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Pets Lifting Spirits Around Los Alamos: Meet Butter & Lucy

first_imgButter the dog, and Lucy the cat are BFFs (Best Furry Friends). They pretty much socially isolate from each other, until the sun comes out then they disobey the 6-foot rule and Saturday were even spotted kissing! Despite their cavalier behavior … Butter and Lucy are striving to lift spirits around Los Alamos. They are members of the Regina and Steve Doorn family of White Rock. Photo by Steve Doornlast_img

Obituary: Eleanor Jean Marek Nov. 13, 1944 – April 1, 2020

first_imgELEANOR JEAN MAREK Nov. 13, 1944 – April 1, 2020Jean was born to Frank & Frances Starzyk of Uniontown, PA in 1944. She was the oldest of three children and is survived by her sister, Chris Plevin, and her brother, Stan Starzyk. She is also survived by her husband of 54 years, Larry Marek; sons Don Marek (Cindy), of Houston, TX and Bill Marek (Rose) of Scottsdale, AZ; daughter Julie Ann Marek-Griffith (Vince) of Altoona, IA; and grand-daughter Victoria Marek (Bill & Rose).Jean grew up in Uniontown, PA before moving to Chicago and working for Chicago Title and Trust. She met her husband Larry in Chicago, and they married in 1965. Jean and Larry began their family in Downers Grove, IL, and they eventually moved to Bolingbrook, IL. They were blessed with two sons, Don and Bill, and a daughter, Julie Ann, all of whom Jean raised as a stay-at-home-mother. The family moved to Los Alamos in 1981.Jean faced many health challenges in her adult life, but her attitude and spirit always remained positive as she continually focused on moving beyond her illness and helping others. A special thank you goes out to her favorite physician, Dr. Mike Jackson, who was with her through her years of illness. Jean was an inspiration to her family, never letting the let-downs get her down and always forging ahead with the spirit of healing and service. Jean devoted much of her time to volunteering, taking infant photos and working in the lobby shop at the Los Alamos Hospital for many years. She also volunteered as a teacher’s aide at Mountain Elementary School and at the Los Alamos Senior Center, and she regularly delivered meals to neighbors in need. Many Sunday mornings Jean would serve coffee and donuts after Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. She was a wonderful example of what it is to be a charitable person. She donated to many charities both monetarily and with her time.Jean loved to learn new things; she achieved her associate degree by taking one class at time at UNM Los Alamos, she learned to be a Master Gardener and a quilter, and just in the past few years Jean took up the ukulele. She was an active member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and enjoyed attending lectures and listening to visiting speakers there as well as at the senior center. Her hobbies included reading, learning, gardening, and quilting, and she had a special fondness for animals, especially her beloved dogs who were her constant companions.During her time working at the hospital lobby shop, Jean gathered quite a collection of Beanie Baby stuffed animals. She simply could not resist the cute critters, and if you were lucky you would receive one or two on your birthday or another special occasion. She would choose one that was just for you, one that reflected your loves and interests.But all those details aside, Jean was a special Angel to her family and friends, full of sweetness, kindness, caring, and compassion in her thoughts and actions. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and loved ones.Our family would like to express our deepest heartfelt gratitude to Visiting Nurses of Los Alamos and the special visitors from Immaculate Heart of Mary – Cherie, Pam and Elise, who Jean considered to be her good friends. She truly loved spending time with these kind souls who visited her regularly. She also enjoyed her visits with her part-time caregiver and friend, Vera.We would also like to express a deep appreciation and gratitude to Angie Padilla, who cared for Jean over the past few years. We could not have been more blessed by this wonderful Angel, who cared for Jean with patience and kindness as if she were her own mother, and who always looked out for Jean’s wishes and dignity. Jean came to love Angie as her own family, and we could not be more grateful for all Angie did for Jean and our family.In lieu of flowers and in memory of Jean, the family asks that donations be made to St. Joseph Indian School or Food for the Poor.Due to the current circumstances we are experiencing a memorial service will be held at a later date.   Jean’s family has entrusted her care to Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations of  Los Alamos, 1627 A Central Ave, Los Alamos, NM 87532, (505) 663-6880 riverafamilyfuneralhome.comlast_img read more

