Vermont Business Magazine Join Champlain College and the US Department of Justice for a free one-day conference outlining key current cyber threats to businesses, nonprofits, and organizations of all sizes, as well as what tactics you should be using to prepare and to respond to those threats. The conference will also include guidance on how to proceed when you are targeted – and conversations about real-life scenarios in Vermont and lessons learned from organizations across the country.Presenters will include representatives from local organizations as well as government experts from the FBI, U.S. Department of Justice and Vermont investigators, as well as Vt. Gov. Phil Scott and Burlington Electric CEO Neale Lunderville.What: Understanding Digital Threats: A Cybersecurity Briefing for Businesses and Non-ProfitsWhen: Friday, March 10, 20178:30 a.m. Registration9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – ConferenceVt. Gov. Phil Scott is scheduled to be at the event from 8:45 to 9:15. Where: Champlain Room at the Center for Communication and Creative Media, Champlain College, 375 Maple St., Burlington, VT 05401Conference sessions include:The Changing Threat LandscapeIncident Preparedness: The Shift from Cyber-Defense to Cyber-SurvivalIncident Response: Government Expectations and CooperationCase Studies Highlighting Experiences of Local OrganizationsLunch is included Learn more about Champlain College’s Digital Forensics and Cyber Security(link is external) programs and the Sen. Leahy Center for Digital Investigation(link is external)
Related Movescount.com, the free online sports community, powered by Suunto, has been awarded a ‘Sports Standards of Excellence’ award by the Web Marketing Association in its 14th annual international WebAward Competition.The website awards recognise the talented individual and team efforts in creating outstanding website development and generate Internet marketing exposure for the award winning website.Movescount.com ‘excelled in the categories innovation, content, interactivity and technology.’ Judges noted that Movescount was “a great sport community website with lots of interesting things to do. Fantastic.”“The award is great recognition for Movescount.com, which has been developed in three months from the launch into one of the most inspiring sports solutions in the digital world,” said Janne Kallio, Suunto Digital Marketing Manager.“The latest development, the innovative social training plan tool, has shown the power of our enthusiastic community. We are still warming up in our exciting hike to our long term vision.”The Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 to help set a high standard for Internet marketing and development of the world’s ‘best websites’. The organisation is made up of Internet marketing, online advertising, PR, and leading website design professionals who share an interest in improving the quality of online advertising, Internet marketing and website promotion.www.movescount.com www.suunto.com
A rendering of the restaurant at the Inn at Meadowbrook.The award-winning restaurateurs behind Café Provence and the French Market at the Village Shops have entered an agreement to operate the restaurant and café/market space at the new Inn at Meadowbrook, which is currently under construction.Register to continue
Pinterest Share “Gesturing may allow us to explore the properties of the items – for example, how the item could be held, its size, its shape, etc. – and doing so can trigger ideas for creative uses,” Kirk explains.In their first study, the researchers compared the creativity of children who spontaneously gestured with those who either did not or could not gesture.A total of 78 children, ranging from 9 to 11 years old, saw a series of images depicting ordinary household items, including a newspaper, a tin can, and a kettle. The researchers asked the children to look at each image and list as many novel uses as they could think of. The children could take as much time as they needed; when they paused, the researchers prompted them by saying “What else could you do with it?” A subset of participants completed the task twice – on one version of the task, they wore mittens that limited their ability to gesture.The researchers transcribed and coded each session, measuring the number of valid novel uses generated by each participant, as well as the originality of those responses and the diversity of categories that the responses fell under.The data showed that children spontaneously gestured and that greater gesturing was associated with a greater number of creative ideas.Restricting children’s ability to gesture did not impact their ability to come up with creative uses for the objects: Children who were free to gesture produced about the same number of ideas as those who wore the mittens and could not gesture. This may be because children still had many other idea-generating strategies at their disposal when their hands were restricted.These findings led Kirk and Lewis to wonder: Could encouraging children to gesture actually boost creativity?In a second experiment, 54 children, ranging from 8 to 11 years old, completed the same alternative uses task. In some cases, children gestured normally; in other cases, the researchers instructed the children to “use your hands to show me how you could use the object in different ways.”The data indicated that the encouragement worked: Children who gestured normally produced 13 gestures, on average, while those who were specifically prompted to gesture produced about 53 gestures, on average.And encouraging gesture in this way boosted creativity: Children who were encouraged to gesture generated a greater number of novel uses for the everyday objects than did the children who were not given any special instruction.“Our findings add to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the facilitative role of gesture in thinking and have applications to the classroom,” Kirk and Lewis conclude in their paper. “Asking children to move their hands while they think can help them tap into novel ideas. Children should be encouraged to think with their hands.” Share on Twitter Encouraging children to use gestures as they think can help them come up with more creative ideas, according to research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.“Our findings show that children naturally gesture when they think of novel ways to use everyday items, and the more they gesture the more ideas they come up with,” say psychological scientist Elizabeth Kirk of the University of York. “When we then asked children to move their hands, children were able to come up with even more creative ideas.”Existing research has shown that gesture can help with some kinds of problem-solving. Kirk and colleague Carine Lewis of the University of Hertfordshire hypothesized that it might specifically help us come up with creative or alternative uses for everyday items. Share on Facebook LinkedIn Email
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With the scheme to provide a new state of the art Marine Business Park in the North Quay area of Hayle now nearing completion, individuals and companies involved in the marine renewables and marine technology sectors are being offered the opportunity to move into the development.The project has been led by Cornwall Council with the support of Cornwall Development Company, who successfully secured European Convergence funding to deliver the first phase of the Marine Business Park, with match funding provided by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Council.The scheme forms part of a comprehensive regeneration of Hayle which has planning permission for over 800 homes, the completion of the new North Quay road infrastructure and included the new Asda supermarket on South Quay.The new business park has been delivered as part of a major economic development initiative which has delivered Wave Hub – the grid connected ‘plug’ for testing wave energy devices which lies seven miles of the coast of Hayle.“The aim of this ambitious project is to support the development of the Offshore Marine and Marine Technology Sectors by capitalising on the presence of Wave Hub and the investment in infrastructure on North Quay,” said Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture. “It forms part of an integrated wider regeneration of Hayle Harbour being led by developers, retail and leisure users.”Close to the town’s amenities, with easy access to the A30, the Marine Business Park comprises a new two storey office building providing varying sized offices and communal meeting rooms, seven industrial units totalling 1520m², all constructed to BREEAM excellent standards, and secure service yards and parking.The business park has quayside access to the sea, with plans for a new slipway in the future. There is also expansion land for a further 800m² of buildings.The Council is now looking for businesses in the marine renewables and marine technology sectors to lease space in the new Business Park.Tenancies will be offered on the basis of either a fixed term or easy in/easy out leases, with rent dependent on the type of accommodation being occupied, but expected to range from £129 per m² (£12 per ft²) for office space and £70 per m² (£6.50 per ft²) for the units. Further information regarding costings will be available from the landlord.One of the first tenants to book space is Wave Hub Ltd who have confirmed they will be leaving their current premises in Foundry Square, Hayle to move into the new Marine Business Park.Managing Director Claire Gibson, said: “We are really impressed with the Business Park, both the quality of the build and the connectivity with the Wave Hub substation.“We look forward to moving in over the next couple of months, and to working closely with the technology developers and supply chain companies that will co-locate with us on the Business Park.”Source/Image: Cornwall Council
