HS2 make or break decision looms

TRANSPORT secretary Grant Shapps says a ‘go or no-go’ decision will be made about HS2 by the end of the year. The DfT said a review will ‘consider whether and how the project should proceed’, and will take into account the benefits, cost and practicality of building lines between London, Birmingham

Abellio Takes Over East Midlands Franchise

Abellio, which won the East Midlands franchise in April this year has started operating the line, which serves the Midland Main Line. Operating as East Midlands Railway, major calling points include London St Pancras, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield, Leeds, York and Scarborough. The franchise contract is set to run for eight

New Electronic Interlocking at Linz Station

Austrian Federal Railways (OEBB) says the new electronic interlocking at Linz Station has successfully entered service. It has been connected to the railway network for ten days now. OEBB implemented the major project without a hitch. The infrastructure arm of Austrian Federal Railways, ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG, connected the new electronic interlocking (signal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson backs HS3 route

Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire Just a few days after taking office, new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to fund a faster rail route between Leeds and Manchester, which he claimed would “turbo-charge” regional growth. Speaking in front of Stephenson’s Rocket at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry, Mr Johnson said: “I

15 August: news in brief

Man who blocked Eurostar services is jailed A MAN from north London who staged a solitary protest over Brexit and the police by climbing on to a railway tunnel near St Pancras International has been jailed for a year. Terry Maher, 44, of Cubitt Street in London WC1, clambered on to

LED Bulbs – Are They Worth the Investment?

As we all know, there is no shortage of lightbulbs on and in a locomotive. With multiple applications that require a luminary, whether it be headlights on the outside, cab-lighting within, or even safety switches, the sizes and options seem to be endless. And let’s not forget the technology that

First/Trenitalia to Operate West Coast Partnership

First/Trenitalia will run the West Coast Partnership franchise from December 2019 to 2031. The two partners – FirstGroup and Trenitalia – have different areas of expertise. For example, the former is highly familiar with the British rail industry, while Trenitalia is incredibly knowledgeable about high-speed trains. The West Coast Partnership replaces

First, Trenitalia win West Coast Partnership franchise

THE government has awarded the West Coast Partnership to a consortium of FirstGroup and Trenitalia. Transport secretary Grant Shapps and Keith Williams, chair of the Rail Review, have described the deal as ‘vital to deliver the swift introduction of significant benefits for passengers’. The new contract is also designed to ‘fit

FirstGroup replaces Virgin to run West Coast route

FirstGroup, along with Italian firm Trenitalia, will operate train services on the West Coast Main Line from December 8, the Department for Transport has said. The joint partnership was awarded the West Coast Partnership (WCP) contract, which also includes responsibility for running the first HS2 trains from 2026. But the DfT said

Bombardier sees ‘positive market outlook’ for rail

BOMBARDIER: ‘The positive market outlook for the rail industry remains unchanged’, said Bombardier when it presented its second quarter results on August 1. ‘At Transportation, we have made significant progress and remain on track to complete the transformation by 2020’, said, Bombardier Inc President & CEO Alain Bellemare. ‘As we simultaneously

Northern Takes First Pacer Train Out of Service

UK rail franchise operator Northern has taken its first Pacer ‘train’ – British Rail Class 142 – out of service. The unit in question, 142005, has been in service since 1987 and has completed more than three million miles. On its final journey it carried passengers between Manchester Victoria and

DB invests in mobile data analytics company

SWITZERLAND: A company which uses mobile phone data to obtain information on travel demand has raised US$17·5m in a funding round with participants including Deutsche Bahn’s technology investment fund DB Digital Ventures, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Innogy Ventures, LBBW Venture Capital, Liil Ventures and existing investors Atomico and Lakestar. Teralytics was

DB to Analyse Passenger Behaviour Using Big Data

The branch of Deutsche Bahn dealing with new digital business models, DB Digital Ventures, is teaming up with Teralytics. This Swiss start-up performs mobility analyses using big data, something DB believes holds far-reaching potential for a customer-oriented development of its services. Using data obtained from mobile phones Teralytics supplies reliable information

