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Published by membersonly, 2018-03-16 04:40:45

1296i

6th January 2018

INTERNATIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO BLN 1296 6 JANUARY 2018

BRANCH LINE NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

This newsletter covers the World outside the British Isles from information
supplied by members.

Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or of the Society.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS TEAM:-
International Editor (to whom all email and postal contributions should be sent):
Paul Griffin, 7 School Bell Mews, Church Lane, Stoneleigh, COVENTRY, CV8 3ZZ
Email: [email protected]
Deputy International Editor: Derek Woodward, 68 Church Street, Matlock, DERBY, DE4 3BY

________________________________________________________

Your International Editor is off on his winter travels again and will not return until March, so any
contributions sent by post in this period should be posted to the Deputy Editor in Matlock.

BLNI 1294.464 reported that the short section of the Meyrargues to Cavaillon line from Meyrargues to Pertuis would close to
passenger services from 10 December 2017. One member decided to make the effort to do the line on the last day of service,
and took the above photograph in the short layover. There were only a handful of ‘normal’ passengers on board his train, plus a
photographer, our member and his wife. Notices were present for bus replacement services until 31 March 2018, so whether
they continue after this is unclear. A four year closure of the line is planned….
The train is in the island platform, which is the only one that can be reached from the Meyrargues direction. The station building
and platform can only be accessed by the line from Gap and the northern side of the ‘triangle’. Since the junction is actually at
the west end of the rather empty yard, our member doubts that you can actually call it a triangle.

EUROPE

[001] Austria - The end for the Ybbstalbahn
The 5.7km narrow gauge branch from Gstadt to Ybbsitz finally closed in 2009 following flood damage.
In 2010 the line was taken over by NÖVOG, raising hopes of reopening, but regrettably there has been
a lack of support from politicians and potential users, so removal of the tracks started in summer 2017
and should be complete by the time you read this.

[002] Belgium - Correction to BLNI Extra 27, item C68
A member has advised that the new flyover at Brugge is only used by trains from Blankenberge, and
not by trains from Zeebrugge and Knokke as well, as stated in the text.

[003] Finland - Helsinki West Metro inaugurated
On 18 November the Helsinki metro network was extended westwards 14km to Finland’s second
largest city, Espoo. Phase 1 of the project was delayed by over a year due to problems with safety
systems. The 7km second phase from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti will add a further five stations to West
Metro and is due to be completed in 2020. Phase 1 runs underground from the former western
terminus at Ruoholati through eight stations to Matinkylä in Espoo.

[004] France – Good news in Grande Est
On 28 November SNCF signed an agreement with the Grand Est region and state for 65 million euros
worth of work to renovate six passenger lines, these being Reims-Fismes, Colmar-Metzeral,
Sarreguemines-Béning, Port-Saint-Vincent-Mirecourt, Verdun-Conflans-Jarny and Molsheim-Saint-Dié.
Pont St. Vincent- Mirecourt is currently without passenger service.

[005] France – Quillan branch will reopen
The SNCF journey planner confirms what the fiche now show. Trains are running between Carcassonne
and Quillan in December 2017. Then trains are suspended between Carcassonne and Quillan (via
Limoux) from 2 January until 25 March inclusive. From 26 March the WHOLE branch reopens with
trains. Previous reports originating from train crews on the line have turned out to be speculation.

[006] France – Branch lines west of Strasbourg
After successfully travelling the Gisors to Serqueux line our member made his way via the TGV line to
Strasbourg for another attempt at travelling on the branch to Sarre-Union (service is SSuX) the
following morning, two previous attempts having been thwarted. The first by short notice engineering
works and the second on a springtime visit to the area on a non-school day when all services turned
out to be buses. Rather than travel again via the direct route from Strasbourg to Sarreguemines, he
opted for an alternative routing which had good connections and was also required track. This entailed
a train from Strasbourg to Niederbronn-les-Bains, SNCF rail replacement bus to Bitche and another rail
replacement bus to Sarreguemines. From the junction at Haguenau to Niederbronn-les-Bains has been
refurbished during a short term closure recently and the excellent traffic levels on our members train
appeared to justify the expenditure. One stop from the end of this diesel operated branch at
Reichshoffen an overhead wired siding appeared, followed by a sizeable Alstom factory which their
website claims to be the location for the design and manufacturing of regional trains. A few cars of

new bi-mode SNCF units were outside. Adjacent was a rail served Vossloh factory so a perhaps
surprising location for sizeable rail related activity.
At the single track Niederbronn-les-Bains station there are now buffer stops with no track beyond on
the former route to Bitche. The 16:40 SNCF bus to Bitche on Wednesday 22 November never had more
than 5 passengers on it. From the bus it could be seen that although rails remain in situ along most of
the line to Bitche (closed on 4 November 1996), it is being taken over by vegetation with sizeable trees
growing between the rails. The impressive large station building at Bitche and platforms, still with
name boards, on first impression look as though trains could still be processed, but on inspecting the
nearby level crossing it is clear that there has been no traffic on this section for some time. The 17:38
bus from Bitche to Sarreguemines which ran through a number of large towns and villages had a
maximum of three passengers..... passenger trains ended on 18 December 2011.
After a night in a Saarbrücken Hotel to allow new DB track to be covered before the first daylight train
from Sarreguemines to Sarre-Union at 11:06, our member was mightily relieved on arrival to see his
train showing on the screens. The service initially heads off five stations south along the double track
line to Strasbourg, and even on this section the loads were pathetic. From Kalhausen the branch heads
south west for 8km to the staffed station at Sarralbe, once a four way junction and with two freight
branches showing signs of use. Sarre-Union is 10km further south and despite the train being a newish
4 car bi-mode unit no other passenger alighted at the terminus.

Sarre-Union station could be descibed as enhanced bus stop style

Bi-mode unit 84593 at Sarre-Union on 23 November 2017

Your correspondent had the returning 12:20 departure to himself until two stops from Sarreguemines.
The new timetable lists eight pairs SSuX requiring two trains. There are only buses on non-schooldays,
but even if weekday trains are packed at school times, the line must be a basket case financially and
require huge subsidies to continue operating. Therefore anyone wishing to travel this line may wish to
do so sooner rather than later, especially as the correspondent’s previous error can be avoided as the
new timetable now lists the bus only dates!
https://cdn.ter.sncf.com/medias/PDF/grand_est/L17%20Sarreguemines%20Sarre-
Union%20Sarrebourg%20(10%2012%202017%20au%2014%2007%202018)_tcm75-172460_tcm75-
172428.pdf

[007] Germany – Third track comes into operation between Freilassing and Salzburg
The third track between Freilassing and Salzburg Hbf entered operation at the December 2017
timetable change. The increased capacity allows six passenger trains, including four ÖBB local trains,
per hour each way. As part of the EUR 60 million project, four bridges were built on the German side
and there are 1.6 kilometres of new track. A new platform was built at Freilassing for the S-Bahn trains.

[008] Germany – Einbeck branch reopening delayed
BLNI 1287.322 reported that 4.2km of the Einbeck branch would reopen in December 2017, but this
was obviously a date set before the condition of the infrastucture had been fully assessed. It now
seems that three river bridges will need to be renewed and one of them, the 147 year old Ilmebrücke

(a listed structure) cannot be repaired so a new bridge is needed alongside it. In September the
infrastructure operator Ilmebahn GmbH postponed the opening date to spring 2018 and now this has
been further put back to December 2018. The additional costs are borne by the state of Lower
Saxony.
[009] Germany - Euskirchen to Zülpich up for sale
This 7.65 km single track non-electrified line is used almost exclusively for summer weekend special
trains and DB Netz no longer feel they can operate it economically. The maximum speed is 50 km/h.
Offers will be invited until 16 February 2018. There are unconfirmed reports that the Rurtalbahn want
to take over the line.
[010] Germany – Industrial branch to resume use
North of Recklinghausen the 6km industrial branch from Marl-Sinsen (formerly Auguste Victoria Marl)
to the Chemiepark Marl (owned by the EVONIK industrial group) has been completely renovated and
regular freight traffic should resume in January 2018.
[011] Germany – Passenger operations on Kurbahn Bad Bramstedt cease
Since the 1990s the railway has been operated by volunteers, mainly for the transport of timber from
the moor, but also for passenger trains, with a plan to extend the route for the latter having been put
forward. For the time being services ended on 10 December 2017 due to the lack of a vigilance device
on the locomotive and safety issues with the carriages.

[012] Germany/Switzerland - Etzwilen to Singen museum line nears completion
Line 4320 ran from Singen (Germany) to Etzwilen (Switzerland). Passenger traffic ended on 31 May
1969 and freight on 12 December 2004. The line was never electrified. The Foundations Museumsbahn

Stein am Rhein - Etzwilen - Hemishofen - Ramsen & Rielasingen - Singen (SEHR & RS), founded on 27
January 2006, now a federally licensed infrastructure company with the official initials VERHR, took
over the infrastructure and works with the Association for the preservation of the Etzwilen-Singen
railway line (VES) to reopen the line for tourism. From 1 August 2007 museum railway trips started
between Etzwilen and Ramsen. On 28 May 2011, operation was extended over the border from
Ramsen to Rielasingen. From 1 August 2017 the operating license was amended to allow through
running to Singen and this allowed a press trip from Etzwilen through Rielasingen to the outskirts of
Singen to be made in mid-October 2017. That leaves a 50 metre section of track to be laid near a
roundabout in Singen, and a connection with DB, both planned for 2018.

[013] Germany – Wachtalbahn closed
BLNI 1285.276 reported that the 6.1km-long, 900 mm gauge Wachtalbahn which runs between
Kiefersfelden and Wachtl, would not operate in 2017 due to serious problems with the tracks. The
Münchner Merkur reported on 17 October that these would cost €200,000 to repair and a formal
decommissioning application by the owner of the Museum Railway, the South Bavarian Portland
Cement Plant, which operates the cement plant in Rohrdorf had been made and granted by the
Bavarian Ministry of Transport. There are hopes locally that sponsors can be found to allow a
resumption of museum trains. Freight traffic ended in 2003.

[014] Italy – Openings and non-reopenings
On the Siena to Grosseto line the section between Buonconvento and Montepescali reopened on
Sunday 10 December with a steam train carrying local dignitaries. Trains were suspended in December
2016 due to a landslide near Murlo between Buonconvento and Monte Antico. The repair works
included a retaining wall with 77 concrete poles and reconstruction of 100 metres of embankment.
Although trains can pass, the works will continue until March 2018.
In the far north east of Italy trains have returned to part of the Gemona to Sacile line. At 05:52 on 11
December 2017 the first train ran on the reopened section of the Gemona to Sacile railway between
Maniago and Sacile. 30km of track has been renovated, with new sleepers, a new 200 metre
embankment, new automatically controlled level crossings and new signalling.
Trenitalia will operate 20 regional trains a day over the line, Sundays and holidays excepted, because
from spring 2018 historic trains operated by the FS Foundation will operate at weekends. At some
point in 2018 it is anticipated that the entire line will be available for tourist use.
In Bari the extension of the Ferrotramviaria Bari from Ospedale S Paolo to Cecilia opened on 16
October, that being the date when the current timetable started.
Further to BLN 1287.325, table 130 has not been reinstated to the Italian timetable, so no service
between Novara and Varallo Sesia. Reopening had been confidently predicted.

[015] Luxembourg – New tram depot and services commence
We all know that children are heavily
influenced by their parents, but training them
to take pictures of father’s rather strange
hobby might be considered a little extreme.
Nevertheless, one member received a picture
of some trams in Luxembourg taken by his
daughter from a passing car. He thoughtfully
passed this on to BLN, along with detailed
information. ‘It’s in Kirchberg’. To be fair, he
did follow this up with more useful material
when it was requested.
A little googling revealed that Kirchberg is
indeed the site of the tram depot for the new
tramway system in Luxembourg city. It is at
the edge of the Grünewald, and visible from
just opposite the Serra roundabout. The depot
will comprise three buildings, and the new
Luxtram headquarters will be housed in the
four-story building on the site along with a
centralised control station so the team will
have not only the entire network in view, but
also constant contact with the drivers. There is

also a washer (using 75% recycled water) so trams can be washed every three days, while being
cleaned internally daily. Employees are scheduled to move in early in 2018.

What the "Centre de remisage et de maintenance" should look like once it's completed

A computer generated aerial view of the site shows that the trams in the photograph were probably in
the upper left corner by the road. Presumably they were stabled here while work proceeds on the
construction and furnishing of the depot. This must be well advanced as the first section of the
tramway, between Kirchberg-Place de l'Europe and Luxexpo, opened 10 December 2017.

