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8609Re: [carfree_cities] FW: [Tr2000] Bombardier puts the brakes on N.A. high-speed train plans

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  • Todd Edelman
    Jun 3, 2005
      Following this, some possibilities for American HSR,
      or, rather, HSR in the Americas! (I realise that
      Mexico has almost no passenger services now and that
      this line will need to be coordinated with bus
      services in order to serve people in between the
      cities... as there are only two intermdediate stops
      planned....)


      High speed to Guadalajara

      http://www.railwaygazette.com/2005/056-nws2.asp

      PROPOSALS to develop a network of high speed passenger
      railways in Mexico moved forward at the end of April,
      when the Ministry of Communications & Transport
      appointed Systra to assist with drawing up tenders for
      the first route.

      The Mexican government has been developing its
      strategy since 2002, and expects to launch a
      competition in mid-2005 for construction of a 300km/h
      line between Mexico City and Guadalajara. With
      intermediate stations serving Querétaro and Irapuato,
      the route would serve a catchment area with around 28
      million inhabitants. The aim is to cut the journey
      time between the two cities to 2h.

      Systra is being supported by a local firm providing
      legal assistance, and by Sintra SA de CV on technology
      transfer and integration issues. In the second phase
      of the project, Systra will assist the ministry with
      drawing up contracts and concession documents covering
      design, construction and operation of the double-track
      line.


      --- Andrew Dawson <m82a1_dawson@...> wrote:

      > The HSR situation here in North America. Till later,
      > Andrew Dawson
      >
      > >Bombardier puts the brakes on N.A. high-speed train
      > plans
      > >Unit's president sees little appetite for it here;
      > no projects are
      > >under discussion
      > >
      > >
      > >By BERTRAND MAROTTE
      > >Globe and Mail
      > >Friday, June 3, 2005 Page B1
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >MONTREAL -- Bombardier Inc. has put on ice its
      > once-ambitious
      > >plans for high-speed train travel in North America.
      > >
      > >André Navarri, president of Bombardier
      > Transportation, said in
      > >an interview yesterday that there is little
      > appetite for high-speed
      > >rail in North America, unlike in Europe and parts
      > of Asia.
      > >
      > >"For the time being, there is no project which is
      > close to being
      > >promoted," he said. Asked about the potential for
      > its once highly
      > >touted JetTrain technology in North America, he
      > replied: "As there
      > >is no high-speed corridor for the time being, there
      > is no
      > >JetTrain."
      > >
      > >Bombardier Transportation spokeswoman Hélène Gagnon
      > said
      > >later that Bombardier is no longer in discussions
      > with any
      > >government bodies anywhere in North America
      > regarding the
      > >funding of high-speed train travel.
      > >
      > >"There is no project of any kind in Canada or the
      > United States
      > >that is the subject of discussions," she said.
      > >
      > >Bombardier Transportation is the rail unit of the
      > global plane and
      > >train maker.
      > >
      > >Montreal-based Bombardier had for the past several
      > years been
      > >running a major campaign to spark interest in its
      > high-speed
      > >train technology in the United States and Canada.
      > >
      > >A high-profile attempt to win approval in Florida
      > for its
      > >240-kilometre-an-hour JetTrain failed last November
      > after
      > >taxpayers voted it down.
      > >
      > >And Bombardier, along with French partner Alstom
      > SA, has been
      > >plagued by technical and other problems with their
      > Acela
      > >Express train operated by Amtrak in the
      > Washington-New
      > >York-Boston corridor, the only existing high-speed
      > train in North
      > >America.
      > >
      > >"Is there a market in North America for a very
      > high-speed train?
      > >It's a difficult issue," Mr. Navarri said at
      > corporate head office.
      > >
      > >While high-speed trains have staked out a place in
      > the popular,
      > >well-established rail system of Europe, "it's a
      > little more difficult
      > >to find the right [rail] corridors in North
      > America," he said.
      > >
      > >"We are still prepared to discuss the [high-speed]
      > potential in
      > >North America, but in North America we will mainly
      > focus on the
      > >mass transit market," said Mr. Navarri, a former
      > senior executive
      > >at Alstom who was hired last year by Bombardier to
      > lead a
      > >sweeping restructuring at Bombardier
      > Transportation.
      > >
      > >It is difficult to get all the players --
      > especially governments -- to
      > >agree on how best to develop high-speed train
      > travel in North
      > >America, he added.
      > >
      > >"Up to now, it has not been possible to find this
      > agreement, with
      > >the exception of Acela."
      > >
      > >In Canada, Bombardier had high hopes for its
      > JetTrain,
      > >particularly in the Quebec City-Windsor, Ont.,
      > corridor, and had
      > >been lobbying the federal government for financial
      > assistance to
      > >upgrade the corridor at a cost of up to $3-billion.
      > >
      > >"Quebec City-Windsor for the time being is on ice,
      > for financial
      > >reasons," Ms. Gagnon said.
      > >
      > >Other city-to-city links that Bombardier had
      > identified included
      > >Calgary-Edmonton, Chicago-St. Louis, Los
      > Angeles-San
      > >Francisco and Orlando-Miami.
      > >
      > >Mr. Navarri said he is not disheartened by an
      > embarrassing
      > >series of technical glitches, delivery delays and
      > contractual
      > >disputes related to the Acela Express.
      > >
      > >He said he is confident that the latest snafu --
      > the Acela was
      > >yanked out of service in April after cracks on
      > brake components
      > >were discovered -- will be amicably settled and
      > won't degenerate
      > >into a legal brawl, as happened four years ago over
      > costly
      > >design changes.
      > >
      > >Meanwhile, Mr. Navarri said he expects strong
      > growth from
      > >Eastern European countries as they join the
      > European Union
      > >and become eligible for funding to upgrade their
      > aging rail
      > >equipment.
      > >
      > >Bombardier Transportation -- the world's largest
      > manufacturer of
      > >rail transportation equipment -- also sees growth
      > from the
      > >planned standardization of Europe's patchwork rail
      > signalling
      > >system, as well as from the boosting of its
      > services unit to about
      > >30 per cent of revenue from 17 per cent today, he
      > said.
      > >
      > >Outside Europe, China represents a huge potential
      > market for
      > >Bombardier, Mr. Navarri said.
      > >
      > >He also said Bombardier Transportation's
      > restructuring plan --
      > >announced last year -- is on track and even ahead
      > of schedule,
      > >with a work force reduction of about 15 per cent,
      > to about 30,000
      > >from more than 35,000 and the closing of seven
      > facilities in
      > >Europe by the end of this year.
      > >
      > >"All these plans are starting to show good results,
      > especially in
      > >terms of profitability," and the rail unit should
      > reach its target of
      > >6-per-cent profit margins in the medium term as
      > expected.
      > >
      > >Six per cent is not the ultimate goal, he added.
      > >
      > >"After that, we want to go even further."
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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