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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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Scenarios for Crete’s VOAK Motorway implementation via… Attiki Odos

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While the current double tender for Crete’s VOAK motorway axis is essentially considered to be «dead», the Ministry of Infrastructure is preparing the new model to promote the implementation of this major road project.

In fact, there is already some information available on how the new deal will look like. PM, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis has already mentioned that VOAK will be implemented using another concession. And this concession cannot be other than Attiki Odos.

After all, it is a concession that expires in 2024, so the most likely scenario is for Attiki Odos «to be combined» with VOAK Motorway, in order to secure funding for it, thus making it viable and most important, bankable.

The key point

The key point that will define the new tender that will be one and only, integrating the whole axis is the term «viable». Well-informed sources told ypodomes.com that the existing model, in addition to the complex triple process, involved a high participation of the Greek State, an exorbitant subsidy and availability payments that would raise the final cost of the project, higher than any other motorway ever built and operated in the country.

On that basis, the new model will seek a lower participation of the State and funding from another concession contract – most likely from Attiki Odos. In any case, tolls will not be avoided as they were also included in the previous concession tender, at a rate of 0,063 euro/km, as in the rest of the country’s motorways.

However, the participation of a large concession, could bring a reduction to the basic toll fare. What is also known is the intention for the axis construction in 2 phases: firstly the section Chania-Aghios Nikolaos and secondly the extensions to Kolymbari (to the west) and Sitia (to the east). The «unveiling» of the new tender and its architecture are expected by the Prime Minister, probably in early 2020.

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MEPs push for high ambitions at the COP25 in Madrid

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A delegation from the European Parliament arrived in Madrid yesterday to participate in the COP25, where they will meet with key stakeholders in the negotiations.

An official delegation from the European Parliament will take part in the UN conference on climate change, the COP25, in Madrid in Spain this week from today until 14 December. The delegation is led by Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL), with Peter Liese (EPP, DE) as Vice-Chair.

The delegation is set to meet with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee, delegates from several non-EU countries as well as civil society representatives.

A press conference with delegation Chair, Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL), and Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans is scheduled to take place on 12 December 14.30-15.00 (TBC).

On Thursday 12 December at 12.30, Parliament is hosting a side event in the EU Pavilion focusing on the need to make all countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) more ambitious and on the role that forests play in reaching the Paris target.
Quote

“I am glad that the European Parliament delegation has come to Madrid with a very clear mandate: The EU has to increase its National Determined Contribution to minus 55% greenhouse gas emission in 2030 compared to 1990, and become climate neutral by 2050 at the latest,” says Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL), Chair of the delegation.

“While technical issues are very important, the most important thing is to continue to work for the common goal, in spite of Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. I very much support Ursula von der Leyen’s initiative to have an international alliance to increase ambition in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Developments in China, India, South Africa and Canada show that if we act in the right way, we are not the only ones that can be more ambitious.” says Peter Liese (EPP, DE), Vice-Chair of the delegation.

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Italy: Donizetti trains ordered for Lombardia

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Lombardia regional operator FNM has signed a framework contract with Alstom for the supply of up to 61 electric multiple-units, the supplier announced on November 29.

The €194m base order covers the supply of 31 EMUs from Alstom’s Coradia Stream family that will be branded Donizetti by the customer. Deliveries from Alstom’s Savigliano factory are scheduled to begin in 2022.

Traction systems will be made at Sesto San Giovanni and on-board signalling equipment at Bologna. Four traction motors will provide a maximum speed of 160 km/h. The HVAC system will automatically adjust to the number of passengers on board, and the LED lighting will adjust based on the amount of light outside the train.

The trains will operate on the 331 km Ferrovienord network. The options can be exercised within eight years, and include preventive and corrective maintenance.

FNM called tenders in 2017 as part of a larger programme to renew its rolling stock. The region of Lombardia, which owns 57·57% of FNM, has committed more than €1·6bn to fund 176 new trainsets as ridership in the region has hit 800 000 passengers/day, nearly one-fifth more than five years ago.

In September 2018 Hitachi Rail Italy was awarded a framework contract to supply up to 120 double-deck EMUs to FNM, now being delivered to Trenitalia under the ‘Rock’ branding. The initial order is for 30 four-car and 20 five-car units. Two months later, FNM selected Stadler to supply up to 30 three-car Flirt diesel-battery hybrid multiple-units for use on its non-electrified routes with options for 20 more.

 

Source: railwaygazette.com

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