The Anonymous Widower

New Fleet To Make Nightjet ‘The Best Option For Travelling Between Major European Cities’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette International.

This is the first paragraph.

The exterior design and first painted carbody for the fleet of coaches which Siemens Mobility is to supply for Nightjet night train services has been unveiled by Austrian Federal Railways.

This is a €500m project involving.

  • New trains
  • Additional destinations
  • New services

ÖBB intends to buy 33 Nightjet trains, which will be introduced into services from 2022.

This is the last paragraph.

Meanwhile, ÖBB intends to introduce its planned Wien/Innsbruck – Amsterdam Nightjet service from April 2021, with Wien – München – Paris and Zürich – Amsterdam services following in December.

It looks like ÖBB are moving closer to the UK.

I’m looking forward to taking a sleeper between London and Vienna.

 

 

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

A Curious Link Between Pancreatic Cancer And COVID-19

i am involved in fund raising for pancreatic cancer research at Liverpool University, because my youngest son died of the awful disease, at just thirty-seven, leaving a widow and an eight-year-old daughter.

I am also a passionate analyser of data and databases.

For a few weeks now, I have had a feeling that there is a connection between pancreatic cancer and the  old Austro-Hungarian Empire.

I found this simple description of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on this page on the Internet.

The former Austro-Hungarian Empire was spread over a large part of Central Europe, it comprises present Austria and Hungary as well as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia and parts of present Poland, Romania, Italy, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro.

I had been looking at pancreatic cancer data on the World Life Expectancy database, which is based on World Health Organisation data.

I have built this table, which shows the top twenty countries for a death rate from pancreatic cancer.

These are the columns.

  1. Country
  2. Rate of pancreatic cancer deaths per 100,000 of the population.
  3. Quarantine or Travel Corridor based on this page of the Government web site.
  4. Member of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

These are the top twenty countries.

  1. Hungary – 11.35 – Quarantine – AHE
  2. Uruguay – 10.72 – Quarantine
  3. Armenia – 10.34 – Quarantine
  4. Malta – 10.01 – Quarantine
  5. Czech Republic – 9.89 – Quarantine – AHE
  6. Estonia – 9.26 – Travel Corridor
  7. Iceland – 9.21 – Quarantine
  8. Israel – 9.18 – Quarantine
  9. Slovakia – 9.17 – Quarantine – AHE
  10. Austria – 9.13 – Quarantine – AHE
  11. Finland – 8.78 – Travel Corridor
  12. Japan – 8.74 – Travel Corridor
  13. Latvia – 8.72 – Travel Corridor
  14. Germany – 8.68 – Travel Corridor
  15. Slovenia – 8.55 – Quarantine – AHE
  16. Denmark – 8.51 – Quarantine
  17. Netherlands – 8.38 – Quarantine
  18. Croatia – 8.30 – Quarantine – AHE
  19. Lithuania – 8.21 – Travel Corridor
  20. Luxembourg – 8.15 – Quarantine

Note.

  1. I would hope that the Government’s Travel Corridor list has been devised in a scientifically-correct manner.
  2. Am I right to assume that the Travel Corridor list is a good measure of the level of Covid-19 in the country?
  3. The pancreatic cancer data is from 2018.

Of the countries I mentioned earlier, as being partly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, only Montenegro is in the top thirty countries for pancreatic cancer deaths.

My Thoughts On The Data

These are my thoughts on the data.

The Significance Of The Austro-Hungarian Empire

Consider.

  • All the countries that were fully or partly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire  are on the Government Quarantine List, with the exception of Italy.
  • Many will argue, including myself, that Italy, has too high a Covid-19 rate for a visit.
  • Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia are in the top twenty countries for pancreatic cancer deaths.

It looks to me, that there is a correlation in there somewhere.

Germany And Japan Are The Odd Ones Out

The list of countries with high levels of pancreatic cancer, where there is no quarantine are.

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Germany
  • Lithuania

If you eliminate the Baltic States and Finland from the worse countries for pancreatic cancer, you’re left with Germany and Japan.

Is There A Jewish Dimension?

I ask this question for these reasons.

  • Israel is eighth on the pancreatic cancer list and has high levels of Covid-19 according to various news reports, like this one on the BBC, which is entitled Coronavirus: Israel Tightens Second Lockdown Amid Acrimony.
  • I am not Jewish, but my great-great-great-grandfather from Konigsberg probably was and it looks like I inherited my coeliac disease from him and gave it to my son, who died from pancreatic cancer.
  • The Baltic States and Finland, don’t seem to have large Jewish populations for various reasons and they have high levels of pancreatic cancer, but low levels of Covid-19.
  • Germany has the third largest Jewish population in Europe, but seems to have done well in fighting Covid-19. Is that because their well-funded healthcare system has worked?
  • Wikipedia states that, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was favourable to the Jews and even a sizeable numbers of its Army officers in Word War One were Jewish.
  • According to reports locally and my observations, it appears that the Jewish community in Hackney, where I live has been badly hit by Covid-19.

I need an appropriate historian to give me answers.

Conclusion

I believe the correlation between pancreatic cancer and Covid-19 could be rather strong. More research needs to be done, as to why.

But I do wonder, if undiagnosed coeliac disease, as in my son, could be the alligator in the swamp.

Undiagnosed coeliacs seem to have poor immune systems, which makes them more susceptible to everything, that’s going around.

The more I learn about coeliac disease and its myriad effects on health, the more I’m convinced that it should be one of the diseases checked for in all young children.

It would certainly have changed my miserable always-ill childhood for the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hydrogen Train “Coradia iLint”

The title of this post, is the same as that on this page of the Austrian Railways web site.

