2006 in rail transport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Years in rail transport

This article lists events related to rail transport that occurred in 2006.


January events[edit]

  • India January 5 – Railway workers across India begin voting on whether or not to hold a strike against Indian Railways in February. The union's demands center around pay scales, pensions, and private investment into the railway. A Northern Railway Mazdoor Union spokesperson stated that the decision to hold the strike vote was made at the recent All India Railwaymen's Union convention in Mumbai; Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh union members protested at the convention by burning an effigy of Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Voting is scheduled to conclude on January 8, and the vote count, which is expected to begin on January 9, will be monitored by external observers.[1][2]
  • China January 6 – China's Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun announces details of a 160 billion yuan ($20 billion) plan for railway construction there in the coming year. The ministry expects to begin construction on as many as 87 new railway projects in 2006, including thirteen new express passenger train routes and opening new electrified lines. The plan also includes the acceleration of eleven express passenger route projects already under construction.[3]

February events[edit]

  • Turkmenistan February 7 – Workers in Turkmenistan begin the final phase of construction on the Trans Karakum railway that will connect Ashgabat to Dashoguz, crossing the Karakum Desert. The new railway connection is expected to cut travel times between the two cities in half, bypassing the current circuitous route from Ashgabat through Mary and Lebap provinces and along the border with Uzbekistan. Once construction is completed, the official opening ceremony is expected to be held at the new Ichoguz station on the border between Ahal and Dashhowuz provinces.[4]
  • Australia February 13 – Genesee and Wyoming (G&W) announces that it has sold its 50% share in operations (the other 50% was owned by Wesfarmers) of the Australian Railroad Group (ARG) in western Australia to Queensland Rail (QR) and Babcock & Brown Ltd. (B&B). The deal, valued at $974 million (A$1.55 billion), splits the holdings between operations and infrastructure elements with QR purchasing the above-rail operations and B&B purchasing the below-rail infrastructure. In a concurrent deal, G&W is purchasing Westfarmer's share of ARG in South Australia for $15 million (A$22 million), which will be renamed Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd and operated as a subsidiary company of G&W.[5]
  • Thailand February 20 – Officials in Thailand affirm that they will consider World Heritage Railway status for the Thailand-Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway. Thousands of British, Dutch and Australian nationals perished in the railway's prisoner of war construction camps during World War II, and the railway's construction served as the inspiration for the 1957 film The Bridge on the River Kwai. The campaign to gain heritage status is being led by Takashi Nagase, an English language teacher in Japan, who had served as an interpreter for the Japanese military during the war.[6]

March events[edit]

  • United States March – Guilford Rail System changes its name to Pan Am Railways.
  • South Korea March 1 – Members of the Korean Railway Workers' Union begin a strike action against Korean National Railroad (Korail). Systemwide passenger service is reduced by 60% and freight service is also drastically reduced during the strike. Union members called the strike to protest Korail's practice of replacing regular long-term positions with short-term contract positions. See also: South Korean railroad strike of 2006.
  • Republic of Ireland March 9 – Groundbreaking ceremonies are held in Dublin, Ireland, on Spencer Station, the first new railway station to be built in the city in more than 100 years. The first shovelfuls of dirt were turned by Minister for Transport Martin Cullen. The new station, which is valued at 30 million, will serve the Maynooth and Navan lines and is planned as part of an extension of the city's Luas light rail system to the north docks area. The new station, part of the Transport 21 plan announced in 2005, is expected to open in mid-2007.[7]
  • Argentina March 24 – Officials with the Portuguese firm Mota-Engil announce that the company will begin building a trans-Andean railway line in April 2006 that will connect Argentina and Chile. Construction of the new Transandino del Sur railway will begin near the Argentine city of Zapala and will run from there for the 50 km (31 mi) to the Chilean border; Mota-Engil expects to complete this section by 2008. From the border, the contract to build the segment to the Chilean city of Lonquimay, 170 km (110 mi) further, will be up for international bidding.[8]

April events[edit]

