Longest rail tunnel in the world opens in Switzerland

Gotthard TunnelAfter nearly 2 decades of construction work, the Gotthard Tunnel, the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel opened in Switzerland earlier this month.

The tunnel is expected to revolutionise travel between northern and southern Europe by providing a high speed rail link underneath the Swiss Alps, moving freight traffic off the road and onto the rails. It is estimated that more than a million lorry loads of freight will move from road to rail.

Whilst the tunnels have been officially opened scheduled services will not begin until December 2016 when up to 265 freight trains and 65 passenger trains a day are expected to run. Continue reading

Crossrail 2 granted development funding

crossrail 2 tunnel image

Copyright: Crossrail Ltd

Hot on the heels of the reported success of the Crossrail project comes the news that Crossrail 2 has been awarded £80m to develop the project. The project has been identified as a priority and has been endorsed by the National Infrastructure Commission.

What is Crossrail 2?

Crossrail 2 is a proposed new railway serving London and the South East. Its proposed route will serve stations throughout the South East linking South West and North East London as well as brining benefit to other towns and cities across the South East. Many places across the region will benefit from faster or more frequent journeys into London on Crossrail 2 trains and also the National Rail Services on mainline stations. Continue reading

Subcon 2016 speakers give their thoughts on the industry

Subcon 2016Subcon 2016 is only a few weeks away now and with that in mind the organisers have asked some of their speakers their views and opinions on some key areas of manufacturing.

Not surprisingly, when asked about the biggest challenge facing the industry this year, 4 of the 7 said that they saw political and economic uncertainty as a major challenge in the coming months. The debate about staying or leaving the EU means that people are reconsidering longer term commitments and may even be delaying projects as they are unsure as to how they will be affected. Things will be clearer after the referendum in June, but there still may be longer term issues to consider depending on the outcome. It would be prudent for any business to consider the impact on them should the result be that the UK exits the EU. Of course it will take time for any exit policies and agreements to be put into place, but there’s likely to be some sort of immediate impact on existing contracts and projects. Should the vote be to stay in, then of course, things will settle back down, but it still may take a little time for that uncertainty to settle completely. Continue reading

Growth predicted in the global busbar market

busbar imagesA recent report Busbar Market indicates that the market size will rise from $12,321.9 million to $16,038.6 million by 2020.

This is largely due to rise in energy demands, the growing construction sector and increased upgrading of electrical infrastructures. Growth in related areas such as switchgear transformers is also contributing to the growth of the busbar market. Continue reading

Crossrail update – Project progressing on time

crossrail tunnel

Image copyright Crossrail Ltd

9 months after the tunnelling was complete we thought we’d take a look at the progress of the Crossrail Project; the new line linking rail services from Reading and Heathrow in the West to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the East.

In case you missed the announcements in February, the line will be named the Elizabeth line when it opens to passengers in 2018. For those of you wondering which new colour will be added to the London rail service map systems, the new line will be purple. HRH Queen Elizabeth visited the Bond Street station in February where she met with workers and was presented with a commemorative purple Elizabeth line roundel. Continue reading