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China to build high-speed maglev test line

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Bullet train China

China plans to start construction next year of a 200km maglev line in Hubei province to test operation of a prototype maglev train at speeds in excess of 600km/h.

According to a report in the Wuhan Evening News, the project is part of China’s Building Outline for the Construction of a Powerful Country initiative and could form the first section of a maglev line linking Wuhan with Guangzhou. Maglev technology would cut the time for the 968km trip from a current fastest journey time of 3h 43min by rail to around 2 hours.

CRRC Qingdao Sifang completed a 600km/h test maglev train in May following three years of research and an engineering prototype maglev train will roll off the production line next year.

The test train has a new generation of aluminium-alloy car body which is lightweight while having high strength and is designed to mitigate aerodynamic resistance and lift. The train features foil windings for the electromagnets and precision casting for the levitation frame. CRRC has developed the levitation and guidance system, speed detection and location detection system as well as the control system.

The train has a 24MVA traction converter system and a high-speed and multi-section traction control system. The train will be fully automatic for which CRRC has developed a new control system. The communication system will be based on LTE with a short time delay.

The train uses high-temperature superconducting magnetic levitation technology which is designed to generate less heat, produce greater traction, and achieve a higher maximum speed than other types of maglev train.

Capacity challange

China’s Beijing – Shanghai and Beijing – Wuhan – Guangzhou high-speed lines are operating at 82% of capacity with traffic growing strongly. Studies are currently underway to increase the length of high-speed trains on the Beijing – Shanghai from 16 to 17 coaches.

China sees maglev as a way of relieving the pressure on these lines as well as helping to give it a technological lead. Maglev is also seen as a means to plug the gap between high-speed trains and jet aircraft.

China’s first 30km maglev line linking Shanghai Pudong International Airport with Longyang Road metro station opened in 2002 using German technology. Since then, an 18.6km maglev line linking Changsha South with Huanghua International Airport was completed in April 2016, a 9km elevated maglev line serving the western part of Beijing opened in December 2018, and a maglev line in Qingyuan, Guangdong province, is due to open this year.

A preliminary pre-feasibility study report is underway for a Guangzhou – Shenzhen – Hong Kong maglev project together with a pre-feasibility study for a maglev line linking Jinan, with Qufu.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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EU launches Connecting Europe Facility call worth €1.4bn

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Σιδηροδρομικό έργο

The European Commission launched a call worth €1.4bn on October 16 to support key transport projects implemented in 2021-2027 through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

The investment will help build missing connections across the continent, while focusing on sustainable transport modes. The call is split into two, with the cohesion envelope, which is worth €650m, reserved for the 15 EU Member States that are eligible for Cohesion Fund support: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

This funding is split between:

– Pre-identified projects on the corridors of the core network (railways, inland waterways, roads, maritime and inland ports) – €610m

– Safe and secure infrastructure, including safe and secure parking on the road core network – €40m

The general envelope, which to applications from all EU member states, has a budget of €750m across the following areas:

– Pre-identified projects on the corridors of the core network (railways, inland waterways, roads, maritime and inland ports) – €500m

– Deployment of European rail traffic management system (ERTMS) – €50m

– Safe and secure infrastructure, including safe and secure parking on the road core network – €20m

– Intelligent Transport Services For Road (ITS) – €20m

– Single European sky (Sesar) – €20m

– Actions implementing transport infrastructure in core network nodes, including urban nodes and passengers multimodality – €110m

– Motorways of the sea – €30m

“To accelerate decarbonisation and contribute to the completion of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), we are making full use of the resources available through the CEF,” says transport commissioner, Ms Violeta Bulc.

“These investments will support smart and sustainable mobility and better connect our citizens across Europe.” A virtual information day will take place on November 7, with the deadline for applications on February 26 2020. CEF is the European Union’s funding instrument for strategic investment in transport, energy and digital infrastructure.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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ENEL inaugurates Kafireas, the largest wind facility of Greece

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Enel, through its Greek renewables subsidiary Enel Green Power Hellas S.A. (“EGPH”), has connected to the grid its new Kafireas wind farm complex, which is the largest of its kind in the country with an overall capacity of more than 154 MW. Located in the municipality of Karystos (Evia), Kafireas involved an overall investment of around 300 million euros. Today’s inauguration ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. Kostis Hatzidakis, along with Enel Green Power CEO, Mr. Antonio Cammisecra, Enel’s Head of Europe and Euro-Mediterranean Affairs, Mr. Simone Mori, as well as the Head of Enel Green Power Europe, Mr. Aristotelis Chantavas.