  • United Kingdom April 1 – The London passenger rail services of West Anglia Great Northern and Thameslink are merged under First Capital Connect in a new franchise that will continue for six years. The new franchisee plans to overhaul the trains with new liveries and on-board services as well as an £8 million program of upgrades for several major stations.[9]
  • China April 7 – Officials with BNSF Railway announce that the railway will become the first United States railroad to open an office in China when its office in Shanghai opens later in April. Both Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway, which both maintain track and operate in the US, already maintain offices in China, but this will be the first office for a US-headquartered railway. The office is hoped to help BNSF with logistics planning for containerized shipments between the US and Asia.[10]
  • Hong Kong April 11 – Hong Kong's Executive Council formally approves the merger of Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR) and Mass Transit Railway (MTR). Officials close to the negotiations estimate a passenger fare reduction for as many as 2.8 million riders on the first day that the merger is effective. The proposal includes a formula for future fare adjustments. The resulting company will use the MTR name and identity; it will be responsible for the daily operation of both KCR and MTR systems. Although up to 700 layoffs are predicted due to job duplication, officials estimate that the combined company could be looking to hire 1,300 more employees within a few years.[11]
  • Switzerland April 24 – Bern–Lötschberg–Simplon railway merges with Regionalverkehr Mittelland to form the new BLS AG, operating primarily in the Swiss Canton of Bern.
  • Flag of the Basque Country April 25 – Officials with the governments of Spain and the Basque autonomous region sign an agreement outlining the proposed Basque Y railway service. The service would provide passenger and freight rail transport between the three Basque provincial capitals of Vitoria, Bilbao and Donostia and connections to the high-speed Madrid-Vitoria-Paris rail corridor. The agreement puts the section between Vitoria and Bilbao under Spanish control, and the section in Gipuzkoa province under Basque control.[12]
  • Conference of African Railway Ministers April 10–14, 2006 discusses integration, gauge standardisation

May events[edit]

Opening celebration for Berlin Hauptbahnhof

June events[edit]

  • United KingdomFastline Freight begins revenue operation.
  • India June 5 – Indian Railways begins construction on a new rail bridge that will become the highest railroad bridge in the world. The bridge, crossing the Chenab River at 359 metres (1,178 ft) above the river and connecting Katra and Laol in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, will also include the world's largest supporting arch. The arch will span 1,315 m (4,314 ft). Construction is expected to be completed by 2009.[15]
  • France June 6 – In a precedent-setting case brought by European Green Party legislator Alain Lipietz and his sister, SNCF, the national railway of France, is ordered to pay almost $80,000 in reparations for transporting members of their family to the Drancy deportation camp during World War II. SNCF argued at trial that they were at the time under orders of the German military; the railroad further argued that the German military threatened to shoot any railroad official who disobeyed their orders. The court disagreed with SNCF concluding that there was no way that SNCF could have avoided knowledge of the prisoners' likely deportation to concentration camps and that SNCF made no effort to either protest the transportation or to transport them in a humane manner.[16]
  • Switzerland June 14 – Lötschberg Base Tunnel in Switzerland formally opened.
  • Japan June 20 – Hankyu Railway announces that it has completed its stock purchase for control of Hanshin Electric Railway in a transaction totalling about $2.2 billion. Hankyu now owns a 63.7% interest in Hanshin, which is planned to be operated as a subsidiary company beginning later in 2006. The purchase makes the combined company the third largest railway in Japan by revenue, and the second largest in the Kansai region.[17]
  • China June 26 – Shanghai south railway station opens for limited service; the first regular train out of the station is train N521 bound for Hangzhou. The station features the world's largest circular transparent roof and can accommodate up to 16,000 passengers at once. Formal opening ceremonies are currently scheduled for July 1.[18]

July events[edit]

  • China July 1 – China's President Hu Jintao presides over a ribbon cutting ceremony in Golmud to officially open the Qingzang railway for service. The first train over the newly constructed line carried about 900 passengers to Lhasa. With the highest point on the new line at 5,072 m (16,640 ft) above sea level, the Qingzang railway is now the highest operating railway in the world.[19][20]
  • France July 2 – SNCF's president Louis Gallois leaves the French railway company for EADS. He's been replaced by Anne-Marie Idrac, former president of the RATP. Louis Gallois had been SNCF's president for 10 years, and SNCF's employees applauded him as he was leaving.

