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US hydrogen train contract awarded

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Τραίνο υδρογόνου Stadler

Southern California’s San Bernardino County Transportation Authority has awarded Stadler a contract to supply a Flirt H2 hydrogen fuel cell powered multiple-unit to enter passenger service in 2024, with an option for a further four units.

Stadler said the contract announced on November 14 was ‘a major milestone in bringing zero-emission passenger rail technology to the USA’.

The Flirt H2 unit will have two cars with a total of 108 seats and ‘generous’ standing room, plus a central power module holding the fuel cells and the hydrogen tanks. It will have a maximum speed of 79 mile/h (127 km/h), the federal limit above which additional signalling systems are required.

It is to be deployed on the Redlands Passenger Rail Project, a 14·5 km passenger service which is being developed on a former Santa Fe freight railway alignment between the University of Redlands and the Metrolink commuter rail station in San Bernardino.

In 2017 SBCTA ordered three diesel-electric Flirt units for the line, which is currently being built by Flatiron Construction Corp. The ‘Arrow’ branded service is expected to launch in late 2021.

The order for a hydrogen unit ‘is an excellent example of how we are demonstrating our commitment to the next generation’, said SBCTA President Darcy McNaboe. ‘The hydrogen Flirt will help us address the commuting needs of today while preserving our environment for a better tomorrow.’

‘Stadler is committed to designing and building green technology for the transportation industry’, added Martin Ritter, CEO of Stadler US Inc. ‘We have an excellent relationship with SBCTA, and it is a great honour to partner with them to bring the first hydrogen-powered train to the USA.’

Source: railwaygazette.com

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News in English

CRRC successfully tests 600km/h maglev train

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China successfully completed low-speed dynamic testing of a 600km/h prototype maglev car developed by CRRC Sifang on a test line at Tongji University in Shanghai on June 21, a milestone for the project lunched in June 2016.

CRRC is developing the train alongside more than 30 companies, universities, and research institutes. The train has been identified as a key development under the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Advanced Rail Transit research and development plan.

The trial was undertaken following static testing and debugging, and included dynamic operating environments such as switches, curves and ramps. This allowed the testing of key components such as suspension guidance, speed and position measurement, the vehicle-rail interface, traction, and the communication systems.

Mr Ding Sansan, deputy chief engineer of CRRC Sifang and head of the maglev project, says the development of the maglev train requires four different elements, including the vehicle, power supply, communications systems and track. The tests allowed simultaneous testing of each element, with a large amount of data collected that will feed into further research.

“Under the test conditions of multiple scenarios, the suspension guidance of the vehicle is stable, and the operating condition is good,” Ding says. “The key technical indicators meet the design requirements and the design expectations.”

Five test cars are currently under development, with a full prototype capable of 600km/h operation expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Last year, China announced plans for a 200km maglev line in Hubei province to test operation of the prototype train at speeds in excess of 600km/h.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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News in English

Tram extension to Piraeus to operate in late 2020

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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The operation of the Tramway extension to Piraeus is moved towards the end of 2020, as the works for the relocation of the Tram line in the area of ​​Faliro Bay will have to be completed first, as well as the rest of the project.

It is also reminded that Batis-SEF section, has been out of order since March 16, 2020, based on the planning of Attica Region, in the context of Faliro Bay Restoration project.

According to information, while initially the project provided for 45 days of construction works and an additional 15 days of testing, due to Covid-19 pandemic, these procedures were delayed.

Now, should there be no more delays, the new goal is for the projects to be completed with the reattachement of the lines on both sides, allowing the restoration of commercial operation, by the beginning of September. It is noted that the projects include the demolition of “Tzitzifies” and “Kallithea” stops and their reconstruction at a new location.

The building that stands in the way for the extension’s operation

The big demand from the above projects is the start of the commercial operation of the first large extension of the Tram from Faliro to Piraeus. The project has been completed and last February STASY S.A. was just a step away from receiving the new section from Attiko Metro.

Then, a fire at an adjacent conservation building, obstructed the delivery of the extension, as the use of the line was banned by the police, “trapping the project in the greek bureauratic procedures.

An autopsy was performed by the Ministry of Culture, deciding that the building could be demolished, apart from its facade. However, this requires a detailed demolition study by the Municipality of Piraeus.

At this point in time, Attiko Metro expects from the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality to address any interventions needed in order to remove the traffic ban and allow the completion of the remaining works that concern the installation of telematics and a substation.

Extension to operate towards the end of the year

Based on the above and having in mind the best prospects, the delivery of the 5.4 km long single-track line for the extension of the Tram to Piraeus, with 11 stops is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

At that point, the first lot of the “new generation” tramsets are expected to be delivered by Alstom, making the service of the line extension possible and reinforcing the existing fleet, which is now considered “missing”. A total of 25 tramsets will be received.

It is reminded that the project started in early 2013 with a completion schedule of 25 months. If it finally operates at the end of 2020 it will have completed 94 months (!), i.e. almost four times the period that was originally calculated.

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HRADF: International tender for “South Kavala” natural gas reservoir, launched

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The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), following the decision of its Board of Directors, has launched an international public tender process for the concession of the use, development and operation of an underground natural gas storage facility (“UGS”) in the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala”.

The almost depleted natural gas field “South Kavala” is located in the southwestern part of the Prinos-Kavala basin, in 52 meters of water depth in the North Aegean Sea, about 6 km off the west coast of Thassos.

The duration of the concession agreement will be up to 50 years following the licensing of the UGS in South Kavala. The conversion of the natural gas field “South Kavala” into a UGS will be carried out by the concessionaire within a binding period to be determined in the concession agreement.

The UGS South Kavala is intended to serve as an energy infrastructure that will enhance the security of supply in the Greek market as well as in Southeastern Europe ensuring gas supply to end users and facilitating the security-of-supply obligations of power producers and natural gas suppliers.

Tender process

The tender process for the award of a concession agreement for the use, development and operation of the UGS South Kavala will be held in two phases: a) submission of expressions of interest and pre-qualification of interested parties and b) submission of binding offers and selection of concessionaire.

The details of the tender process are described in the Invitation to submit an Expression of Interest which is available on HRADF’s website. Interested parties are invited to submit their expression of interest by no later than August 31st, 2020, 14:00 (GR time).

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Business Solutions S.A. (Financial), ROKAS Law Firm (Legal) and Seal Energy Pty Ltd (Technical) act as advisors to the Fund regarding the tender process.

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