Scottish line to reopen in £70m project

THE disused line to the Levenmouth area of Fife is to be reopened to passenger trains at a cost of around £70 million. Transport secretary Michael Matheson said there would be stations at Leven and Cameron Bridge. The revived link would take passengers to Edinburgh in around 70 to 75 minutes. He

Levenmouth reopening moves forward

UK: The Scottish Government has given the go-ahead for detailed design work to support the proposed reopening of the 6·5 km railway serving Levenmouth at an estimated cost of £70m, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure & Connectivity Michael Matheson confirmed on August 8. The rail link had been identified as one of

Bid to run Southeastern rail route scrapped

Bid to run Southeastern rail route scrapped. Photo: Southeastern. The bid to run Southeastern rail route has been scrapped, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced. Incumbent operator Southeastern’s rail route contract was due to expire in November, but this has been extended until April 1 next year. The franchise competition was

CAF Wins 120 Million Euro European Signalling Contracts

CAF has won signalling contracts worth more than 120 million euros (134.48 million USD) for Spain, Slovenia and Bulgaria. High-speed train in Spain © Kabelleger / David Gubler under licence CAF Signalling Contract Details for Spain The contract covers the supply of the safety installations for the Nudo de La Encina-Xátiva-Valencia section

Industry Insider Week 31 – 12 Must-Read Rail Stories

All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 31 for 29 July–02 August 2019: Rail yard behind the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, Virginia © Donnie Nunley under licence Business Stadler manufactures the Berlin S-Bahn at its Pankow site © Railway-News Stadler

Feature articles in the August 2019 issue of Railway Gazette International

Feature articles in the latest issue of Railway Gazette International, the leading business journal for railway operators and suppliers, read in 140 countries. Subscribe to Railway Gazette International today. Comment Jumping on the night train News Main Line Urban Rail Market Industry Innovations Pointers Analysis Safety crisis prompts reform in Taiwan, ERA’s cross-authorisation of rolling

Alstom to Supply 5 Additional Trains to Occitanie Region

The French regions of Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée have placed an order for an additional 5 Coradia Polyvalent trains from Alstom. Alstom Coradia Polyvalent train for Régiolis © Alstom The order is worth approximately 30 million euros (27.46 million GBP / 33.45 million USD). The region previously ordered 46 Coradia Polyvalent trains for

Abellio orders East Midlands inter-city fleet

UK: Hitachi Rail has been selected to supply a fleet of 200 km/h inter-city trains to operate on the Midland Main Line, as part of the new East Midlands Railway franchise, where Abellio is due to take over from incumbent operator Stagecoach on August 18. The NS subsidiary announced on July 30

Government plans €86bn spend to renew German network

GERMANY: A 54% increase in spending on infrastructure renewals will see €86bn invested in the national rail network over the next decade, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer announced on July 26. Unveiling a 10-year plan for 2020-29 which he described as ‘the biggest railway modernisation programme’ in Germany's history, Scheuer said the

Stadler Berlin Expansion Plans on Track

Stadler is expanding its Berlin location. The works, which will cost around 70 million euros, include the construction of an additional production hall as well as new offices and a modern canteen for its employees. Stadler says it wishes to start using the phase 1 premises starting in early 2021.

Eyre grain lines are not closed, insists GWA

AUSTRALIA: Unequal treatment of road and rail was a major factor behind the decision to suspend services on the 1 067 mm gauge network in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, according to operator Genesee & Wyoming Australia. The 700 km network was mothballed at the end of May after GWA’s only customer switched its

New lines go ahead as FS infrastructure spending approved

ITALY: A €28bn package of funding for FS Group infrastructure spending was formally approved by the government’s Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning on July 24, the state railway group has confirmed. CIPE has also approved updates to the programme contracts between the Ministry of Infrastructure & Transport and the group’s two

Sheffield City Region rail vision launched

UK: An ‘ambitious’ Integrated Rail Plan for the Sheffield City Region was launched by Mayor Dan Jarvis on July 18. The plan was produced by the region’s local authorities supported by organisations including Transport for the North. The proposals include a Barnsley Dearne Valley station in Goldthorpe on the Northern Powerhouse