Automotive Distribution Network Appoints New Chairman

first_imgWith more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – The Automotive Distribution Network formally introduced Ken Maurer, owner of New York-based Big City Automotive, as the new chairman of the association during the group’s recent membership meeting in Denver. “Danny’s common-sense approach to problems and his decisiveness served the group well the past three years,” said Maurer, a longtime member of the Network’s executive committee. “I will try to maintain those traits going forward as I focus on the Network’s growth.” Maurer replaces outgoing chairman Danny Ward, president and CEO of Atlanta-based Southeastern Automotive Warehouse. In his first order of business as chairman, Maurer saluted Ward for a job well done in front of their peers at the membership meeting. LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement “Since joining the Network in 2003 as a Parts Plus warehouse distributor, Kenny Maurer and his business partners at Big City Automotive have proven to be one of our fastest-growing members,” said Mike Lambert, president of the Network. “Kenny’s experience and personable approach to leadership make him the ideal new chairman to help lead the Network to unprecedented growth.” Maurer will work closely with the Network’s committees to develop innovative product, marketing and IT strategies that will help the association grow at every level of distribution. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business. last_img read more

Airox technologies wins ‘Oscars of Indian Healthcare’ awards

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Passenger Safety in Focus of EU Funded Research

first_imgThe European Union has funded a research aimed at improving safety of passengers aboard cruise ships and ferries. The goal of the research is to make evacuating large passenger ships smoother and safer in future. EU-funded researchers are also helping to design more stable passenger vessels.The three-year LYNCEUS project, which ends in early 2015, is demonstrating how low-power wireless technologies can help localise and track people onboard ships, providing essential information in cases of evacuation, and improve overboard search and rescue. The aim is to revolutionise current emergency management and ship evacuation practice.“We have developed innovative wireless tags, which can be embedded into life jackets, so the location of people within the ship can be easily pinpointed,” said Dr. Anastasis Kounoudes, technical leader and CEO of SignalGeneriX, one of the project partners. “This will provide safety officers with the exact location of every passenger and crew member during an evacuation.”The technology can also be used to monitor the health of patients requesting to wear special bracelets, or help parents keep track of the location of their children on large cruise ships, which can carry thousands of passengers and crew. The researchers in the project have also developed a radar device able to detect the exact location of passengers who have fallen overboard.The GOALDS project, which ended in 2012, created new designs for large cruise vessels to increase their safety in the case of a collision or grounding.By redesigning the ships they would have up to 20% more chance of surviving groundings or collisions. These results have been submitted to the International Maritime Organization to improve safety standards and calculations for cruise vessels. The GOALDS project is part of a framework of EU-funded research to improve maritime safety.European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “These projects are good examples of how we are tackling issues that can make people’s lives better – in this particular case even potentially saving lives. We will continue to invest in this type of research and innovation in our new Horizon 2020 programme.[mappress]Press Release; August 11, 2014; Image: MSClast_img read more


