‘You cannot live without research’

first_imgINTRO: One of the organisations influencing railway research in Europe is the Union of European Railway Industries. General Manager Drewin Nieuwenhuis feels ’the political winds are in favour of rail’, telling Murray Hughes in Brussels that he expected a positive response to UNIFE’s application for EU research fundsDURING THE late 1990s UNIFE enhanced its stature when the then Chairman, Adtranz chief Kaare Vagner decided ’to get the big companies really involved’. According to General Manager Drewin Nieuwenhuis, it was this that transformed UNIFE into a professional rail industry lobbying organisation.Recognising that the EU bodies in Brussels could have a direct influence on the railway industry and related policies governing the environment, technology and standardisation, UNIFE moved from Paris to be closer to the fulcrum of European legislative power. The organisation now has eight full-time staff, its premises have been modernised, and Nieuwenhuis has overseen the launch of e-newsletters and a website.In contrast to the International Union of Railways or the International Union of Public Transport, where information on research issues is generally shared, UNIFE heads a grouping of private companies who compete against each other and who have no interest in transferring knowledge unless there is a common benefit.International rivalries also exist, and UNIFE counts among its associate members 11 national rail industry associations, with whom it ’is now negotiating to become more involved’. Around 60 companies form the bulk of the membership, but the national associations represent another 600. UNIFE thus has clout to be reckoned with – altogether Europe’s railway industry turns over around €27bn a year and employs 130000 people.Membership was strengthened in 1999 by the adherence of the European Federation of Rail Trackwork Contractors, which represents about 35 companies, but since then UNIFE has lost several members through mergers and takeovers. Nieuwenhuis believes that the consolidation process of the systems integrators may have stopped for the time being, but ’my expectation is that it will continue at the next level down’. A membership recruitment drive is currently targeted at railway infrastructure contractors, telecommunications companies, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).PartnershipsUNIFE works closely with the UIC and UITP, but also with the Community of European Railways, the International Union of Road-Rail Transport and the International Union of Private Wagon Owners, pushing for influence and funding at the European level. In May, for example, it submitted to the European Commission a European Railway Research Strategy jointly prepared with the UIC, UITP and the CER.Essentially this is aimed at securing a slice of funding from the 6th Framework Programme for European R&D, which starts in 2002-03 and has a total budget of €16bn. Of this, the €200m sought by UNIFE and its partners looks decidedly modest. Asked if the application will succeed, Nieuwenhuis replies that ’it is looking good, and no-one seems to be against it’.If secured, the funds will be used for joint research projects, probably related to the goal of interoperability – UNIFE manages jointly with UIC and UITP the secretariat of the European Association for Railway Interoperability (AEIF). Because of inter-company competition, work will be limited to areas of common interest such as the European driver’s control desk, a project funded under the current 5th Framework Programme. Nieuwenhuis explains that even interoperability research ’is a delicate thing for our members’, and he compares the disparate rail suppliers with a united European air industry that competes principally against Boeing in the USA.UNIFE can achieve a lot by persuading companies to work together where there genuinely is a common benefit. For example, it has drawn up a common specification for life-cycle costs, as ’everyone should use the same definitions and criteria’.Questioned about the factors influencing the choice of R&D projects, Nieuwenhuis says that ’we all have an interest in enlarging the market share of the rail business; it is important to us to develop the economies of scale, not special products for each customer. Systems become less expensive if you standardise, and UIC and UITP now realise that.’ He refers to disparate procurement procedures – ’it would help if we could use the same terms, and we are trying to bring this about with the UIC and UITP.’One good example of a European investment project in which the rolling stock industry has a common interest is the twin-tunnel climate chamber nearing completion in Wien; several major UNIFE members are among the stakeholders. Once intended for construction at the Siemens site in Wegberg-Wildenrath, this single facility will serve the whole of Europe, and all railways and suppliers stand to benefit.Nieuwenhuis affirms that ’the bulk of industry research is company-specific’, with the total spend by suppliers touching €1bn a year. Most of this is invested by the systems integrators and major sub-suppliers. Driving increased spending by the industry is a decline in the volume of research carried out by Europe’s railways, although some, such as DB and SNCF, retain large research facilities.ERRI’s role, he believes, is also decreasing and changing, although the organisation may in future obtain more subcontracted work (p761).When railways are restructured or privatised, there is a danger that research is reduced or abandoned, as happened in Britain. If this occurs, ’you are making a mistake’, warns Nieuwenhuis. ’You won’t know what to purchase in 10 years’ time, and people don’t want to ride around in 20-year old trains when cars are replaced about every six years.’He believes that ’it is important to invest in research at first product level’, but ’you need a lot of money and back-up. SMEs have a lot of innovative power, and we want the European Commission to promote this.’World outlookAs the main suppliers have merged and consolidated, they have become large multi-national groups. Inevitably, this has a bearing on their role within UNIFE. They may not wish to assemble rolling stock in the EU, for example, as it may be cheaper to do so in eastern Europe or Asia. Nieuwenhuis counters this by saying that UIC and UITP would like UNIFE to become more involved worldwide, for example in major railway events.He also says that there is an EU programme to help SMEs promote their products outside Europe, for example in the Asia-Pacific region – ’the Chinese market is very interesting, for example.’ UNIFE is also in contact with APTA and the High Speed Ground Transportation Association in the USA.UNIFE now counts among its members at least two American companies. General Motors-EMD, and less publicly, General Electric Transportation Systems, have joined UNIFE within the last year; GETS did so through purchase of an Italian signalling subsidiary. Did this not create tensions among existing members? Nieuwenhuis confirms that it did, but he says the membership decisions were approved by the Presiding Board and the General Assembly. Clearly, ’Europe is a very interesting market’ for US suppliers, he suggests.Recent orders for versions of EMD’s JT42CWR (Class 66) for use in Continental Europe have been placed because the locomotive has a proven track record and because diesel traction avoids the complications of different power supplies – achieving interoperability in a manner probably not foreseen by those who dreamt up the concept.With the first TSIs for interoperability on conventional lines due in 2003 for application in 2006, Nieuwenhuis believes that railways are moving towards ’a single European system’, as envisaged in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by UNIFE, UIC, UITP and CER in June. This would allow an increase in market share and make the railway business more attractive to commercial operators. This in turn, thinks Nieuwenhuis, will lead to ’large groupings dividing up the railway markets in Europe. There will be concentration, as in the USA, with pan-European companies and more regional operators at a lower level.’Just how this will come about is not clear, but Nieuwenhuis feels that massive change is needed by the railways too. ’Industry has changed from handcraft to modern production tools, and operators should do the same. They must be modern commercial enterprises, and if they do this, they can win a substantial part of the market.’CAPTION: Taking shape on schedule in the Wien suburb of Floridsdorf, the pan-European twin-tunnel climate chamber is due to be operational at the end of 2002Photo: Rail Tec Arsenallast_img read more

