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Slovakian upgrade awarded EU funding

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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The European Union’s Cohesion Fund is to provide €285.5m to support upgrading of the line between Žilina and Púchov near the Czech border.

This will fund works to permit 160 km/h running between Púchov and Považská Teplá, the construction of two tunnels and three large bridges and the refurbishment of Považská Teplá and Považská Bystrica stations. Completion is planned for the end of 2021.

‘Passengers will enjoy increased safety and comfort and faster connections to other Slovak regions and to the Czech Republic’, said European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu on June 25. ‘Because this project promotes clean mobility in the region, inhabitants will also ultimately benefit from better air quality.’

Source: railwaygazette.com

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Crete: Proposal for the introduction of electrified railway, under consideration

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For the very first time in the modern history of Crete, the discussion for the development of a railway that will reinforce transports in the island, linking its main cities, begins in the form of studies.

During a meeting of the Environmental Committee of the Region of Crete, held yesterday, the proposal for the introduction of a railway axis on the island was examined. The proposal was made by the Deputy Regional Chief for the Environment, Mr. Nikos Kalogeris, who noted that he intends to start a relevant survey (apparently icluding viability and cost efficiency studies) for a fixed-track, electrified means of transport, running along Crete  island.

The construction of a railway in Crete has been a long-standing issue, as the relevant conversation has begun since 1880, without ever being able to proceed. From time to time proposals have been presented, that always ended up in the drawers of ministries and local authorities.

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PM office and Investments’ Ministry, activated for Hellinikon project

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The general coordination for the boost of Hellinikon project will be undertaken by the Growth and Investments’ Ministry, as it has been agreed at a political level yesterday, between the Prime Minister, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the newly appointed Investments’ Minister, Mr. Adonis Georgiadis, along with the deputy Ministers, Yannis Tsakiris, Nikos Papathanassis and Christos Dimas, setting the priorities for the next six months.

«On the instructions of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Growth and Investments, undertakes the general coordination of the investment in Hellinikon, at a political level, in cooperation with the Prime Ministerial Office», Mr. Georgiadis stressed at the end of the meeting.

The Minister reiterated the political will to run the project immediately, acknowledging that it is a «complex project», adding that first, the tender  for the casino must be launched and pending decisions must be reached by the Council of State .

He, however, appeared optimistic, risking the prediction that by the end of the year, bulldozers should enter construction site of Hellinikon. «We are trying too hard for this and we will succeed,» said Mr. Georgiadis.

It is reminded that earlier today, Mr. Georgiadis was informed about problems related to the investment by the President of the investment entity and Mayor of Hellinikon municipality, while yesterday he saw the CEO of Lamda Development.

Direct priorities of the Gov’t for the unbloking of the investment are: the preparation and issuing of the 3 core JMDs, the transfer of all activities remaining in the site and the completion of the casino tender.

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Hydrogen fuel cell train on test in Bavaria

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One of Alstom’s two prototype Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell multiple units was tested in normal operating conditions in northeast Bavaria on July 8.

The test run between Bayreuth and Coburg was organised jointly by train operator Agilis, the state’s Ministry of Housing, Construction and Transport and the Bavarian Railway Company (BEG).

Bavaria is looking to switch to alternative forms of traction on diesel-operated lines in the medium to long-term. Under the Bavarian Rail Electromobility Strategy (Bess), which has been approved by the state government, pilot projects will be implemented using different types of alternative traction including batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.

“We want to use more environmentally-friendly traction on Bavarian passenger trains,” says state minister for housing, construction and transport Mr Hans Reichhart. “In addition to electrification, we are pushing ahead with the introduction of hydrogen technology in the railway sector like no other German state. We are investing more than €25m in state funds to support further research into this technology.”

Lower Saxony became the first German state to order hydrogen trains in November 2017, when Lower Saxony Transport Authority (LNVG) awarded Alstom a contract to supply 14 iLints for services around Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven. The prototype trains entered commercial service in September 2018 and the production trains are due to arrivie in 2021.

In May Rhine-Main Transport Authority (RMV) announced an order for 27 iLint sets, which will replace diesel trains in the Taunus region north of Frankfurt from 2022 onward.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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