One driver of the change from an exclusively male activity to one where the sexes are more balanced has been the greater use of IT and technology as well as the greater entry by graduates, often female, into supply chain positions and a number of initiatives, such as Women in Logistics in the UK, that actively promote careers in the globalsupply chain to women.This week’s Friday Flyer is sponsored by Broekman Project Services, located in the Port of Rotterdam, which offers a total solution for handling and assembly of project cargoes – www.broekman-group.com/bpsThe law in actionPolitics is full of examples of laws that have been passed to solve problem A, only to accidently create problem B. Sequestration in the United States and a new Act in the UK that outlaws the paying of cash for scrap metal are both examples of the law of unintended consequences in action that could come back to trouble global supply chains.Whatever was the intention on Capitol Hill, the outcome of last week’s March 1 deadline for the sequestration of US federal funds, may mean more than 8,500 US Customs and Border Protection officers and US Immigration and Customs and Enforcement personnel face termination while non-mission critical expenditures such as travel and training will be curtailed. In the short term, delays and blockages at airport, land borders and seaports are inevitable. The savings, from the staffreductions will undoubtedly run into the hundreds of millions. The costs, from delayed freight, congestion, backlog of business and trade lost, could be in the billions.Across the Atlantic ocean, lawmakers in London thought they had hit on a good idea: to prevent the theft of legitimate scrap metal, and not forgetting metal in place such as cables and equipment, they changed the law that outlawed merchants paying untraceable cash for such metal. Rather than stamping out the crime, it now seems the criminal fraternity is trying to use shipping containers to export the stolen metals abroad. The unintended effect is that innocent freight forwarders are now beingasked to look out for any container collection requests from unlikely places – such as domestic premises and farms.Both initiatives done for seemingly good reasons, but with very significant, unintended consequences for companies involved in the supply chains of those countries.On the business pagesSwiss global forwarder Panalpina presented full-year results for 2012 this week, which it described as disappointing. Revenue for 2012 may have grown 1.8 percent year-on-year to CHF6.61 billion (USD6.69 billion) but gross profit fell 0.8 percent year-on-year to CHF1.47 billion (USD1.55 billion) leading to a loss of CHF70.2 million (USD74.25 million) in 2012 – compared to a CHF127.4 million (USD134.8 million) consolidated profit during 2011. It didn’t help that Panalpina had to pay EU and Swiss anti-trust fines amounting to CHF59.2 million (USD62.6 million).Meanwhile, DHL said that a strong fourth quarter, with operating earnings climbing by 38 percent to EUR827 million, helped the company deliver operating earnings of EUR2.67 billion in 2012. This represents a nine percent increase over the previous year and a continuation of DHL’s profitable growth trend.In its Global Forwarding, Freight division; in a challenging market environment, revenues grew by more than EUR500 million, or 3.6 percent, to EUR15.7 billion during 2012 (2011: EUR15.1 billion), primarily due to positive currency effects. While volume and revenues fell in air freight during 2012, sales in ocean freight and overland transport increased. The company said that: “Thanks to the selective growth strategy and, in part, to improved buying conditions, gross margins were increased onceagain in all three business segments.The Korean Register of Shipping (KR) has opened its brand new education and training centre dedicated to international shipping and shipbuilding professionals located in Busan, South Korea.On the forwarding frontBabaji Shivram Clearing & Carriers has transported a thermal oxidizer and related cargoes from Mundra port, India to the Aishwariya project site in Barmer, Rajasthan while Indian project forwarder Allcargo Logistics has shifted a 218-tonne generator from Mumbai port to Bhagad, India, on behalf TATA Projects.Netherlands headquartered SCS Heavy Lifts & Transports has moved a heavy press frame between Ruhrarea and Ginsheim, Germany while Multitrade Spain, in co-operation with Dextra Industries & Transport, will transport a nitrate plant from Indonesia to Australia (pictured second from top).Antwerp based Rollit Cargo has handled a 6MW offshore wind turbine for its clients Rhenus/Wirtz Shipping, set for the Belwind North Sea Project (pictured bottom right).Making wavesSouthampton, UK-based boat transportation specialist PSP Worldwide Logistics has delivered a 40 m yacht to the Dubai International Boat Show after loading the 189-tonne Sunseeker yacht on board the vessel Palembang at Southampton Docks in early February.Football crazy, football madIt’s the full-time whistle for some of English football’s most iconic hardware. London-headquartered forwarder Anglo Pacific has taken the famous Wembley Stadium royal tunnel gates to a museum in Chile to join a collection of pieces related to football, tennis and other sports in Santiago. The gates were too large for standard containers for the Atlantic crossing and had to be packaged in timber casing, lifted with specialist equipment and shipped as conventional below-deck cargo.Lights, camera, actionThe