February 25 – Bombardier is awarded a contract to build 361 passenger cars for a new Chinese rail line to Lhasa, Tibet; due to the destination's altitude the cars will include special UV-filtering glass and a unique oxygen enriching system.
March 2 – Citing disputes in paid leave policies, around 200 BNSF Railway dispatchers walk off the job for nearly three hours, causing traffic delays over the entire system from Chicago to the Pacific coast.
May 26 – Genesee and Wyoming (G&W) announce that they have agreed to purchase the railroad operations of Rail Management Corporation (RMC). G&W will pay US$243 million in cash and assume $1.7 million in company debt to gain control of 14 short line railroads from RMC across the southeastern United States, as of June 1, 2005. G&W already controls 24 other railroads in North America, South America and Australia.
June 2 – Railroad workers across France go on strike to demand better wages and jobs. The strike, which began at 18:00 GMT on Wednesday, is expected to last through 6:00 GMT Friday. Nearly 40% of all TGV schedules are dropped for the duration of the strike.
June 4 – Lalu Prasad, India's Railway Minister, presents his Rs.532 billion (US$12 billion) budget for Indian Railways for 2005–06. The network of more than 9,000 passenger trains will not increase passenger fares, will add 46 new trains, increase frequencies on 10 others and plans to inaugurate new high speed train service between New Delhi and Kolkata and another between New Delhi and Chennai.
June 22 – The entire network of the Swiss Federal Railways shuts down due to a power failure in its overhead wire system. The power failure is also affecting international transit through Switzerland as such intercity trains use the same system. Initial reports indicate that the power failure started with a voltage drop in Ticino (in the St. Gotthard region) that then spread to the entire system.
August 4 – Argentinian railroad workers across the country (except for the subway operators in Buenos Aires) go on strike for 24 hours demanding higher wages. The strike comes after 100 days of failed negotiations between the railroads and the engine driver unions; if an agreement cannot be reached within a week, the unions have threatened a subsequent 36-hour strike. The railroad employees strike coincides with a 72-hour health care workers strike that is still occurring.
August 24 – Chinese railroad workers in Tibet laid rails on the Tanggula Mountain Pass in Tibet at 5,072 m (16,640 ft) above sea level, surpassing the altitude of the highest Peruvian railway by 255 m (837 ft). This section of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is now the highest railway in the world. The railway also includes the highest railway station in the world at Lhasa, 5,068 m (16,627 ft) above sea level. The railway is expected to open later in 2005.
September 13 – The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), the national rail carrier of Nigeria, announces that it has laid off 5,980 of its nearly 12,000 employees, answering a call from the Nigerian government to downsize. The government first asked NRC for a 50% reduction in the last quarter of 2003; NRC waited until there was sufficient funds from the government for severance packages for the affected employees. In all, the government released nearly N2.1 billion (US$16 million) to NRC for severance pay. Some of NRC's layoff criteria included fraud, excessive absenteeism, employees who had worked for more than 33 years, or who were aged 50–60, and employees with a history of disciplinary actions. (AllAfrica)
September 20 – Japanese officials announce the government's intentions to pay former World War IIprisoners of war involved in the construction of the Death Railway between Thailand and Burma. Compensation amounts have not been announced; some estimates place the number of construction survivors at 1,800, most now aged in their 80s and 90s. The compensation for laborers who have died either during construction or afterward would be sent to their next of kin.
September 29 – Sixty years after World War II, Nederlandse Spoorwegen issues a statement formally apologizing for transporting Jewish people to Naziconcentration camps in Germany and Poland during the war. Aad Veenman, the railway's chief executive stated "On behalf of the company and from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely apologise for what happened during the war." The railway made the decision to issue the formal apology after the largest Dutch Jewish organization, Centraal Joods Overleg, proposed an awareness campaign to take place at the railway's stations nationwide. Reaction among the survivors is mixed.
October 6 – Amtrak announces that the City of New Orleans and Crescentpassenger trains will again serve New Orleans Union Station beginning on Sunday October 9. Before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, Amtrak suspended City of New Orleans service south of Memphis, Tennessee, and suspended Crescent service south of Atlanta, Georgia, in anticipation of damage to the tracks and signal systems surrounding New Orleans. The first departure from New Orleans will be the northbound Crescent at 7:20 AM, followed by the northbound City of New Orleans at 1:45 PM; the first corresponding southbound trains are scheduled to arrive in New Orleans later that afternoon. Amtrak's announcement did not mention service restoration on the transcontinental Sunset Limited.
