Mexico Opens Anti-monopoly Probe Amid Oxygen Price Rise

first_img“Before, we might ship one box a day, but it has exploded and now people are asking for 50 boxes,” he said of ivermectin. A woman rubs antibacterial gel into her hands as she waits in a distanced line to get tested for COVID-19 at a mobile diagnostic tent in San Gregorio Atlapulco in the Xochimilco district of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 22, 2020. The capital’s health secretariat has erected mobile testing units in the areas of the city hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but with test supplies limited – on Wednesday only 20 were available in San Gregorio Atlapulco – some symptomatic people end up waiting in line on multiple days before successfully getting a test. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) The spike in home treatment not only involves supplementary oxygen. Pharmacies are getting deluged with requests from customers for unproven remedies for COVID-19. Prices for oxygen tanks in Mexico have reportedly tripled since the pandemic hit Mexico in March, and Mexico continues to post record levels of infection. On Thursday, the Health Department said there were 8,438 newly confirmed cases for the previous 24 hours, bringing the country’s case total to 370,712. Confirmed deaths rose by 718 to 41,908. Many Mexicans have tried to treat COVID-19 symptoms at home, either out of fear of going to crowded hospitals or because the government has told people with less severe symptoms to stay at home. But he questioned whether anything illicit was involved. “It was supply and demand. Everybody was asking for oxygen, so it was kind of logical the price would have gone up,” he said. Becerra said oxygen supply companies may have been unprepared for the huge surge in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.center_img It said that if any violations are found, companies that engage in unfair practices could face fines of up to 8% of annual revenues. MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s anti-monopoly commission said Thursday it is looking into possible price-fixing or monopolistic practices in the market for medical oxygen, after pharmacies reported a spike in prices and difficulties in getting tanks and refills. “Starting in March, it began to get scarce because there was a huge amount of demand. What little we could get hold of went up by 200%” in price, said Juvenal Becerra, whose UNEFARM association represents about 5,600 pharmacies in Mexico. The Federal Economic Competition Commission said it was not pre-judging whether any violations occurred. It said the investigation was opened July 13 and would take at least four months. Becerra said customers were making a run on the antibiotic azithromycin and the anti-parasite drug ivermectin.last_img read more

Racer Turned Quadriplegic Beats One in a Million Odds With Triumphant Recovery

first_imgAfter one year of physical rehabilitation at a hospital medical center, he had regained some movement of his arms and legs, but was still highly impaired, confined to an electric wheelchair and unable to handle any of his own personal needs.Baker’s mother, Laquita Conway, said, “We were told that the maximum amount had been done and that Aaron had recovered as much as possible.” But, she refused to give up hope in a better outcome for her son.A friend informed her about an exercise physiologist named Taylor-Kevin Isaacs, who was the professor of kinesiology at the Center of Achievement for the Physically Disabled at California State University Northridge. Isaacs had been a professional soccer player who shattered his ankle during a match. In fighting his way back to recovery, he discovered his true passion — physical therapy.A strong believer that exercise is medicine, Isaacs designed an exercise and nutrition regimen for Baker and after 12 weeks, his flexibility had improved dramatically, allowing him to move in a more normal range of motion.Baker’s mobility significantly improved month after month, year after year. While training with Isaacs, Baker went from being tied to a walker, to relying on arm crutches, to using a basic four point cane. Eventually, he was able to walk independently with a single point cane for support. Also noteworthy for Baker’s mother: he regained the ability to hug.By year three, Baker swung his first golf club and rode his first tandem bicycle. In 2007, he and his mother became an unstoppable team, riding a tandem bike across the United States. They rode from San Diego to Florida in 2007 and from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. in 2008. They cycled to raise awareness of the possibilities of recovery, and the necessity for ongoing therapeutic exercise after sustaining a catastrophic injury or illness.After the tour, Baker’s competitive spirit was in full swing. He began training for the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Team in 2009, won gold at the National Championships riding a trike bike in 2011, and was selected to be on the national U.S. Paralympic team for the London Olympic Games in 2012. As an ambassador for Red Bull’s Wings for Life foundation, he will be participating in the world run, on May 3, 2015, to raise money to find a cure for spinal cord injuries. Learn more at was able to beat his one-in-a-million odds for recovery, and now, along with Isaacs and his mom, he wants to help others move beyond their perceived limitations. The trio opened a state-of-the-art facility in Northridge where other special-need individuals could receive support and have the same opportunity for recovery as he did. The Center of Restorative Exercise (C.O.R.E.), provides customized exercise programs and equipment to those suffering from a spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, and other disabling conditions.“Too many people with a disabling condition accept their grim diagnosis and stop pushing for their health,” explained Issacs. “We strongly believe in the restorative and preventive properties of exercise. While physical inactivity can cause the body to break down and degenerate, an active lifestyle can energize, maintain, and return function to the body.”(WATCH the video about Aaron Baker below)SHARE the Inspiration with the Buttons below…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFifteen years after a profoundly life-altering accident, Aaron Baker lives a life that medical professionals never believed possible. A professional motocross racer deemed a complete quadriplegic after a training accident in 1999, Baker is now fully independent, walking with just a cane, and accomplishing feats of endurance, from riding a tandem bicycle across the country, to independently walking 20 miles across Death Valley. Aaron’s drive and commitment to his rehabilitation is inspiring people around the world and proving that the human spirit can be an indomitable force.At 20 years-old, Aaron’s motorcycle stalled mid-air during a practice run. When it touched down, the wheels locked, sending him over the handlebars in a dive that broke his cervical vertebrae 4-5-6. When Baker woke up from an emergency surgery, he couldn’t feel anything below his neck.“I couldn’t take a breath on my own,” said Aaron in a video. “All I could do was blink. . . Multiple neurosurgeons gave me a one in a million chance of ever feeding myself again, but this only fueled the fire within me. I thought, who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do?”last_img read more