arrival of giant cranes at DP World’s London Gateway – the UK’s newest deep-sea container port after a two-month voyage from China made national news in the UK with coverage by BBC cameras. The three new cranes, each weighing 2,000 tonnes and measuring 138 m at full height, are the first of their kind in the UK and are capable of lifting four containers at once, according to DP World. A further 19 cranes are expected to be delivered over the coming years.Air headsRussia’s AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has increased its number of flights from Moscow Sheremetyevo International airport to Milan to three times-a-week using a B747 freighter on the route, while Hong Kong-headquartered airline Cathay Pacific has purchased three B747-8 freighter aircraft, valued at approximately USD1 billion at list prices.Hatches, matches and dispatchesA career at International freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel International which started in the early 1970s has now concluded following the acceptance of ceo Reinhard Lange’s request to step down from May, 2013. Having been ceo since 2009, he will work as a consultant until December, 2013. The search for a replacement has begun as Karl Gernandt steps upto the plate to hold the fort until a replacement is installed.Having put in the hours at DB Schenker/BAX Global, Devin Neuburger has joined Kansas-headquartered logistics firm MIQ Logistics as logistics manager of its new global service centre in New Orleans, USA.Azat Mulgimov has come down to earth after spending the last five years as commercial director and board member of Russian cargo charter airline Aviacon Zitotrans to join global charter broker Air Charter Service (ACS) as Moscow office general director (pictured top right).Next month, Andrew Jones will ease into his office chair as ceo of Thomas Miller (Asia Pacific) Ltd at the Thomas Miller Hong Kong office. He brings with him more than two decades of experience in P&I management and claims experience.It’s aye, aye cap’n for Captain Graham Westgarth who has joined the board of Seagull AS, a provider of complete training solutions for seafarers. He is current chairman of Intertanko – the International Association of Independent Tank Owners – and former president of floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) operator, Teekay (pictured second right).Loss adjustor Braemar Adjusting has appointed Pierre Krouse as regional managing director of the Americas, effective April 2, after Chris Dye, the current post holder, departs for German multinational financial services firm Allianz, in Houston, USA after 13 years when he leaves Braemar on April 30.Robert D Somerville will retire as chairman of classification society the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) on April 30, 2013. Current president and ceo, Christopher J Wiernicki, is likely to fill the chairman position, if he gets the thumbs-up from the board.It’s ‘Go Forth, young woman’ as Scottish port operator Forth Ports appoints Debbie Bartlett as development director for the Port of Tilbury.Manfred Lauterjung Befrachtung SL (MLB Spain) is the newest member of the XLProjects (XLP) network, representing Spain. MLB Spain looks after the employment and chartering of the Lauterjung commercial fleet, as well as affiliated ship owners.MAT Transport of Switzerland has become a member of the Project Partners forwarder network while Zimmer Worldwide Logistics in Houston, Texas has also joined the network to fly the Stars and Stripes.It comes as no surprise that VN Navegacion in Bilbao, Spain has been named exclusive chartering broker for Briese Coasters, of Leer, Germany as the two companies have an established and strong trading relationship. Last year, VN Navegacion chartered approximately 50 voyages with Briese that included various project cargoes throughout Europe and the Mediterranean.All about EvieFriday Flyer gossip columnist Evie Aufheben salutes those who have worked long careers in the supply chain. She noticed Reinhard Lange steeping down from K + N after more than 40 years with the company. It’s an interesting time to be stepping down, she considers, as it is clearly a highly volatile market environment at present and last year saw declining profit margins, cost increases and an antitrust fine of CHF 65 million imposed by the European Commission in March 2012 on K + N.As a glamour puss, Evie has taken time off from packing for Shanghai, to make International Women’s Day and salute women who are bringing a feminine angle to the global supply chain. Go sisters, she says.Career opportunitiesSenior Country Head of Industrial Projects – UKOur client is a global organisation which is seeking to strengthen its management team with a Senior Country Head of Industrial Projects. The role is focused on the delivery of complex operational assignments for the company’s global clients. The successful candidate will lead and direct all business areas to ensure that Industrial Projects delivers its KPIs, consisting of market share, operational excellence, profit, cash flow and people.Please click here for further information on this