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Germany: Government plans €86bn spend to renew railway network

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German Railway DB train

A 54% increase in spending on infrastructure renewals will see €86bn invested in the national rail network over the next decade, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer announced on July 26.

Unveiling a 10-year plan for 2020-29 which he described as ‘the biggest railway modernisation programme’ in Germany’s history, Scheuer said the intention was to provide ‘a high performance, high quality rail network as a basis for active climate protection in the transport sector’. This would also support a projected doubling of railway ridership by 2030.

Drafting of the federal transport ministry’s third performance and financing agreement for Deutsche Bahn (LuFV III) is due to be completed by the end of August, ready for presentation to the Bundestag in the autumn.

The agreement would run for 10 years rather than the five years of the previous two, providing greater stability for long-term planning and helping to drive down unit costs.

Under the draft agreement, the state will contribute an average of €6·2bn per year, while DB will provide €2·4bn. The current LuFV&nbvsp;II for 2015-19 allocated €28bn for infrastructure renewals and maintenance, of which €20bn came from the federal government. In both cases the agreement does not include capacity enhancement works which are funded separately.

Responding to growing concerns about the deteriorating condition of the 33,000 km network, and notably many life-expired major structures, LuFV III is intended to provide funding for the renovation or renewal of 2,000 bridges.

But according to Alexander Kirchner, Deputy Chairman of the DB Supervisory Board, at least €10bn a year is needed to eliminate the huge backlog by 2030 and bring the deteriorating network back to a state of good repair.

Questions are also being asked about DB’s ability to fund its share of the planned spending, given the state-owned company’s debts of €25.4bn and declining profitability.

Nevertheless, CEO Richard Lutz insisted when announcing the railway’s half-year results on July 25 that DB was making ‘good progress’. The Executive Board expects net investment for 2019 to reach a record figure of more than €5.5bn.

 

Source: railwaygazette.com

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Bombardier and Alstom believed to be in merger talks

Φίλιππος Παναγόπουλος

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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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Signatures approaching for Piraeus Port Cruise Pier

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Κροουαζιερόπλοιο

A matter of just few weeks is -according to secure information-, the signing of the contract for the major extension project of Piraeus Port Cruise Pier. As it has become known, PPA’s Board of Directors has approved the signing of the construction contract with the contractor that has been awarded from the bidding process.

According to the same sources, the project will be signed and launched in the coming weeks, as the time is pressing for the project that is funded by NSRF 2014-2020.

The contractor is TEKAL company with a bid that reached 103m euros (+VAT), for an offer that approached 24.5%. Executives from the construction sector note that this is currently the largest cruise pier project in Europe. Nevertheless, the momentum of the port of Piraeus is evident by the statistics which show an increase in passenger and goods traffic, every year.

The project for the construction of the new cruise pier is a flagship project, included in COSCO’s investment program for PPA, which exceeds 600m euros. The original budget of the project was estimated at 136m euros (+VAT).

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