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Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Brazil's national railroad transporters' association (ANTF) has called for the government to include cargo and passenger railways in a national stimulus plan to help improve productivity. 

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Railway trip from Curitiba to Morretes attracts tourists in Brazil

              

 

 


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English.news.cn
2012-04-22 11:33:09
Editor: An

 

 

Passengers take photos out of windows during the railway trip from Curitiba to Morretes in Brazil, April 21, 2012. During the four-hour tour on the 110 kilometers of railway, trains go through 14 tunnels, 30 bridges, beyond mountains and viaducts, making this line the most famous train tour in Brazil attracting 2 million tourists annually. (Xinhua/Weng Xinyang)

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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Trundling along the dirt roads of the Amazon, the giant logging truck dwarfed the vehicle of the investigators following it.

The trunks of nine huge trees were piled high on the back - incontrovertible proof of the continuing destruction of the world's greatest rainforest and its most endangered tribe, the Awa.

Yet, as they travelled through the jungle early this year, the small team from Funai - Brazil's National Indian Foundation - did not dare try to stop the loggers; the vehicle was too large and the loggers were almost certainly armed. All they could do was video the truck and add the film to the growing mountain of evidence showing how the Awa - with only 355 surviving members, more than 100 of whom have had no contact with the outside world - are teetering on the edge of extinction.

It is a scene played out throughout the Amazon as the authorities struggle to tackle the powerful illegal logging industry. But it is not just the loss of the trees that has created a situation so serious that it led a Brazilian judge, Jose Carlos do Vale Madeira, to describe it as "a real genocide".

 

People are pouring on to the Awa's land, building illegal settlements and running cattle ranches. Hired gunmen - known as pistoleros - are reported to be hunting Awa who have stood in the way of land-grabbers.

Members of the tribe describe seeing their families wiped out.

Human rights campaigners say the tribe has reached a tipping point and only immediate action by the Brazilian Government to prevent logging can save the tribe.

Survival International is starting a campaign to highlight the plight of the Awa, backed by Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth. In a video to be launched today, Firth will ask the Brazilian Government to take urgent action to protect the tribe.

The 51-year-old, who starred in The King's Speech, delivers an appeal on camera at the end of the film calling on Brazil's Minister of Justice to send in police to drive out the loggers.

The Awa are one of only two nomadic hunter-gathering tribes left in the Amazon. According to Survival, they are now the world's most threatened tribe, assailed by gunmen, loggers and hostile settler farmers.

Their troubles began in earnest in 1982, with the inauguration of a European Economic Community and World Bank-funded programme to extract massive iron ore deposits found in the Carajas mountains. The EEC gave Brazil US$600 million to build a railway from the mines to the coast, on condition that Europe received one-third of the output, a minimum of 13.6 million tonnes a year for 15 years.

The railway cut directly through the Awa's land and with the railway came settlers. Road-building quickly followed, opening up the Awa's jungle home to loggers.

It was, according to Survival's research director, Fiona Watson, a recipe for disaster. One-third of the rainforest in the Awa territory in Maranhao state in northeast Brazil has since been destroyed and outsiders have exposed the Awa to diseases against which they have no immunity.

"The Awa and the uncontacted Awa are really on the brink," she said. "It is an extremely small population and the forces against them are massive. They are being invaded by loggers, settlers and cattle ranchers. They rely entirely on the forest. They have said to me: 'If we have no forest, we can't feed our children and we will die."'

But it appears that the Awa also face a more direct threat. Earlier this year an investigation into reports that an Awa child had been killed by loggers found that their tractors had destroyed the Awa camp.

"It is not just the destruction of the land; it is the violence," said Watson. "I have talked to Awa people who have survived massacres. I have interviewed Awa who have seen their families shot in front of them. There are immensely powerful people against them. The land-grabbers use pistoleros to clear the land. If this is not stopped now, these people could be wiped out. This is extinction taking place before our eyes."