October 14 – The concession for operation of the Kenya-Uganda Railways is awarded to Rift Valley Railways Consortium (RVRC), headquartered in South Africa. In announcing the bid, officials state that Rift Valley was selected over RITES Ltd. of India, the only other bidder, by a factor of two to one. The new operator is expected to begin management of the combined railway on March 30, 2006. RVRC will not be expected to take up the railways 20.9 billion shilling (US$282 million) debt, but will repay the Kenyan government 3 billion shillings ($40.5 million) that was spent to subsidize the railway for the last three years.
October 15 – Chinese officials announce the completion of the Qingzang railway connecting Xining, Qinghai Province, to Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. The line's construction, which has been criticized by some who say the new railway will dilute Tibetan culture, had to overcome technical challenges that included building a railway on top of permafrost and boring tunnels through solid ice while construction workers breathed bottled oxygen.
October 17 – British railway ministers announce that Scottish Ministers will soon take control of railway administration within Scotland. The powers will include decisions over operations and infrastructure (such as tracks and stations) as well as oversight of the First ScotRail franchise. The British government will also supply a multi-million pound grant to fund the Scottish rail operations, money that is needed in order to move the Edinburgh station improvement project forward, for example. British ministers will retain train driver licensing as well as other safety obligations.
October 24 – World's first biogas train makes maiden voyage.
October 31 – Rapid transit workers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, go on strike. SEPTA, the fifth largest transit agency in the United States, is forced to temporarily close several lines due to a lack of trained employees. Union negotiators walked out of contract negotiations minutes before the midnight deadline when they failed to come to a conclusion; disputes were centered around employee pay and benefits agreements. All operators on the City, Victory, and Frontier Divisions walked off the job. SEPTA services on the regional rail division continue according to contingency plans, and all bus, trolley, and subway lines are suspended until the conclusion of the work stoppage.
November 1 – Government officials in China announce plans to privatise the nation's rail network into separate corporations that could be listed on international stock markets. The strategy is to raise money for improvements and expansions to the network, which would increase the amount of track by about 27,000 km (17,000 mi). The plan could lead to partial or complete foreign ownership of some railway lines, but some investors have already raised concerns over the network's regulatory system, especially in regard to the newly independent railways' abilities to raise prices to cover costs. (BBC News)
November 23 – Railroad workers across France return to work from a strike action. The labour unions involved in the strike report that they are pleased with concessions agreed to during negotiations on Tuesday and French PresidentJacques Chirac offered his personal guarantee that SNCF would not be privatised. The strike, the sixth by French rail workers in 2005, suspended one third of all TGV trains across the country. (IHT)
The 45th Street R station closed during the 2005 New York City transit strike
December 2 – Schnabel car CEBX 800, the largest such car on North American rails, departs Duluth, Minnesota, in a special Canadian Pacific Railway train bound for Long Lake in northern Alberta. The car is carrying what has been called the largest single-car freight load ever carried in North America, an enormous "hydro cracker" reactor built in pieces in Dubai and Japan. The 1.5 million pound load was offloaded from the ship Stellaprima in Duluth on November 23.
December 20 – New York City Subway workers walk off their jobs in a strike called by the Transport Workers Union at 3:00 AM local time. It is a move that may be in violation of a previous court ruling that makes subway worker strikes illegal, and MTA lawyers have asked the courts to review the strike action as one that may be in contempt of court with that ruling. Fines for such a ruling of contempt could include two days pay for each striking employee per day that the strike continues. The union claims that MTA should be able to afford the health care benefit and pension levels sought by the union due to a budget surplus of nearly US$1 billion. While the strike is in progress, the city of New York has implemented emergency statutes that include restricting private vehicles carrying less than four occupants from entering the city between 5:00 AM and 11:00 AM local time.
June 12 – At 7:10 AM local time, a bomb explodes between Uzunovo and Bogatishchevo, Russia (about 95 miles / 153 km from Moscow), derailing the locomotive and first four passenger cars of the Grozny-Moscow train. Investigators found wires leading from the explosion site to a control panel and hideout about 164 ft (50 m) from the site.
June 21 – A southbound passenger train collides with a coal delivery truck near Revadim, about 25 miles south of Tel Aviv; the train was bound for Beersheba when the accident occurred. At least seven people die in the accident and more than 200 are injured.
Smoke and confusion in the London Underground after the bomb blast.
July 13 – A passenger train stopped at the Ghotki, Pakistan, railway station was hit from behind by a train that missed a signal. The derailed cars were subsequently hit by a third train, resulting in a total of seventeen wrecked train cars, which carried over 3,000 passengers. More than 100 people are dead from the Ghotki rail crash. Pakistani railroad officials have called this the worst railroad accident there in 15 years.
October 29 – Veligonda rail disaster near the town of Veligonda, south of Hyderabad in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh. A flash flood swept away a small rail bridge, and a "Delta Express" train travelling on it derailed at the broken section of the line, killing at least 114 people and injuring over 200.