HS2 rail line, China and £11.8bn contracts

hi speed train
Face of the future?

24 September, 2015:  BBC News reported that George Osborne is urging Chinese firms to pitch for £11.8bn in construction contracts for the UK’s proposed HS2 rail line, during his recent visit to China. On the same day, The Guardian reported that Osborne was to invite competition for bids at an event in Chengdu – to attract Chinese investors to back HS2 and other major UK rail infrastructure projects, particularly across the north of England.

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La Petite Ceinture de Paris

Petite Ceinture track
Walking the line

Recently the BBC presented a feature on the Petite Ceinture (“Little Belt”), a historical and defunct railway route skirting the outer edge of central Paris.  The feature appeared on its News Magazine Web site and was titled “The wild abandoned railway in the centre of Paris” and included a fascinating short video.

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The World’s fastest Railway Locomotive

Vmax357
Taurus Loco

Railway history has demonstrated the corporate fascination with speed and the development of high-speed networks across Europe, including the proposed HS2 addition to HS1 in Britain, illustrate a prevailing theme. One interesting question – which is the world’s fastest railway locomotive?

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Live SBB Trains Map – Swiss Railway System

The Swiss Railway (SBB) system is one of the most intensive in the world and it used to be possible to view a real-time Live Trains Map of the SBB, complete with train identification and train search functionality?  Unfortunately, as you will by now have found, it longer seems to be offered; indeed the http://swisstrains.ch/ web site is apparently up for sale (as at October 2015).   The map used to look like the image shown below.

Swiss Live Trains map
The original Live SBB Trains map used to show actual real-time movements – alas, no longer.

However, all is not lost, as an alternative is out there – to provide Swiss fans an opportunity to “watch” local, regional and inter city/national trains busily making their way across the country.

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