August events[edit]

  • Russia August 3 – The power car of the first RUS 250/330 high speed trainset built by Siemens AG is delivered in a ceremony at Saint Petersburg, Russia. A total of six 10-car trains are being built by Siemens for use between Saint Petersburg and Moscow; in service, the trains are expected to reach speeds up to 250 km/h (155 mph) and are designed for speeds as fast as 300 km/h (186 mph). Although current trackage between the two cities could not currently support such speeds, a Russian Siemens official stated that construction is underway to upgrade existing track and build new track.[21]
  • China August 10 – Officials in China announce plans to extend the Qingzang railway beyond Lhasa to Tibet's second-largest city, Xigaze, which would add another 170 miles (270 km) of track to the already controversial line. Chinese officials anticipate the extension to be completed in 2009.[22]
  • United States August 29 – Amtrak announces the selection of Alexander Kummant to become president and CEO of the company effective September 12 to succeed David L. Gunn. David Hughes, who had stepped in as interim president, will step down from that position but will remain with the company. Before Amtrak, Kummant had served as a vice president for Komatsu America Corporation and as a Regional Vice President for Union Pacific Railroad.[23][24]

September events[edit]

  • Finland September – The new federal railway agency of Finland will begin work.[25]

October events[edit]

November events[edit]

December events[edit]

By season[edit]

Spring events[edit]

Unknown date events[edit]


  • Montenegro January 23 – The Bioče train disaster in Montenegro killed at least 45 people, including five children, and injured another 184 injured. It was the worst train disaster in Montenegrin history.
  • Spain July 3 – An accident on Valencia Metro kills at least 41 and injures 40. The driver seems to have driven too fast, causing the breaking of a wheel and the derailment of the train. This accident occurred in the very center of Valencia, Spain, as the city was ready for pope Benedict XVI's arrival July 8.


February deaths[edit]

April deaths[edit]

June deaths[edit]

September deaths[edit]

October deaths[edit]

Industry awards[edit]


Awards presented by Japan Railfan Club

North America[edit]

2006 E. H. Harriman Awards
Group Gold medal Silver medal Bronze medal
A (not yet announced) (not yet announced) (not yet announced)
B (not yet announced) (not yet announced) (not yet announced)
C (not yet announced) (not yet announced) (not yet announced)
S&T (not yet announced) (not yet announced) (not yet announced)
Awards presented by Railway Age magazine

United Kingdom[edit]

