean region of northern Italy have provided the company with extensive operational experience of the type. On the basis of this knowledge, Stadler is now speedily building 59 GTWs in eight different versions for five rail operators.
Wearing its new owners' latest livery, 201, destined for Ferrovia Ádria - Mestre (FAM), pauses at Weinfelden on 27 July 2006 while on a test run.
Photo: Sven Klein
Kassel's Regio Tram
The borders between railway, tramway and metro are blurred, and they always have been. Since the early 1990s Germany has led the way in breaking down the barriers between different types of urban and interurban rail networks, the pioneer city being Karlsruhe. Other cities, both in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, have copied the Karlsruhe model, and since summer 2006 Kassel has been served by a three-line train-tram network.
Two RBK tram-trains at Kassel Hbf. in June 2005; 708 is the unit closest to the camera.
Photo: Lars Brüggemann
Taurus Is Going South-East
Having conquered all German-speaking parts of Europe, the Taurus is advancing into the Balkans. Slovenia is the first country where the design is making its permanent presence felt. 541.101, the first of the batch of triple-voltage Class 541s for SÎ (see R 6/05, p. 53 - 55), was formally handed over on 31 May 2006.
541.101 on train 50350 from Ljubljana severna to Koper. The train is traversing the karst district of Podgorski Kras, between Prešnica and Žrnotiče, on the single track Prešnica to Koper branch, which descends steeply (from an altitude of 500 m to sea level in 33 km) to the coast through some spectacular limestone scenery.
Photo: Tomáš Kuchta
Ile De France Passenger PRIMAs
"Transilien" push-pull suburban services radiating from Paris will receive a new look when the 60 Class 827300 PRIMA electric locomotives ordered by SNCF from ALSTOM's Belfort works enter service.
On 20 July 2006 test train SP 748713, hauled by recently delivered 827303, pauses at Dreux, showing off the new coordinated liveries for "Transilien" locomotives and stock. In normal service six- or eight-car rakes are employed, according to route.
Photo: Gérard Lecleire
Posezenie NEVZa
The largest producer of electric locomotives in the Russian federation is NEVZ - Novocherkassky Elektrovozostroitelny Zavod, based in Novocherkassk, near Rostov na Donu. Courtesy of Transmashholding, which owns the works, we enjoyed a unique opportunity to tour the establishment on 5 June 2006 and to prepare for our readers a detailed report about its present activities. As the title of this feature translates: a visit to NEVZ.
One of the two vast main assembly halls at the NEVZ works. In the right foreground are 2ES5K-007 and 006, in the centre can be seen EP1-308 and 309, with 310 in the background to their right, while on the left is one section of 2ES5K-009, standing in front of 010.
Photo: Tomáš Kuchta
ER20 Eurorunners For Lithuania
One of Siemens's exhibits at InnoTrans 2006 will be the latest member of the Eurorunner family - the ER20 CF. This is the very first Eurorunner with a Co'Co' wheel arrangement.
A computer-generated image of the ER20 CF. As regards the type designations, ER stands for Eurorunner, 20 for power rating (2,000 kW engine), C for the Co'Co' wheel arrangement, and F for Freight. Other Eurorunner codes are B (Bo'Bo') and U (Universal).
Photo: Siemens
TSI CR Noise - The Swiss Response
On 23 June 2006 a new pan-European norm came into force affecting the ma-ximum permitted levels of noise generated by both new and modernised rail vehicles. This is the TSI (Technical Specification for Inter-operability) CR Noise. For freight wagon manufacturers in particular, this new norm implies increased costs.
On 1 July 2006 the test train, with Re 465 007 topping and Re 465 010 tailing, waits at Kerzers prior to one of the measuring runs.
Photo: André Rohrbeck, PROSE
CMKS Diesel Locomotives
Making its debut at InnoTrans 2006 will be CMKS’s Class 709.7 industrial shunter. This particular machine will be powered by the 250th Caterpillar engine to be supplied to CMKS for installation in modernised and new diesel locomotives in service in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and with its heavy, 22-tonne axleload the 709.7 is designed specifically for use on the private networks of industrial complexes.
Spot the differences if you can! CMKS relies heavily on modular components for its locomotive transformations. At present 774.701 (left) is the most powerful "horse" yet to emerge from the company's "stable", but externally looks very similar to 724.710 (right). Both diesels are representatives of CMKS's extensive Class 740, 770 and 771 rebuilds, and are seen here on 5 May 2006 at Nové Sedlo depot, on the private industrial network belonging to Sokolovská uhelná (SU).
Photo: Bohumil Skála
Czech Raildays 2006
The seventh edition of Czech Raildays was held in Ostrava between 13 and 15 June 2006, and once again the trade fair attracted a large number of exhibitors, visitors - and of course exhibits. Since a separate report appears in TransUrban dealing with urban public transport exhibits, here we focus mainly on the "heavy rail" scene.
Pars nova exhibited 814.002 (formerly 810.284 + 010.479), one of the RegioNova DMU rebuilds which the company is realising for CD (upper photo).
Photo: Tomáš Kuchta
Pajares Paradoxes
The railway between Gijón and León, traversing the Cordillera Cantábrica, is a 19th century engineering marvel. Between Pola de Lena and the 1,270 m summit at Pajares, it rises 947 m in 21 km (as the crow flies). But the distance by rail is over 50 km, on a continuous 2 % ramp, with 45 % of the route in tun-nel and 47 % on curves.
Los Pontones on 31 May 2006. On the left, the northern portals of the base tunnel. The 350 km/h high speed line will cross the Huerna valley and disappear into a 3,780 m tunnel on the right.
Photo: Mike Bent
And much more!
Cover of 4/2006

Features: the Slovenske Zeleznice Taurus 541.101 with train 50 350 from Ljubljana severna to Koper in the vicinity of Rakek (on the Ljubljana to Trieste main line) on 11 July 2006, amid typical Slovenian karst scenery.