first_imgBank – Bank loan – derivative transaction Robin Dicker QC and Jonathan Goldring (instructed by Linklaters LLP) for the SCB. Ali Malek QC, Clive Freedman and James MacDonald (instructed by Gibson & Co) for the CPC. Bankers Trust v PT Dharmala Sakti Sejahtera [1996] CLC 518 applied; Williams v Natural Life Health Foods Ltd [1998] 1 WLR 830 considered; JP Morgan Chase Bank v Springwell Navigation Corp [2007] 1 All ER (Comm) 549 considered. (6) The main elements of the law relating to misrepresentation were recently summarised in San Marino drawing on the judgment in RBS. To establish inducement for the purpose of a claim under s 2 of the 1967 Act, it was necessary to show that, but for the representation the claimant would not have entered into the contract that he had (see [552] of the judgment). In the instant case, the alleged duty of care had not been owed on the facts in contract or in tort. Nor had the alleged misrepresentations been made out (see [550], [573] of the judgment). The counterclaims failed (see [574] of the judgment). The defendant (CPC) was Sri Lanka’s state-owned importer, refiner and retailer of oil. It was a major importer of crude oil and refined petroleum products on the international market. As it was required to buy oil on the international market in US dollars, in such significant amounts, it was inherent in CPC’s business that it had a price risk based on its need to buy physical oil. In an attempt to protect itself from the rise in the oil price which took place from about 2003 to 2008, from February 2007 CPC began to enter into oil derivative transactions with the claimant (SCB) and other competing banks operating in Sri Lanka. In the period between February 2007 and October 2008, CPC entered into about 30 such transactions, including 10 transactions with SCB (the transactions). The contentious transactions were the 8th and 9th such transactions entered into between CPC and SCB in May 2008 (T8) and July 2008 (T9). These transactions, required the banks to make payments to CPC when oil prices were high. Conversely, CPC was required to make payments to the banks if the price of oil fell below an agreed floor. All CPC’s oil derivative transactions were executed on CPC’s behalf by its chairman, managing director and sole executive director, AM. The transactions were also often signed by LK, a chartered accountant who had been employed as the deputy general finance manager of CPC. The transactions were entered into under an ISDA Master Agreement (2002 version) dated 31 July 2006 (the master agreement). In the period between February 2007 and July 2008, oil prices continued to rise in a previously unprecedented fashion, so that CPC was required to make ever-increasing US dollar payments for its physical oil imports. At the same time, CPC’s portfolio of derivative transactions generally required the banks to make payments to CPC when the oil price increased or remained high. In late July and August 2008, however, oil prices fell rapidly and continued to do so and, as physical oil prices fell, CPC also became ‘out-of-the-money’ on its derivative transactions, including T8 and T9. In September, October and November 2008, CPC made the payments demanded by SCB under T8 and T9. From 12 December 2008, however, CPC failed to make any further monthly payments in respect of T8 and T9. SCB claimed US$161,733,500 plus interest, being the sum allegedly due under T8 and T9. SCB’s submitted that it was entitled to the remaining payments which were due under the terms of the transactions. CPC had entered into the transactions as an arm’s length counter-party with SCB, knowing how it would respond to fluctuations in the oil price, wanting to acquire the benefits of the transactions, and aware of the risks and rewards that it entailed. CPC was always aware that a fall in oil prices would cause it to became liable to make payments to SCB and there was no basis upon which it could avoid its obligations. CPC submitted that the instant case was a case concerning a publicly owned corporation, of critical importance to its national economy, with no experience in commodity derivative transactions, engaging in novel and sophisticated transactions for the first time in a country that itself had no previous experience of such trading. On that basis, CPC contended that SCB had held itself out to CPC as advisor and encouraged it to enter into transactions that did not hedge its risks, but instead provided the prospect of insignificant up-front fixed profits in return for taking on vast and disproportionate downside risk. CPC maintained that it should never have been sold those products, and it disputed their validity on four grounds namely: (i) lack of capacity: CPC, which was incorporated under the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Act 1961 (the CPC Act), contended that it did not have capacity under the CPC Act to enter into the particular derivative contracts that it purported to enter into because: (a) they fell outside the scope of CPC’s ‘general objects’ as set out in s 5 of the CPC Act; and (b) they fell outside the terms of a letter dated 29 January 2007 (the Wijetunge letter) said to constitute a ‘direction’ given by the government to CPC pursuant to s 7(1) of the CPC Act; (ii) lack of authority: CPC contended that (a) AM and LK lacked actual and ostensible authority from the CPC board to enter into the transactions because they were in breach of the terms of the relevant board resolution of March 2007; and (b) they fell outside the terms of the Wijetunge letter; (iii) supervening illegality: CPC contended that a letter dated 16 December 2008 from the secretary of the monetary board of the central bank of Sri Lanka (the CBSL) had the effect of rendering any further performance of CPC’s payment obligations under the transactions unlawful in Sri Lanka and so, it was said, unenforceable in England; (iv) counterclaim: CPC contended that SCB owed a contractual and/or tortious duty to advise CPC which it had breached, and that it had made misrepresentations under s 2 of the Misrepresentation Act 1967 (the 1967 Act) to CPC, thereby causing CPC to enter into the transactions, and suffer loss constituted by the payments due under them. Consideration was given to Cassa di Risparmio della Repubblica di San Marino SpA v Barclays Bank Plc [2011] All ER (D) 189 (Mar) (San Marino) and Raiffeisen Zentralbank v RBS plc [2010] All ER (D) 111 (Jun) (RBS PLC) The claim would be allowed: (1) Where a public corporation was created by an Act of Parliament from a particular country, that corporation’s capacity to contract was therefore determined by the law of the relevant country (see [391] of the judgment). In the instant case, the relevant law applicable was Sri Lankan law. CPC had capacity to enter into the transactions on the basis; (1) that they were incidental to or conducive to the attainment of the objects referred to in s 5(a) and (b) of the CPC Act and/or (2) that such transactions fell within the express powers contained in s 6 of the CPC Act and, even if those powers had been exercised for a purpose outside s 5 of the CPC Act. That did not mean that such transactions had been beyond its capacity. Further, the Wijetunge letter was not a direction under s 7(1) of the CPC Act (see [398], [414] of the judgment). CPC’s capacity defence failed (see [425] of the judgment). (2) In the instant case, in relation to the transactions both AM and LK bona fide and reasonably believed that they had been acting within the authority conferred on them. AM and LK had had actual authority to enter into the transactions (see [446] of the judgment). CPC’s authority defence failed (see [457] of the judgment). (3) In the instant case, CBSL did not have a power, after a contract had been entered into, effectively to deprive a bank, by letter, of its accrued right to payment, for no compensation. Even assuming that such an extraordinary power could be granted consistently with the Sri Lankan constitution, for it to exist, it would need to be clearly spelt out in the relevant statute, and clearly exercised. Neither condition was satisfied (see [469] of the judgment). CPC’s illegality defence failed (see [470] of the judgment). (4) A contract would only be implied from the parties’ conduct where it was necessary to do so. It would not be necessary to do so where the parties would or might have acted as they had done without any such contract. The test of any such implication was necessity (see [474]-[477] of the judgment). Aramis, The [1989] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 213 considered; Blackpool and Fylde Aero Club Ltd v Blackpool Borough Council [1990] 3 All ER 25 considered; Mitsui & Co Ltd v Novorossiysk Shipping Co, The Gudermes [1993] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 311 considered; Baird Textile Holdings Ltd v Marks and Spencer plc [2000] All ER (D) 895 considered. (5) In considering whether a duty of care arose and, if so, its scope, case law had emphasised the importance of a pragmatic approach which concentrated on the exchanges and dealings between the parties considered in their context rather than the application of high level statements of principle. Attention should be concentrated on ‘the detailed circumstances of the particular case and the particular relationship between the parties in the context of their legal and factual situation as a whole’. There were three tests: (i) the assumption of responsibility test, coupled with reliance; (ii) the three-fold-test (whether the loss was reasonably foreseeable, whether the relationship between the parties was of sufficient proximity and whether in all the circumstances it was fair just and reasonable to impose such a duty); and (iii) the incremental test. There was no single common denominator, with all of the tests operating at a high level of abstraction. However, what each test emphasised was the need to take into account all the relevant facts in the overall determination. Whatever the formulation of the test, it required an objective ascertainment of the relevant facts, the primary focus being on exchanges between the parties (see [478]-[480] of the judgment).center_img Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG v Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2010] All ER (D) 111 (Jun) considered; Cassa di Risparmio della Repubblica di San Marino SpA v Barclays Bank Ltd [2011] All ER (D) 189 (Mar) considered. Standard Chartered Bank v Ceylon Petroleum Corporation: Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court (Mr Justice Hamblen): 11 July 2011last_img read more