What is most striking about the Funai undercover video of the loggers - apart from the sheer size of the trunks - is the absence of jungle in the surrounding landscape. Once the landscape would have been lush rainforest.

Now it has been clear-felled, leaving behind just grass and scrub and only a few scattered clumps of trees.

"They are chopping down wood and they are going to destroy everything," said Pire'i Ma'a, a member of the tribe. "Monkeys, peccaries, tapir, they are all running away. I don't know how we are going to eat - everything is being destroyed, the whole area.

"This land is mine, it is ours. They can go away to the city, but we Indians live in the forest. They are going to kill everything. Everything is dying. We are all going to go hungry, the children will be hungry, my daughter will be hungry, and I'll be hungry, too."

In an earlier interview with Survival, another member of the tribe, Karapiru, described how most of his family were killed by ranchers. "I hid in the forest and escaped from the white people. They killed my mother, my brothers and sisters and my wife.

"When I was shot during the massacre, I suffered a great deal because I couldn't put any medicine on my back. I spent a long time in the forest, hungry and being chased by ranchers. I was always running away, on my own. I had no family to help me, to talk to.

"So I went deeper and deeper into the forest. I hope when my daughter grows up she won't face any of the difficulties I've had.

"I hope everything will be better for her. I hope the same things that happened to me won't happen to her."

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Hosting the Olympic Games is supposed to be not just a proud national moment, but also a wealth-creating event.

As money pours into the hosting country, and more directly the city, everyone should benefit.

But not if you belong to one of the families living in Brazil's favelas.

An estimated 1.5 million families in the shanty towns around Brazil's major cities Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are literally getting in the way of renovation projects for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Bulldozing of homes in Favela do Metro, Rio de Janeiro, has already begun, with hundreds of families forced to relocate. Human Rights Watch is warning of violations and abuses.

Concerns about treatment of the poor by Brazilian law enforcers are, sadly, nothing new - but who would have suspected that, this time, they were being set an example by a Labour-controlled council here in Britain?

News broke last week that Newham Council had offered a Stoke-on-Trent housing association the "opportunity" to house up to 500 of Newham's most vulnerable families.

Newham's letter said that the private rental sector was "overheating" because of the onset of the Olympic Games and "buoyant young professionals market," and that the council could no longer afford to house tenants on its waiting list - ie the officially homeless.

Surprisingly, Stoke's Brighter Futures Housing Association did not jump at the chance.

"I think there is a real issue of social cleansing going on," said CEO Gill Brown.

"We are very anxious about this letter, which we believe signals the start of a movement which could see thousands of needy people dumped in Stoke with no proper plan for their support or their welfare."

Stoke was already overstretched, she said, and experiencing strains on resources which had already led to pressure on local services, the collapse of vulnerable neighbourhoods and the rise of "divisive right-wing extremism."

Stoke MP Tristram Hunt agreed that an influx of what he calls "Olympic exiles" would be a huge problem.

"The 2012 Games are bringing huge riches into London," he said. "The least those boroughs could do is look after their poor and needy."

But never fear, Boris is here. Mayor Johnson will not, he says, allow the "Kosovo-style social cleansing" of London.

Which might sound a little more convincing had it not been the government Boris supports - in as much as he can ever be said to support anyone but Boris, of course - which caused the problem in the first place, by placing a cap on housing benefit.

When the cap was announced in 2010 concerns were raised that exactly this kind of situation would result.

They were ignored.

As Westminster North MP Karen Buck says, Newham's case is the tip of the iceberg - and other London councils are going the same way.

"What is so worrying is not that this is Newham's fault, but that if a very poor borough in east London feels itself so desperate that it has to try and find accommodation as far away as Stoke, what is that telling us about demand?

"We know from London councils that 88,000 households have private rents above the new limits for housing benefit and in theory these families were meant to find new homes in places like Newham. Obviously, even before the housing-benefit cuts have really begun to bite we have seen that this policy will unravel."