Electrification, batteries and hydrogen trains should replace DMUs, says study

GERMANY: Electrification, battery power and fuel cells are the most sensible options for replacing diesel multiple-units, according to an environmental and value-for-money study undertaken by the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies. The Alternatives to DMUs in Rail Passenger Transport study was undertaken by VDE with funding from the Federal

Gautrain success foreshadows expansion

SOUTH AFRICA: Outline plans to extend Gautrain to serve more of the Gauteng region have been drawn up as part of an assessment of the project’s economic and social impact. About R110bn could be allocated for construction of extensions and 19 new stations, plus R24∙4bn on improvements to the existing

Industry Insider Week 29 – 11 Must-Read Rail Stories

All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 29 for 15–19 July 2019: Refurbished interior of the Class 175 with new carpets and upholstery © Transport for Wales Policy Rail Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2019 © Network Rail Report Shows Progress on

Auckland City Rail Link contract signed

NEW ZEALAND: The main contract for construction of the tunnels and stations on the Auckland City Rail Link was formally signed on July 19, at an event attended by Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. Project promoter City Rail Link had selected the Link Alliance consortium in April,

Network Rail Investments: New Trains and New Services

UK: Network Rail has published its annual report and accounts for the year ending 31 March 2019. During that twelve-month period train operating companies added almost 3,000 new services a week. This generated vital additional capacity and seats and was the result of record investment in the country’s rail infrastructure. London Bridge

Electrification goes live in northern Portugal

PORTUGAL: Prime Minister António Costa and Housing & Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos attended ceremonies on July 16 to mark completion of two electrification schemes on routes north of Porto. Both projects are part of the government’s Ferrovia 2020 investment plan. A 14·2 km section of the Porto – Pocinho Douro

European Commission Says Yes to Latvian Railway Electrification

The Latvian rail network electrification project has received the go-ahead from the European Commission. The European Commission’s independent technical assistance experts published positive results about both the project and its economic feasibility. In 2017 the Cabinet of Ministers also said it was in favour of the Latvian Railways project. Electrified railway line

Study considers how to assess ‘green’ investment in rail

EUROPE: The European Commission has published a study into criteria used to classify railway assets and activities as environmentally sustainable, and to provide insights into potential ‘greenwashing’. This is intended to facilitate the rail sector’s access to ‘green’ bonds, which the Commission believes could be used to finance a significant share

Industry Insider Week 28 – 10 Must-Read Rail Stories

All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 28 for 08–12 July 2019: Jazz train for Trenitalia © Railway-News Rolling Stock British Rail Class 720 Aventra EMU for Abellio Greater Anglia © Bombardier Greater Anglia’s Bombardier Fleet Begins Testing The first of the

Report Shows Progress on Diversity in Transport

DfT: Published on 11 July a report has shown strong progress is being made in boosting the number of apprenticeships in under-represented groups within the transport industry. Rail Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2019 © Network Rail Transport & Rail Sector Diversity The Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce’s (STAT) 3-year progress report shows BAME representation in

UK: Cutting-Edge Experimental Rail Facility Gets Funding

The British government has confirmed funding for a research facility covering conventional and high-speed rail in Leeds.  The University of Leeds’ Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration has set itself the goal of revolutionising how railway systems are invented, developed and put into service in the UK and globally.

Unipart Rail – Supporting the Devolved Railway

A devolved railway needs a new way of thinking. It needs to be underpinned by a robust supply chain that is agile, delivers effective planning and sourcing and places the requirements of the digital railway at its core. Through this time of change, the supply chain needs to align itself to

Oberösterreich railway investment programme agreed

AUSTRIA: The Land of Oberösterreich and Austrian Federal Railways have agreed an €725m programme of route modernisation, station upgrading and electrification works for 2019-30. This agreement includes the retention of all branch lines, and the roll-out of new singalling and safety systems. ÖBB is to retain ownership of all lines in the region,

