Go-Go’s Musical Head Over Heels Aiming for Broadway Run During 2018-2019 Season

first_imgMichael Mayer(Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Head Over Heels View Comments Head Over Heels, a new musical featuring the hits of 1980s girl group the Go-Go’s, looks likely for a 2018-2019 Broadway run, according to a recent Equity casting notice. Avenue Q Tony winner Jeff Whitty is writing the script for the musical with Tony winner Michael Mayer (The Terms of My Surrender) directing, Spencer Liff as choreographer and Tony winner Tom Kitt as music supervisor. Gwyneth Paltrow was reported to have signed on as producer of the musical in 2016; Rick Ferrari, Donovan Leitch and Christine Russell are listed as producers on the casting notice.Inspired by Sir Philip Sidney’s 16th-century pastoral romance, Arcadia, the new musical is an Elizabethan love story turned on its head. There’s a duke, a mysterious prophecy and two daughters: one mobbed by suitors, the other…not so much. All of this is set to the beat of 1980s pop icons the Go-Go’s. The tuner made its world premiere under the direction of Ed Sylvanus Iskandar in the summer of 2016 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.The show held a recent workshop that starred Broadway alums Michael Park (Dear Evan Hansen), Rachel York (Disaster!), Kristolyn Lloyd (Dear Evan Hansen), Tom Alan Robbins (Newsies), Bonnie Milligan (Kinky Boots), Alexandra Socha (Spring Awakening), Andrew Durand (War Horse), Lawrence Alexander (Follies), DeMarius R. Copes (Newsies), Yurel Echezarreta (Aladdin), Ari Groover (Holler If Ya Hear Me), Brandon Hudson (Hamilton), Nina Lafarga (On Your Feet!), Samantha Zack (Wicked), Jenny Laroche (Smash) and Shakina Nayfack.Originally fronted by Belinda Carlisle, the Go-Go’s were the first and only all-female band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts. Their hits include “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “We Got the Beat,” “Vacation” and of course, “Head Over Heels.”center_img Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 6, 2019last_img read more

UVM Medical Center rebukes federal enforcement actions threatening patient reproductive rights

