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”We are delighted to present MSC Zoe to Germany on her maiden call in Hamburg,” said Dittmar Vösterling, Managing Director of MSC Germany GmbH.”Her arrival opens the way for even stronger ties between MSC and Hamburg. Today, in addition to our container business MSC also offer a range of dedicated intermodal services to customers connecting Hamburg to major business centres throughout Germany.”The video below shows the arrival of the giant boxship and the welcome it received while approaching the Port of Hamburg. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) christened its third ‘Oscar Class,’ 19,224 TEU container ship – MSC Zoe – at the Port of Hamburg on August 1.MSC Zoe is the third of a total of twenty mega-vessels which are scheduled for delivery by the end of the year.MSC took delivery of its second 19,224 TEU container ship – MSC Oliver – in March, two months after its record breaking sister ship MSC Oscar was inaugurated at the DSME shipyard in Busan, South Korea.The ships are built to exacting engineering standards at Daewoo’s Shipbuilding and Maritime Engineering (DSME) Shipyard in South Korea and sail under the Panama flag.
The parties will combine their ownership in the jointly owned entities Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (jointly owned 100 percent), Eukor Car Carriers (jointly owned 80 percent) and American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (jointly owned 100 percent) in a new entity named Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA, and list it on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The companies have agreed to merge the ownership of their vessels, affected assets and liabilities. “The markets in which the jointly owned entities operate are going through rapid change and require a more agile and efficient business model,” said Jan Eyvin Wang, president and ceo of Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA. “In addition to establishing a common owner and governance structure, the proposed merger is expected to enable synergies between USD50-100 million by combining the assets and harvesting economies of scale, including more optimal tonnage planning, and administrative, commercial and operational efficiencies between the entities.” When the transaction is completed Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA and Wallenius Lines AB will have equal ownership in the new entity and plan to own approximately 40 percent each, with the remaining shares on the market. The final terms and ownership level will be confirmed when legal agreements and relevant approvals are granted, probably by the end of 2016, with the deal expected to close by the first quarter of 2017. Craig Jasienski, current ceo and president of Eukor Car Carriers, will be appointed ceo for the new company. To facilitate this transition, he has been named joint ceo for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Eukor Car Carriers.In another move, Christopher J. Connor, president and ceo of WWL since 2013, has been appointed chairman, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Land Based Holdings, the rapidly growing business, which includes port and plant-based vehicle processing for automobiles and heavy equipment, marine terminals and inland transportation.In this capacity, he will lead a strategic review targeting accelerated growth of the company’s land-based business and says, “the strategic review process will get us ready to continue that pace over the next decade.” www.wilhelmsen.comwww.walleniuslines.comwww.eukor.comwww.arrcnet.com
The Ministry of Justice has said there is ‘no strong evidence’ to suggest legal aid cuts have affected hearing times.In a document published today, the department said the mean duration per hearing in private law cases after 2013 was 74 minutes – just a minute longer than the mean recorded before the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) was implemented.In cases whether neither party was represented, hearing times fell by six minutes post-LASPO, from 69 minutes to 63 minutes.Where both parties were represented, hearing times went up by 10 minutes post-LASPO, from 79 minutes to 89 minutes.However, the MoJ emphasised there are a number of caveats with the main finding, the most important of which is that data was based on ‘estimated rather than actual’ hearing durations.From April 2013, legal aid became available only for private family law cases (such as contact or divorce) if there is evidence of domestic violence or child abuse and child abduction cases. Legal aid remains available for public family law cases such as adoption.Despite an increase in the number of parties without legal representation since the cuts were introduced, the figures appear to contradict concerns about litigants in person slowing down the court system.Shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter told personal injury lawyers yesterday that the capacity for courts to operate effectively was in doubt.He said: ‘It can’t be healthy that meritorious claims are not reaching court while court time is clogged with litigants in person who, because they are not receiving the benefit of legal advice, may be pursuing hopeless cases.’Though the data analysed by the MoJ is based on estimated hearing times, the ministry has identified ways in which the ‘evidence gap’ could be addressed in future.
In her first significant announcement since taking office, lord chancellor Liz Truss will today back a £1bn programme to extend online courts to criminal offences.A vision paper to be published by the Ministry of Justice and HM Judiciary today will set out plans for digital processes in every court and tribunal in England and Wales.The programme will build upon Sir Brian Leveson’s review of efficiency in criminal proceedings, published in January last year. Leveson called for the introduction of ‘virtual hearings’ by email and video ‘on a more organised basis’.In such hearings, defendants, victims and witnesses ‘will be able to participate via an audio or video link’.Today’s Transforming Our Justice System paper will propose the extension of pilot projects in Crown courts allowing crime victims and witnesses to prerecord their cross-examinations to avoid the trauma of court appearances. Almost three-quarters of the cases in the pilot programmes, run in Liverpool, Leeds and Kingston-upon-Thames Crown courts, involved sexual offences.Meanwhile online magistrates’ courts will enable defendants in less serious cases to plead guilty online. Transport fare dodging will be the first category of offences to be dealt with in this way. Defendants will be able to log on to see the evidence against them before entering a plea.If they plead guilty, they will be given the choice of whether to accept the conviction and penalty and then pay the fine online. Defendants who do not wish to accept the fine because of mitigating circumstances or insufficient means will be able to choose to have a magistrate consider that information. The process would allow defendants to conclude their case faster and with greater certainty, and means magistrates and courts can focus their resources and attentions where they are most needed, the ministry said. Truss (pictured) said: ‘We want a justice system that works for everyone. That means creating a system that is just, efficient and simple. We have the tools and the technology to cut unnecessary paperwork, to deliver swifter justice and to make the experience more straightforward.’Most importantly these reforms will allow us to better protect victims and witnesses who can find the experience of re-living a traumatic event in court incredibly stressful.’