One of the sections is entitled Tried And Tested On Geographically Demanding Routes, where this is said.

Up to now, hydrogen trains have mainly been used on flat routes in Northern Germany and the Netherlands. By testing on geographically demanding, alpine routes in the southern parts of Lower Austria, the hydrogen train is now being put through its paces for the first time.

They also give a link to a route timetable.

September 13, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Train Hits The Rails In Austria

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Silicon Republic.

This is the first paragraph.

This week in future tech, an Alstom hydrogen-powered train will start taking passengers in Austria for the first time.

But for the covids, I’d be on my way tomorrow to do a bit of advanced-level trainspotting.

September 12, 2020 Posted by | Health, Hydrogen, Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

ÖBB To Test Hydrogen Multiple-Units

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The national operator’s passenger business ÖBB Personenverkehr has awarded sole bidder Alstom a contract to provide two hydrogen fuel cell multiple-units for trials.

The trial should start in April.

March 2, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

World’s Largest Green Hydrogen Plant Begins Operation In Austria

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Recharge.

This is the subtitle, which says it all.

The 6MW facility in Linz, running Siemens electrolysers, will provide clean H2 for steel production.

Steel-making is a large source of carbon-dioxide emissions and this is said about how hydrogen can be used in the process.

In light of global climate targets, Voestalpine is currently investigating the practicality of a hybrid technology to bridge between the existing coke/coal-based blast furnace route and electric arc furnaces powered with green electricity partly generated using green hydrogen,” says Voestalpine. “If economically feasible, from today’s perspective this option would reduce the group’s CO2 emissions by around a third sometime between 2030 and 2035.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see steel-makers beat that target, especially as renewable energy production and hydrogen electrolyser capacity increases.

The article also details two other large green hydrogen production electrolysers.

A 10MW PEM electrolysis plant, REFHYNE, is under construction at Shell’s Rheinland refinery in Wesseling, Germany, and is due to be completed in the second half of 2020, while a 30MW pilot — part of a 700MW project — is expected to be up and running in northwest Germany by 2025.

There’s more about REFHYNE on their web site.

This is the introduction on the web site.

The REFHYNE project is at the forefront of the effort to supply Clean Refinery Hydrogen for Europe. The project is funded by the European Commission’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and will install and operate the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser the Shell Rhineland Refinery in Wesseling, Germany.

The plant will be operated by Shell and manufactured by ITM Power. The electrolyser has a peak capacity of 10 MW (megawatts) and will be able to produce approximately 1,300 tonnes of hydrogen per year. This decarbonised hydrogen can be fully integrated into refinery processes including the desulphurisation of conventional fuels

Hydrogen is coming.

It could be coming in a big way to the UK, as we have the capability to generate gigawatts of off-shore wind power and ITM Power have the world’s largest PEM electrolyser factory in  Rotherham.

 

 

February 1, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Austria Scraps Its Sun Tax

The eye-catching title of this post is the same vas that of this article on PV Magazine.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The nation’s political parties have found agreement on a green electricity package which is expected to create stable conditions for the next three years. From next year, €36 million will be made available annually for the further support of PV systems and energy storage.

As to the Sun Tax, this is explained further on.

The association has already seen one of its other demands met with the cancellation on Thursday of the ‘sun tax’ on the consumption of power generated by householders with rooftop arrays. Under the previous rules, solar households could consume 25 MWh of self-generated solar free of charge but then had to pay a €0.015 levy on every subsequent kilowatt-hour consumed during the life of the PV system.

|All parties seem pleased with the scrapping of the tax.

September 23, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Will NightJet Connect To Eurostar?

NightJet is Austrian Railways sleeper service, that they took off the hands of the Germans when they closed it as a waste of money.

Ridership is increasing and they will be bringing in new trains in the next few years.

They also appear to have formed a partnership with Hungarian, Croatian and Polish Railways to take the network further East.

But what about the West? NightJet serves German cities like Cologne and Frankfurt, which are on Eurostar’s wish list.

Frankfurt is boring, but Cologne is the sort of city where you can fill time enjoyably.

So will we see travellers taking a morning Eurostar to Cologne, spend a day in the city and then take an overnight NightJet to Vienna. Vienna is linked by more NightJet services to places that non-European tourists love.

I don’t know the Austrian psyche well. But it does seem to me, that they have taken a loss-making Getman sleeper network and may succeed in turning it jnto something profitable and worthwhile with a little help from their friends. Do Austrians like getting one over the Germans?

A Eurostar connection in the West at Cologne and possibly in Switzerland, where NightJet runs to Zurich, would surely be beneficial. Eurostar have ambitions on Geneva and the connections between the two Swiss cities are good and picturesque!

I feel that we could be seeing the takibg of train tourism to a new level. How cuvilised?

 

March 26, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Zillertalbahn Orders Stadler Hydrogen-Powered Trains

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the International Railway Journal.

This is the first paragraph.

Austria’s narrow-gauge Zillertalbahn announced on May 15 that Stadler is the successful bidder for a €80m contract to supply five hydrogen fuel cell multiple-units.

The Zillertal Railway is in the Tyrol district of Austria and has a gauge of 760 mm.

It looks like Stadler are supplying another market, that is rather special.

August 6, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

From Villach To Munich

This section of route had the major stop at Salzburg.

It was still raining, but at least I was clean and dry in First Class.

It would have been a much better trip in the sun, as for a lot of the route, the train runs on the Tauern Railway 

Even my wet pictures show how spectacular it could be.

May 13, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment