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Germany: DB to order 30 high-speed trains

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German Railway DB train

German Rail (DB) announced on September 20 that it will place an order for 30 high-speed trains and cut the price of inter-city tickets by 10% after the federal government cut VAT on long-distance rail fares from 19% to 7% as part of a broader package of measures to combat climate change.

The additional 300km/h trains will be delivered by the end of 2022, providing 13,000 additional seats per day. Together with the 74 ICE 4 sets already on order, this will expand DB’s ICE fleet from 282 to 386 trains over the next three years.

DB forecasts the reduction in VAT will increase annual ridership on long-distance services by around five million. The cheapest ICE fare will fall to €13.40 with the BahnCard, which DB says is the lowest standard ticket price in real terms since the creation of DB AG in 1994.

The 7% VAT rate will apply to all journeys of more than 50km, a reduction which has been already been applied to shorter-distance rail travel in Germany.

“I’m sure that more attractive prices will trigger more demand,” says DB CEO Dr Richard Lutz. “We will pass on the reduction to our customers and also waive a price increase.”

Under its ‘Strong Rail’ strategy, which was unveiled in June, DB aims to increase long-distance capacity by up to 100% and double passenger numbers to 260 million a year.

The strategy aims to support the federal government’s greenhouse gas reduction targets by stimulating a modal shift of freight and passenger traffic to rail. DB also plans to switch all traction energy to renewable sources by 2038.

Earlier this month DB signed a five-year contract for renewable energy from the Nordsee-Ost wind farm located off the northwest coast of Germany.

The VAT cut is part of a package of measures agreed by Germany’s coalition government on September 20 which will inject €54bn into the fight against climate change by 2023.

The package also includes an extra €2bn in federal funding for regional rail, trials of €365 annual public transport passes, and a federal law to increase aviation taxes.

In June, the Community of Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) called on governments across Europe to end the tax-free status of aviation fuel to promote less polluting forms of transport.

The government’s announcement came as thousands took to the streets in cities across Germany as part of the global climate strike.

Source: railjournal.com

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London St Pancras twins with Bordeaux Saint-Jean to promote direct service

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Eurotunnel

Channel Tunnel rail link concessionaire HS1 Ltd announced a twinning agreement between its London St Pancras International station and SNCF’s Bordeaux Saint-Jean station on October 18, saying this would help to progress the development of proposals for a through passenger service between the cities.

The stations share similarities in design, history and national architectural significance, HS1 Ltd said. Under the partnership, there would be a regular exchange of expertise on facilities management, electronic monitoring and site security, and the preservation of historical and cultural heritage.

The twinning aims ‘to offer the best possible service to passengers, visitors and all stakeholders’, said Claude Solard, Director General of SNCF Gares & Connexions. ‘This new link between the two stations is the bearer of promising projects.’

Last year infrastructure managers HS1 Ltd, Eurotunnel, SNCF Réseau and LISEA agreed to work together to develop a package of train paths and other measures which would enable a train operator to launched a direct London – Bordeaux service within two years. HS1 Ltd predicts that up to 200 000 passengers/year would use such a service

‘At a time when headlines are dominated by rupture between Britain and Europe, our twinning is a reminder of the enduring capacity of the railway to bring communities together’, said HS1 Ltd CEO Dyan Crowther.

 

Source: railwaygazette.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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Καφηρέας Αιολικό Πάρκο στον Μύτικα

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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