first_imgThe University of Vermont Medical Center,Hospital reaffirms the compliance of its employee medical procedure opt-out policies in letter to US Department of Health and Human ServicesUniversity of Vermont Medical Center The University of Vermont Medical Center sent a letter today to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reaffirming its compliance with federal laws that provide hospital employees the ability to reasonably opt-out of participating in medical procedures they oppose on religious or personal beliefs, which include reproductive care, sterilizations, blood transfusions, and others. The letter is in response to December 11 and December 14 correspondence from HHS threatening the hospital with federal enforcement stemming from an August 2019 “Notice of Violation” OCR issued to UVM Medical Center and the press, despite lacking any legal authority to do so. The administration’s new threat of litigation is an abrupt turnaround by HHS’s and OCR’s leaders, who agreed late last year to not recommend any further enforcement of OCR’s 2019 allegations, following multiple decisions by federal courts rejecting OCR’s interpretation of the law. In the letter, UVM Medical Center informed HHS that it declined to further alter its opt-out policies and practices in a manner that would create barriers to the delivery of safe, legal, and effective reproductive health care and is also not required by law. In fact, since receiving OCR’s “Notice of Violation” last summer, the hospital has only strengthened its already-compliant provider opt-out policies and practices. For instance, the hospital has improved the way it schedules both patients and staff for pregnancy termination procedures, utilizing regular, designated operating room times for those procedures whenever possible and staffing them with providers who have opted into participating. Through this and other recent changes, UVM Medical Center’s goal is to eliminate those instances – already exceedingly rare – in which employees’ religious or moral beliefs come into conflict with the hospital’s patient care obligations, while enhancing the care provided to patients.“As the primary tertiary care center for our region, we have an obligation to provide access to safe and legal reproductive health care to our patients who rely on us,” said Stephen Leffler, MD, President and Chief Operating Officer of UVM Medical Center. “At the same time, since we were first contacted by OCR last year, we have taken a thorough look at all of our policies and practices and have modified and strengthened them to respect the many beliefs of the thousands of care givers that work here. OCR’s latest threats are not just baseless from a legal standpoint, they’re an attack on reproductive care and we will do everything we can to protect our patients’ access to the services they need.”The response by UVM Medical Center points out that the latest threat by HHS defies recent decisions issued by federal courts across the country, which have rejected the legal theory on which the current presidential administration is relying in its attempt to prevent the hospital from providing pregnancy termination services. Statement from Meagan Gallagher, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund:”For patients, health care is personal, not political. Government interference should never determine patient care. Barriers to safe, legal abortion infringe on people’s rights and dignity, and go against every commitment we make to patients as health care providers. This latest attack on the UVM Medical Center is nothing more than a political game by a lame duck administration. As health care providers we will continue doing everything we can to ensure that patients have access to compassionate abortion care.”Attorney General Donovan’s Statement in Support of UVM Medical Center and the Right to an AbortionThe Vermont Attorney General’s Office continues to stand with the University of Vermont (UVM) Medical Center in its opposition to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) unwarranted issuance of a notice of violation in August 2019 based upon UVM Medical Center’s decision to offer elective abortions and its Conflict of Care policy. A conflict of care policy is a medical center’s policy regarding instances in which a medical provider may wish to remove themselves from a procedure due to religious or moral conflicts.In contrast to HHS’s notice of violation, UVM Medical Center’s Conflict of Care policy presents a reasonable balance between honoring the religious objections of its employees and its obligation to provide essential health care to patients in predominately rural communities with limited access to providers. Significantly, HHS’s notice of alleged violation against UVM Medical Center continues to raise serious constitutional concerns as an attack against the long-established, fundamental right to access abortion services. It also presents serious constitutional issues in light of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which forms the principle of separation of church and state. Abortion is legal and constitutional. HHS’ latest threat of enforcement action represents a last-ditch effort by the Trump Administration to restrict a woman’s access to abortion—a theme that has permeated throughout Donald Trump’s presidency.Last year, my office joined a coalition of 22 other states and cities suing to stop the Trump Administration from jeopardizing patient care by vastly expanding the ability of any health care worker to opt out of any procedure at any time, without regard for patient needs. The court agreed with our coalition and blocked the rule from taking effect because it was contrary to laws passed by Congress. The court’s decision means that the Trump Administration’s attack on UVM Medical Center stands on shaky legal ground at best.My office has been, and remains, committed to protecting access to health care for all Vermonters, including abortion services.Incoming House and Senate Leaders Statement in Support of UVM Medical Center:December 16, 2020We object to the unwarranted threats of litigation against UVM Medical Center from the federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) within the US Department of Health and Human Services. We commend UVM Medical Center for their commitment to provide access to safe and legal reproductive health care to patients across a large region of our state, while balancing the religious and moral beliefs of their employees.As incoming legislative leadership, we strongly support the right to personal reproductive liberty for all Vermonters. In the midst of a global pandemic when our hospitals are under siege, we reject this ideological stunt by the outgoing administration to intimidate medical providers and those seeking reproductive services across the country.Speaker of the House – Elect, Jill Krowinski                                                Senate President Pro Tempore – Elect, Becca BalintHouse Majority Leader, Emily Long           Senate Majority Leader, Alison ClarksonChair of House Committee on Human Services, Ann Pugh      Chair of Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, Ginny LyonsChair of House Committee on Judiciary, Maxine Grad       Chair of Senate Committee on Judiciary, Dick SearsBackgroundOn August 28, 2019, HHS OCR sent UVM Medical Center a “Notice of Violation,” alleging that it had violated the “Church Amendments,” which provide health care workers a qualified right to opt-out of participating in certain medical procedures, such as sterilizations or abortions, due to religious or moral objections. It was OCR’s position that employers must allow employees to opt out of procedures at any time, regardless of the impact on patient safety or the availability of legal health care services.At the same time OCR issued the notice to UVM Medical Center, a number of states (including Vermont) and interest groups sued HHS, challenging the administration’s novel interpretation of the Church Amendments and similar provisions of federal law. In the fall of 2019, two separate federal district courts explicitly rejected HHS’ position that the Church Amendments provided an unqualified opt-out right to health care workers. HHS has appealed those trial court decisions, and HHS has been enjoined from enforcing its new regulations while its appeals are pending.  In the wake of those decisions and in response to UVM Medical Center’s strengthened policies and practices, in November 2019, senior HHS and OCR representatives stated they would recommend that HHS not continue to pursue enforcement action against UVM Medical Center, at least until the appeals are resolved. UVM Medical Center heard nothing further from HHS on this matter until this week—more than a year later.  The threats issued by HHS this week are directly at odds both with its prior representations to UVM Medical Center and last year’s federal court decisions.Source: Burlington, VT – The University of Vermont Medical Center 12.16.2020last_img read more

