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EU funds rail cybersecurity research

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The Safety4Rails research programme to improve the resilience of railways and metros to cyber and physical attacks is one of five projects that will share €38m in funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research budget.

The package announced by Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education & Youth Mariya Gabriel on June 15 also includes the 7Shield project to improve prevention, detection, response and mitigation of cyber and physical threats to space infrastructure and the Ensures project covering e-commerce and delivery services.

The Impetus and S4AllCities projects are respectively aimed at enhancing the resilience of cities’ infrastructure and services and at protecting citizens in the event of security incidents in public spaces. All five are due to start by October 2020 and run for two years.

Horizon 2020 is contributing €7·7m towards the €9·6m Safety4Rails project, which will be co-ordinated by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute.

Recognising that railways and metros could be an attractive target for cyber and/or physical attacks, Safety4Rails is intended to ‘deliver methods and systems to increase the safety and recovery of track-based inter-city railway and intra-city metro transport’. This could range from cyber attacks such as the WannaCry virus or physical attacks like the Madrid commuter train bombings in 2014 to combined cyber-physical attacks, which the promoters suggest are ‘an important emerging scenario given increasing IoT infrastructure integration’.

The research will focus on rush-hour scenarios where many passengers are using metros and railways to commute or attend mass events, including multi-venue sporting tournaments. In the event of an incident, operators have to consider many aspects of passenger safety and security, ranging from threat analysis and situation awareness to the establishment of crisis communication and communicating any responses to passengers and other organisations.

The project aims to take a holistic approach to incident handling, analysing the cyber-physical resilience of metro and railway systems and providing mitigation strategies for an efficient response, as well as facilitating continuous adaptation to address ‘ever-changing novel emerging risks’. Various proposals will be validated by two rail transport operators and fed back into the design of the final recommendations.

‘Securing network and information systems and enhancing cyber resilience are key for shaping Europe’s digital future’, said Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton. ‘As we are faced with a diverse array of cybersecurity threats, the EU is taking concrete measures to protect critical infrastructure, cities and citizens. More investments at EU and national level in innovative cybersecurity technologies and solutions are of paramount importance to strengthen EU’s resilience to cyberattacks.’

Source: railwaygazette.com

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ERGOSE: Railway projects worth 693m euros, funded by NSRF 2014-2020

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Σιδηροδρομικός Σταθμός Αιγίου

ERGOSE’s current project pipeline is quite interesting since it is spread almost all over the network. According to the planning of company and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, a total of 693m euros will be spent on 11 railway projects which are funded by the NSRF 2014-2020.

Most of these projects concern upgrades of the existing network as well as the installation of electrification, signaling & telecommunications systems. In fact, ERGOSE notes that these projects are mature in terms of design and one after the other will proceed to their implementation.

In Athens, the most important project is the construction of the Athens Central Railway Station (Phase B’), which also includes the underground connection with the Metro, with a cost of 40m euros. With this project, upgrade works of the Central Railway Station will be completed.

Heading north, we find the project for the construction of the new Kryoneri Railway Station with 6.5m euros. One of the biggest projects of this “package” is the upgrade of the double-track line on SKA-Inoi section that will allow higher speeds for the trains, costing 100m euros.

Other projects

In Thessaly, the contract for the electrification, signaling and telecommunications on Larissa-Volos section is being prepared. The project, with a cost of 71m euros, includes the upgrade of Latomio-VIPE-Volos Railway Station.

In the region of Macedonia, we have a total of 4 projects.These are a signaling and ETCS project on Thessaloniki-Idomeni single-track railway line, with a total cost of 65m euros, a double project for the electrification on Thessaloniki-Promachonas (Thessaloniki-Mouries and Mouries-Promachonas) single-track line with a combined cost of 150m euros (65m and 85m euros respectively). In this geographical area there is also a project for the construction of anew railway station at Neos Panteleimonas in Pieria prefecture.

In the area of ​​Peloponnese we have the electrication project of Kiato-Aigio line with 57 m euros as well as the project that will bring the train from Aigio to Rio. This project includes the superstructure, electrification, signaling, telecommunications and new stations at a cost of 117m euros.

Finally, there is a project for the installation of GSM-R systems and the supply of portable equipment for the sections of Tithorea-Domokos, Kiato-Patra and Thessaloniki-Idomeni, with a total budget of 40m euros.

From the above projects, the tender for the electrification on Kiato-Aigio section (the contractor is Mytilineos) is at the phase of completion while the project for the railway station in Neos Panteleimonas has been also auctioned.

More “mature” than the rest of the above works are Larissa-Volos railway project and the second phase of the construction of Athens Central Railway Station.