SSB announces midlife car refit

first_imgSTUTTGARTER Straßenbahn AG announced on July 5 that it intends to start a mid-life refit for around a third of its 164-strong fleet of LRVs.The 60 cars in the DT8.4 to DT8.9 series, which are coming up to 20 years old, will be fully refurbished and brought up to the same standards as the latest DT8.11 series, according to Technical Director Wolfgang Arnold. Two or three prototypes are to be rebuilt next year in SSB’s Mlast_img

World infrastructure market August 2008

first_imgAlgeria: Railway agency Anesrif has awarded Nortel a contract to supply GSM -R equipment on the Tabia – Mecheria and Bordj Bou – Arreridj M’Sila routes currently under construction (RG 4.07 p205).Argentina: TBA has taken delivery of an 08-16 split-head levelling and lining tamper as well as a PBR 400 ballast regulator from Plasser & Theurer, acquired at a total cost of 9·86m pesos. The first deployment will be on track renewals on the Sarmiento route.China: A consortium of Ansaldo STS and Beijing HollySys has won a €62m contract to supply ETCS Level 2 equipment for the Zhengzhou – Xi’an high speed line. The two companies are to establish a joint venture to bid for future ERTMS contracts in China.Czech Republic: Skanska is to modernise the 30 km Stribo – Planá section of the Plzen – Cheb route by May 2011 at a cost of KC2·3bn.Europe: Work to replace the bridge over the Rhein river between Kehl and Strasbourg was launched on July 8, with a ceremony attended by representatives of the French and German railways and governments. Scheduled to open in 2010, the truss bridge will replace the current structure dating from 1954. It will comprise two spans of 131 and 107 m, and clearance above the river will be increased from 6·85 m to 7 m. To eliminate an operating bottleneck, the running speed will be raised from 100 to 160 km/h. Germany is contributing 75% of the €23m cost of replacing the bridge.’Construction of the new Rhein bridge stands for more mobility and a more united Europe’, said DB board member Dr Otto Wiesheu.Finland: RHK has selected a consortium led by Pöyry to undertake detailed design costing €10·6m for the 8·1 km tunnel forming part of the planned €512m Helsinki-Vantaa airport link (RG 3.08 p122).Italy: Ferrovie del Nord Barese has awarded DEC and IPA Precast a €47·8m contract to divert 8 km of its inland route between Bari and Barletta to serve Bari airport.Malaysia: The MMC-Gamuda joint venture responsible for double-tracking the 329 km route from Ipoh to Padang Besar has selected a joint venture of Ansaldo STS and Balfour Beatty to provide signalling, communications and electrification under a €390m contract.Namibia: South Korean firm Samsung has signed a contract to supply TransNamib with digital communications equipment for the 400 km Windhoek – Walvis Bay route.Russia: Last month Nippon Steel began delivering 20 000 tonnes of high-specification rail which will be installed on the Moscow – St Petersburg route as part of an upgrading for operations above 200 km/h.Spain: The Ministry of Development has awarded Puentes y Calzadas and Ortiz a €59·95m contract to build a double track alignment over the 7·3 km between Perafort and Alcover, completing civils tendering for the new connection between the Valencia – Barcelona route at Vandellós and the Madrid – Barcelona high speed line.Sweden: Peab is to install a second track on the 7 km Skänninge – Fogelsta section of the Motala – Mjölby line in a SKr105m contract.Turkey: Invensys company Dimetronic has won its first major order in Turkey, a €25m contract from civils contractor Yapi Merkezi to supply ETCS Level 1 and 2 equipment for the 212 km Ankara – Konya 250 km/h line now under construction.UK: Network Rail has selected Telent to upgrade telecoms infrastructure under the Thameslink project (RG 3.08 p172).USA: Sound Transit has awarded the Seattle Tunnel & Rail Team joint venture of Jacobs Engineering Group and CH2M Hill a construction management contract for the 5·1 km light rail extension to the University District. Construction begins next year for opening in 2016.last_img read more

POLICE INVESTIGATE CASTLE DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL FIRE

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInPolice Scotland officers in Castle Douglas are appealing for witnesses to an incident which happened at Castle Douglas High School at around 2245 hours on Saturday 19 March 2016.  Around that time the following described two males were seen in the area of the boiler room at the school and shortly thereafter a fire was seen to have started on the doorstep of the building. On examination it appears that the boiler house was violated and items taken out to start the fire.  The two were seen to leave the area at around 2345 hours.Constable Ian Dunn at Castle Douglas said “the only description we have of the males is that they were wearing dark clothing  and hooded jackets.  It doesn’t need to be explained the absolute recklessness of such an act and should the fire have taken hold of the building then it could have been catastrophic.  As it was the door to the boiler room was damaged by the fire.  Anyone who may have any information which might help us catch those responsible is asked to call us on 101.last_img read more