PC renewals update

first_imgThe Solicitors Regulation Authority has today issued a statement informing solicitors that they will be able to renew their registration, recognition or practising certificate from 21 November. Solicitors are asked to visit the SRA site on 18 November, when the regulator will confirm whether or not this will be an online process, amid ongoing problems with implementation of the new system. The SRA may have to revert to a paper-based process. ‘We are working hard to introduce the new online renewals process, but will not do so until we are confident that it is reliable,’ the statement said. The deadline for the renewals process is being extended to Friday, 23 December. Practising certificates, registrations for RELs and RFLs, firm recognitions, and sole practitioner authorisations will remain valid during any interim period caused by the late start of the process. The deadline for activating mySRA accounts is now 30 November; some 70,000 accounts have been activated so far. SRA chief executive Antony Townsend said: ‘We are very sorry for the inconvenience which the delay may cause. ‘However, our priority must be to ensure that the new online system is running smoothly and has been thoroughly tested, before we launch it, so that teething problems are minimised. ‘We are grateful to the profession for bearing with us as we complete this work – it will pay major dividends, both in streamlining the processes for law firms, and in reducing the SRA’s costs.’ For the latest information, visit the website.last_img read more

High speed on conventional lines

first_imgINTRO: Raising the maximum speed on conventional lines to 225 or 250 km/h is now feasible, depending on investment resources, the technology available and the legislative background. Much of the technical knowledge is in place to make the required advance, but translating it into a coherent overall package is proving a considerable and as yet unsolved challengeBYLINE: Richard GostlingDirector, TechnologyAEA Technology RailThe construction of dedicated infrastructure for speeds of 200 km/h and above has been the watchword of railway progress in the past decade. Although less glamorous, achievement of higher speeds on conventional lines presents many significant commercial opportunities at a fraction of the cost of building new lines, and is likely to become the goal in the next decade. Although the speeds involved are lower, the overall technical challenge is in some ways more difficult, and attempts to break through the 200 km/h barrier on conventional lines are so far limited to TGVs running at 220 km/h on parts of the Paris – Bordeaux main line.The conventional railway has progressed mainly in a series of evolutionary developments almost since its inception, always maintaining backward compatibility. A major step change was the introduction of 200 km/h operation in the 1970s. Now a further step is required, and the challenge is to achieve it within the parameters of the conventional system.The railway is a technically integrated system, and every one of the many technical issues must be identified, understood and overcome. Failure in any one area results in failure of the whole. In many cases, the background technical knowledge to achieve the step forward is already in place, but a concerted effort will be needed to combine all of this knowledge into one effective, reliable, operational package.The challenge is particularly relevant to countries like Great Britain, with significant plans to upgrade existing routes.Ride comfort and tiltQuality of ride is the issue most normally associated with high speed on existing lines, and the numerous examples of tilting train design throughout the world illustrate how much attention has recently been paid to maintaining comfort whilst traversing curves at higher speed. Steady-state curving is, however, only one part of a complex issue, and not even the most critical.The ultimate speed limitation is usually to do with irregularities in curves, in particular the transition which even when perfectly maintained provides a roll input to passengers which cannot be compensated by a tilting system. The fundamental understanding of the human response behaviour was developed many years ago by BR Research (now AEA Technology Rail) using the Advanced Passenger Train, when the current design limits were established, and the magnification in discomfort for a given irregularity when positioned on a curve were first established.Early work on tilt attempted to provide full compensation for lateral accelerations but this was shown to be inappropriate, as the acceleration and visual inputs to passengers need to be consistent. Passenger comfort perception tests demonstrated that partial tilt with around 75% compensation is close to the optimum and also permits use of a larger body profile.Even on straight track, ride comfort is an issue, as longer wavelength track inputs are transmitted through the lateral suspension. For example, on the British MkIII coach the lateral suspension frequency is around 0·5Hz, coinciding with track inputs of 110m at 200 km/h, or 140m at 250 km/h. The immediate solution to this is application of improved control systems to track maintenance machines, such as automatic track top and alignment equipment. More interesting solutions currently being developed include semi-active or active suspension using simple control strategies such as skyhook damping (that is, damping relative to an absolute datum).In the longer term, more exciting technical possibilities exist, using the science of mechatronics – the integration of electronic or IT systems with mechanical engineering. The train could be capable of learning the track quality, and a sophisticated active suspension control used to overcome geometric irregularities. Such a train could maintain comfort on relatively imperfect track, and with the cost of track maintenance a major factor in operating any railway, the attractions of this technology are clear. Suspensions in their conventional form could ultimately disappear altogether, and the initial development of such trains is already under way in Japan, North America and Europe.BrakingBraking within existing signalling distances presents one of the greatest problems in operating at high speed on conventional lines. Unless heavy and relatively expensive magnetic rail brakes are employed, the demands on energy absorption capability and on adhesion are considerably increased.Development of the 200 km/h diesel High Speed Train in Great Britain involved an increase in the braking rate from 7% to 9%g. Further speed increases of 10% will each require