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Seven contenders for large-scale PPP building project by Thrace University

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Another PPP project that is anticipated with great interest by the investment community is about to enter its tendering process. The third large building PPP project by Democritus University of Thrace attracted the interest of a total of seven companies: GEK TERNA, ELLAKTOR, AVAX,J/V MYTILINEOS-ATESE, INTRAKAT and THEMELI.

It is reminded that this building project was put up for auction by Democritus University of Thrace in the beginning of May, concerning the construction of student dormitories, educational, research and other infrastructure of the institution and was previously approved by the inter-ministerial committee a few weeks ago with the Senate consequently deciding to to publish the tender notice.

The cost of the project amounts to 107.3m euros (incl. VAT). It is a large complex of building projects that includes: dormitories, university residences, a new central library, a research center and various other buildings. The expression of interest is set for June 23, 2020.

In its announcement, Democritus University of Thrace notes that ‘as a part of DUTH’s Strategic Planning, this project will be a pillar of development, which will make high quality infrastructure, services and specialization available in the area of student welfare (i.e. student dormitories and catering spaces). Concluding, it expresses warm thanks for the support and cooperation with the political and administrative executives of the Special Secretariat for Investments and PPP projects of the Ministry of Growth and Investments.

The scope of the projects

The University of Thrace is ‘spread’ across 4 cities, which means that there are need for the creation of infrastructure in different areas, at the same time. The scope of this new large-scale PPP project is detailed by city:

Alexandroupolis: 4 student dorms (12,194,34 sq.m. for 350 people), a student dining area (3,776,75 sq.m. for 1,500 people) and university residences (12 spaces for at least 4 people, 1,440 sq.m.).

Komotini: 2 student dorms (9,667.36 sq.m. indoor spaces and 3,551,8 sq.m. of outdoor spaces for 350 people), a student dining area (6,000 sq.m. for 2,500 students), a hostel (660 sq.m. for 28 people), university residences (24 residences with blocks of 4 residences, 2,880 s.qm). The construction of a new central library, a reading room and a multi-purpose facility (i.e. one main building covering a surface of 6,000 sq.m. and 17,000 sq.m. in total).

Xanthi: Research Center of Excellence (1 main building with laboratories and research centers, covering 10,000 sq.m. of indoor spaces and 5,000 sq.m. of outdoor spaces).

A project of great added value

A project of this size in Thrace region will have a major impact on the local economy. The fact that there will be construction works in three cities at the same time is expected to revitalize the construction industry and give employment to many companies. It is worth mentioning that it will be the largest building complex, constructed as a PPP in Thrace in many years.

For the wider technical sector, this project means a big relief for the country’s major technical companies that have been experiencing a prolonged ‘drought’.

As noted by the Democritus University of Thrace, “Planning for the sustainable development of DUTH in the immediate future is expected to be a pillar of a new development model in the region and an important part of its history”.

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New ambitious plan for 6 major railway projects in Greece, worth 3.3bn euros

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Μεγάλα έργα, σιδηροδρομικά

ERGOSE plans to auction 6 very important railway projects through the process of competitive dialogue. Realizing the difficulties of financing but also the time-consuming procedures required to promote the implementation of new major projects, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and ERGOSE are launching a new generation of projects with a total cost of 3.3bn euros aiming to modernize the greek railway and interconnect 6 major ports of the country with the national network.

These projects, according to what Christos Vinis, CEO of ERGOSE, announced from the podium of the 8th Regional Development Conference in Patras(organized by “Peloponnisos” newspaper) last weekend, are as follows:

1. New railway line Thessaloniki-Kavala-Toksotes (i.e. eastern “Railway Egnatia”, with 1.3bn euros

2. Upgrade of Alexandroupoli-Ormenio railway line, with 815m euros

3. Extension of Athens Suburban Railway (“El. Venizelos” Airport-Rafina section), with 300m euros

4. Extension of Athens Suburban Railway (Koropi-Lavrio section), with 380m euros

5. New double-track railway line between Rio and Patra, with 514m euros

6. Connection of Thessaloniki Port 6th Pier with the national network, with 22m euros

According to Mr. Vinis, the choice of the competitive dialogue for the promotion of major railway projects has specific advantages such as the acceleration of the projects’ maturation, the assurance that the best technical solution will be chosen, as a result of the consultation between stakeholders, the possibility of implementing innovative solutions and the compliance with implementation schedules

It is also important that the contractor, after the completion of the dialogue, becomes the master of the project study, thus assuming responsibility for any failure. Now, what remains to be decided is the process by which these projects will run and a more specific timeline for their implementation.

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