On the same date the new Pfaffenthal-Kirchberg station (on the main line to Troisvierges north of
Luxembourg Gare) and its associated funicular to Kirchberg, Place de l’Europe were put into operation.
With all the above and the opening of the new station at Howald also that weekend (the new
timetable says from 12 December), there is now a through service from Rodange to Troisvierges,
hourly M-F only. Also two new through services, one from Wasserbillig to Petange via Esch-sur-Alzette,
hourly but SuX this time, and Longwy - Mersch via Hollerich but you need to consult the timetable for
days of operation. The two morning peak trains from Virton to Rodange and the three evening peak
returns are still in the timetable although none of them are now through trains to Luxembourg.
[016] Netherlands – Betuweroute finally sees passenger use
25 November saw the first passenger train to travel on part of the Betuweroute, which opened in 2007
to transport freight from the port of Rotterdam to Germany and beyond. Infrastructure operator
Prorail has an intensive programme of works on the Arnhem - Utrecht line and diverting international

ICE services via the Betuweroute saves time when compared with routing trains via Eindhoven and the
Venlo-Kaldenkirchen border crossing, which has been used for previous diversions. Tests with the
multi-system ICE-3M German high-speed trains that work Frankfurt to Amsterdam services took place
in advance to confirm that no problems were present. The diverted trains used the section of the
Betuweroute from the junction with the Utrecht - ‘s Hertogenbosch line at Meteren to the junction
with the Arnhem - Nijmegen line at Elst. Other parts of the Betuweroute cannot be used for passenger
operations as there are tunnels without emergency facilities for passengers, a significant cost saving
for the project. ICE- 3Ms normally operate on the conventional Dutch 1.5kV dc electrification system,
but run under 25 kV 50Hz ac power on the Betuweroute. The trains are also equipped with ETCS Level
2 equipment of the right type for operation on the Betuweroute. Identification of diverted services is
straightforward, as they take an hour to travel between Arnhem and Utrecht, rather than the usual 30
minutes.
On Sunday 26 November, the 07:27 Frankfurt – Amsterdam service was poorly loaded overall, but with
a good turnout of railway enthusiasts, many of whom had been on the previous days DGEG track bash
in the Dortmund and Hamm area. Most joined at Duisburg and enjoyed bright sunny weather for the
journey. At Arnhem the train turned south towards Nijmegen, soon passing through the station at Elst
where it took the curve onto the Betuweroute. Although the curve was double track, only one
appeared to be in use, perhaps indicative of low traffic levels. Once on the Betuweroute proper there
was a wrong line overtaking of a moving freight and what everyone thought was very tight regulation
with a speeding oncoming freight thundering towards the tracks the ICE had just vacated. The line runs
alongside a major motorway most of the way, passes over the Elst to Geldermalsen line, then diverged
right onto the ‘short’curve onto the ‘s Hertogenbosch to Utrecht railway which it joins south of
Geldermalsen station. Arrival at Utrecht was on time. Many enthusiasts opted to go back over the line
on the next eastbound service to do the other side of the grade separated junction south of
Geldermalsen, which is uses a flying junction, with a large physical separation from the ‘short’ curve.
Both ICE trains were on time but there was very little slack. The whole operation was being done with
the same number of sets as usual which resulted in a turnround time at Amsterdam CS of a mere 9
minutes! Dutch cleaning staff were boarding trains at Arnhem to clean the train between there and
Amsterdam CS. It will not be possible to replicate this short turnround time on 16/17 December and in
August 2018 dates because of extended journey times between Arnhem and Oberhausen due to the
start of long term improvement works on that route. On these dates all but the first out from
Amsterdam and last one back will only run to/from Utrecht. Although most of the many local
enthusiasts sampling the diversion were travelling to/from Arnhem, the NS website stated the trains
were only available for international ticket holders for this weekend and information systems were
treating Arnhem effectively as a pick up/set down only stop for travellers to/from Germany.
Presumably this was done to prevent the trains being flooded by people trying to avoid the partial bus
replacement service on the normal route.

[017] Serbia – Closures from the new timetable
Three railway lines lost their passenger services from the December timetable change. Rakovica to
Mala Krsna is probably for engineering works. Pančevo varoš to Pančevo Vojlovica is a short branch
east of Beograd and the member who travelled this line on 31 October 2017 (see item C87 of BLNI
Extra 34 - Serbia) is to be congratulated on his fortunate timing, as the branch has lost its service. The
same member also travelled the full length of the new deviation on the Beograd – Niš line from Gilje to

Paraćin, which was also fortunate as the southern half from the new junction at Ćuprija (Rasp. Ćuprija)
to Paraćin, has also lost its service, though through trains will probably resume at some point.