around 2% extra adhesion.The capacity to absorb energy from higher speed in existing stopping distances is a critically limiting factor. Energy transfer rates are proportional to the train speed cubed, hence the use on high-speed trains of four sets of discs per axle, or eddy current brakes, with consequent escalation in the cost of both train and track maintenance. An obvious approach is a concerted effort to reduce train mass, and regenerating traction systems provide an alternative energy link capable of absorbing energy in proportion to the number of axles motored.Insufficient adhesion is a rare but significant occurrence and will always become a more challenging issue as higher braking rates are demanded. Moreover, available adhesion decreases with speed, exacerbating the problem. Fortunately, two modern developments have significantly reduced the scale of this problem. Firstly, wheelslide protection equipment has been developed to maximise use of available adhesion by operating at a defined level of slip, helping to clean the railhead. In addition, controlled application of sand in braking is now becoming accepted. These two techniques provide the opportunity for some increase in speed without lengthening signalling distances. Although the limit of passenger acceptability will be reached eventually, it should be possible to operate with some increase in speeds on conventional lines without recourse to the use of magnetic rail brakes.AerodynamicsOperation at higher speed on conventional lines poses many challenges in the field of aerodynamics, including the effect of pressure pulses in tunnels and in the open air, and slipstream effects as trains run through stations or pass trackside workers.Pressure pulses in tunnels probably present the most extreme difficulty. The pressure waves generated when a train enters a tunnel travel at the speed of sound along the bore and are reflected back from the exit portal, giving rise to significant changes in pressure through which the train must then pass. In single or double-bore tunnels this can require a speed limit to ensure the aural comfort of passengers. The development of the pressure waves in a tunnel as predicted by the Thermotun program is shown in Fig 1 (above right).This tunnel problem can be minimised with air shafts to relieve pressure or flared tunnel entrances, although each obviously has practical limitations. Pressure-sealing the train is expensive and gives rise to long-term maintenance costs.In the open air, pressure pulses are generated by any passing train, giving rise to the startle effect on passengers and transient structural loads on the sides of trains. Increasing train speeds and close track spacings exacerbate the problem. This can be reduced at the design stage with an elongated train nose, but little can be achieved retrospectively without increasing the track spacing.Safety on platforms is also perceived to be an issue, because the slipstream generated by trains could have the effect of unbalancing waiting passengers and moving their belongings along the platform. This effect has been well understood for many years, and is the origin of the yellow lines painted on platforms through which high speed trains pass. It is, however, interesting to note that the effect of irregularly-shaped freight trains at current speeds can be at least as disruptive as very high speed trains.Finally, in extremely high cross-winds, there is the possibility that a lightweight train might overturn. The risk increases with speed, and careful regulation of speed in high winds may be necessary, as is already the case in Japan.Noise and vibrationWith higher speeds, levels of noise and vibration also tend to rise, and with current designs a 50% increase in speed will increase maximum noise levels by over 5dB. An initial method of control is provided by reducing the surface roughness of wheels and rail, through periodic rail grinding and the avoidance of wheel damage through braking for example. Further reduction in rolling noise would require the use of noise barriers. At very high speeds, aerodynamic noise becomes dominant, but as this does not occur until well over 300 km/h, it is not a problem for conventional lines.Higher speeds on a given quality of track could increase ground-borne vibration, but in practice the need to control the forces going into the track for other reasons tends to resolve this problem. There is often a problem of ground-borne noise from tunnels, resulting from vibrations passing through the ground and causing the surfaces of nearby buildings to radiate a rumbling sound. Higher speeds in tunnels will mean greater levels of ground-borne noise, unless the isolation of the track from the ground is increased in the appropriate frequency regime.Current collection and supplyThe fundamental dynamics of overhead current collection have been understood since the mid-1980s. In principle, higher speeds can be achieved on any design of overhead equipment by use of a pantograph with low mass, low head suspension stiffness, and neutral aerodynamic characteristics. Understanding of these principles by BR Research led directly to the development of the Brecknell Willis high-speed pantograph and allowed a speed increase of at least 25%, which was a significant factor in the economic case for electrification of Britain’s East Coast main line between London and Edinburgh. The same approach was subsequently adopted on the Northeast Corridor in the USA.Although operating today at 200 km/h, the ECML catenary and pantograph system is capable of operation up to 225 km/h and beyond, provided some attention is given to particular features of design, installation and maintenance, especially at level crossings.Energy consumption and power demand, critical in terms of infrastructure provision and environmental impact, are proportional to the speed squared and cubed respectively, with an increase of 10% in train speed raising aerodynamic drag by 20% and power demand by 30%. However, modern engineering improvements can offset this. Developments such as the Bombardier B5000 bogie planned for the Virgin CrossCountry fleet will create double benefit. The inside-framed bogie configuration will reduce aerodynamic drag while its lower mass will reduce tractive force demand for a given acceleration.Similarly, lightweight three-phase induction motors and hopefully lighter traction converters will reduce power demand, particularly when starting. Regenerative braking will also help. In future, train designers should be able to achieve high speed without increasing current demand, thereby avoiding expensive alterations to the power