Being a government lawyer is in her blood

first_imgBeing a government lawyer is in her blood ” Senior EditorOnce, Esther Jacobo tried being a family law attorney in private practice, but within nine months she was lured back into being a government lawyer by a very hard sell. In 2007, Jacobo sat in a park between a state office building and her Elser & Foster-Morales office in downtown Miami, with Mary Cagle, director of Children’s Legal Services at the Department of Children and Families.On a mission to recruit the best and brightest lawyers she knew, Cagle told her: “Good lawyers are really going to affect outcomes for children. We will change outcomes for children.”And Jacobo, who knew Cagle from their years together at the Miami-Dade Office of the 11th Circuit State Attorney’s Office, was swept away.“You can’t say, ‘no,’ to somebody who is going to change the lives of children,” Jacobo said. “I have never regretted this decision. It’s been amazing and the most challenging job I’ve ever had.”Hired as regional director in January 2008, then promoted to deputy statewide director of Children’s Legal Services in February 2009, Jacobo has been promoted yet again. On September 1, 46-year-old Jacobo began managing DCF’s entire operations in the southern region — from investigating child abuse and neglect to distributing food stamps — and supervising 1,200 employees.“The selection of Esther to manage DCF’s southern region is a brilliant choice by Secretary David Wilkins,” Cagle said. “She has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills both at the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office, where she built and managed the felony domestic violence unit, and at DCF, where she was hired to manage Children’s Legal Services in the southern region. She was instrumental in driving change to raise the bar and create a professional law firm environment for lawyers working in the best interest of children. She is passionate about her work and brilliant in her strategic vision and will serve the public well.”Alan Abramowitz, executive director of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office and chair of The Florida Bar’s Legal Needs of Children Committee, was formerly director of the statewide Family Safety Program Office with DCF.“I relied on Esther a lot. Even though she was in a legal position, she understood child welfare. She really, really understands issues of substance abuse, mental health, and domestic violence,” Abramowitz said.Jacobo admits she struggled with her decision to leave her job in private practice, and it took her three months to accept Cagle’s offer.“One of my struggles was that I had just started in private practice, and I liked it very much. What if I leave practice and go into government law? Does that mean I’m forever a government lawyer?” Jacobo asked.Then-DCF Secretary Bob Butterworth told her: “Esther, you can do whatever you want to do.”And what she wants to do is work at DCF.“Child welfare is such a complex area of the law because there’s so much social work involved. Not only do you have to understand all legal ramifications to argue in court, but you also have to understand the science of maltreated children. It’s challenging to say: We have to think like lawyers. That’s what we are. But we have to have a tremendous sensitivity about the social work piece and explain it and incorporate it into our legal arguments.”She’s the first to admit, “no one is getting rich at this job.”But what makes being a government lawyer attractive is the importance of public service. Noting that DCF did not have lawyers until the ’80s, in her previous job in Children’s Legal Services, Jacobo went to law schools to recruit students at the top of their class.She told them: “You will get excellent training. You will litigate in front of lots of judges. You are going to be respected by the bench. And you will have the support of management to make sure you are appropriately trained,” including partnering with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.Now, in her new position, her focus will be taking a “deep dive into the child protective piece” to see where she can raise the bar and enhance professionalism and training.“Being a government lawyer is in my blood, I think,” Jacobo said. “I believe all lawyers, not just government lawyers, are guardians of justice. That’s the way our Constitution was built. I’m not doing work just to pay bills, but to keep society the free society it is. For me, government lawyers really are the voice for the most vulnerable, in every sense. The public defenders are for those accused of crimes; the state attorneys are for victims of crimes; and, for us, it’s maltreated children. If it weren’t for government lawyers, what would happen to all these vulnerable people?”Sometimes, the worst imaginable happens.On Valentine’s Day 2011, the body of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona was discovered lifeless, curled in the fetal position in the back of her adoptive father’s truck parked on the side of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach. The medical examiner said her death was caused by blunt-force trauma. A grand jury indictment accused Jorge and Carmen Barahona with repeatedly locking Nubia and her twin brother in a bathroom with their hands and feet bound, and torturing them with a shoe, broom, and whip. They are in jail facing first-degree murder and child abuse charges.Only three weeks on the job, new DCF Secretary David Wilkins called the tragedy “a total systemic failure of the child welfare system created by a fragmented business model with antiquated processes, procedures, and technologies, and conflicting rules and incentives.”Jacobo knows she faces steep challenges, but she prefers to call them opportunities.“Taking the helm of operations at DCF in the southern region after the Barahona tragedy presents tremendous opportunity for innovation and improvement,” Jacobo said.“Having dealt with the legal case since the tragedy in February, I have become intimately familiar with all the components that led to this unthinkable result. I am in a unique position to implement changes from both a legal and case management perspective. I truly believe that the combination of good legal work and good social work equals better outcomes for children and families.”She knows there are days “you come back with your head down. You’re like a soldier. You don’t win every battle.”But, she said, “there is no greater feeling in the world” than knowing “every day you have fought the good fight for what was right for somebody.”Though her first official day on the job was September 1, the week before she was already traveling to various offices meeting people she will supervise.“Someone said to me, ‘You know, Esther, you have to stop wearing suits now.’“And I said, ‘Oh, no. That’s who I am. I’m still a government lawyer.’” Being a government lawyer is in her blood September 15, 2011 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News “You can’t say, ‘no,’ to somebody who is going to change the lives of childrenlast_img read more

