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Helsinki metro extension opening date announced

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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The 14 km western extension of the Helsinki metro from Ruoholahti to Matinkylä adding eight stations is to open on August 15, project promoter Länsimetro Oy announced on March 8.

Länsimetro said the seven-year project has cost €1·088bn, which is 28·3% higher than planned. It has employed 1 500 people and generated around 4 500 person-years of work.

Excavation of the twin tunnels, 15 vertical shafts and 54 cross-passages began in November 2009 and was completed by February 2014. The tracks were laid by December 2015, testing of the various railway and station systems is underway, and test running is due to start this month.

Services on the Y-shaped metro network will be operated from Mellunmäki to Tapiola and from Vuosaari to Matinkylä, increasing weekday peak services on the Tapiola – Itäkeskus shared section from every 4 min to every 2½ min

Construction of a further 7 km extension from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti extension adding five more stations is currently underway with completion expected in 2020.

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Athens Metro Line 4: Signing of the «golden» contract approaches

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Μετροπόντικας κατά την εκσκαφή

A major step regarding the tender for Athens Metro Line 4 is expected in the following days as, according to well-informed sources, Attiko Metro’s BoD will reach a decision for the continuation of the process.

This means that the tender will resume and, for a period of 10 days, the 2 remaining consortia will be able to scrutinize each other’s technical dossiers.

Then, if they wish, they will be able to file appeals against each other for a period of about 30 days, that -once again- could go as high as the Council of State.

This will be the next crucial point for the completion of the tender. Market sources are quite sure that both parties will try in a legal way to disqualify their opponent in order to continue alone in the 1.8bn-euro (incl. VAT) «golden» bids.

«The contract is that big, giving so much business and financial strength to the winner for the next decade, that it will take a battle that may be judged on the most unlikely deficiencies that could be observed in the technical offers», the same sources told ypodomes.com.

A turning point for the tender

In Attiko Metro, however, they do not hide their optimism that, in any case, after a «difficult» 2019 with multiple judicial hurdles, we are finally at the end of the process.

A major goal is for the contract to be signed in 2020, allowing the beginning of the construction phase. For now, there are not any guesses on when exactly we will reach the «point zero» of the tender, which is the day when the bids are going to open.

In the event that both AKTOR-ANSALDOBREDA-HITACHI consortium and AVAX-GHELLA-ALSTOM consortium are still in the race, we will have to wait in order to find out who will become the contractor for the construction of Athens’ new Metro Line 4.

The absolute criterion will be the discount rate. Officials close to the tender believe there won’t be any very big discounts due to the very high budget that increases dramatically the risk.

The «golden» contract will have an initial duration of 96 months, that is, 8 years. The funding of the project will be secured by NSRF 2014-2020 and EIB.

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Battery trains to be tested in Denmark

ypodomes team

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Suppliers are to be invited to test battery-powered trains on regional lines in late 2020 and early 2021, ahead of a potential order which could see battery trains enter passenger service from 2025.

Under an agreement between the Ministry of Transport & Housing and the Sjælland, Midtjylland and Capital Region authorities, trials are to be undertaken on HL’s Helsingør – Hillerød line north of København and on the Lemvigbanen linking Vemb, Lemvig and Thyborøn in Jylland.

The agreement announced on November 29 follows a study into options for battery operation in northwest Sjælland which was undertaken by the ministry, national operator DSB and Movia.

This analysis found that the Holbæk – Nykøbing Sjælland local line would be suitable for battery operation, with the need to replace the current diesel trains in around 2025 providing an economically sensible time to switch. Battery trains could also be used on the Kalundborg – København route, with co-ordination allowing the provision of though services between Nykøbing Sjælland and København.

‘A test of battery trains in Denmark will provide the parties with useful experience from practical operation before we potentially place an order’, explained Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht. ‘At the same time, it will allow passengers to try battery trains in everyday life. My hope is that from the mid-2020s we will see battery trains in daily operation.’

Source: railwaygazette.com

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Cosco takes share in Bilk container terminal

Φίλιππος Παναγόπουλος

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Cargo Train

China Cosco Shipping subsidiary Ocean Rail Logistics has taken a 15% share in the Bilk container terminal near Budapest, which was previously exclusively owned by Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) subsidiary Rail Cargo Group (RCG).

The contract was signed between RCG and Ocean Rail Logistics on December 2 in the presence of Mr Lázló Mosóczi, the state secretary at the Hungarian Ministry of Transport, and Mr Duan Jielong, China’s ambassador to Hungary.

The nine-hectare intermodal terminal is the largest in Hungary, and features seven 750m-long tracks, two 250m-long tracks and one 50m-long track. Ocean Rail Logistics, which is set to be a long-term customer of the terminal, already has a 51% share in the major intermodal sea port in Piraeus, Greece.

The terminal has direct rail connections to the sea ports in Hamburg and Bremerhaven, Germany; Rijeka, Croatia; Koper, Slovenia; Halkali, Turkey; Piraeus; and inland intermodal terminals at Neuss and Duisburg, Germany, and Curtici, in Romania.

Meanwhile, China is also expanding its footing in the Greek rail freight market, after Piraeus East Asia Rail Logistics (Pearl) signed a contract for the sale of 60% of their shares to Ocean Rail on November 19.

Ocean Rail’s Greek subsidiary was established on December 22 2017 to link Piraeus seaport with the Maritime Silk Road project and the Silk Road Economic Belt in Europe. It is reported that Pearl will lease two electric and two diesel locomotives from Gaiaose in the near future.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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