9 July: news in brief

Government urged to electrify more railways as well as cars THE government has announced investment of £37 million in electric vehicle charging points, but the Campaign for Better Transport has responded by calling for more investment in rail electrification as well. The group’s chief executive Darren Shirley said: ‘We welcome the

South Coast Rail groundbreaking ceremony

USA: A groundbreaking ceremony at East Freetown in Massachusetts on July 2 officially marked the start of work on Phase 1 of the South Coast Rail commuter project. The $1·047bn project will extend Boston’s Middleborough Line commuter rail services to Taunton, New Bedford and Fall River, the only major cities within

£20 million fund to help disabled rail passengers

Disabled rail passengers will benefit from a £20 million fund to boost accessibility, the Department for Transport (DfT) said. Railway station operators will be able to bid for a share of the investment for small-scale improvements such as textured paving, handrails and raising platform heights. Disabled rail passengers will benefit from a

Munich Orders 73 Additional Avenio Trams from Siemens

Germany: Stadtwerke München (SWM) has ordered 73 additional Avenio trams from Siemens Mobility. This contract is worth 200 million euros (225 million USD). SWM is taking advantage of existing options of a previously agreed framework agreement. Siemens Mobility will begin delivering the new vehicles in 2021. These Avenio trams will

CP and EMEF to merge ahead of market opening

PORTUGAL: The government has approved a €45m capital investment programme for both national operator CP and rolling stock maintenance business EMEF. To be funded from the state budget, the 2019-22 plan approved on June 27 has two parts. The first covers investment of €9m in 2019, primarily to enable EMEF to

Genesee & Wyoming to be acquired in US$8·4bn deal

INTERNATIONAL: A consortium of Brookfield Infrastructure, GIC and Brookfield’s institutional partners have agreed to acquire short line group Genesee & Wyoming Inc in a US$8·4bn transaction. The consortium would pay US$112 per share in cash, with G&W becoming a privately held company. ‘We believe this transaction is an excellent outcome for all

Midlands Hub plan to boost east-west connectivity

UK: The Midlands Connect consortium of local authorities and regional transport bodies has unveiled proposals for a £2bn package of targeted improvements to boost rail services in the East and West Midlands. The group is seeking £25m in government funding to develop the business case for its Midlands Rail Hub programme,

New CAF Trains for Northern to Enter Service on 1 July

United Kingdom: On 1 July the first nine trains of Northern’s new fleet for local services will enter service.  A Class 331 Civity EMU for Northern by CAF © Northern The trains will operate services between Cumbria and Manchester Airport, Liverpool and Manchester Airport, and Doncaster and Leeds. In total, Northern’s new fleet

Swiss approve SFr13bn infrastructure investment package

SWITZERLAND: The upper house of Parliament (Ständerat) voted unanimously on June 21 in favour of a further phase of rail infrastructure expansion to eliminate bottlenecks, allow more frequent services and make stations more accessible. Worth SFr12∙89bn, the investment package known as STEP 2035 (Strategische Entwicklungsprogramm Bahninfrastruktur) covers around 200 large and

Switzerland approves SFr13bn infrastructure investment package

SWITZERLAND: The upper house of Parliament (Ständerat) voted unanimously on June 21 in favour of a further phase of rail infrastructure expansion to eliminate bottlenecks, allow more frequent services and make stations more accessible. Worth SFr12∙89bn, the investment package known as STEP 2035 (Strategische Entwicklungsprogramm Bahninfrastruktur) covers around 200 large and

Virgin Trains breaks ground on Orlando extension

USA: Virgin Trains USA held a ‘Red Spike’ groundbreaking ceremony at Orlando International Airport on June 24 to launch construction work on its 275 km Phase 2 extension from West Palm Beach. Contracts were awarded in May for construction of Phase 2, which represents a private-sector investment of $4bn. The project

Bringing a Freight Line Back to Life in Colombia

Colombia is a country that has seen more than its fair share of political struggles. At the same time it is filled with opportunities, including for the rail sector. Railway lines in the country have fallen into disuse. One company, Holdtrade Atlantico, wants to reinstate a freight railway line in

