IRJ - August 2011 - (Page 7)
regulations on state aid. The €1.2bn restructuring programme is a prelude to the part-privatisation of the company and includes debt write-offs, asset and employee transfers and compensation for release from public service obligations.
Hamburg-Köln-Express set for year-end launch
APL Logistics has launched its first double-stack container service, linking Mundra port on the west coast with Kishangarh near Delhi. The company plans to launch services to Delhi from two more ports within a year.
ERMAN open-access passenger operator Hamburg-Köln-Express (HKX) unveiled its new brand image and livery last month, confirming that it plans to launch services by the end of the year.
HKX will initially operate three trains per day between Hamburg and Cologne, running via Münster, Essen, and Düsseldorf, with a journey time of 4h 4min. The fastest journey time currently offered by German Rail (DB) is 4h 2min.
Basic class accommodation offers a spacious interior.
Each train will be formed of five Basic-class coaches and one Premium-class vehicle. At-seat meals will be served in Premium class, while power sockets and Wi-Fi will be available throughout the train. The first coaches have been refurbished by H Cegielski in Poznan, Poland, and HKX says test runs will begin soon. The company is also now recruiting train crews. The joint venture between Railroad Development Corp, United States, Locomore Rail, Germany, and investor Mr Michael Schabas had originally planned to launch last August. However, when Keolis abandoned its plans for a Mulhouse - Strasbourg Cologne - Hamburg service last year, HKX postponed its launch to reapply for the vacant paths, which it considered to be superior.
The government of Azerbaijan has agreed to lend Georgia $US 575m to fund construction of its section of the Kars Tbilisi - Baku railway. The 25year loan will be repaid using revenues from the line, which is due to open in early 2013. The African Development Bank has approved a $US 40m loan for Rift Valley Railways to support the company’s $US 246 million investment in Kenya and Uganda. Construction of a 1500km railway linking Botswana’s Mmamabula coalfield with the Namibian port of Walvis Bay is set to begin in the third quarter of next year, according to Walvis Bay Corridor Group CEO Mr Johnny Smith, who says a pre-feasibility study should be ready within two months. Construction is likely to take around five years.
DSB appoints new management team
ANISH State Railways (DSB) announced last month that it has appointed a new CEO and CFO, as details emerged of a breakthrough over the troubled DSBFirst partnership. The new DSB executive board will comprise CEO Mr Christian Roslev, currently CEO of North Jutland Transport Company, and CFO Mr Jacob Kjaer, who until recently was CFO of TDC Business Nordic. The previous CEO Mr Søren Eriksen was fired earlier this year after an accounting report found criticisable trading practices between DSB and the DSBFirst joint venture, which operates the Øresund network. The allegations concerned the servicing of DSBFirst rolling stock by DSB which was not charged for. On June 28, a day after it announced annual losses of DKr 582m ($US 113m), DSBFirst revealed it
would cede its Swedish operations to another operator from December 10 this year to avert bankruptcy. According to accountants KPMG, DSBFirst would have needed extra capital amounting to DKr 1.5bn to continue operating in its current form. “We have avoided a threatening bankruptcy which would have plunged customers, employees, and suppliers into an almost chaotic situation, and the agreement is financially the best possible solution to a difficult situation for DSB,” says acting DSB CEO Mr Klaus Pedersen. The problems with DSBFirst prompted Danish transport minister Mr Christian Schmidt to ban DSB from bidding for more local contracts outside Denmark. Veolia will take over DSBFirst’s Swedish services from December.
$US 686m pricetag for Cambodia Vietnam link
FEASIBILITY study into the construction of a 225km railway between Cambodia and Vietnam has concluded the total cost of the project will be at least $US 686m. The proposed line will run east from Phnom Penh towards Kampong Cham, crossing the Mekong River to join the Vietnam Railways network at Loc Ninh. The study, which has taken two years to complete, was carried out by the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute, part of China’s Ministry of Railways. Vietnam is planning a 128km line from Loc Ninh to Ho Chi Minh City, which would close the final gap in the region’s metre-gauge network.
After a gap of 19 years, regular passenger services resumed on the island on July 5. The temporary service of three trains per day between Linstead and Spanish Town section will run while the Bog Walk Gorge Road is closed, although the service could become permanent if passenger numbers warrant its continuation.
Mozambique Ports and Railways (CFM) has announced that the transport of coal by rail from the Moatize mine in Tete province to the port of Beira will not
IRJ August 2011
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