Those of us in the prime of life will remember Westminster's Dame Shirley Porter, of blessed memory.

Porter's housing committee shuffled the homeless and what they saw as other undesirable elements likely to vote Labour - like nurses and students - around the district, forcibly removing many to "safe" Conservative wards.

This ended with the edifying spectacle of young families being forced to live in tower blocks which should have been condemned, including one where birds made nests out of asbestos.

In fact shoving around the poor to suit the plans of the richer has a very long and dishonourable history, which often chimes with developments in that other very bad idea - capitalism itself.

From the 16th century, the movement towards enclosure stole land and traditional rights from the poorest.

The needy were literally pushed around, too, before the 1840 Poor Law, when individual parishes were charged with the care of the poor within their parish boundaries - which were tangible and visibly marked.

There are still painted marks on old pillars and beams recording these ancient limits, and stories of drunks, beggars and abandoned mothers-to-be being given a short sharp shove over them, making them instantly someone else's problem.

London's poor have been getting in the way of money-making schemes en masse for centuries, too.

Construction of the ultimately unprofitable St Katherine's Dock, in what became the East End, alone displaced 11,300 people and destroyed ancient buildings.

In 1840 the London and Blackwall Railway built train lines through Poplar and Stepney with a spur line to Bow. The building of four miles of track meant the demolition of almost 3,000 existing homes.

If we want to see what happens when the poor are ghettoised and separated from essential resources we need look no further than to the dark history of "outcast London."

The East End left behind after the gentry's exodus was described by the writer John Henry Mackay as "a hell of poverty. Like an enormous, black, motionless kraken, the poverty of London lies there in lurking silence and encircles with its mighty tentacles the life and wealth of the city."

Matters were only made worse when the collapse of traditional industries made the area a centre for unemployment and sweated labour.

And then waves of Irish migrants fleeing starvation and oppression were also driven onto the unforgiving streets of the city of "dreadful night."

Having little or no capital, most were restricted to poorly paid casual work, which tended to be concentrated in already overcrowded areas.

In the East End many able-bodied Irishmen were forced to join the desperate "call-ons" at the docks, and search for affordable lodgings for themselves and their families in the dockside slum communities.

There is evidence that some English working men, already struggling hard themselves for a livelihood, regarded Irish incomers - as they often did women workers - with hostility and as an economic threat. As Marx noted: "Every industrial and commercial centre in England possesses a working class divided into two hostile camps, English proletarians and Irish proletarians.

"The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standard of life. In relation to the Irish worker he feels himself a member of the ruling nation and turns himself into a tool of the aristocrats and capitalists of his country, thus strengthening their domination."

I'm sure today's Olympic exiles could expect a better welcome from the people of Stoke than these exiles of Erin, but you don't need to be a political economist of Marx's stature to work out that, when already struggling areas are put under yet more pressure, no good is likely to come of it.

What a pity our expensively educated government is seemingly so immune to the lessons of history.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW





Dear Colleague,

New panel discussion announced: Going for Gold - Preparing Brazil for the 2016 Olympics

In just four years’ time the eyes of the world will be on Brazil as it hosts the Summer Olympic Games. Millions of people will visit the country placing a huge strain on its transport infrastructure.

This informative and high level panel discussion will bring together leading transport and planning executives to discuss how Brazil will meet its upcoming public transport challenges including:

  • Coping with the increased numbers of passengers while maintaining normal suburban services
  • Maximising existing transport assists to increase passenger numbers
  • Strategic investments to improve services while maintaining tight fiscal control

Book Now! Discounts available for Brazilian Railroads, Government & Regulatory Bodies.