Group performs music from Renaissance era

first_imgChurch musicians, faculty of music programs and concertgoers gathered Sunday afternoon at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC) to listen to the Tallis Scholars perform various works of sacred a cappella music composed in the Renaissance era or style.According to its website, the Tallis Scholars is a British group comprised of 10 singers and at least two singers in each voice, all led by director Peter Phillips. They have performed at numerous venues, from cathedrals to concert halls, on every continent except for Antarctica.During their two-hour concert, they performed works by various composers including William Byrd, John Tavener, Richard Davy, Thomas Tallis and Alfonso Ferrabosco. The music ranged in style and length, from single motets to the completed collection of “Western Wind” mass parts set by Tavener, as well as variations of “Salve Regina” and “Lamentations.”Sean Martin, assistant director of programming and engagement for DPAC, described the group as the preeminent experts on Renaissance polyphony and had advocated to invite them to perform at Notre Dame.“ … They are amazing musicians, amazing interpreters of early music, and I think the best group in the world,” he said.Regarding the logistics of bringing them here, Martin said the planning process began during the fall of 2014. The executive director of DPAC is expected to curate an entire season a year in advance and the planning process is dependent on the nature of certain artists and groups, he said.“[For] a group that is international, like the Tallis Scholars, … their agent has to put together a tour so they need to work far in advance to see the routing to make sure a tour of the [U.S.] works,” he said.Bringing artists to the university requires a substantial amount of funding, Martin said, and while the Office of the Provost provides DPAC with a budget each year, they still look for co-sponsors to shoulder some of the costs. The Tallis Scholars concert was part of the Marjorie O’Malley Sacred Music Series and was partially funded by the series’ endowment. The sacred music program at Notre Dame and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies were co-sponsors, as well, and provided additional financial aid, Martin said.In addition to the concert, the Tallis Scholars offered to rehearse with members of the sacred music program at Notre Dame and to answer some of the questions people had about their music and performances, Martin said.“We hope to learn a lot more about the singers, about the group, about their practicing techniques, about how a professional touring ensemble like this functions,” he said. “It’s going to be invaluable for the students who are going to participate.”The singers arrive to any given rehearsal knowing the music so they are not working on learning notes, and, instead, are working on interpretation, line and ensemble, Martin said. Since many of the students in the sacred music program aspire to be conductors or choir directors, they will be able to learn and develop their skills under the instruction of Phillips, who started the ensemble in 1973, he said.Senior voice and computer science major Camilla Tassi rehearsed with the ensemble. The Tallis Scholars sat interspersed among the students and sang five pieces with them, she said.“I think what was obviously incredible was singing right next to a Tallis Scholar,” she said.The singers and Phillips held an informal question-and-answer session with the students during the workshop, Tassi said. The students asked questions ranging from sound quality and the use of vibrato to the comparison between European and American choral settings, she said.Martin said he believes bringing the Tallis Scholars to Notre Dame was an invaluable experience.“Nearly every choir on campus … sings music written by Thomas Tallis or Renaissance polyphonies, … so to hear the best group in the world sing Renaissance polyphony, I think, is the least we can give our students,” he said.“ … It’s really important — and we do this with a lot of our artists — to engage with students or the community beyond the performance in some manner so that the opportunity for students goes deeper than just listening to some performance.”Tags: music program, Renaissance, Tallis Scholarlast_img read more

The Play That Goes Wrong Will Launch a National Tour in 2018

first_imgThe Broadway smash hit comedy The Play That Goes Wrong, currently the longest-running play on the Great White Way, will launch a North American tour during the 2018-2019 season, including a 5-week engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Additional cities and the touring cast will be announced in the coming months.Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, The Play That Goes Wrong is a riotous comedy about the theater. The play introduces The ‘Cornley University Drama Society’ who are attempting to put on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong…does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all odds to get to their final curtain call.The Play That Goes Wrong is directed by Mark Bell, and features set design by Nigel Hook, lighting design by Ric Mountjoy, sound design by Andy Johnson and costume design by Roberto Surace.The Play That Goes Wrong won Best New Comedy at the 2015 Laurence Olivier Awards before transferring to Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre in April 2017. The Broadway mounting won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play (Hook) and is produced by film director J. J. Abrams (TV’s Lost, Star Wars: The Force Awakens). The Play That Goes Wrong is now in its third year in the West End and is currently on a 30-week U.K. tour. View Commentslast_img read more

Forth Edge becomes official partner of IRONMAN Wales

first_img Related For IRONMAN athletes, the Forth team offer an ‘Endurance’ test package which tests a number of specific markers to help optimise training over extreme distances, covering all aspects of health, fatigue, injury risk and recovery.Now in its seventh year, IRONMAN Wales is renowned as one of the most challenging races on the IRONMAN circuit, and is also the first in a long line of qualifying events for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. This makes it a popular choice for athletes, attracting top names from around the globe.Sarah Bolt, Founder of Forth Edge said, “We are delighted to be working with IRONMAN Wales, and look forward to working with those competing this year to help them to get the very most out of themselves on race day. Our aim is to help athletes understand more about their ‘health on the inside’, so they can recognise how their body is responding to training and lifestyle choices, and ultimately perform at their highest potential. We can’t wait to meet everyone.” UK-based biomarker testing and tracking company Forth Edge has announced that it will be an official partner of this year’s IRONMAN Wales event. The team at Forth Edge are reportedly delighted to be working with IRONMAN Wales, and are ‘very much looking forward to supporting this year’s event in Tenby, Wales on 10th September.’To celebrate the partnership the team will be offering registered athletes an exclusive 50% off their first biomarker test. Over the coming weeks they will be offering advice and tips through a series of Facebook posts, details of which will be available on the IRONMAN Wales Facebook page. The Forth team will also be set up at the IM Wales race expo all weekend, to talk with athletes in the days leading up to the race itself.Billed as the first of its kind in the UK, Forth Edge allows athletes of all levels to have access to biomarker profiling, along with a comprehensive digital platform to track changes and patterns. The company adds that this provides valuable insight into their ‘health on the inside’ and by testing and tracking these biomarkers, athletes can obtain information into when they are over trained, under-rested or simply in need of a little bit of extra recovery time.last_img read more