50 Years of Expertise in High Performance UPS Solutions

Our customers tell us that we are their best asset when it comes to protecting critical infrastructure and ensuring power availability with our high performance UPS solutions. The reason? Because you’re our inspiration. For more than 50 years, we have partnered with you to continuously evolve our products and services. Including modular

Beyond the Digital Buzzwords

The New European Rail Supply Industry’s Vision on Digitalisation By Tommaso Spanevello, Public Affairs Manager, UNIFE In recent years, digitalisation has been advancing at increasing speed across all industrial sectors, public entities and society at large; and the rail sector is no exception. While sometimes perceived as being conservative, the truth is that rail

FRA awards $326m for rail infrastructure works

USA: More than $326m in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Improvements and Special Transportation Circumstances grant funding for 45 rail infrastructure projects in 29 states has been announced by the Federal Railroad Administration. ‘These investments in inter-city passenger and freight rail will benefit surrounding communities, make grade crossings safer and improve

Equality. Diversity. Inclusion. This Is Not Altruism.

On 23 June it is International Women in Engineering Day. HS2 Ltd is one of the companies in rail proactively working towards changing the employment landscape in construction and engineering. Curzon Street Station visual © HS2 Ltd At Railtex this year Mark Lomas, Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at HS2, gave a

FS Group forms US subsidiary

USA: Italian state railway group FS has established FS Italian Railways USA Inc with the aim of developing its activities in the North American market. FS said the mass transit, high speed and freight markets ‘offer interesting growth possibilities, especially in the large metropolitan areas’, thanks to an increase in investment

Electro-diesel train financing approved

SPAIN: The European Investment Bank approved a €100m loan on June 13 to part-finance the planned €201m procurement of 26 electric and five electro-diesel trainsets for use by RENFE on suburban and rural services on the former FEVE metre-gauge network in northern Spain. EIB said the replacement of life-expired rolling stock

Rail, metro and tram spending in New South Wales budget

AUSTRALIA: Several rail projects have been allocated funding in the 2019-20 New South Wales budget, which was presented on June 18. The state government is providing A$812m as part of a A$1·8bn package over four years towards the New Intercity Fleet. The RailConnect consortium of Hyundai Rotem, Mitsubishi Electric Australia and

UWC Ships 26 Tank Cars to GATX Rail Vostok

United Wagon Company (UWC) has shipped 26 tank cars to GATX Rail Vostok. The subsidiary of GATX Corporation will use these tank cars to transport molasses and vegetable oils.  UWC stainless steel tank car for molasses and vegetable oils © UWC UWC says this tank car is a new addition to its product

London: CAF to Supply 43 Metro Trains for DLR

CAF has signed a contract with Transport for London (TfL) for the design and manufacture of 43 new driverless metro trains for the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). CAF to supply new metro trains for London – DLR Stratford International extension © Transport for London The Spanish rolling stock manufacturer will deliver 43

The Network in Transit(ion)

Global Demand for Transportation is on the Rise Co-authored by: Kyle Connor, IoT and Transportation Industry Principal, at Cisco &Dani Schrakamp, Global Government Market Manager, at Cisco The past year turned out to be a success for the rail industry – outperforming the original projected growth rate, rail traffic grew at 2.9

Passenger figures are rising again

THE number of railway journeys made between April 2018 and March this year set a new record, according to the Office of Rail and Road. The ORR says the total for 2018-19 was 1.759 billion journeys. The figure was driven by a 3 per cent increase nationally, amounting to about 50

Bombardier Launches Updated MITRAC Solutions

Bombardier launched its latest version of its MITRAC solution at UITP in Stockholm.  Bombardier’s TALENT 3 Battery Electric Train © Bombardier The mobility provider has updated its MITRAC solution to reduce life-cycle costs. This reduces both investment and running costs for operators. Further, the new solution will have a smaller negative impact

Operail concerned about infrastructure charges

ESTONIA: State owned logistics company Operail has reported a net profit of €2·6m for the first three months of 2019, double the figure for the same period last year. Chairman Raul Toomsalu said the main source of profit was the lease fleet of 2 100 wagons, with revenue up 65% as