Our expert industry leading speakers will also discuss the following:

  • Development of São Paulo, the Macro Metropolis: Investments in Urban Mobility - Rovena Negreiros, Planning Director, EMPLASA
  • Metro Rio – Paths to a Better life - Joubert Fortes Flores Filho, Engineering Director, Metrô Rio
  • Upgrading/Modernisation of Existing Lines keeping them in Daily Operation - Luís Matam, Ceo, Ferbritas
  • Latest Developments in the Railway Industry - Rodrigo Otaviano Vilaça, President, ANTF
  • São Paulo Metro Expansion – The Latest Developments - Silvestre Eduardo Rocha Ribeiro, Planning Director, CPTM
  • Transnordestina: The Mega Project of the Northeast Region of Brazil - Tufi Daher, President, TRANSNORDESTINA Logistica S.A.

Below is a selection of the 2012 attendees:

  • Consulting Engineer, Austros Design & Consulting
  • Superintendente, Construtora Andrade Guttierrez
  • Gerente de Obras, Construtora Andrade Guttierrez
  • Director Rail Systems, ILF Beratende Ingenieure ZT GmbH
  • Sales Representative, CDP-Bharat Forge
  • Director, MEBR
  • Manager Training & Simulation, Krauss-Mafei-Wegmann GmbH
  • Sales Manager, Fuji Electric Corp of America
  • Engineering Director, Alstom Brasil Energia E Transporte LTDA
  • Sales & Engineering Manager, Fuji Electric Corp of America
  • International Sales, Fogtec
  • Director, MEBR
  • Sales & Marketing Manager, Voith Turbo Scharfenberg GmbH & Co. KG
  • CEO, WaveTrain Systems AS
  • Vice President Marketing & Communications, Kapsch CarrierCom AG
  • Marketing & Communications, Kapsch CarrierCom AG



Book Now! Discounts available for Brazilian Railroads, Government & Regulatory Bodies.

Click here to download the booking form and fax back to: +44 (0)1959 563 123, or register online athttp://www.brazilianraildevelopment.com. Alternatively call our delegate booking line on: +44 (0)1223 345 600.

We very much look forward to welcoming you to Brazil for what promises to be an unmissable event!

Yours sincerely,

James Morrison
Director of Brazilian Rail Development 2012
Email: jmorrison@russellpublishing.com
Tel: +44 (0) 1959 563 311
Mob: +44 (0) 7855 460 817
Fax: +44 (0) 1959 563 123
Visit our website: http://www.brazilianraildevelopment.com

Conference Sponsors:

Voith
Kapsch

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Dear Colleague,

UPDATE: BRAND NEW EXPANDED PROGRAMME

I am delighted to announce that WaveTrain Systems (WTS) and Steer Davis Gleave are the latest leading companies to join the Brazilian Rail Development conference 2012.

We also have a host of new speakers on the conference programme – for the latest agenda please 
click here>>

Book Now! Discounts available for Brazilian Railroads, Government & Regulatory Bodies

Presenting the leading operators, infrastructure owners, regulatory bodies and Government agencies, Brazilian Rail Development will bring together every significant stakeholder who is shaping the future of Brazil’s transport network on 30-31 May 2012, at the Mercure Grand Hotel Parque do Ibirapuera in São Paulo.

  • Understand the technical challenges that face high-speed rail
  • Explore the new opportunities arising from a liberalised market
  • Access projects at their inception and gain an invaluable insight into plans and forthcoming tenders from transport authorities and infrastructure owners
  • Uncover rail operators’ visions for the future growth of the network
  • Access news from operators on fleet renewal and investment plans
  • Coping with the increased numbers of passengers while maintaining normal suburban services
  • Maximising existing transport assists to increase passenger numbers
  • Strategic investments to improve services while maintaining tight fiscal control

The unrivalled speaker line-up includes:

  • Conference Chairman, Sergio Coutinho, Kapsch CarrierCom, Brazilian Representative
  • Julio Lopes, State Transport Secretary (SETRANS), Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro
  • Rodrigo Otaviano Vilaça, President, ANTF
  • Richard Aaroe, Diretor Executivo---- Portuguese, WaveTrain Systems
  • Vicente Abate, President, ABIFER
  • Rovena Negreiros, President, EMPLASA
  • Tufi Daher, President, TRANSNORDESTINA Logistica S.A.
  • José Manuel Galindo Escribano, Operations & Enginneering Manager, High Speed Network, ADIF
  • Silvestre Eduardo Rocha Ribeiro, Planning Director, CPTM
  • Saulo Pereira Vieira, Planning & Management Coordinator, Metropolitan Transport Secretary – Government of the State of São Paulo
  • Mauro Fortes Carneiro, Production Director, FERROESTE S/A
  • Mário Alves, Coordination of Railway Systems Director, REFER TELECOM
  • Luis Mario Novochadlo, Diretor of Operations, Ferrovia Tereza Cristina (FTC)
  • Adelson Martins Jr, Division Manager, Voith
  • Joubert Fortes Flores Filho, Engineering Director, Metrô Rio
  • Luís Mata, CEO, Ferbritas
  • Senior Director, ANTT

Book Now! Discounts available for Brazilian Railroads, Government & Regulatory Bodies

Click here to download the booking form and fax back to: +44 (0)1959 563 123, or register online. Alternatively call our delegate booking line on: +44 (0)1223 345 600.

I very much look forward to welcoming you to Brazil.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Coldicott
Director of Events
Brazilian Rail Development, 30-31 May 2012, Mercure Grand Hotel Parque do Ibirapuera, São Paulo
Email: scoldicott@russellpublishing.com
Tel: +44 (0) 1959 563 311
Fax: +44 (0) 1959 563 123
Website: http://www.brazilianraildevelopment.com

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Dear Colleague,

Who’s attending the 2012 Brazilian Rail Development Conference?

This much anticipated event is just one week away and has unrivalled line-up of participants; bringing together transport authorities, infrastructure owners, government bodies, and rail operators from across the region to present their strategies and visions for their respective and collective Brazilian rail networks. 

To find out who you can expect to meet next week at Brazilian Rail Development 2012 Conference, please click here download the attendee list>>

The speaker line up is unparalleled and includes such eminent names as:

  • Conference Chairman, Sergio Coutinho, Kapsch CarrierCom, Brazilian Representative
  • Noboru Ofugi, Superintendente de Serviços de Transportes de Cargas/SUCAR, ANTT
  • Julio Lopes, State Transport Secretary (SETRANS), Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro
  • Rodrigo Otaviano Vilaça, President, ANTF
  • Vicente Abate, President, ABIFER
  • Martha Martorelli, Infrastructure Analyst, Ministério das Cidades
  • Rovena Negreiros, Planning Director, EMPLASA
  • Tufi Daher, President, TRANSNORDESTINA Logistica S.A.
  • Adelson Martins Jr., Division Manager, Voith
  • José Manuel Galindo Escribano, Operations & Enginneering Manager, High Speed Network, ADIF
  • Silvestre Eduardo Rocha Ribeiro, Planning Director, CPTM
  • Saulo Pereira Vieira, Planning & Management Coordinator, Metropolitan Transport Secretary –Government of the State of São Paulo
  • Luís Mata, CEO, Ferbritas
  • Richard Aaroe, Chief Executive Director, WaveTrain Systems
  • Joubert Fortes Flores Filho, Engineering Director, Metrô Rio
  • Mário Alves, Coordination of Railway Systems Director, REFER TELECOM
  • Mauro Fortes Carneiro, Production Director, FERROESTE S/A

You will be pleased to learn that the Brazilian Rail Development conference programme has been extremely well received, and as a result spaces are now very limited. Click here to view the full agenda>>

Have you reserved your place?

To register simply call the conference booking line on: +44 (0)1223 345 600. Alternatively you can register online

I urge you to register now to secure one of a very limited number of places and look forward to welcoming you to São Paulo.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Brazil's policy of awarding concessions for the operation of defined networks or individual lines is set to change as the government plans to allow several operators to access four new lines that will be built in the south of the country.

The government does not believe that the rail network is being used to its full potential and thinks allowing more than one operator on a line will help stimulate growth. Valec, Brazil's railway engineering and construction company, will be responsible controlling access to the lines.

 

The four lines will have a total length of 2720km. They comprise a 1200km north-south line from Panorama via Chapecó and Passo Fundo to Rio Grande do Sul, which will cost Reais 6bn ($US 2.94bn) to construct, a 620km line to transport meat and poultry from Chapecó to the port of Itajaí costing Reais 3.1bn, a 500km line from Carazinho near Passo Fundo southwest to Uruguaiana estimated to cost Reais 2.5bn, and a 400km line from Maracaju southeast to Toledo near Cascavél which will cost Reais 2.1bn.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

BRAZIL'S policy of awarding concessions for the operation of defined networks or individual lines is set to change as the government plans to allow several operators to access four new lines that will be built in the south of the country.

The government does not believe that the rail network is being used to its full potential and thinks allowing more than one operator on a line will help stimulate growth. Valec, Brazil's railway engineering and construction company, will be responsible controlling access to the lines.

 

The four lines will have a total length of 2720km. They comprise a 1200km north-south line from Panorama via Chapecó and Passo Fundo to Rio Grande do Sul, which will cost Reais 6bn ($US 2.94bn) to construct, a 620km line to transport meat and poultry from Chapecó to the port of Itajaí costing Reais 3.1bn, a 500km line from Carazinho near Passo Fundo southwest to Uruguaiana estimated to cost Reais 2.5bn, and a 400km line from Maracaju southeast to Toledo near Cascavél which will cost Reais 2.1bn.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

SANTIAGO, June 27 (Xinhua) -- The immense Pacific Ocean cannot hinder the promising cooperation between China and Latin America, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Tuesday.

China-Latin America cooperation is just in the embryonic stage and boasts great potential, Wen said in a meeting with Chinese embassy staff and other overseas Chinese before concluding his four-nation visit to the region.

Recalling his meetings with Brazilian, Uruguayan, Argentine and Chilean leaders, Wen said all of them proposed to raise the added values in trade with China, namely to increase the proportion of finished goods in exports.

In view of this "inevitable" trend, Wen said, he suggested in a video conference with Southern Common Market (Mercosur) leaders on Monday that the two sides initiate a feasibility study on a free trade area (FTA) pact.

The idea has drawn attention from across the region and the world at large, but it would not be an easy task, the Chinese premier said.

The two sides should abide by international rules while advancing the FTA process, and China will sincerely carry out concrete action to facilitate their exports, Wen added.

The two sides, he said, need to maintain a balanced and sustainable trading pattern, which is both the principle and the goal of China.

China has also proposed to double the trade volume with Mercosur to 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2016 on the basis of the 2011 level and to double that with Chile to 60 billion dollars by 2015, he told the attendants.

Noting that all the four countries have expressed hopes for more Chinese investment in infrastructure, including oil, natural gas, railways and hydropower stations, Wen said China, while striving to boost domestic demand, encourages its enterprises to go abroad and explore new markets.

As regards China's economic development, Wen said the lingering global financial crisis has prompted people across the world to hold high expectations for China's economic growth and the Chinese market.

Following years and decades of rapid economic development, China will continue to forge ahead, keeping its own house in order and striving to build a better nation, said the premier.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Federal transportation regulator ANTT estimates that 5,000 kilometers of the 28,000 kilometers that were handed over to private operators in the 1990s aren't being used commercially by the concession owners and are in a state of disrepair, despite demand from sugar and ethanol producers to use those lines, Valor Economico said, citing the ANTT's Marcus Expedito Felipe de Almeida, manager of railway cargo transport.

