Rail roundup

A high-speed TGV train derailed near Strasbourg, killing at least 10 people, officials say. The crash happened during a test run in the town of Eckwersheim, on a new Paris-Strasbourg line due to open next year.The train was carrying 49 railway technicians when it derailed, caught fire, and plunged into a canal. Eleven people suffered serious injuries. The derailment was due to "excessive speed", officials say.

According to Global Construction Review Japan’s ambition to build a high-speed magnetic levitation railway in America has taken a step close. The US Department of Transport has agreed to give the State of Maryland $27.8M for a feasibility study into a 500km/h maglev rail link between Baltimore and Washington, DC. 

Atkins has won a framework agreement to provide technical consultancy expertise for the renewal of Norway’s rail signalling system on over 4000km of track. The Norwegian National Rail Administration (Jernbaneverket) has committed to implementing the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) on the Norwegian railway network with the roll-out of ERTMS Level 2 and Baseline 3 due for completion by 2030. The duration of the initial framework agreement is 2 years with options to extend at the end of the contract period.

Network Rail has agreed to create a £4.1M fund after overcrowding at London Bridge caused "life threatening chaos". Network Rail (NR) was threatened with a £2M penalty after a report found 2014-15 services were "below expectations". It has now offered more than double the proposed fine to improve services and reduce delays on Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express services, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said.

Network Rail has picked Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail as its partners to design and build East-West Rail phase 2. The alliance will deliver a rail route linking Oxford, Milton Keynes and Bedford, and Milton Keynes with London Marylebone via Aylesbury.