[018] Sweden/Denmark – IC Bornholm ends
In recent years a direct service has run twice daily from København (in Denmark) to Ystad (in Sweden)
for the ferry to Rønne on the Danish island of Bornholm. This ended on 9 December 2017 when the
Danish Ministry of Transport terminated the contract for the "DSB Intercity Bornholm" service. Under
a new agreement on ticket cooperation, local Øresundstog trains will be used between København
and Malmö where intending ferry passengers will change to a Skånetrafikens Pågatåg service
(operated by Arriva Tåg AB) for Ystad. At least as far as the tariff was concerned, the IC Bornholm was
a corridor train, as despite having Swedish stops in Svedala and Skurup, the DSB only sold tickets or
reservations to/from Rønne. The end of this service removes passenger services from Denmark to the
southern part of the Malmö ring between Lernacken and Svågertorp.

[019] Switzerland – Deviations, new track and stations moving and closing
In Geneva Lancy Pont Rouge station was replaced on 10 December 2017 by a new station of the same
name approximately 160m further away from Geneva. It is the first part of the CEVA line currently
under construction to link Geneva with Annemasse in France.
On the Andermatt – Disentis route the new 1.2km deviation at Nätschen station opened on 6
November 2017. The old station was located at km 72.42 at 1,843 metres a.s.l. and the new station is
located at km 72.21 at an altitude of 1,826 m. a.s.l.
A deviation opened near Mörigen on the Biel to Ins line 23 October 2017 Provisional figures are 147m
of new track and overall distance reduced by 4m.
Murkart station km 13.92 on the Frauenfeld to Wil line closed permanently after traffic on 9 December
2017. Estavannens km 25.77 Montbovon-Bulle closed after traffic on 9 December 2017, also Siviriez
km 35.73 Lausanne to Bern closed after traffic on 8 December2017. This station was only served by
passenger trains on Monday to Friday.
The Rhätische Bahn (RhB) is building a second track, 1.4km long, between Samedan and Bever.
Officially, the work started on 14 November 2017. The new track will allow independent operation of
the Albula line and the line into the Lower Engadine and is scheduled to go into operation in Autumn
2019. For the widening of the embankment excavation material from the new Albula tunnel is to be
used.
Zürich Line 8 extension:- Hardplatz to Escher Wyss Platz opened to the public on Sunday 10 December,
but the previous day there were demonstration trips from Hardplatz every 15 minutes.

[020] Ukraine/Poland - Across borders by broad gauge and standard gauge trains (Part 1)
With Ukraine citizens no longer requiring a visa to visit the EU, Ukrainian Railways have introduced
extra cross border services to Poland: a second daytime Kiev - L’viv – Mostyska – Przemyśl service and
a new daily DMU service between Kovel’ - Jagodin – Dorohusk and Chełm, the first time a cross border
passenger service has used the latter’s broad gauge tracks since at least 2000. Two members’
intentions to travel these lines advanced when the Ukrainian start/end point of the Chełm service was
extended further east from 24 August, making it significantly easier to combine both border crossings
on the same trip. Travelling clockwise meant a significant amount of the furthest east UZD track would
be in darkness, but anti-clockwise and heading into Ukraine from Przemyśl on a Monday up to the end

of September meant these cross borders could be combined with a trip on the nearby 46km long ex
PKP NG line from Przeworsk to Dynów on the Sunday, so that became the plan.

Ex PKP NG Lxd2-268 at a photo stop north of the tunnel on the Dynów branch

The narrow gauge train left Przeworsk at 09:00 arriving at Dynów 11:45, and by catching a bus back
direct to Przemyśl rather than waiting 2¾hr for the return NG train journey, it was also possible to
include travel on the Sunday evening SG service to the Polish border station of Medyka as maps clearly
indicated in part this took a totally different route from the BG tracks. A nice extra as the other two
pairs on that service were either very early or clashed with the departure times of the cross-border
service.
The daytime BG trains currently depart Przemyśl for Kiev via L’viv at 13:07 and 14:24, and previous
travellers had warned that services were very busy in both directions. Accordingly local purchasing
difficulties had been avoided by buying tickets for the three Ukrainian journeys in advance via a
recommended Polish Travel Agency, who couriered the tickets to our members Przemyśl Hotel. Sure
enough the inbound service disgorged hundreds of passengers, but the eastbound 13:07 on Monday
25 September had a reasonable load but plenty of spare seats. The broad gauge bay arrival platform
used by these services (the overnight uses a parallel platform, see below) is behind fences separating it
from the main PKP station which can only be accessed by a Cottbus style double subway, but in and
out passengers are segregated as the track has platform faces on either side. Polish passport and
customs formalities are carried out on the train, but as they only have the 11km from Medyka to check
these 9-coach EMU’s, passengers were being released from the rear coaches for some time after the
train came to a halt, delaying access from the doors on the other side of the train. Despite this it