ON JANUARY 28 Chicago Transit Authority issued a request for proposals for 206 metro cars, with options that could bring the total to 706. Bids are due in mid-2005, with deliveries to begin in 2008. The new cars are intended to replace the 2200 series Budd vehicles dating from 1969-70 and 2400 series Boeing-Vertol cars delivered in 1976-78. They will be CTA’s first cars with AC propulsion and regenerative braking. Funding will come from the federal government and Illinois DoT.Following trials with two cars earlier this year, CTA has decided to adopt longitudinal seating in the new cars, increasing the space for standing passengers whilst maintaining the same 39 seats as the existing cars. There will be two wheelchair spaces per vehicle. Regional commuter rail operator Metra is to take delivery this spring of 26 stainless steel bi-level EMU cars ordered from Sumitomo Corp as part of a programme to replace the 160-car Highliner fleet and build a new EMU depot. Later phases may be delayed, however, as Metra has had to cut $117m from its 2005 capital budget after the state legislature failed to renew the five-year $12bn Illinois FIRST programme. n
TOILET: TBM Rail has developed a gravity-fed toilet designed to minimise blockages. Managing Director Andrew Hawker says that while gravity-fed designs are ‘often the simplest and smallest-footprint option’, they ‘have become infamous for blockages and resulting servicing problems’.‘A number of companies shared with us data on service levels, usage figures and technical information’, he said. ‘Working in partnership with specialist washroom manufacturer Franke, we have produced a bespoke gravity-fed WC that dramatically reduces the incidents of blockages. It is impossible to remove the problem entirely as there is a small minority of the travelling public who seek to block toilets purposely.’A material thickness of 1·5 mm provides stability and durability, and there is a securing plate to fix to the floor.
TURKEY: Tüvasaş and Voith have opened a joint maintenance, repair, and assembly workshop at the Turkish rolling stock manufacturer’s bogie plant in Adapazarı. The workshop undertakes the maintenance and repair of Voith Turbo transmissions used on DMUs operated by national railway TCDD, as well as local assembly activities and the testing of Voith automatic Scharfenberg couplers for the Ankara metro. A team of Voith specialists from Germany provided technical training for Tüvasaş personnel at the workshop, to support local added value and technology transfer objectives.
UK: Chiltern Railways launched passenger services between London Marylebone and new stations at Bicester Village and Oxford Parkway on October 26. The trains use a 1 km chord which has been built to connect the Chiltern main line through Bicester with the existing Oxford – Bicester Town branch.The stations were specified by Chiltern Railways, with Network Rail awarding a joint venture of Carillion and Buckingham Group Contracting the contract to undertake the infrastructure works. This included construction of the chord and stations, doubling 18 km of track between Oxford and Bicester, raising the line speed to 160 km/h, resignalling and eliminating 36 level crossings. Bicester Village station replaces Bicester Town, and serves a popular retail destination. Oxford Parkway is located on the outskirts of the city and according to Network Rail is designed ‘explicitly to be attractive to motorists’, with 1 500 parking spaces close to the junction of major roads. There will be a bus link between Oxford Parkway and Oxford station until spring 2016, when the completion of infrastructure works will enable Chiltern Railways trains to reach the city.There are two trains an hour to London, with a journey time from 56 min. This offers Oxford – London commuters an alternative to Great Western Railway services into London Paddington via Reading, and Chiltern Railways say it expects the new service to attract an additional 250 000 return commuter journeys each year. The operator says it has provided £130m of the £320m cost of the new line and stations, with Network Rail contributing £190m. Network Rail provided the capital for the upgrade, and will recover this through a facility charge over the next 30 years, payable by the current and future franchisees from farebox revenue.‘Our significant and unique investment will be economically advantageous for the regional economy creating competition in the rail market between Oxford and London, as well as delivering the first new service between a major British city and London for over 100 years’, said Chiltern Railways Managing Director, Rob Brighouse.Alan Dare, formerly Strategic Development Director at Chiltern Railways, described the project in detail in the May 2014 issue of Railway Gazette International which subscribers can access in the digital archive.