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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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Doha Metro Green Line starts trial operation

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Doha Metro

Trial operation of the Doha Metro’s Green Line started on December 10, which means all three metro lines in the Qatari capital are now in trial operation.

The 22km line runs from Al Riffa in the northwest of Doha to Al Mansoura and interchanges with the north-south Red Line at Al Bidda and Msheireb, where there is also a connection with the east-west Gold Line.

Trains on the Green Line are now operating between 06.00 to 23.00 from Saturday to Thursday, while services start at 14.00 on Fridays.

In December 2017, Qatar Rail awarded RKH Qitarat, a joint venture of RATP Dev, Keolis and Hamad Group, a 20-year contract to operate and maintain the three-line Doha metro network and the four-line Lusail light rail network.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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

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ΒΟΑΚ, Βόρειος Οδικός Άξονας Κρήτης

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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Πράσινη Ανάπτυξη Φυτό

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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