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China accelerates construction of freight links

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The National Development & Reform Commission has issued instructions to accelerate the construction of freight lines to improve the last-mile connectivity of ports, industrial plants, mining sites and logistics parks.

The programme covers 127 rail links totalling 1,586 km in 24 provinces and municipalities. These range in length from a 0.9 km line for use by automotive group Volkswagen at Nanhai port in Guangdong province to a 64 km line connecting the Xuwei port area in Lianyungang with the national network.

The programme is intended to meet the needs of a three-year transport action plan for 2018-20 which aims to increase rail freight by 1·1 billion tonnes or 30% from the 2017 figure.

At least 80% of companies and logistics parks handling 1.5 million tonnes of bulk cargo per year are expected to be connected to the rail network by the end of 2020. This would reach 85% by 2025, including all major ports on the River Yangtse.

Under the initiative, requests from companies for rail connectivity cannot be turned down by local railway authorities, which are required to issue an approval within 20 days of receipt of all relevant documents.

 

Source: railwaygazette.com

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Master Plan for Athens International Airport, approved

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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The master plan for the long-awaited expansion of Athens International Airport «El. Venizelos» has been approved, according to infrormation of ypodomes.com. This is the first major step for the launch of a project that it is said to reach a budget of 700m euros. The expansion project of AIA will definitely be another major airport project, after those of the 14 regional airports of Fraport Greece and the new airport to be constructed in Kastelli, Crete by TERNA.

More specifically,  the approval has been granted for:

A. The modification of the spatial planning for the construction of a new aiport apron, a new general aviation track and a new building to host and support ground services;

B. The study of the construction of a new taxi rank, northwest of the commercial park.

The new terminal will include several new gates equipped with jetways, ramps, new VIP and lounge areas, shopping and dining areas, etc.

With the above projects an area of 100,000 sq.m. will be added to the facilities of the airport, part of which is the expansion of the satellite station. The goal is for Athens International Airport to be able to handle 30m passengers per year, with a long-term goal to achieve a capacity of 50m passengers per year, by 2040.

Athens Airport has recorded impressive passenger traffic over the past six years, with multiple records mainly due to international flights. For 2019, the annual traffic figures reached 25.5m passengers.

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Bombardier and Alstom believed to be in merger talks

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Εργοστάσιο Alstom

Exploratory discussions are believed to be underway regarding a proposed merger between Bombardier Transportation and Alstom according to a report by Bloomberg on January 21.

Shares in both companies rose on January 22 following the news. Alstom’s share price soared to a 52-week high of €46.42, while Bombardier’s share price reached a peak of $C 1.44 ($US 1.09) before dropping back to close at $C 1.28. However, this represents a small recovery for Bombardier which saw its share price plummet from $C1.79 on January 15 to a low of $C 1.12 on January 17 following its announcement of worse than expected financial performance on January 16.

Bombardier, which is headquartered in Montreal, has gone through a period of restructuring during the last few years, mainly due to problems with its aircraft business. This resulted in it divesting a large part of the aircraft business and selling a 30% stake in its Bombardier Transportation rail division to Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) for $C 1.5bn. The deal was approved by the European Commission (EC) in February 2016.

In 2017, Bombardier started talks with Siemens regarding a possible merger with Siemens Mobility. However, Siemens broke off the talks in order to launch merger discussions with Alstom. Despite reaching agreement in 2018, the Siemens and Alstom merger was quashed by the EC on February 6 2019 on the grounds that the two companies had failed to address its concerns over the potential impact of the deal on competition in the signalling and high-speed rolling stock markets.

It is difficult to see how a merger between Bombardier Transportation, which is headquartered in Berlin, and Paris-based Alstom would succeed when both companies are in the high-speed rail and signalling markets, let alone the commuter train, metro train and light rail markets where they are strong players.

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News in English

Bombardier extends London Overground maintenance contract

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Συρμοί Μετρό Λονδίνου

Bombardier has agreed a 10-year extension of its contract with Transport for London (TfL) to maintain the fleet of 54 class 710 Aventra EMUs, which was due to expire in July 2025, to July 2035.

The extended contract is worth an additional £185m.

Maintenance will continue to take place at Bombardier’s Willesden Train Care Depot in North London. The fleet is in daily service on the Gospel Oak – Barking and Watford – London Euston routes.

The contract extension was agreed with TfL on December 18 and announced on January 17.

Source: railjournal.com

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