Preview of the Railvolution 4/2009

Belgian High Speed Network Complete
2009 saw the final sections of the star-shaped Belgian high speed rail network inaugurated. The three lines radiate from Brussels to Liege and Aachen, to Antwerpen and the start of the Dutch HSL-Zuid, and to Lille. The domestic section of Line 4, from Antwerpen to Noorderkempen, was opened for local services on 29 May, and the eastern section of Line 3, from Liege to the German border, on 12 June.
DB's 406 001 passing Ruyff bridge, near Welkenrraedt, on 4 March 2009.
Photo: Fabian Feiber
Paving The Way For Sapsan
In recent numbers of Railvolution we have covered the progress being made in building, delivering and acceptance testing of RZD’s Siemens-built Velaro RUS high speed trains, which will soon be entering service between Moskva and St. Petersburg. Here we take a look at the infrastructure ugrades being realised in readiness for the flight of the Sapsan (Peregrine Falcon). Courtesy of RZD and Siemens, our editorial staff were recently invited to join one of the new trains for a day of test runs, and we report on this, too.
EVS2-003 at Uglovka following arrival from St. Petersburg as train 5001, and about to work back as train 5002 once the last local and long distance services of the morning have cleared the line. Departure northbound was at about 09.30, and the rest of the day was spent running up and down between there and Mstinsky Most, a distance of around 80 km. On the right DM62-1796 has just arrived with a local passenger service (hauling just one carriage) from Borovichi, at the end of a 35 km branch line from Uglovka.
Photo: Tomáš Kuchta
A Return Visit To The Tver Carriage Works
We paid our first visit to Tverskoy vagonostroitelny zavod in R 5/06 on pp. 56 - 61, covering the history of this major carriage works, and having a look at some of the orders and projects then being tackled. Thanks to Transmashholding, to which group TVZ belongs, we were invited to return on 29 June 2009 to report on the latest developments here in this, the factory’s 111th year of existence.
For construction of the prototype double deck sleeper TVZ used the Korpus malykh serii - the hall specifically equipped for producing small batches of vehicles. Here is this massive vehicle standing on the siding accessing the latter building.
Photo: Tomáš Kuchta
The Tenth Czech Raildays
An anniversary edition of Czech Raildays was held between 16 and 18 June 2009 in its customary venue adjacent to the main station in Ostrava. Nine years on from its modest beginnings, the event can truly be regarded as an international, rather than a national one, even if the intentional main focus, in terms of exhibits, rests on the products of Czech industry within the rail and urban public transport sectors.
ÖBB's latest flagship train, the railjet, was described in detail in R 1/09, pp. 22 - 37, and rake 80-90.011, coupled up to Taurus 1116 219 was by far the longest exhibit, positioned prominently in one of the sidings immediately adjacent to the exhibition grounds entrance gate. Standing next to the train was the new Škoda electric, ČD's 380.001, making its public debut in the Czech Republic, and in mid-June 380.002 was at Velim, 380.003 had just finished testing within the Škoda works, 380.004 was nearing completion, 380.005 and 006 were in an advanced stage of construction, and the bodyshells of 380.007 and 008 had been built.
Photo: Bohuslav Kotál
New Life For Ageing "Bumblebees"
Built in huge numbers by ČKD Praha over the period 1963 to 1994, the type ChME3 single-cab diesel shunter gained its "Čmelák" ("Bumble-bee") nickname from its type designation, where ChME stands for Chekhoslovatsky manevrovy s elektroperedachey, i. e. Czechoslovak shunter with the electric transmission.
ChME3 6340ME, recently rebuilt, standing outside the VLRD works in Vilnius on 14 January 2009. Note also the various other locomotives present, "inherited" by LG from SZD following the demise of the USSR. In the centre of the photo is TGK2 6012, a diesel shunter built by Kaluzhsky mashinostroitelny zavod (its 1,435 mm version were delivered to Comecon countries, too). On the left is Bryansk-built TEM2-1279 (the Russian equivalent of the ChME3), together with an M62 and three TEP60s built by Kolo-mensky zavod and dating from the time when diesels were taking over from steam on SZD’s main lines.
Photo: Bohumil Míča, CZ LOKO
The Variobahn and Tango - Tram Concept For The 21st Century
The tramway concept has regained popularity in many cities throughout the world. It has at long last been realised that the tram is now an essential part of modern urban traffic. Environmentally friendly local transport concepts, and the growing demand simultaneously arising for comfort and capacity at low cost, both require optimal solutions.
On 10 July 2009 Mainzer Verkehrsgesellschaft awarded Stadler a 20 million EUR contract to build nine uni-directional, five-section Variobahn trams, the agreement including an option for six more vehicles. These metre gauge trams will be 100 % low floor, 30 m long, with 66 fixed and eight tip-up seats, together with space for up to 100 standees. Maximum operating speed will be 70 km/h. The trams will be built at Stadler’s Pankow works in Berlin, and deliveries are scheduled to start in 2012.
Photo: Stadler
And much more!
Cover of 4/2009

Features: one of the TALENT 2 trains at Henningsdorf test track. Back in February 2007, Deutsche Bahn AG and Bombardier Transportation had signed a framework agreement on the supply of up to 321 TALENT 2 trains.