opportunity.Recruiting the right person can be a costly business. Agency fees can be prohibitively high and going through countless irrelevant applications can be very time consuming. Why not follow the example shown above and advertise your employment vacancy on our website?If you have a job vacancy to fill contact us today via email@example.com or on +44 (0) 1689 860660.Join us on LinkedInThe Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International LinkedIn group complements the print and online editions of HLPFI and offers you the opportunity to discuss key issues and network with your peers and a wide cross-section of industry experts. Join the discussion now at: http://tinyurl.com/ces7odbWork is complete on Issue 31, which will include country reports on Brazil, Russia, the USA and the Gulf States; plus a review of logistics within the mining industry; a focus on heavyweight road haulage; an operational review of escort and permitting issues; an equipment focus on jacks, skates and rollers; plus our regular articles on law, insurance and safety; and letters from our regional correspondents. It will also include our first report on the logistics activities behind the movement of yachts, cruiseboats and other floating craft. There are a couple of advertising slots to fill, but you need to move fast as the issue goes to press next week. To book advertising, contact Ian Matheson on +44 (0) 1689 857631 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
EUROPE: The merger of wheel, axle and running gear component makers Gutehoffnungshütte Radsatz International Holding GmbH and Valdunes Entreprises was completed on February 1.The new GHH Group brings together production sites at Oberhausen in Germany, Dunkerque and Valenciennes in France and Liège in Belgium to give a combined capacity of more than 100 000 wheels per year. Corporate headquarters is at Oberhausen, and there are branch offices in Paris and Singapore.The Valdunes and GHH Radsatz brands will be kept. Both companies have established a strong position in their domestic markets, with Valdunes supplying the wheels for Alstom’s TGV family and GHH Radsatz producing wheels for Bombardier and Siemens trams as well as Deutsche Bahn’s S-Bahn and ICE fleets.’With their regional customer structures and different product focuses both companies complement one another nearly perfectly,’ said Managing Director of GHH Group Michael J Walter.GHH Holding was supported in the merger by investor SG Capital Europe, which owns 85% of the group. The remaining 15% is held by the management. In 2007 the group had a consolidated turnover of €210m, and 950 employees.
CROSS-CITY: Many enhancements have been made to RER Line A since it was completed across the centre of Paris in 1977. Now carrying more than 60 000 passengers/h on each track, it offers similarities to London’s Crossrail project, making a comparison particularly instructive.,Andrew Boagey, Business Director, Northern Europe, SystraMarc Genain, Project Director, SystraMajor construction work on London’s Crossrail project is expected to start in 2010. Running east-west across London, the scheme is identical in concept to the Réseau Express Régional routes in Paris, bringing passengers in from the suburbs to the heart of the city and continuing out to the other side. The most directly comparable route is RER Line A, one of five cross-city lines that make up the current RER network in Paris. Line A also runs on an east-west alignment, this being one of several common features that make comparison with the published design for Crossrail instructive.Before discussing Line A in detail, it is helpful to recap on the RER concept, which is a response to the demands of an already congested, ever-growing city. Rather than stopping at main line termini and discharging commuters into already congested stations, trains head underground as they approach the city centre, remaining there until they re-surface on the opposite side, where they continue to the outer suburbs. RER lines absorb many passengers who might otherwise board congested metro lines, which can then more readily accommodate shorter city journeys without high volumes of commuters loading and unloading at each main line terminus.Today, the growing network of RER lines serves all but three of the 20 most heavily-used stations in Paris. The five lines reach out 100 km from the city centre, and operation is shared between Paris operator RATP, which also runs the bus, tram and metro systems in the Ile-de-France metropolitian area, and the French national railway, SNCF. Agreements define the separation of responsibilities between the two organisations.RATP operates Line A and most of Line B, with 67 stations in total, retaining its emphasis on this central city market. SNCF operates over a wider network, with 181 RER stations. It also operates services to 204 suburban stations in the greater Paris area. Despite the existence of two operators, the RER lines have a common branding.The success of the RER can be measured in terms of its popularity and the growth that it has seen in recent years. In 2008 RER trains carried well over one billion passengers – around 700 million by SNCF and 450 million by RATP.High capacityThe RER is seen as something special, not least because it is closely integrated with metro, suburban and inter-city services. It seems to have established an important, yet separate, role in the urban transport network. The essence of this success seems to lie in the clarity of purpose of train operations and the relationship with the investment that has been made. Whenever RER routes have been built, planners have sought to cater for future growth. For example, the city centre tunnels and stations are constructed to generous dimensions. This has an inevitable cost, both in terms of disruption to the urban environment and in the impact on the exchequer. However, the train operators seem to acknowledge that their primary purpose is to make the best use of this financial and community investment. The consequence is a train service pattern based on station stops in the centre of the city for the minimum conceivable time with fast running from the centre right out into the suburbs.Because headways between trains in the city centre are very tight and the station dwell time is very short, high-capacity trains must be used, with the ability to load and unload as rapidly as possible. Stations are also designed to ensure that passengers can move to and from street level or interchange with other transport modes quickly and safely.Providing capacity to accommodate waiting passengers and giving space to those unable to board during periods of disruption becomes a significant design objective. When public expectations of train frequencies are high and passenger numbers are considerable, the consequence of even short delays in terms of station congestion can be significant. For this reason platforms have to be designed with spare capacity.At Châtelet-Les-Halles, where Line A intersects Line B, the station has seven platform faces and handles 160 000 passengers every day, or 48 million a year.InformationTo help speed loading and unloading, passengers are given plenty of information about train services. Display boards on the platforms indicate the calling points of limited-stop services which are scheduled to keep inbound and outbound journey times to a minimum, and quirky alphanumeric train headcodes such as Z0LA and H0YE allow regular users to make sure that they are boarding the correct train.Line A acts as a high-capacity metro in the centre of the city, with only 2 min between trains. Out in the suburbs, however, such tight headways are not so vital, not least because the trains generally run on their own dedicated tracks. Because of the critical timing on the cross-city tunnel section, this part of Line A is fitted with a separate system of cab signalling and automatic driving which is known as Sacem. This was put into service in 1989, and it can be considered as the forerunner of many communications-based train control systems in use today.Development of Line ALine A is the most heavily used RER line, accounting for more than 25% of all passengers in the Paris metropolitan area and carrying over a million passengers on most weekdays.A glance at the history of the line is helpful, as today’s railway is significantly different from the line whose first section opened in 1969 from Nation to Boissy-Saint-Léger. A short section from La Défense to Etoile followed in 1970, and this was extended east and west until 1977, when both sides of Paris were connected by a central tunnel section, running beneath Les Halles and the main line terminus at Paris Lyon. The 5·5 km central section from Auber to Nation was opened by President Giscard d’Estaing on December 8 1977. Journey time between Lyon and Auber was just 6 min, which compared with 23 min by metro. At that time, single-track capacity was 50 000 passengers/h.The line was intended to offer relief to four metro lines: Line 1 between Nation and Etoile, Line 6 between Denfert-Rochereau and Etoile, Line 4 between Dernfert-Rochereau and Châtelet, and Line 9 between Havre-Caumartin and Nation. These routes have since been joined by the driverless Line 14, which has absorbed more of the traffic moving east-west through central Paris.A northeastern branch of Line A was progressively constructed to Noisy le Grand in 1977 and Torcy in 1980. Finally, in 1989, Line A was opened to SNCF trains offering services from the new northwestern development area at Cergy and from Poissy. The line had hitherto been exclusively operated by RATP, but it was now in use by both operators. RATP remained in charge of the operations control centre and the all-important central tunnel section.SimilaritiesLine A measures 107 km from end to end, which compares with 103 km for Crossrail. It includes 25 km of tunnel, while Crossrail will have 27 km. Both routes have seven inner city stations, and there are 46 stations on both systems. Line A tunnels are generally single-track bores with a diameter of 6·4 m, which is also intended to be the diameter for the Crossrail tunnels.Train operations will also have similar service objectives. Line A in Paris now carries more than 60 000 passengers per hour in the morning peak on