The Invasion Of The Cicada Killers

first_imgA breed of wasp that digs long tunnels underground emerges every August to feast on that year’s cicada crop. Ken Rafferty has become an expert on them. Independent/T. E. McMorrowThem. They are cicada killers. Ken Rafferty is an expert on them.Every August, a different crop of cicada emerges in the woods of East Hampton, living in the treetops. Also emerging from underground are Sphecius speciosus, also known as the cicada hawk, a large digger wasp species.Ken Rafferty met up with the cicada killers when he was constructing a new house on Bull Path. Working as a contractor on the project, he had cleared an area around the house to stage its construction. “These cicada killers took up residence,” he said. “Now, they want to live here permanently.”For Rafferty, that was a major problem: He is highly allergic to the wasp’s sting. He learned about their ways “for my own preservation. If I am stung, I have three minutes” to apply an antidote, he noted.“These cicada killers can displace over 100 cubic inches of soil to make their nests underground,” he added. The wasps are attuned to the cicada. When the killer wasps emerge from their tunnels, which can wind for several yards, and they hear a cicada, they zip up to the top of the tree and capture it. At the end of the season, they will bring a dead cicada down into their tunnel, and lay their eggs on it. Another year goes by, and, having fed on the cicada, a new generation is born. The current crop of cicada killers on the Bull Path property is being removed. Not to worry, Rafferty said: cicada killers are plentiful in the [email protected] Sharelast_img read more

FROM THE MAGAZINE: Project sector eyes blockchain trials in container shipping

first_img“Within container shipping, blockchain technology is extensively used,” said Robert Jan Timmers, business manager for breakbulk at the Port of Rotterdam. “In other segments, such as steel and non-ferrous metals, it is also used. There might be a place for blockchain in project cargo, and I believe that will grow. We just have not seen much of it yet.”Unlike many ports in North America and Asia, the Port of Rotterdam is strictly a landlord. It leases land to refineries, chemical plants, warehouses, terminal operators and service providers. It also co-invests with some developers, but does not operate any facilities. As such, the port only participates directly in blockchain transactions that involve port fees and other charges.”Northwest Europe is a mature industrial market, so there are not so many infrastructure projects,” he stated. “One exception is wind parks. There are a lot of tenders going out now and we have a keen interest in those.”Timmers explained that the advent of blockchain in project cargo seems to be coming from the largest projects with numerous shipments, and also from the smaller, more frequent projects. Those lend themselves to the distributed ledger approach more than the one-off medium-sized shipments.”There is a new monopile terminal within our port,” said Timmers. “We also see smaller project shipments consolidated here for the North Sea, as well as extreme heavy lift projects. We have floating cranes from 300 or 400 tonnes up to 1,800 tonnes capacity. So far, blockchain has been taken up faster in the container sector than for project cargoes. That may be because container is more transactional, but also may be because shippers prefer to keep control of their information. The blockchain is secure, but it is also transparent.”There might be a place for blockchain in project cargo, and I believe that will grow. We just have not seen much of it yet.- Robert Jan Timmers, Port of Rotterdam As various sectors of the supply chain study the viability of digitising the complex communications trail and improving efficiency and visibility, the distributed ledger technology known as blockchain is being trialled in a series of individual pilot projects. Some expect there to be benefits for project cargo once some standardisation is settled. Gregory DL Morris investigates.Early in 2018 an alliance of companies in marine cargo and insurance will go commercial with a blockchain system that is intended to increase transparency, security and efficiency in both the physical movement of goods by sea and its insurance. As the blockchain distributed ledger model lends itself to commerce with a high volume of transactions, it has been of greater interest in container shipping than in project cargo.There are potential benefits in blockchain for the project cargo segment, but applying what has been a virtual finance system to the world of logistics will take some trial and error. In this case, it may be just as well that operators in project cargo are not first adopters. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”About USD30 billion in premiums are collected each year in marine cargo insurance,” said Shaun Crawford, global insurance leader at consultancy Ernst & Young (EY). “An enormous amount of data is collected, but not much of it is used for risk management. If it were, risks would be better known and priced. Premiums could be lower, and there would have to be less capital tied up on balance sheets.”To that end, an alliance of companies has been testing blockchain systems through this year. The partners include EY, AP Moller-Maersk, Microsoft, underwriters XL Catlin and MS Amlin, insurance broker WillisTowersWatson (WTW), and data security firm Guardtime. “We started proof of concept tests in April 2017 with about a dozen user cases,” said Crawford, “and those have been successful. We go live in the first quarter of 2018. The first focus has been on hull, the second on containers; once those are up and running, other types of marine cargo will be included.”  “There is a lot of buzz in the container market about blockchain,” said Chip Reed, account manager for marine at WTW. “Project cargo has less frequency of transactions, so it is being applied first to the generalised segments. That could be good for the more specialised segments such as project cargo. After all, pioneers have it tough. Settlers reap the benefits. And I do see some definite benefits for project cargo.”One such benefit is security. From their cryptocurrency origins, blockchain distributed ledgers have an advantage when counterparties are little known or trusted. Project shipments are often done between parties on the other side of the planet that may not have worked together before.Management toolAnother is in the management of large capital projects such as a new refinery or power station. The heavy lift and over- dimensional components are just a few out of perhaps thousands of shipments from hundreds of suppliers. “Some project managers are already using blockchains,” said Reed. “In those cases, the project manager would purchase the ledger technology and make it available to the participating companies.” In that case, a freight forwarder or ship operator would have to be involved in blockchain, but not have to own or operate its own system.The Port of Rotterdam started a blockchain “technology field lab” in September 2017, about the same time as the insurance alliance made its announcements. Rotterdam is the largest container port in Europe and is also the continent’s largest refining and petrochemical cluster, so it is a major hub for bulk liquid terminals and tankers. Those tend to overshadow the project cargo volume in the port by relative number of shipments and tonnage.However, three factors make Rotterdam an important project cargo port: the inherent demands of a large refining and petrochemical sector for pressure vessels and other large components; the position at the nexus of rail, road, and river/canal systems from the industrial heartland of Europe; and direct access to the sea without locks.    An enormous amount of data is collected, but not much of it is used for risk management.  – Shaun Crawford, EY Project cargo has less frequency of transactions, so it is being applied first to the generalised segments.- Chip Reed, WTW This article is taken from HLPFI’s November/December 2017 edition. To you ensure you don’t miss any of these articles, click here to find out more about subscribing. PotentialPeter Bouwhuis, president and chief executive of project logistics management firm Xellz, is sanguine about the potential for distributed ledger technology in project cargo. “At this moment there are not really any blockchains being used as far as I know, but all parties I know are investigating. It is best for documentation and authorisation, but will be useful for freight forwarders, ocean carriers, handlers and terminal operations.”Xellz has had an implementation testbed running for several months and “it has worked flawlessly”, he stated. “Even in areas that do not do a lot of transactional business, blockchain can be applied for security and stability.” last_img read more

Legal Wales: New Supreme Court judge calls for institute of Welsh law

first_imgThe first Welsh Supreme Court judge has called for the creation of a new institute of Welsh Law.Sir David Lloyd Jones says the body is needed to help coordinate and consolidate the work of various academic and other institutions which are helping map an emergent body of Wales law. Pooling expertise would help avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ every time new law develops, he said. Citing areas where Wales is already going its own way – such as in planning, social services and residential tenancies – Sir David said he expects the process of divergence from English law to accelerate under the 2017 Wales Act. That legislation devolves more responsibilities from Westminster to Cardiff.Lord Justice Lloyd Jones has been a judge on the Wales circuit and was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2012. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in July, but has yet to take up the post.Speaking to the 2017 Legal Wales conference in Swansea this morning, the former Law Commission chair said the growing body of Wales law must be made readily available to the people of Wales. This is ‘essential’ to enable access to justice, and secure commercial certainty and economic prosperity, he added.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# David Lloyd JonesSource: Photoshot‘This will not be an easy undertaking,’ he conceded, while noting the ‘very satisfactory’ response to a Law Commission report which recommended that the Welsh government implement a programme of consolidation and codification. Last December counsel general for Wales Mick Antoniw announced a major programme to codify and publish a distinct body of Welsh law.’There is no shortage of initiatives or activities in relation to the study, teaching and propagation of the new Welsh law,’ Lloyd Jones said. ’It does seem to me that since so many different organisations and bodies are following very similar paths, what is needed now is a measure of coordination, in order to avoid duplication of effort, frustration, inefficiency and a waste of resources.’There are precedents for such coordination, said Lloyd Jones. He cited the Justice Wales Network, set up to enable justice agencies to share good practice in relation to language training and bilingual service provision.He added: ’Today I would like to propose a further initiative – the creation of an institute of Welsh law which could coordinate the efforts of so many different bodies in promoting the study and propagation of Welsh law. I realise different bodies have slightly different objectives –  the academic study of law obviously differs from the training of judges. ’But the initiatives these bodies are undertaking have far more in common with each other than divides them. It ought to be possible, for example, to share efforts in producing a manual for practitioners or judges in relation to residential tenancies, or the law relating to social care or planning law in Wales. ’It ought to be possible to disseminate a knowledge of Welsh law without reinventing the wheel on each occasion. Moreover, and this is vital, it should be possible to coordinate efforts without impinging on the independent functioning of these various bodies.’Lloyd Jones suggested the Welsh government could help efforts to set up such a body. Professional bodies, law schools and the Judicial College would be ‘ideal collaborators’, he added.last_img read more