Train Operator of the Year


  1. ^ Hindustan Times (January 5, 2006), Railway employees vote on proposed strike issue Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved January 6, 2006.
  2. ^ Chennai Online (January 5, 2006), Railway staff to go on strike in Feb. Retrieved January 6, 2006.
  3. ^ Xinhua (January 6, 2006), Govt to invest more on railway construction. Retrieved January 6, 2006.
  4. ^ Turkmenistan.ru (February 7, 2006), Construction of Trans-Karakum railway nears completion in Turkmenistan. Retrieved February 8, 2006.
  5. ^ Genesee & Wyoming, Inc. (February 13, 2006), Genesee & Wyoming Agrees to Sell Western Australia Operations and Certain Other Assets of the Australian Railroad Group for A$1.3 Billion (US$956 million). Retrieved February 14, 2006.
  6. ^ TMC.net (February 20, 2006), Thailand considers World Heritage status for 'Death Railway'. Retrieved February 20, 2006.
  7. ^ IOL (March 9, 2006), Cullen turns sod on new Dublin city railway station. Retrieved March 9, 2006.
  8. ^ MacauHub (March 27, 2006). "Portugal's Mota-Engil to build railroad between Argentina and Chile". Retrieved March 29, 2006. [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ RailStaff (April 6, 2006). "First Capital Connect links London". Archived from the original on May 2, 2006. Retrieved April 10, 2006. 
  10. ^ Yung, Katherine (April 7, 2006). "BNSF setting up office in China". Dallas Morning News; (reprinted by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen). Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2006. 
  11. ^ Dan, Liu (April 11, 2006). Xinhua, ed. "HK railway merger proposal gets green light". Retrieved April 11, 2006. 
  12. ^ "Basque and Spanish Governments sign Y Railway Project agreement". eitb24. April 25, 2006. Retrieved April 27, 2006. 
  13. ^ Athens News Agency (May 15, 2006). "Gov't eyes 2.0 bln euros for railway upgrades". Retrieved May 15, 2006. 
  14. ^ "Railroads Set Another Employee Safety Record in 2005". Association of American Railroads (reprinted by Norfolk Southern Railway). May 16, 2006. Archived from the original on February 13, 2007. Retrieved May 24, 2006. 
  15. ^ "World's Highest Railway Bridge to Come in Jammu and Kashmir". UNI (reprinted by DaijiWorld). June 5, 2006. Retrieved June 6, 2006. 
  16. ^ CBC News (June 7, 2006). "French railway must pay for transporting family to Nazis". Retrieved June 9, 2006. 
  17. ^ "UPDATE 2-Hankyu takes over fellow railway operator Hanshin". Reuters. June 20, 2006. Retrieved June 20, 2006. 
  18. ^ "The railway station with world's largest transparent roof". People's Daily Online. June 26, 2006. Retrieved June 27, 2006. 
  19. ^ "China opens railway to Tibet, the world's highest". AFX News Limited (reprinted by Forbes). July 2, 2006. Retrieved July 2, 2006. 
  20. ^ BBC News (July 1, 2006). "Hu opens world's highest railway". Archived from the original on July 4, 2006. Retrieved July 2, 2006. 
  21. ^ "Railway in Russia: High-Speed Russian Train from Siemens". Railway Market. August 3, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2006. 
  22. ^ "China to extend Tibetan rail link". BBC News. August 10, 2006. Archived from the original on August 20, 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2006. 
  23. ^ "Amtrak hires former rail exec as new president, CEO". Reuters. August 29, 2006. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved August 30, 2006. 
  24. ^ "Veteran Rail and Industrial Executive Alexander Kummant Appointed Amtrak President and CEO" (Press release). Amtrak. August 29, 2006. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved August 30, 2006. 
  25. ^ NewsRoom Finland (October 7, 2005), Finnish government picks Helsinki to house railway agency. Retrieved October 7, 2005.
  26. ^ Observer (2008). "Linear motors cut costs". Electric Railway. 53: 90. 
  27. ^ Associated Press (February 16, 2005), Phoenix begins work on light rail Archived May 14, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved February 16, 2005.
  28. ^ Union Pacific Railroad (August 2, 2005), Union Pacific and CSX to Introduce a New Produce Service in 2006[permanent dead link]. Retrieved August 4, 2005.
  29. ^ Xinhua (September 25, 2005), France to fund Vietnam in upgrading busiest railway route. Retrieved September 27, 2005.
  30. ^ Black Hills Today (October 5, 2005), Deadwood Rapid City Passenger Railroad Plans Progress with Appointment of Senior Management. Retrieved October 6, 2005.
  31. ^ BBC News (November 2, 2005), Railway passengers to be scanned. Retrieved November 3, 2005.
  32. ^ Trains News Wire (November 14, 2005), B.C. government stokes Royal Hudson restoration funding. Retrieved December 2, 2005.
  33. ^ "Egyptian train crash kills 57". CNN. August 21, 2006. Archived from the original on August 23, 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2006. 
  34. ^ "Egypt rail boss fired after crash". BBC News. August 22, 2006. Archived from the original on August 26, 2006. Retrieved August 22, 2006. 
  35. ^ "Landslide closes rail branchline". BBC. 3 January 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2007. 
  36. ^ Railway Age (February 7, 2006), CSX co-founder Tom Rice dies at 93 Archived December 10, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved February 8, 2006.
  37. ^ (March 7, 2006), Emery Gulash passes away. Retrieved March 8, 2006.
  38. ^ Trains NewsWire (February 27, 2006), Prolific rail photographer Emery Gulash dies. Retrieved March 8, 2006.
  39. ^ "Obituaries". Trains. 66 (8): 17. August 2006. ISSN 0041-0934. 
  40. ^ "Moyers Jr., Edward L". Chicago Tribune. June 8, 2006. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Chris Moyes RIP". RailwayPeople.com. September 18, 2006. Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. Retrieved September 20, 2006. 
  42. ^ Go-Ahead Group (September 13, 2006). "Announcement regarding Chris Moyes". Archived from the original on November 4, 2006. Retrieved September 20, 2006. 
  43. ^ "Railway chief, deputy, die of gas poisoning". UB Post. October 16, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2006. 
  44. ^ a b Railway Age (2006). "Railway Age Announces Short Line and Regional Railroads of the Year". Archived from the original on October 7, 2006. Retrieved August 14, 2006. 
  45. ^ Midland Mainline. "Company Information". Archived from the original on November 12, 2006. Retrieved November 6, 2006.