Brake Parts Inc. Names Andersen Director of CRM

first_imgLSI 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 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.  With 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.  MCHENRY, IL — AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement “This newly created position is designed to enhance our focus and support of our customer’s needs,” said Charlie Westmoreland, senior vice president sales. ”Nancy will serve as a liaison between sales and all internal departments regarding customers’ needs.” A 25 year veteran of the aftermarket, Andersen has experience in export, customer service, accounting, direct sales and administration in all market segments. She has held a variety of positions at Brake Parts Inc., including manager of administration, customer service manager and senior national accounts representative. Most recently she served as customer support manager, focusing on the Raybestos/Spicer and Aimco/McQuay-Norris brands. To learn more about Brake Parts Inc., visit: www.raybestos.com. _______________________________________ Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.,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 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.last_img read more

Hoffman: COVID-19 Data For New Mexico, Other States

first_imgChart shows the growth in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in several states including New Mexico. Created by Nelson HoffmanBy NELSON HOFFMANLos Alamos The figure above shows the recent growth in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for several states, using data through Saturday, March 28. Dashed lines show exponential growth curves, labeled by doubling time in days. The growth in New York has moderated to a 4-day doubling time; its earlier rapid growth with 1.4-day doubling may have been an effect of rapid expansion in testing, rather than actual spread of the disease.California has a 3.4-day doubling time, which is slower growth than Colorado with a 3-day doubling time. Recent growth in New Mexico has apparently been variable, but may indicate a doubling time of about 3.5 days.Data are from several sources: from state reports (for New Mexico and Colorado), from https://ncov2019.live/data, from the Johns Hopkins U. GitHub repository https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19, and from https://github.com/COVID19Tracking/covid-tracking-data.last_img read more

African Gases Conference comes to a close

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

Broken homes

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

Trump ready to complete improbable rise at GOP convention

first_img CLEVELAND (AP) – A year ago, few imagined Donald Trump as a headline speaker at the Republican National Convention – let alone as its star.Maybe only the billionaire New Yorker alone thought he would arrive in Cleveland this week as the GOP’s presumptive nominee for president. There are still some Republicans trying to stop him, but the party’s four-day coronation of its unlikely White House hopeful will complete his rise from real estate mogul to potential leader of the free world.“It was quite a journey,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said. “Not just what he was able to do in getting more votes than any Republican in the history of our party, but do it with 16 people running. It is a remarkable thing.”Indeed, the man who opened his campaign as a late night TV punchline will face the nation this week as the Republican Party standard bearer, delivering what could be the most watched convention speech of all time.Trump will do so in a time of tumult at home and abroad.Authorities said three police officers were shot and killed Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where the slaying of a black man by white police officers this month led to protests nationwide and heightened concerns about the state of race relations in America.Trump’s choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate was overshadowed by a terror attack in France and attempted coup in Turkey.Protests are widely expected outside the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, where the city’s police chief, Calvin Williams, said Sunday that it seems everyone is coming to town to “exercise their First Amendment rights.”The circumstances only add to the attention placed on Trump and his politically incorrect and unscripted campaign, which has successfully tapped into a wave of populist anger that few others saw as the race for president began more than a year ago.Trump has thrilled supporters with a willingness to hurl insults at Democrats and Republican alike, tearing them down them with pet nicknames: “Little Marco” and “Crooked Hillary” among them. Yet his lack of discipline and disorganized campaign has turned off many Republican leaders, and his blunt tone and aggressive approach to immigration and terrorism has done the same with key segments of general election voters: women, blacks and Hispanics, especially.According to any number of preference polls, Trump heads into the convention as one of the most unpopular major party nominees ever.All of it makes the convention starting Monday must-see TV.“He doesn’t have natural filters,” New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox said. “Let’s see about the acceptance speech. That’s probably going to be the most watched acceptance speech ever, because it’s going to be dramatic. People don’t know exactly what it’s going to be.”An estimated 30 million people watched 2012 nominee Mitt Romney address the convention four years ago. After setting ratings records throughout the Republican primary season, Trump could very well shatter that number.But what those tuning in will see between the chairman’s opening gavel Monday afternoon and when roughly 125,000 balloons fall from the rafters at Quicken Loans Arena at the end of Trump’s speech Thursday night remains, to a large degree, a mystery.The pre-convention show got off to a rocky start, as the addition of Pence to the ticket dragged out over a few days amid rumblings that Trump was having second thoughts. Trump called the Indiana governor “my first choice” when introducing him Saturday in New York, but spent most of his 28-minute speech talking about anything but his new running mate and spent only a few seconds with him on stage.The Trump campaign has not yet released a full list of convention speakers, or say who will speak when, but plenty of Republicans you might otherwise expect are skipping the show – including the GOP’s two living ex-presidents and its last three presidential nominees. While an official printed convention program features Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman immediately after its biographies of Trump and his wife, Melania, neither will speak or even appear inside the convention hall.The only professional athlete on the program is pro golfer Natalie Gulbis, after college football star Tim Tebow called his attendance “a rumor.” Ivanka Trump’s rabbi, scheduled to deliver the opening prayer, also backed out.Trump and his allies do appear to have quashed a rebellion from the so-called “Never Trump” movement. Rebel delegates still vow to cause convention mischief, but Trump will get an immediate boost when the nomination roll call starts with Alabama. At the mic will be delegation chairman Jeff Sessions, the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump and one of his most full-throated supporters in Congress.“This ‘Never Trump’ push, it’s been an interesting story, but it’s one of noise at this point, not of substance,” Alabama GOP Chairwoman Terry Lathan said Sunday.That moment may help Trump score what he needs most from the convention: a picture of a Republican Party united behind his candidacy.“Unifying the party is important. I’m not saying you can do that instantaneously,” Preibus told The Associated Press. “I think America seeing Trump deliver a keynote on Thursday night, the balloon drop, the feeling of this person can be president of the United States, when people have that image in their mind, I think he’s going to have a lot of horsepower after he does that.”To do it, the RNC chairman suggests that for this week in Cleveland, the infamously freewheeling Trump would do well to follow the script.“He does really well on the teleprompters,” he said. “It really is, I think, presidential.” Trump ready to complete improbable rise at GOP convention Published: July 17, 2016 10:54 PM EDT Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHARElast_img read more

Infraspeed wins HSL-Zuid PPP

first_imgON MAY 11 Dutch Transport Minister Tineke Netelenbos and Finance Minister Gunnar Zalm announced that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed for provision and maintenance of track, signalling, power supplies, noise barriers and communication systems on HSL-Zuid between Amsterdam and the Belgian border.The Infraspeed BV consortium has been selected for a design, build, finance and maintain concession valued at 5·7bn guilders. One of the largest infrastructure contracts ever awarded by the Dutch government, the deal provides for a four-year construction period followed by a 25-year maintenance concession running to 2030.According to the HSL-Zuid project office, a public-private partnership is ’a more attractive route than traditional procurement’, offering lower costs, faster delivery and a higher quality of service. The state will own the 100 km line, and will pay Infraspeed an annual performance fee of around 230m guilders. This will be dependent on the level of availability achieved, with Infraspeed guaranteeing an availability of over 99%.The consortium includes Fluor Daniel, BAM/NBM, Siemens, Innisfree and Charterhouse Project Equity Investment Ltd. Finance will come from a banking consortium led by Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank, ING, KBC, KfW, Dexia Public Finance Bank and Rabobank.The superstructure concession is the last infrastructure contract to be awarded for HSL-Zuid. The line is expected to be completed between Rotterdam and Antwerpen by mid-2005, and between Schiphol and Rotterdam by the end of that year. An operating concessionaire is expected to be chosen later this year. nlast_img read more