supply.Signalling and line capacityIncreasing speed raises a number of issues for signal engineers, some of which are entirely technical, while others are based on historic safety decisions. If braking within existing distances is unachievable, line capacity is seriously threatened, which may require a general reduction, or the complete prohibition, of existing traffic.Some quite significant revisions of thinking will be needed, including better overall traffic regulation, development of ’flights’ of trains in the timetable, or ultimately additional infrastructure to reduce the impact of capacity loss. Use of sophisticated capacity modelling will help identify the optimum solution.Longer braking distances require signalling alterations. With conventional signalling this can be achieved by increasing the length of the block sections, or more economically, the section length can be retained and additional aspects provided.The use of additional signal aspects involves human factors as well as technical considerations. There is an upper limit to the train speed at which, under normal conditions, visual sighting of lineside signals is acceptable; in Great Britain this speed is taken to be 200 km/h. At higher speeds it is necessary to consider some form of cab signalling, whether an additional aspect in the cab, or some form of display which continuously indicates the maximum permitted speed.Related to the cab signalling issue is the question of the warning and train protection systems. In Great Britain, the Railway Inspectorate has ruled that nothing less than cab signalling and full automatic train protection is acceptable for speeds in excess of 200 km/h.The more radical approach to signalling for higher speeds is to use a form of transmission-based train control, such as that being developed for Britain’s West Coast main line. Inherently, TBTC provides cab signalling and full ATP functionality, and also the potential for moving block operation which helps alleviate capacity problems.Track damageDynamic forces between wheel and rail increase considerably at high speed, particularly at rail welds, insulated joints and switches and crossings where the impact forces are significant. In Britain, a yardstick was first provided many years ago with the stipulation that new trains should develop forces no greater than a Class 55 diesel-electric locomotive at 160 km/h on a defined dip, which allowed a trade-off between axleload and unsprung mass. The developing European standard concentrates more on lower axleloads.The key consideration is the potentially increased deterioration of track, with a corresponding increase in the maintenance requirement and life cycle costs. Fortunately, this is not all bad news, and those factors which increase passenger comfort are also those which reduce the maintenance requirement. Thus, the key to higher speeds, from a track point of view, is to apply the fundamental principles of track behaviour developed in the 1970s.In the early days of tilting train operation, much concern was expressed over track shifting and overturning. It was shown that these concerns were unfounded at intended speeds of operation, although of course, the ultimate overturning limit is approached more closely, so overspeeding must be properly addressed.Other safety concernsTwo general issues have not been covered here: the integrity of key systems and the effect of external disturbances such as vandalism. The integrity of key systems such as axles has always been vital and fortunately, many can now be monitored. Bogie vibration is monitored on the TGV, and if hunting is detected a speed reduction is imposed. Similar systems are mandated in the US Federal Railroad Administration safety specification.Other parameters such as out-of-round wheels or declining brake performance can be monitored, and modern systems permit predictive assessment, detecting faults before they become a safety issue and require speed restrictions to be imposed.Vandalism is, in many ways, a societal problem, which the railway must deal with as realistically as possible. Questions of how a train designer must go about engineering solutions to problems posed by delinquent teenagers can be argued at length, and policies are quite different across Europe. In Britain, crashworthiness requirements include distributed energy absorption and designs of obstacle deflectors which are already more stringent than elsewhere in Europe, while French National Railways has concentrated on achieving a high degree of energy absorption at the very front of the train. Considerable scope exists for an approach which takes into account the legitimate fears of the general public, but at a price which does not drive railway customers onto the roads forever.Systems engineering challengeThere is a significant variety of interacting technical problems. Much background understanding exists, and given sufficient money and time, solutions to all of these problems appear possible. However, money and time are at a premium for railways worldwide, and fresh thinking is called for.Hitherto, the tendency has been to consider the problems as a set of disconnected technical issues. The modern development of systems engineering to consider issues holistically rather than in a piecemeal manner promises to be a far better way forward. By this means a whole problem can be stated, such as the maximum speed obtainable within a given investment budget, and the railway engineering community challenged to deliver a coherent, cost-effective and complete solution. oCAPTION: Fig 1. The development of the pressure waves generated by a train running at 225 km/h in a 3 115 m long tunnel, as predicted by the Thermotun programCAPTION: Bombardier’s B5000 bogie is currently under development for the Virgin CrossCountry fleetGrande vitesse sur lignes existantesAtteindre des grandes vitesses sur des lignes conventionnelles offre des perspectives commerciales à des coûts marginaux, comparés aux coûts de construction d’infrastructures nouvelles. Le défi technique global que représente la circulation des trains à 225 ou 250 km/h sur lignes existantes est plus difficile à surmonter que la construction de lignes nouvelles conçues pour cela. Considérant ce challenge dans son ensemble, chaque point d’ordre technique doit être identifié, compris et surmonté afin de constituer un tout qui soit efficace et fiable. Ces points englobent le confort, le freinage et les effets de compression dans les tunnels et dans les traversées de gares, aussi bien que la signalisation et le captage de courantHochgeschwindigkeit auf konventionellen StreckenDas Erreichen von hlast_img read more