Antonio Cammisecra, Enel Green Power CEO, said: “We have reached a significant milestone by connecting to the grid the largest wind project in Greece, one of the first countries where we started our renewable journey more than a decade ago. Kafireas underscores our global commitment to renewable energy and decarbonisation, in line with our pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as our commitment to a diversified generation mix at country level.

On top of the supply of zero-emission energy nationwide, this project also has a strong local focus, as we are supporting our stakeholders in Evia by backing sustainability initiatives aimed at enhancing the island’s economy, alongside undertaking environmental protection activities.”

 EGPH already operates two wind farms in the municipality of Karystos, the 7.5 MW Iliolousti I and the 9 MW Iliolousti II. EGPH is a leading owner and operator of renewable plants in Greece; with Kafireas, the company will reach over 460 MW of installed capacity from wind (approximately 354 MW), solar (around 90 MW) and hydro (about 20 MW).

The Kafireas facility, which is a cluster of seven wind farms for a total of 67 turbines, will be capable of generating approximately 480 GWh per year, which is set to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by 315,000 tonnes annually. The facility is supported by a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Hellenic Electricity Market Operator (DAPEEP).

The wind project includes the interconnection with mainland Greece through a 150kV high-voltage overhead, underground and submarine cable as well as two new 150 kV high-voltage substations in Evia. The energy from Kafireas will be delivered to the national grid on mainland Greece through the super-high-voltage station located in Pallini, Attica.

The construction of Kafireas has implemented Enel’s “Sustainable Construction Site” model, involving the recycling of 550,000 tonnes of soil and stones excavated during construction to revert an inactive quarry to nature, as well as the reuse of 10 tonnes of construction materials like wooden pallets, in cooperation with the local community, to fix the stables of local shepherds.

In line with the Creating Shared Value (CSV) model adopted by the Enel Group, which aims to combine business development and local community needs, EGPH has carried out sustainability projects in support of local activities such as beekeeping and livestock breeding.

These projects include the creation, throughout the wind parks, of special areas for the optimal positioning of beehives and ramps to facilitate the movement of sheep and goats. Other initiatives being carried out include the reforestation of around 100 hectares, including the wild chestnut forest of Kastanologgos of 64 hectares, with the aim to recreate and protect the wider ecosystem, support forestry activities, as well as promoting sustainable tourism.

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Hybrid tolling system in Olympia Motorway to operate in 2020

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2020 is expected to be the year of operation of the Olympia Odos hybrid tolling system in Greece. This pioneering system will make Olympia Motorway the first motorway to enter into the era of distance-based, «fair» charging in the country.

Much has been written and discussed recently about this system, as well as interoperability.

But what is the «hybrid tolling system»?

Its operation is both «smart» and extremely simple. O-pass users will be charged at each toll station according to the concessionaire’s pricelist per charging zone, as originally envisaged in the motorway charging scheme.

However, users that leave the motorway at an interchange situated before the end of the charging zone will get a refund based on the actual kilometres traveled into their o-pass account.

To that end, the existing system will be equipped with 30 additional «free flow» gantry stations situated at selected entrance and exit points of the motorway that will be able to record the distance-based trip of all o-pass users.
Market sources predict that other motorway concession companies will follow Olympia Motorway’s lead and install similar systems.

The Canadian IBI Group, contractor of the innovative project

Who is implementing this innovative -for Greece at least- system? The implementation of the Olympia Motorway hybrid tolling system has been awarded to the long-standing Canadian company IBI Group and is essentially an extension of the current Olympia Motorway tolling system, which was also installed by IBI Group back in 2017 – as well as the Motorway Traffic Management System.

The country Manager of IBI Group Hellas, Mr. Antulio Richetta commented at ypodomes.com: «We are proud to be the first to deliver this unique project in collaboration with Olympia Motorway, based on the existing electronic tolling system, and introducing a state-of-the-art distance-based pricing model in Greece.

The project is expected to greatly benefit both local communities along Olympia motorway and frequent users of the motorway.»

In this project, IBI is responsible for the turn-key provision of the hybrid system including the overall project management, the design, supply of the tolling software, equipment procurement, installation, integration and configuration, as well as after sales services including software support and maintenance.

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