K&L Microwave to Showcase 7-Channel 100 W UHF Switched Filter Bank at IMS 2019

first_imgK&L Microwave, a leading manufacturer of RF/microwave filters, duplexers and integrated assemblies, will be showcasing its 7-Channel 100 Watt UHF Switched Filter Bank, at the upcoming IMS 2019 event. The event is scheduled from June 2-7 in Boston, USA.K&L’s new switched filter bank is designed to filter spurious and harmonic content generated by high power amplifiers and transmitters in the UHF band (215 to 512 MHz). These interferers can degrade performance and even damage sensitive equipment. As communications band usage and amplifier technology power densities increase, this challenge becomes more formidable. K&L Microwave has leveraged core competencies in PIN diode based switches and high-power filters to develop a suite of high-power switched filter banks. Please consult the factory for custom filters, other bands or higher power levels.The product features, High Power, Fast-Switching, contact factory for Custom Filter Response or Higher Power Requirements. Its applications include, Filtering of Power Amplifiers, Signal Jamming, Cosite Mitigation, Transmitters and more. Click here to view the detailed specifications.With over 10,000 participants and 1000 industrial exhibits of state-of-the-art microwave products, IMS is the world’s largest gathering of Radio Frequency (RF) and microwave professionals and the most important forum for the latest research advances and practices in the field. It is organized by the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society. Click here to follow our exclusive coverage of the event.last_img read more

Cinch Connectivity Introduces Commercial Grade Surge Arresters

first_imgCinch Connectivity Solutions has announced the availability of a new commercial grade surge arrester. Part of a new product series for commercial applications, the Midwest Microwave Surge Arrester can be an integral part of protecting next generation 5G networks.Power surges or indirect lightning strikes can create network problems by causing network downtimes with the potential for significant revenue losses. The Midwest Microwave surge arrester protects RF/Microwave systems from surges without sacrificing RF performance. It is constructed using tri-alloy plated brass, provides multi-strike lighting capability and is RoHS compliant.Product Specifications:DC – 3 GHz operating frequency50 Ohms nominal impedanceInsertion loss of 0.3 dBSurge capability 8/20μs of 10 kA nominalInsertion loss of 0.3 dBVSWR of 1.2Some applications for the surge arrester are cellular base stations, public safety systems, Wi-Fi networks, active antenna systems, 5G networks and GPS systems.Click here for more information on the Midwest Microwave commercial grade series surge arrester.last_img read more

Huminova Tigers wins crucial game in Fil-Sino

first_imgSweet Crystal (2-4) took the first half, 47-41 with Ralph Richard Tan and Livingstone Ang scored 13 points apiece as teammates Mark Yu and Nico Lopingco added eight each.Leonard Kilayko and Brian Tan combined for 25 points to keep the Tigers within striking distance in the first half.But the Tigers overtook Sweet in the third quarter, 69-67.Lopingco and Atty. Jubert Katalbas combined for 14 points for Sweet, but RB Chua of the Tigers made 10 points to compliment with Kilayko’s six for a quarterfinal slot.Kilayko top-scored with 28 points; Brian Tan added 19; Glin Ortaliz, 17; Ong hit 10; and R. De Los Santos had nine.Ang led Sweet with Ralph Richard Tan adding 18; Lopingco, 15; Katalbas and Yu shot 14 each, and Toffel Tan had six.Meanwhile, Royal Star tried to fend off elimination against JSY Transport and ended at 41-all.But JSY Transport limited the Star with only seven points in the third quarter for 66-48 lead.Carlo Chu sizzled with 21 points for Transport; Ryan Alegario added 16; Julius Teruel, Timothy Uy and Ardian Ong score 13 points each; and Joseph Tiu made 10.Eugene Tsai scored a game high 27 points for the Star; Johann Villanueva, 19; Eduardo Ng, 10 and Devin Villacruz, six./PN BY CYRUS M. GARDEBACOLOD City – The Huminova Tigers won a crucial match against Sweet Crystal, 93-86 to keep alive its quarterfinal hope in the ongoing Fil-Sino All Asian Countertrade Inc. 1st Conference Inter-Company Basketball tournament at the Po Hang Gym of Bacolod Tay Tung High school.JSY Transport, on the other hand, was at second spot after defeating Royal Star Trading.Both Sweet Crystal and Royal Star were eliminated, posting 1-6 cards each.last_img read more

Argos sweep Florida Southern in season-opening doubleheader

first_imgArgos sweep Florida Southern in season-opening doubleheader Share Drew Prichard scoring one of the Argonauts’ 14 runs on Saturday (Photo by Chris Nelson/ArgoPhotos.com) center_img     PENSACOLA, Fla. – The No. 16 West Florida baseball team will have a chance at history on Sunday after a season-opening doubleheader sweep over No. 32 Florida Southern at Jim Spooner Field on Saturday.  After the two wins, the Argonauts need just one more to reach 1,000 wins in the program’s 33-year history.  The Argos defeated the Moccasins 6-2 in the first game and 8-3 in the second game to complete the sweep.Game 1: West Florida 6, Florida Southern 2 “On opening weekend you’re not going to have a problem getting excited, it’s about calming down and playing the game,” said UWF head coach Mike Jeffcoat.  “Certainly we came out and played well the first game.  (Austin) Southall had a great start for us and went six innings like we wanted him to do.  The relievers then did a great job to finish it out.  It was an error-free game for us, and I was very pleased to get our first victory.”Junior Austin Southall (Baton Rouge, La./Chipola) impressed in his first start for the Argonauts (2-0), allowing just two runs in six innings.  The right-hander gave up three hits and two walks, and he also racked up eight strikeouts.  Junior relievers Justin Chambers (Chipley, Fla./Enterprise State CC) and Matt Vollenweider (Canton, Ga./Chattahoochee Valley CC) combined to pitched the final three innings, as Chambers picked up the win (1-0) and Vollenweider the save.The Argos got on the board in the third inning thanks to a two-out rally started by a single by senior center fielder Dustin Saulmon (Panama City, Fla./Alabama Southern CC).  After two walks loaded the bases, junior first baseman Cliff Covington (McIntosh, Ala./Alabama Southern CC) drove in two runs with a single through the right side.  The Moccasins (0-2) then tied the score with a run in the fourth and another in the sixth, but the Argos rallied for four more in the seventh to clinch the win.The seventh inning rally again started with two outs, and it was another Saulmon single that kicked things off.  Covington again batted with the bases loaded two batters later, and he drew a walk to bring in the go-ahead run and put UWF up 3-2.  Sophomore third baseman Michael Tomlinson (Orlando, Fla./Winter Park HS) then broke the game open with a bases-clearing double, giving UWF a 6-2 lead.  Florida Southern reliever Mike Czenszak (0-1) was charged with the go-ahead runs and was credited with the loss.The Mocs threatened in the eighth and loaded the bases against Chambers, bringing the tying run to the plate in designated hitter T.J. Kuban.  Vollenweider came in and got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam, and he stayed in to pitch a perfect ninth inning and earn the save.Saulmon was UWF’s offensive leader in the game, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases.Game 2: West Florida 8, Florida Southern 3Senior Drew Bryson (Cullman, Ala./Wallace State CC-Hanceville) started game two on the mound for UWF, and he managed to allow just one run in 3.1 innings despite allowing six hits.  Bryson helped himself out of jams with two pickoffs.Florida Southern scored first, putting a run across on an infield single.  Senior outfielder Drew Prichard (Mobile, Ala./Troy) tied the score by himself in the third, hitting a solo home run down the right field line.  The Argos then broke the game wide open with six runs in the fourth and never looked back.“In the second game what you look for is that bounce back and to have some intensity,” said Jeffcoat.  “We were a little flat to start until Prichard hit a solo home run.  That got us going, and then we had the big inning in the fourth.  I’m proud of our offense, and we pitched and played defense well.  We’ve got to come back to try to finish out the series well tomorrow.”Junior second basemen Kaleb Barlow (Florence, Miss./Chipola) had a big second game, hitting 4-for-4 with a double, one run and one RBI.  Prichard finished the game 2-for-4 with a double, home run, two runs and three RBIs.Freshman reliever Josh McLaney (Laurel Hill, Fla./Paxton HS) picked up the win (1-0) in relief of Bryson, and junior Matt Rodriguez (Ocala, Fla./College of Central Florida) and Josh Tanski (Apopka, Fla./Pensacola State) finished the game out of the bullpen.Nick Krolczyk was credited with the loss for Florida Southern after allowing four runs in 3.1 innings pitched.Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start time from Jim Spooner Field.  Fans not able to attend in person will be able to follow with live audio and live stats at www.GoArgos.com.#ARGOS#West Florida 6, Florida Southern 2 (02/02/13 at Pensacola, FL) (Game 1)———————————————————————-Florida Southern…. 000 101 000  –  2  6  0      (0-1)West Florida…….. 002 000 40X  –  6  7  0      (1-0)———————————————————————-Pitchers: Florida Southern – Brian Johnson; Cameron Grimsley(5); Mike Czenszak(6);Steven Burnham(7) and Brad Carlton. West Florida – Austin Southall; Justin Chambers(7);Matt Vollenweider(8) and Garrett Flynn.Win-Justin Chambers(1-0)  Save-Matt Vollenweider(1)  Loss-Mike Czenszak(0-1)  T-2:28  A-253Weather: 60 degrees, 6mph wind–West Florida 8, Florida Southern 3 (02/02/13 at Pensacola, FL) (Game 2)———————————————————————-Florida Southern…. 100 010 1 –  3  8  1      (0-2)West Florida…….. 001 610 X –  8 10  0      (2-0)———————————————————————-Pitchers: Florida Southern – Nick Krolczyk; Austin Jackson(4); Jack Sterritt(5);Ben Richardson(6) and Brad Carlton. West Florida – Drew Bryson; Josh McLaney(4);Matt Rodriguez(6); Josh Tanski(7) and Kyle Hamner.Win-Josh McLaney(1-0)  Loss-Nick Krolczyk(0-1)  T-2:25  A-0HR UWF – Drew Prichard.Weather: 60 degrees, sunny, 7mph wind Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Japan skeleton crew gets two berths for 2018 Olympics

first_img 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation, Hiroatsu Takahashi, Katsuyuki Miyajima Japan has earned two berths in men’s skeleton for next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, according to the quota allocation list announced by the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation on Monday.The quotas are assigned based on the IBSF rankings, with 20 women and 30 men to compete in the head-first sled race at the Feb. 9-25 event in South Korea. One automatic berth is given to the host country for each gender. KEYWORDS GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img Hiroatsu Takahashi, who was a member of the national team at the 2014 Sochi Games and currently ranked 28th in the world, is expected to be Japan’s top choice. Sendai University’s Katsuyuki Miyajima is also seen as a potential candidate.The Japan Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton Federation board of directors will meet to decide on the two athletes to represent the country in the coming days. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

Lawmakers Renew Push For Drilling In Alaska Wildlife Refuge

first_imgFacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Petroleum drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was not a consideration under President Barack Obama, but it’s getting renewed attention under the new administration. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other members of the state’s congressional delegation are pushing legislation to allow drilling in the coastal plain of the refuge. Murkowski says caribou and oil development can co-exist as is demonstrated in other areas of northern Alaska. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates it holds 10.4 billion barrels of oil and possibly more.center_img Critics say the coastal plain is important habitat for polar bears and the vast Porcupine Caribou Herd. They want the coastal plain managed as wilderness. Congress in 1980 expanded the refuge but declared that 2,300 square miles of the coastal plain be studied for natural resources. Congress can open it to exploration and production.last_img read more