Welcome to an intermodal Europe

first_imgEUROPE: The first Intermodes international convention and exhibition on intermodal passenger transport will take place in Brussels on February 4-5 2009. The aim of the event is to facilitate the journeys made by the 493 million people who live in the European Union.,In many cases a journey is actually a chain of several shorter journeys, one after the other: car to the metro station, then a short trip on the metro before boarding a long distance train. On arrival at the destination, the onward journey might involve the local public transport network, which entails understanding how it works. Passengers need to find the network map and work out the fares, often in a different language in the case of an international journey. From start to finish, it may be necessary to purchase several tickets. Intermodes will facilitate discussions between European transport authorities about how transfers from one mode of transport to another can be made easier. When considering door-to-door travel, no mode of transport will be excluded from the debate; ignoring cars, bicycles or walking would mean leaving out ‘the first and last mile’ of any intermodal journey. Owned by 81% of European households (Eurostat 2007), the mobile phone is one of the tools that will, sooner or later, revolutionise travel in Europe. No more paper tickets. A simple telephone call from the vicinity of a terminal before and after a journey, which could include several modes of transport, will allow everyone to travel as they wish and pay for their journeys at the end of the month. Orange, in collaboration with French telephone and transport operators, and Deutsche Bahn, with German Telecoms and transport operators, are already working on such arrangements, which should become operational in the near future. Intermodal initiatives already exist in Europe, for example in Germany where 45% of all Lufthansa passengers transferring between Köln Bonn and Frankfurt airports use the joint Lufthansa-DB AIRail high speed train service. In Switzerland, the Fly Rail Baggage Service allows air passengers en route to Zürich, Genève and Basel airports to check in their luggage, and get their boarding cards in numerous railway stations. One example of a successful modern transfer point is the Avenida de América in Madrid. Renovated and reopened in 2000, this huge transfer station saw a 30% increase in the number of transit passengers during its first year of operation. Similar examples exist elsewhere, but there is plenty of scope to develop further intermodal initiatives in Europe. Some 50 speakers from 10 different countries will share concrete examples of successful intermodality during the conference. More details can be found on the event website: www.intermodes.comlast_img read more

U.S. court lets trump travel ban go partially into effect

first_img The state of Hawaii, which sued to block the restrictions, argued that federal immigration law did not give Trump the authority to impose them on six of those countries. The lawsuit did not challenge restrictions toward people from the two other countries listed in Trump’s ban, North Korea and Venezuela.Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin said the court’s decision tracked what the Supreme Court said in June when it partially revived Trump’s second travel ban, which has now expired.“I’m pleased that family ties to the U.S., including grandparents, will be respected,” Chin added.Trump issued his first travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries in January, just a week after he took office from Barack Obama and then issued a revised one after the first was blocked by the courts. The second one expired in September after a long court fight and was replaced with another revised version.Trump has said the travel ban is needed to protect the United States from terrorism by Muslim militants. As a candidate, Trump had promised “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”Critics of the travel ban in its various repetition call it a “Muslim ban” that violates the U.S. Constitution by discriminating on the basis of religion. FILE PHOTO – President Trump attends a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. REUTERS/Thomas Peter FILE PHOTO – President Trump attends a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. REUTERS/Thomas PeterA U.S. appeals court in California on Monday let President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban go partially into effect, ruling the government can bar entry of people from six Muslim-majority countries with no connections to the United States.The ban will apply to people from Libya, Somalia, Chad, Yemen, Iran and Syria who do not have connections to the United States. “We are reviewing the court’s order and the government will begin enforcing the travel proclamation consistent with the partial stay. We believe that the proclamation should be allowed to take effect in its entirety,” Justice Department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam said.center_img Those connections are defined as family relationships and “formal, documented” relationships with U.S.-based entities such as universities and resettlement agencies. Those with family relationships that would allow entry include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the United States, Reuters reports.last_img read more