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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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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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Signatures approaching for Piraeus Port Cruise Pier

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A matter of just few weeks is -according to secure information-, the signing of the contract for the major extension project of Piraeus Port Cruise Pier. As it has become known, PPA’s Board of Directors has approved the signing of the construction contract with the contractor that has been awarded from the bidding process.

According to the same sources, the project will be signed and launched in the coming weeks, as the time is pressing for the project that is funded by NSRF 2014-2020.

The contractor is TEKAL company with a bid that reached 103m euros (+VAT), for an offer that approached 24.5%. Executives from the construction sector note that this is currently the largest cruise pier project in Europe. Nevertheless, the momentum of the port of Piraeus is evident by the statistics which show an increase in passenger and goods traffic, every year.

The project for the construction of the new cruise pier is a flagship project, included in COSCO’s investment program for PPA, which exceeds 600m euros. The original budget of the project was estimated at 136m euros (+VAT).

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Light rail growth strong in Europe, UITP says

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Light rail infrastructure and patronage has seen a steady increase since the start of the millennium, according to a report from the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), with 108 new cities around the world opening their first line, including 70 in Europe.

The Light Rail and Tram: The European Outlook statistics brief found that Germany and central Europe make up half of all patronage, with the rest split between southeastern Europe, France, Poland, the Benelux countries (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg), western Mediterranean, Nordic/Baltic and the British Isles.

Between 2015 and 2018, light rail infrastructure in Europe grew by 3.9% from 8943km to 9296km, with ridership growing 6.9% from 9740 million to 10,422 million passengers between 2015 and 2018. Light rail now carries as many passengers as metros and regional/commuter rail, and 10 times more passengers than air travel in Europe. The average light rail journey in Europe is 3.27km.

The busiest light rail network in Europe is in Budapest, Hungary, with 411 million passengers, while Berlin takes the title of longest light rail network in Europe at 193km. Ridership growth varies from region to region, ranging from 17.5% in the British Isles to 1.5% in Poland.

There are notable differences between network structures across the countries. While the average European line is 7.3km long, they tend to be longer on average in countries with newer systems and a limited number of lines, while older, more complex systems feature lower average line length.

The fleet operating on the 1275 light rail lines in Europe consists of 20,750 trams and LRVs, with 51% of this fleet comprising partial or full low-floor vehicles, ranging from countries with almost 100% such as France, Spain, Ireland, Britain and Norway to those with much lower percentages.

The average annual mileage per vehicle in Europe is 52,000km, ranging between 38,700km and 77,500km. The discrepancy can be partly explained by the fleet age structure. In addition, this value is theoretical and based on the assumption that all vehicles are used equally.

UITP says that with continued pressure to reduce congestion, tackle poor air quality in cities and reduce greenhouse gas emission contributing to climate change, light rail will continue to obtain support of decision-makers and the travelling public in Europe.

However, much attention and resources will go into the maintenance, modernisation and replacement of assets to keep ageing systems attractive and fit for purpose. For this reason, the growth of green-field projects in Europe will continue to slow down.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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