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Electrification goes live in northern Portugal

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Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός με ηλεκτροκινούμενες γραμμές

Prime Minister António Costa and Housing & Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos attended ceremonies on July 16 to mark completion of two electrification schemes on routes north of Porto. Both projects are part of the government’s Ferrovia 2020 investment plan.

A 14·2 km section of the Porto – Pocinho Douro Valley line has been wired at 25 kV 50 Hz between Caíde and Marco de Canaveses at a cost of €10·5m.

This will enable the Porto suburban network to be extended as far as Marco de Canaveses. Electrification of the rest of the line has been proposed, but for now passengers continuing up the valley on the popular tourist route towards Régua and Pocinho will need to change to connecting DMU services at Marco de Canaveses.

A 44 km section of the Minho line between Nine and Viana do Castelo has also gone live. This forms part of a wider upgrading of the Porto – Vigo route which crosses into Spain. Electrification has been undertaken at a cost of €16·5m and paves the way for direct inter-city trains between Viana do Castelo and Lisboa.

Regional services to and from Porto are to be accelerated by around 12 min, while the Porto – Vigo journey time is expected to fall by around 10 min thanks to investment in track renewals and resignalling. This is also intended to allow 750 m long freight trains to use the route.

Electrification work is already underway over the 48 km between Viana do Castelo and Valença on the border with Spain.

 

Source: railwaygazette.com

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Master Plan for Athens International Airport, approved

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Αθηνών

The master plan for the long-awaited expansion of Athens International Airport «El. Venizelos» has been approved, according to infrormation of ypodomes.com. This is the first major step for the launch of a project that it is said to reach a budget of 700m euros. The expansion project of AIA will definitely be another major airport project, after those of the 14 regional airports of Fraport Greece and the new airport to be constructed in Kastelli, Crete by TERNA.

More specifically,  the approval has been granted for:

A. The modification of the spatial planning for the construction of a new aiport apron, a new general aviation track and a new building to host and support ground services;

B. The study of the construction of a new taxi rank, northwest of the commercial park.

The new terminal will include several new gates equipped with jetways, ramps, new VIP and lounge areas, shopping and dining areas, etc.

With the above projects an area of 100,000 sq.m. will be added to the facilities of the airport, part of which is the expansion of the satellite station. The goal is for Athens International Airport to be able to handle 30m passengers per year, with a long-term goal to achieve a capacity of 50m passengers per year, by 2040.

Athens Airport has recorded impressive passenger traffic over the past six years, with multiple records mainly due to international flights. For 2019, the annual traffic figures reached 25.5m passengers.

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Bombardier and Alstom believed to be in merger talks

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Εργοστάσιο Alstom

Exploratory discussions are believed to be underway regarding a proposed merger between Bombardier Transportation and Alstom according to a report by Bloomberg on January 21.

Shares in both companies rose on January 22 following the news. Alstom’s share price soared to a 52-week high of €46.42, while Bombardier’s share price reached a peak of $C 1.44 ($US 1.09) before dropping back to close at $C 1.28. However, this represents a small recovery for Bombardier which saw its share price plummet from $C1.79 on January 15 to a low of $C 1.12 on January 17 following its announcement of worse than expected financial performance on January 16.

Bombardier, which is headquartered in Montreal, has gone through a period of restructuring during the last few years, mainly due to problems with its aircraft business. This resulted in it divesting a large part of the aircraft business and selling a 30% stake in its Bombardier Transportation rail division to Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) for $C 1.5bn. The deal was approved by the European Commission (EC) in February 2016.

In 2017, Bombardier started talks with Siemens regarding a possible merger with Siemens Mobility. However, Siemens broke off the talks in order to launch merger discussions with Alstom. Despite reaching agreement in 2018, the Siemens and Alstom merger was quashed by the EC on February 6 2019 on the grounds that the two companies had failed to address its concerns over the potential impact of the deal on competition in the signalling and high-speed rolling stock markets.

It is difficult to see how a merger between Bombardier Transportation, which is headquartered in Berlin, and Paris-based Alstom would succeed when both companies are in the high-speed rail and signalling markets, let alone the commuter train, metro train and light rail markets where they are strong players.

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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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