Ficas bodyshells lift metro capacity

first_imgON MAY 5 Bombardier Transportation unveiled a car body assembly technique which uses thinner and smoother vehicle sidewalls to increase passenger capacity by up to 10%, reports Geoff Hadwick. Speaking at the UITP World Congress in Madrid, Bombardier Transportation President & Chief Operating Officer Pierre Lortie announced that a three-car trainset built using the Fully Integrated Carbody Assembly System (Ficas) developed at Kalmar will start trial running in Stockholm on June 30 under an agreement with AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik.A Ficas sidewall is formed of two smooth steel outer panels bonded to a rigid foam core. Unlike traditional car bodies which use a steel shell supported by steel cross-members, or welded aluminium extrusions, this approach is more akin to the lightweight monocoque bodies of modern aircraft and sports cars. A typical Ficas sidewall is up to 120mm thinner than a traditional bodyshell. Use of Ficas on the modified Stockholm C20 trainset has resulted in a 210mm increase in interior width, allowing a wider gangway whilst retaining an identical seating arrangement. The 33% increase in aisle width translates into 10% more floor area for standing passengers throughout the 46·5m long three-section articulated unit, without any change in the external dimensions. SL hopes to carry an extra 35 passengers per unit, or 105 in a nine-car train – a 6·5% increase in capacity. The tare weight of the three-car set has also been reduced by 2·6 tonnes, improving energy consumption.Noting that Ficas uses bonding and mechanical fastening as opposed to conventional welding, Bombardier emphasised that ‘minimal investment in new production facilities is required.’ This would also encourage more local assembly. Bomabrdier’s Vice-President, Sales, for metro cars Rauno Boga said he was keen to see Ficas technology applied to the Movia modular product platform currently being used to build new cars for Guangzhou and Bucuresti.last_img read more

ISR launches ’Akko – Karmi’el passenger services

first_imgISRAEL: Regular passenger trains began running to the Galilean city of Karmi’el on September 20, with the start of revenue operation on ISR’s 23 km ’Akko – Karmi’el branch. The double-track branch diverges from the Haifa – Nahariyya line between ’Akko and Kiryat Motzkin.Built by Israel Roads Ltd at a cost of US$785m, the line had been officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Transport Minister Israel Katz and ISR General Manager Shahar Ayalon on September 5.Described by IRL General Manager Nissim Peretz as a complex engineering project, the branch required the boring of a 4·7 km twin-bore tunnel under Mount Gilon. This is designed to accommodate 25 kV 50 Hz overhead wires in future as part of the national electrification programme. There is one intermediate station at Ahihud, which has parking for 230 cars; a further 700 spaces are provided at Karmi’el.ISR’s initial timetable provides 26 trains in each direction per day on the branch, running from 05.30 to 00.00. Of these, 18 trains each way run to or from Haifa Hof-ha-Carmel offering a journey time of 34 min for the 46 km between Karmi’el and Haifa Central at an average speed of 81 km/h. Additional trains operate at peak times to give 2 trains/h on the branch. These run through to or from Tel Aviv and Be’er-Sheva, covering the 137 km from Karmi’el to Tel Aviv Savidor in 90 min. There are seven through trains in the morning and eight in the afternoon.In conjunction with the start of regular operations on the new line, ISR introduced a revised national timetable on September 20, ahead of the Jewish New Year celebrations. This provides additional services on several routes, including the lines to Be’er-Sheva and Ashquelon. The Herzliyya – Tel Aviv – Jerusalem Malkha service has been split at Beit Shemesh, allowing the Flexliner IC3 DMUs to be replaced by double-deck push-pull sets providing additional capacity on the busier northern section. Services on the 60 km Valley line will begin calling at the new Haifa Hamifratz Central station when it opens in 2018.Announcing its results for the first half of 2017, ISR reported total ridership of 31·5 million passengers, a 7% increase on the same period in 2016. Freight traffic also increased slightly to 4·5 million tonnes.last_img read more