managed to leave almost on time, our members noting on departure that the single BG track runs
behind a sizeable PKP signal box, the nearby triangle is all SG (not as shown on the Kolej Atlas) and the
SG track of the Przemyśl Glowny avoiding line was (temporarily?) flagged out of use. Continuing
onwards at a steady slowish speed, the track used by the BG passenger train after Hurko swings north
with substantial transhipment facilities of gantries, drops, sheds and parallel gauge high platforms, and
also sizeable embankments in some places in-between the BG track the train was using and the SG
passenger track some way to the south. After a few minutes the train stopped at a single lengthy BG
platform at Medyka for the Polish border staff to alight to wait for the second BG EMU arrival due
shortly. This platform could not be seen from the SG station on the previous night’s visit as it was
behind rakes of wagons. On departure the train soon crossed the border en-route to Mostyska-2 in the
Ukraine, and to our members’ surprise, due to the size of the transfer yards in Poland, was that at least
the southern of the two cross border tracks was interlaced and its SG rails were still in use by freight,
as a PKP ET41 and empty wagons passed headed west. Once in the Ukraine there was a medium sized
yard to the west of Mostyska-2, but the SG rails did not end here but continued 3km east of the station
to a yard with an overhead gantry where coal was being transferred between wagons. So the SG finally
ending around 7.8km beyond the border. Interestingly, beyond the western end yard was not
electrified, so the Ukrainian Railways ChMe3 diesel seen shunting nearby is assumed to have been one
of their few with standard gauge bogies. The open air Ukrainian SUW2000 variable gauge changer to
the west of Mostyska-2 station was still in situ but access at either end appeared rusty, backing up the
deduction from the nominated platform on the Przemyśl station departure sheets that the overnight
Kraków,/Warszawa – Kiev sleeping car service currently uses the open air gauge changing jacks just to
the east of Przemyśl station in both directions and crosses the border on the BG. Train speed increased
once leaving Mostyska-2 with Ukrainian border and customs officers on board, our two members
alighting at L’viv after a 98 km journey taking 1h 55m.

REST OF THE WORLD

[021] Australia – Gold Coast light rail extended
Stage 1 of the Queensland light rail line, extending 13km from Southport to Broadbeach, began
operating in July 2014. Stage 2 opened to passengers on 18 December, several weeks ahead of
schedule. The 7.5km extension links the existing light rail terminus at Gold Coast University with the
TransLink station at Helensvale, where it connects with direct suburban rail services to Brisbane.

[022] Canada – News from British Columbia
Fraser Canyon: Both the CP and CN lines through the Fraser Canyon became blocked by mudslides on
the evening of November 22. Shared operation became possible two days later via the steep 1.3-mile
connecting spur at Cisco; built by CN in 1977, this sees no regular use and is normally thoroughly rusty
and overgrown. Passengers on the westbound Canadian on November 25 achieved this unusual track,
the train firstly diverging onto the CP line at the Coho/Nepa connection south of Ashcroft, and then
regaining the CN at Cisco. Running some seven hours late after being caught up in the tailback of
trains, one hopes this rare manoeuvre provided some passengers with compensation!
Tumbler Subdivision: Closed since April 2014, coal trains resumed in September 2017, with trains
loading at Tumbler Siding at mile 61.5. Under BC Rail ownership, this line had been electrified until
2000, prior to a first period of closure between 2003 and 2006.

[023] Saudi Arabia – New line opens
February 2016 saw the launch of passenger services between Riyadh, Majmaah and Qassim, part of
SAR’s North Railway project. A further line was officially opened in November 2017 at Hail station.
This is the 1250 km railway from Riyadh to Al-Qurayyat in the far north of the Kingdom. There are six
passenger stations at Riyadh, Majmah, Qassim, Hail, Jouf, and Al-Qurayyat. From 26 November the
Saudi Railways Company started passenger services from Riyadh to Hail railway station.


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