Deutsche Bahn and Georgian Railways plan Europe to China rail connection
Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Georgia's national rail operator have agreed to expand their cooperation activities. An MoU was signed during the visit by Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to the Caucasus state covering collaboration on international freight transport and consultancy services for the next five years.
The companies plan to create a new rail connection from China to Europe via central Asia and Georgia, opening up a new route for customers seeking an overland connection.
Ronald Pofalla, Member of the Management Board for Economic, Legal, and Regulatory Affairs at DB said: "We are proud that DB has the chance to contribute to the renaissance and modernization of the ancient communication routes between the continents. With a rail history reaching back to 1871, Georgia has a key role to play in this undertaking."
In another move, DB and Georgian Railways are cooperating on the development of rail freight links between Europe and Iran, with Georgia as a transit country.
Experts at DB's subsidiary DB E&C will provide Georgian Railways with support for organizing and producing rail services, reforming its rail system's structure root-and-branch, and modernizing and maintaining rail technology including the company's fleet of vehicles.
The partnership was agreed by Mamuka Bakhtadze, Chairman of Georgian Railways, and Niko Warbanoff, Head of International Business Development at Deutsche Bahn AG and CEO of DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany