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Pointers September 2007

10 Sep 2007
  • On August 17 five state-owned Chinese transport, steel and construction companies signed an A$750m investment agreement with Yilgarn Infrastructure Ltd, an unlisted Australian company established to develop the A$3bn Oakajee Port & Rail Project. Work on the common-user route serving iron ore mines in Western Australia could begin in late 2008 for completion in 2011.
  • IAFE President José Vicente Rodríguez has confirmed that engineering studies are underway for a 50 km railway from the port of La Guaira to La Rinconada on the southern side of the Venezuelan capital Caracas, running via Maiquetía airport. The mixed-traffic route would run mainly in twin bored tunnels and is expected to take five years to complete.
  • Changes to the wagon design to better resist high winds have caused the launch of Lorry-Rail rolling motorway services between Perpignan and Luxembourg (RG 11.06 p724) to be delayed by two months until September 10, according to Modalohr President Philippe Mangeard.
  • Sacramento Regional Transit has obtained a $400 000 grant from the California Energy Commission and the Municipal Utility District to fund trials of a Siemens regenerative braking system. Large capacitors at substations on the Folsom light rail line will recapture up to 40% of vehicle braking energy, and officials predict an 8% reduction in overall energy use with a 7% drop in peak demand.
  • Construction of the long-discussed 105 km rail link between Kars in Turkey and Akhalkalaki in Georgia and upgrading of the existing line onwards to Tbilisi and Baku will begin with a ceremony in Tbilisi on September 20, Azerbaijan's Ministry of Transport & Communications announced last month. The US$422m project allowing trains from Azerbaijan to reach Turkey without passing through Armenia was agreed by the three participating countries in January, with completion planned for 2010.