UK railway news round-up

first_imgThe House of Commons Transport Select Committee has announced an inquiry into the problems with the May timetable changes. ‘Passengers continue to suffer from terrible disruption to their train services, particularly on Northern and GTR services‘, said Chair Lilian Greenwood on June 5. ‘We will begin by questioning Northern, GTR and Network Rail but plan to take further evidence, including from the Department for Transport, so that we properly understand why the introduction of the new timetable has gone so badly wrong, what is being done to put it right and the steps needed to prevent this happening again. The Secretary of State has said there have been major failures; we want to unpick this mess and understand how it can be prevented from occurring in December, when another timetable change is due.‘The Rail Delivery Group has opened a three-month consultation on ticketing reform, with a questionnaire hosted on britainrunsonrail.co.ukA total of 24 Class 153 single-car DMUs operated by Greater Anglia, West Midlands Trains and East Midlands Trains are to be fitted with Knorr-Bremse wheel slide protection equipment under a £1m programme managed by leasing company Porterbrook. Design and integration is being led by SNC Lavalin, with first-in-class installation by Loram UK.Story Contracting has completed a project to renew the glazing on the canopy at West Kilbride station with Twinfix polycarbonate, and undertake general refurbishment of the steelwork and timber facia.Greater Anglia has launched an ‘Always Listening’ customer survey, seeking feedback about everything from a specific journey to the quality of information on the website or general comments about stations and trains. ‘Intelligent’ software will categorise the responses and can ask extra questions on areas that receive a low score. For feedback about delays, the system will detect this and automatically provide the customer with a link to the Delay Repay page on Greater Anglia’s website.Network Rail has announced plans to ban retailers at its managed stations from supplying plastic cutlery and cups by the end of 2020, to implement a coffee cup recycling scheme and expand the roll-out of coffee ground recycling to all managed stations.Transport for London has appointed Lanes Rail to carry out reactive and planned premises maintenance for Paddington, Farringdon, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel stations on the Elizabeth Line. TfL had previously awarded Lanes Rail a four-year framework maintenance contract covering the eastern section of the route between Maryland and Brentwood stations.Next month Total Integrated Solutions Ltd expects to complete a Transport for West Midlands project to install 845 Hanwha Techwin CCTV Cameras at more than 50 railway stations, 11 bus stations and three Midland Metro park-and-ride sites.Network Rail and specialist contractor Taziker Industrial have completed a £1m six-month refurbishment of the 110 m long four-span Ayr Viaduct. Vegetation was cleared from the structure, spot repairs were made in the sandstone masonry at over 70 points and the metalwork on the pedestrian walkway was repaired and strengthened. A bespoke scaffold encapsulated in plastic sheeting was moved span by span as work progressed.Contractor Graham undertook bridge replacements at Bellenden Road and Westdown Road in south London during 72 h possessions on May 26-29. Both projects featured propping to restrain the existing abutments, the removal of track and ballast, demolition of the existing bridge and the installation of new precast concrete cill slabs and deck structures.Arriva Trains Wales and Transport for Wales have begun an 18-month programme to modernise the TOC’s Porterbrook and Angel Trains owned Class 150 and 158 DMUs with Precision Custom Composites accessible toilets, additional wheelchair spaces, door modifications and toilet retention tanks. The Welsh Government has committed £200 000 towards toilet emptying equipment for Machynlleth depot. The work will continue into the next Wales & Borders franchise.CrossCountry now offers through mobile ticketing to Newcastle airport via Newcastle Central and the Tyne & Wear Metro. ‘It will allow a seamless journey to and from the CrossCountry network, and the fact these new tickets are available as m-Tickets will mean there’s no need to queue at ticket machines’, said Commercial Director Ben Simkin. ‘We’ve also introduced a new range of Advance fares that are available to and from the airport’.last_img read more