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China poised to open 350 km/h automated railway

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Bullet train China

Automated operations are due to start before the end of this year on the 174 km high speed line linking Beijing with Zhangjiakou in Hebei province, one of the host cities for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Journey times will be cut to around 50 min compared with about 3 h by trains using the 190 km conventional line.

Designed to carry visitors to the Olympic venue at up to 350 km/h, the line will be ‘the smartest in the country’, according to Mo Zhisong, Chief Engineer responsible for train control systems at China State Railway Group, which until June this year was known as China Railway Corp.

Speaking at a press event last month, Mo said tests had shown that the smart railway improved operational safety and comfort, enhanced on-time performance and cut energy costs. Automatic driving and dispatching systems and intelligent substations are among 67 ‘smart technology projects’ deployed on the line. Different types of intelligent robot will be available at stations to assist passengers and handle luggage. During the trials, a test train reached a maximum speed of 385 km/h.

Design of the 53·5bn yuan railway was carried out by China Railway Engineering Consulting Group with the help of a suite of software from Bentley Systems. The line includes 10 tunnels, one of which is 1·2 km long, and 64 bridges. One of the 10 stations will serve the Great Wall visitor site at Badaling and is located up to 102 m below the surface.

Source: railwaygazette.com

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Twelve major infrastructure projects promising to upgrade Thessaloniki

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Γραμμη 4 Μετρο

The General Secretary of Infrastructure, Mr. George Karagiannis, spoke to Thessaloniki news website, voria.gr, about 12 major projects for the city and the wider region.

Most of them are known and the Ministry’s goal is to implement them, reversing the city’s negative past experiences concerning the projects. Some of them are already under construction, while others are in advanced preparation or planning, making their way to their tenders.

According to Mr. Karagiannis, the 12 major projects in the region are the following:

1. Thessaloniki Metro (Main line and the extension to Kalamaria), which is now at a very advanced stage.

2. Completion of Egnatia Motorway vertical axis Thessaloniki-N. Moudania-Potidea, with 14.5m euros

3. Completion of road safety upgrade works on Thessaloniki-Polygyros axis, in the section Thermi-Galatista, with 29m euros.

4. Completion of the road connection between the 6th pier of Thessaloniki Port and PATHe motorway axis, with 75m euros.

5. The proposed PPP project regarding the upgrade of the eastern internal ring road (aka flyover), with an indicative budget of 350m euros.

6. Rainwater drainage of Kalamaria Municipality southern section, with 12m euros.

7. Flood control works in the wider area of ​​”Lachanagora”, with 33m euros.

8. Construction of 17 new school units using the PPP method, with an estimated cost of 153m euros.

9. Installation of signaling systems and ETCS-LEVEL 1 on the single-track railway line Thessaloniki-Eidomeni, with 46m euros.

10. Thessaloniki-Mouries road project, with 65m euros

11. Upgrade-electrification of the railway line Thessaloniki-Promachonas, with 150m euros.

12. Connection of the Thessaloniki Port 6th Pier with the national railway network. This project proceeds with the method of the competitive dialogue.

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Updated plans for Patras new railway connection projects to be presented in July

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός με ηλεκτροκινούμενες γραμμές

The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, intends to present his plans on how the modern railway will finally reach the city of Patras. According to information of ypodomes.com, the Ministry of Infrastructure does is not opposed to the solution of the undergrounding but to the complete undergrounding of the lines, a project that cannot be financed due to its very large budget.

The solution proposed by the Ministry

The solution to which the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is oriented, according to information of ypodomes.com, and which is the subject of negotiations with the competent directorates of the European Commission, presents, as noted by sources close to the case, many advantages:

At first, it accepts the fact that both intecity and suburban railway will become a valuable element of the city’s development. Regarding the layout, it provides for surface passage with a double-track electrified line from Rio to Aghios Dionysios (where a new modern central station will be built). In this section, 2 or 3 immersions of 100 meters each, have been planned in Bozaitika, Panachaiki and Agyia areas.

In addition, this solution involves another immersion of the section between Aghios Dionysios nad Aghios Andreas (with the cut and cover method) with a single-track line aiming to open the city to the seafront and achieve access of the railway to the port. At the same time, the Suburban Railway will operate in a boxed surface passage.

Along with the solution that will be proposed, the implementation of major interventions in the operation of the city is included, such as e.g. renovation of junctions and parking spaces in order to solve traffic problems. For this purpose, an architectural tender is being promoted by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in order to highlight the coastal front of the city.

At the same time, as the same sources point out, it enlivens the port, strengthens combined transport (i.e. the railway and sea transports, cruise ships and intecity buses). According to the same information, the solution is feasible and has a secured budget of less than 200, euros, from NSRF.

The solution, if implemented, provides for the rapid maturation and execution of the projects and stops the idiosyncratic railway isolation of Patras from the country’s national railway network. It also achieves in a reasonable time the arrival of the railway in the port, giving new great development opportunities to the business community and the industrial area of ​​the city.

It is worth mentioning that the project for the connection of Patras with the modern railway, is the basis for the subsequent connection to Ilia prefecture in the south, etc.

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GEK TERNA: 1.7bn-euro backlog, strong profits and new projects

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Γιώργος Περιστέρης

A backlog of 1.7b euros was announced earlier today by GEK TERNA in a press release on the annual financial results for 2019, maintaining strong prospects of healthy construction activity for the coming period.

The new projects undertaken by the Group concerns -among others- the construction of the new Heraklion International Airport in Kastelli (Crete), the construction of the southern section of Kentriki Odos-E65 Motorway, the participation in the reconstruction of Tesla Airport in Belgrade (Serbia), the development of Cyprus Casino in Limassol, as well as a number of other projects both in Greece and abroad.

The construction turnover for third parties last year amounted to 679.8m euros, compared to 94m euros in 2018. Also, operating profit(adjusted EBITDA) stood at 10.9m euros compared to 32.1m euros in the previous year.

As the Group’s CEO, Mr. Giorgos Peristeris commented on GEK TERNA’s investments: “We have already launched a broad investment program of about 3b euros in the sectors of clean energy, energy storage with pumped storage hydropower, gas-fired power plants, environmental projects and waste management infrastructure, while we expect developments in new investment initiatives in which we participate, worth more than 1bn euros.”

It is noteworthy that the total power of the Group’s RES facilities in operation or under construction now reaches 2,000 MW. Investment in the clean energy sector alone reached 260m euros.

In the concessions sector, a new addition has been the concession company for the new International Airport in Heraklion, for which the concession contract was signed with the Greek State on February 21, 2019. On March 27, 2019, the Group, through TERNA Energy, put into operation Epirus Waste Treatment Unit with an average annual capacity of 105,000 tons. The total equity amounted to 767m euros.

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