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Thales and Vodafone conduct driverless trial using 5G

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Κινητό δίκτυο 5G

Thales and Vodafone are claiming a world first by operating a driverless train controlled remotely via a 5G mobile network. The driverless trials are being carried out at the Smart Rail Connectivity Campus in Erzgebirge, Germany, using Thales’ Lucy laboratory train, while Vodafone has installed one of the first 5G base stations in the Erzgebirge region of Saxony, Germany.

To enable Lucy to be controlled remotely, Vodafone uses the 5G technology Network Slicing, which helps different virtual networks share a physical network structure, but provides a separate 5G network for railway trials. This means that remote-controlled mobile radio capacities are always available to control the train remotely, even if numerous users in the immediate vicinity also surf the internet.

In addition, the data is processed directly on-site in a small data centre in the immediate vicinity of the mobile base station via a Mobile Edge Cloud (MEC). Because the data does not have to travel long distances, it can be processed without delay. The 5G technology enables bandwidths greater than 500MB/second on the test track and reduces the latency, or data delay, to less than 10 milliseconds.

Thales has provided the control and safety systems for the 5G project in the Erzgebirge. This includes the installation of the test environment and sensors, along with a remote control system for the train in cooperation with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and Railergy.

“We’re putting 5G on the tracks for the first time,” says Mr Alexander Saul, managing director corporate customers with Vodafone Germany. “Together with our industrial partners, we are examining which new applications will be possible with 5G.”

“5G opens up a whole world of new possibilities,” says Mr Yves Joannic, managing director of Thales Germany and responsible for the company’s Transportation division. “Up to and including 4G, consumers were the first to benefit from every new generation of wireless technologies.

By contrast, 5G’s main interest lies in B2B markets. This next generation of mobile technology will be the foundation for the digital transformation of B2B and, in the broadest sense, will be the backbone of industrial operations, which will benefit the rail sector in particular.”

Support

The project is being supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s Change Through Innovation programme.

The Smart Rail Connectivity Campus is a joint project of more than 100 partners from industry and research, led by the Technical University of Chemnitz, the city of Annaberg-Buchholz, with the participation of Erzgebirge Railway, the Fraunhofer Institute, ENAS and IWU.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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Construction works for E65 Motorway’s northern section to begin in 2021

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Αυτοκινητόδρομος υπό κατασκευή (ε65)

Construction works for the northern section of Kentriki Odos -aka E65 Motorway- which connects Thessaly with Egnatia Motorway is expected to begin in 2021. With its construction, Epirus acquires easy and safe access to Central Greece. It is reminded that previously, the future of this section was uncertain as it hadn’t secured funding.

The good news came after the meeting betweem the Governor of Thessaly, Mr. Kostas Agorastos, the Minister of Infrastructure, Mr. Kostas Karamanlis and the Secretary General of the Ministry, Mr. George Karagiannis.

“The northern section of the E65 is about to become a reality. All necessary studies and negotiations with the European Commission have been completed. In a short time, the section that connects Trikala, Kalambaka and Meteora with Egnatia Motorway will begin to be implemented. It is a positive development for Thessaly, a development that creates conditions for development throughout the region. The northern section of the motorway will give access to Northern Greece, Epirus and Western Macedonia.

Additionally, it connects two of the largest ports in the country, Volos and Igoumenitsa. This is one of the largest growth projects in the country that changes the map in transport, trade, tourism and agricultural production”, said the Governor of Thessaly after the meeting with the Ministry of Infrastructure.

It is noted that the Governor of Thessaly had a close cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure on the issue of E65 Motorway, while with his intervention in the competent directorate of the European Commission DG Regio in cooperation with the Governor of Western Macedonia, Mr. George Kasapidis, but also with his letter to MEP, Mrs. Korina Kretsou asked for an acceleration of the approval procedures for the completion of the road, in its northern part, which is the most difficult.

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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

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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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