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Lineas has expanded its Green Xpress enhanced wagonload freight network with the launch of a Lyon Xpress service linking Lyon and Antwerpen in 16 h, with onward connections to the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia. Lyon Xpress initially runs twice a week, leaving Lyon on Thursday and Saturday, but is to be expanded to three trains per week during April and five ‘as rapidly as possible’.Hansebahn Bremen has leased a Vossloh G6 and two G1206 locomotives from Northrail for a further three years.European Rail Rent has awarded Đuro Đaković Specijalna Vozila a 34·5m kuna contract to supply Type Shimmns four-axle steel coil wagons in Q3 2018.Russian Railways and the governor of Saratov oblast have signed a co-operation agreement for the construction of the 30 km Saratov western freight bypass, which is intended to increase capacity by diverting through traffic away from the city.VTG Rail UK has begun transporting beer from Padova in Italy to Tilbury near London. Each train comprises 13 Megafret platform wagons with 45 ft shipping containers, which carry empty barrels on the return leg.Kronospan has order a further 500 Type 13-6852-02 timber wagons from United Wagon Co’s TikhvinSpetsMash subsidiary.The first freight train arrived at Obltransterminal’s Vostochny intermodal hub in the Noginsk region of Moscow oblast on March 14, carrying 95 containers of consumer goods, industrial equipment and construction materials. The facility is scheduled for completion 2020, which it will be able to handle up to 12 container trains per day.On March 5 Polish broad gauge operator PKP LHS inaugurated a local control centre in Zamość Bortatycze. The 24·5m złoty facility built by Kombud monitors 47 km of the line.The Scottish government’s rail investment strategy ‘is welcome news for those moving goods and services’, according to the UK’s Freight Transport Association. However, FTA cautioned that ‘it is imperative that the Scottish government does not allow rail freight to become the poor relation in investment terms. A funding gap of £460m means that improvements will need to be prioritised, and we are urging Transport Scotland to keep the needs of freight in mind when making decisions about where the money will be spent.’Rail Cargo Group has begun transporting pallets of bottled beer across the Czech Republic between Pilsner Urquell brewery in Plzeň and the Radegast brewery at Nošovice. This traffic previously went by road.HS2 Ltd has confirmed that the land occupied by DB Cargo UK’s workshops at Toton near Nottingham will not be required to build High Speed 2. DB Cargo UK’s Chief Executive Hans-Georg Werner said he hoped this would put an end to speculation that the depot would have to be ‘hastily relocated’ to make way for HS2. ‘While the site may have to move to accommodate new economic development associated with the HS2 hub station at some time over the next 15 to 20 years, there is time to work with all interested parties to ensure a holistic approach is taken’, he said on March 22.
The UN report has urged the identification of perpetrators of attacks, saying they should be held accountable. The UN report has urged the identification of perpetrators of attacks, saying they should be held accountable.The United Nations has lamented the heavy toll that armed conflict has had in Somalia, saying the war had killed thousands of people, displaced millions, damaged infrastructure and livelihoods as well as impeded access to humanitarian relief for communities in need.A report released UN Human Rights Office and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) shows that a total of 2,078 civilian had been killed in the period from 1 January 2016 to 14 October 2017, while 2,507 others were injured.The report dubbed “Protection of Civilians: Building the Foundation for Peace, Security and Human Rights in Somalia,” indicates that more than half the casualties (60 per cent) were attributed to al-Shabaab militants.It added that 13 per cent of the casualties were attributed to clan militias, 11 per cent to State actors including the army and the police, four per cent to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), and 12 per cent to unidentified or undetermined attackers.The report said that the unlawful attacks targeted civilians through the use of indiscriminate bomb and suicide attacks by non-state groups.It urged the identification of perpetrators of such attacks, saying they ought to be held accountable.“Such attacks, which are prohibited under international human rights and humanitarian laws, are, in most cases, likely to constitute war crimes, and it is imperative that perpetrators are identified and held accountable,” it said.The worst incident on a single day was the twin bomb blasts in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on 14 October, attributed to Al-Shabaab by Somali government officials, in which at least 512 people are officially recorded to have died as of 1 December, along with 357 injured.
ROAD RUNNING: THE good folk of Port Moresby Road Runners were asked recently what their favourite running venue is. They have been voting with their feet and the declaration of the poll was made on Saturday afternoon. The winner is, by a country mile, the University of Papua New Guinea. The Waigani campus has held the record for the biggest number of participants since 10 February 2001 when 78 hardy souls turned out. The Holiday Inn came close to the record two weeks ago when 76 rolled up. But the University smashed its own record on Saturday afternoon when 94 runners and walkers, including many in the “Liklik” (under 12 years of age) category, relished the coolish, breezy, traffic-free, quiet and peaceful conditions on offer. Old timers will say that there were occasions in the 1980s when the century mark was beaten. Yes, that’s a good story but where are the records to prove it? They are still looking for them. Fifty-one completed the 2.8-km course, led home in grand style by the fleet-footed youngster Joshua John in 11 minutes and 39 seconds. This boy is still on a sharp improvement curve. He won the same race at this venue in January, in 12.29, so he has gone 50 seconds faster this time around. Speaking of improvement, no one can go past young Falyn Buda who won the female category of the 5.6-km race, finishing in outright eighth place in a field of 34, in 29.27. Skene Kiage ran so fast in the long race, over 11.2 km, that he got home quicker, in 47.42, than the last half-dozen 5.6-km finishers. And he won, of course, beating eight other diehards who edged the score towards 100, before Henry Horou brought the proceedings to a close in the soft and soothing dusk in 98.44. Next Saturday the action is on again, at another popular venue: Ela Beach, where three events of similar distance will be conducted.