each track, similar to the forecast figure for central London. Platform widths are also expected to be similar, at around 6 m.The maximum speed of Line A rolling stock is 120 km/h, with an average commercial speed in the city centre of 49 km/h. Maximum station dwell time in the centre is 50 sec. This and other design targets have been achieved through careful matching of the rolling stock and signalling. Sacem is able to achieve 2 min headways between trains, allowing operators to provide a consistent level of service at 27 trains an hour. Without Sacem, the interval between trains would be 2½ min. Crossrail has similar aspirations, with automatic train operation an option under consideration for the central tunnel section.Rolling stock Line A rolling stock has evolved to meet the particular requirements of the RER. It cannot be described as either metro or suburban rolling stock by UK standards, and it has one defining characteristic: door width. Although there are three types of train in operation on Line A, typical door openings are between 22% and 24% of the side length of the stock. The first generation MS61 was a three-car set built for operation using RATP’s 1·5 kV DC power supply. Fast acceleration was a key characteristic thanks to the 1 350 kW nominal rating of the DC traction motors. Each 73 m long set is able to carry 629 passengers, and there are four sets of double doors on each side of each car.These trains have been through two major refurbishments, and the time is fast approaching when they will need replacing; RATP is currently looking at options.The second generation MI84 stock has been in service for 25 years, meaning that this fleet too will need to be replaced in the near future. These four-car trains can accept 1·5 kV DC and 25 kV 50 Hz power supplies, and nominal rated output is 3 000 kW. Each set is 104 m long and accommodates 880 passengers. In peak hours three sets operate in multiple to give 12-car formations carrying up to 2 640 passengers. Again, each car has four sets of double doors per side.In its search for more capacity, RATP examined the possibility of using double-deck stock, and the first MI2N double-deck train entered service on Line A in 1997. Another dual-voltage design, the MI2N is similar to the trains used on RER Line E. Each five-coach set has room for 1 162 passengers in a length of 112 m. Three sets of doors per car side are provided, but each doorway is wide enough to allow three people to enter or leave the train at the same time. RATP owns and operates all the rolling stock on Line A.SNCF maintains the track in the northwestern section to Cergy and Poissy, but control and regulation of train movements is handled by RATP. This is seen as preferable to the situation on the north-south Line B where until recently drivers from the two organisations changed at Paris Nord, where there is also an electrical changeover between SNCF’s 25 kV supply and the 1·5 kV DC used by RATP. On Line A drivers change between the DC traction of the central section and the AC catenary of the SNCF line at Nanterre-Préfecture.Control centre A single control centre is a significant feature of Line A and all the other RER lines. Despite the mixed operations between SNCF and RATP, this is seen as essential to providing a successful service. The operations team comprises seven front-line signallers and three staff responsible for regulation. They are overseen by an information controller, and in addition there is a passenger information system operator, a station incident manager and a depot interface manager. All are housed in the same extensive operations room.
USA: The formation of a joint venture which aims to create a wagon leasing fleet worth $1bn by the end of 2014 was announced by Trinity Industries on May 7. Trinity’s partners in RIV 2013 Rail Holdings are insurance investor Napier Park Railcar Lease Fund and a co-investor which has invested in Napier Park Fund.RIV 2013 is to acquire existing wagons from Trinity Industries Leasing Co and its subsidiaries, and place new orders with Trinity Rail Group. Trinity said the joint venture would enable it to grow its leasing activities while reducing the capital investment required. TILC, the Napier Park Fund and the co-investor have also contributed equity to complete the long-term capitalisation of TRIP Rail Holdings, which purchased 14 455 wagons from Trinity and TILC in 2007-09. TILC is to manage the TRIP and RIV 2013 fleets. ‘We are excited to partner with these institutional investors that share Trinity’s long-term view regarding the attractive nature of investing in our fleet of leased railcars,’ said Timothy R Wallace, Trinity’s Chairman, CEO & President. ‘Gaining access to this new investor base of long-term equity capital provides Trinity with a great deal of financial flexibility. In addition, we see this as a business model that can be replicated, making it an important element of our broader strategy to grow our leasing platform.’ Macquarie Capital advised Trinity on the deals. Equity interest in leasing companies RIV 2013 TRIP Commitment TILC 31% 45% $123m Napier Park Fund 60% 48% $362m Co-investor 9% 7% $50m