Tambo Springs terminal ‘will change the face of Gauteng’

SOUTH AFRICA: The Southern Palace Joint Venture Consortium has won a 20-year concession to design, finance, build and operate a major intermodal terminal serving Gauteng province. Announcing the ‘historic public and private sector partnership’ on June 5, Transnet said the R2∙5bn terminal forming part of the Gauteng Integrated Transport Master Plan

Record Jack Numbers Boost Mechan Order Book

Rail maintenance equipment specialist, Mechan, is enjoying record-breaking demand for its flagship lifting jacks, securing orders for more than 160 already this year. Most of the jacks specified so far are being built by the Sheffield-based manufacturer for UK rail depots, although sets will also be heading to France and New

US Supreme Court Rules against the AAR

In a battle that formally began in the courts in 2011 but that has its roots in the 2008 Passenger Railroad Investment and Improvement Act, the US Supreme Court has sided with Amtrak and against the Association of American Railroads (AAR).  Amtrak train © Jerry Huddleston under licence The AAR was seeking

Leo Express unveils its Chinese EMUs

CZECH REPUBLIC: The three multi-system electric multiple-units being built for open access operator Leo Express by Chinese manufacturer CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive are nearing completion and on course for delivery in the second half of the year, the operator confirmed on June 3. The inter-city EMUs are due to undergo certification

Borne backs early extension of Rhin-Rhône high speed line

FRANCE: Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne has agreed to ‘look again’ at the timescale for completing the second phase of the LGV Rhin-Rhône high speed line, serving Dijon and Mulhouse. LGV Rhin-Rhône opened with the December 2011 timetable change, covering an initial 140 route-km between Auxonne, east of Dijon, and Petit-Croix, southeast of

Port deal secures iron ore rail link

BRAZIL: Plans for a rail-served iron ore mine in the southern part of Bahia state are expected to move ahead, following the signing of agreements for the development of bulk export terminals at the new Porto Sul deep-water facility near Ilhéus and the founding of a special purpose company to

Industry Insider Week 21 – 12 Must-Read Rail Stories

All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 21 for 20–24 May 2019: Stadler’s Euro Dual Locomotive for ELP © Stadler Rolling Stock Euro Dual Hybrid Locomotive © Stadler Stadler Delivers More Hybrid Locomotives for European Freight Corridors Stadler have entered into a contract

Virgin Trains USA Begin Construction of Orlando Expansion

In January 2017 Brightline began operating rail services in Florida, USA. In November that year Brightline and Virgin Group formed a strategic partnership. Brightline rebranded as Virgin Trains USA with plans to continue growing the country’s first privately funded intercity passenger trains in more than 100 years. Fast forward to April

Virgin Trains USA awards Phase 2 construction contracts

USA: Virgin Trains USA announced the award of contracts for construction of the 270 km West Palm Beach – Orlando International Airport Phase 2 of its inter-city corridor on May 21, saying they represented a total private investment of $4bn. Passenger services on Virgin Trains USA’s existing Miami – West Palm Beach

Fahma Orders 27 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trains from Alstom

The Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund (RMV) subsidiary Fahma GmbH, which operates the Taunusbahn, has chosen a winner of its Europe-wide tender for 27 fuel cell trains: Alstom. The French rolling stock manufacturer will deliver the Coradia iLint units in time for the timetable change in December 2022. Alstom says this order will

Slow growth in private finance of rolling stock

EUROPE: Private sector funding accounted for 42% of all rolling stock orders placed in 2015-17, but only 23% by volume, according to a market study published on May 20. Undertaken for the Rail Working Group by Roland Berger, the study is the third to look at the evolution of the market.

Industry Insider Week 20 – 12 Must-Read Rail Stories

All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 20 for 13–17 May 2019: Rendering of Siemens Mobility’s Velaro Novo high-speed train © www.siemens.com/press Rolling Stock Alstom Coradia Polyvalent in France © Markus Eigenheer under licence Five Additional Coradia Polyvalent Trains for Région

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