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Venezia airport rail link agreement

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Timescales for the construction of a rail link to Venezia’s Marco Polo airport were set out in a memorandum of understanding signed by RFI and airport management company SAVE on March 9

The project would require 12 km of new alignment. This would diverge from the existing Venezia – Trieste line around 7 km northeast of Mestre station, and follow the airport access road before entering a tunnel to a station below the passenger terminal.

It is envisaged that design work will be completed in December 2016, with planning approval to be obtained in 2017 and construction getting underway in late 2018 for completion in December 2023. Revenue services would start in June 2024, with direct trains to Venezia and Trieste planned.

The Ministry of Infrastructure & Transport and RFI are to provide €14m for design work. Construction is estimated to cost €450m, which would be funded by the government, RFI and the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility.

On February 3 RFI and the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region agreed to upgrade the Venezia – Trieste line to raise the maximum speed from 150 km/h to 200 km/h.

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China poised to open 350 km/h automated railway

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Bullet train China

Automated operations are due to start before the end of this year on the 174 km high speed line linking Beijing with Zhangjiakou in Hebei province, one of the host cities for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Journey times will be cut to around 50 min compared with about 3 h by trains using the 190 km conventional line.

Designed to carry visitors to the Olympic venue at up to 350 km/h, the line will be ‘the smartest in the country’, according to Mo Zhisong, Chief Engineer responsible for train control systems at China State Railway Group, which until June this year was known as China Railway Corp.

Speaking at a press event last month, Mo said tests had shown that the smart railway improved operational safety and comfort, enhanced on-time performance and cut energy costs. Automatic driving and dispatching systems and intelligent substations are among 67 ‘smart technology projects’ deployed on the line. Different types of intelligent robot will be available at stations to assist passengers and handle luggage. During the trials, a test train reached a maximum speed of 385 km/h.

Design of the 53·5bn yuan railway was carried out by China Railway Engineering Consulting Group with the help of a suite of software from Bentley Systems. The line includes 10 tunnels, one of which is 1·2 km long, and 64 bridges. One of the 10 stations will serve the Great Wall visitor site at Badaling and is located up to 102 m below the surface.

Source: railwaygazette.com

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Railway: Maintenance works to be carried as PPPs with NSRF 2021-2027 funds

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός με ηλεκτροκινούμενες γραμμές

OSE is now in full preparation in order to enter to inaugurate a new era. The new administration is mainly focused on maintenance works, lines’ reopening and a general restructuring of the Organization towards more modern standards, enabling it to transform the country’s railway.

Maintenance to be prioritized

More particularly, there is a priority for maintenance works and redevelopment of existing lines. According to OSE sources, preparations have already begun for the tendering of extensive maintenance projects. The important news is that these projects are eligible for funding by the new NSRF 2021-2027, so planning will be directed to the new funding period.

It is also almost certain that the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport prefers long-term contracts with the PPP method, as ypodomes.com had previously revealed. This solution, according to the same sources, will provide continuous maintenance of the network and its upgrading to the European standards.

A network with many users

OSE’s interest has also shifted to expanding its customer base. Freight transport seems to be able to transform the railway into a new major playee. It is reminded that, in addition to TRAINOSE, Rail Cargo, PEARL and other companies have also entered the freight transports game.

Meanwhile, major groups of companies such as Motor Oil and HELPE have expressed interest in connecting to the national network, creating interest for other companies to invest and accelerate the transport of their products via the railway network.

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DB approves purchase of 30 high-speed trains

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German Railway DB train

German Rail’s (DB) Supervisory Board has approved the purchase of 30 high-speed trains, in addition to the 137 Siemens ICE 4, 23 Talgo ECx and 17 Stadler Kiss trains that are also on order.

The new trains will be used to increase capacity, especially on the Cologne – Frankfurt high-speed line and on services between Munich and Berlin.

DB issued a call for expressions of interest for a framework agreement to supply up to 90 high-speed EMUs in October. The specifications call for at least 11,400 seats across the fleet, along with eight bicycles spaces per train.

DB will also invest €500m in its ICE workshops, creating 600 new jobs. The DB facility in Frankfurt-Griesheim will be significantly expanded to increase maintenance capacity, while plans are already underway for the Cottbus workshop to be expanded.

Source: railjournal.com

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