As part of rule changes to increase competition, the government wants to force railway operators to allow other companies to use their railways in exchange for user fees. Railways can currently block rivals from using their network, even if the stretch of railway in question isn't used by the concession owner.

The ANTT will require the companies to renovate the abandoned rail lines or return them to the government after paying a fee that is about equal to the cost of renovations, Valor said.

"If the company wants to hand over the stretch, they can, but they have to pay the cost of renovations. There's no way to escape," Almeida was cited as saying.

The stretches that need to be renovated are owned by ALL America Latina Logistica (ALLL3.BR), and the railroad-operating arms of steelmaker Cia Siderurgica Nacional (CSNA3.BR) and iron-ore miner Vale SA (VALE5.BR), Valor said.

The ANTT is also changing the rules governing the concessions by requiring companies to set targets for how much they'll transport on each stretch of railway. Currently, railroad operators set targets for their entire network, and thus can abandon entire stretches and still meet targets.

The ANTT expects to establish within 60 days new targets for each stretch of railway, which companies will have to meet between 2013 and 2017 or risk paying fines or losing their concession, Valor said.

The ANTT didn't immediately return a phone call from Dow Jones Newswires seeking comment. ALL, CSN and Vale also didn't return calls and emails seeking comment.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) international consultancy arm is setting up a new national company in South America to take advantage of Brazil’s boom in infrastructure projects.

DB International Brasil, which will be based out of Rio De Janeiro, will handle contracts won by DB as part of preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

DB International has already been awarded contracts in Brazil, including analyzing the efficiency of the Port of Santos in the state of São Paulo in 2011. It also developed master plans for the SuperVía (urban transit) and MetroRio (subway) local transportation companies in Rio.

Last month, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff announced a 54 billion euro infrastructure program that would see an additional network of more than 10,000 kilometers of rail and 7,000 kilometers of road built for the sporting events.

DB was selected from 37 national and international bidders to create a rail and logistics master plan for the north and northeast region of Minas Gerais.

Niko Warbanoff, chairman of the board of managing directors of DB International, said: “Our expertise is also in demand in Brazil, where we are now establishing a permanent presence.

“We will continue to build on our excellent contacts and expand our strategic position in the Brazilian market through our new national company.”

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protests by Brazilian Indians paralyzed operations at the railway serving mining giant Vale's Carajás mine on Tuesday, in the latest episode hampering the world's largest iron ore producer.

              According to a statement, a group of Indians seeking to assert land property rights seized control of a portion of the railway linking the municipalities of Mineirinho and Auzilândia in the northern state of Maranhão.

              The railway, known as EFC, is halted. It transports passengers as well as ore extracted from the giant Carajás mine in the neighboring state of Pará.

              "Vale regrets any type of violent demonstrations that puts in risk the lives of its employees, passengers using the railway and its operations," the statement said.

              Social unrest affecting Vale's operations is not a novelty, but tension had eased in recent years after the company stepped up social spending in depressed areas next to its mines.

 
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SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian mining giant Vale says its iron ore transport operations have resumed, three days after protesting Indians blocked part of its railroad in northern Brazil.

Earlier this week, Indians demanding property rights blocked part of the railroad that links the company's iron ore mines in the state of Para to the Ponta da Madeira port in Maranhao state.

Vale SA says in a Friday statement that the railway will resume its passenger service Saturday.

The company is the world's largest producer of iron ore.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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New York-based engineering consultancy Thornton Tomasetti has opened an office in Sao Paulo to take advantage of Brazil’s infrastructure investment boom.

Although best known for its structural design work on some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, including the fficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=e4K4UOaiII-KhQfolYHgAg&biw=1859&bih=861&sei=fYK4ULzYEYWe8gT51IGYCg">Petronas Towers in Malaysia, Thornton Tomasetti is targetting rail infrastructure opportunities ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

The U.S. firm is currently working on major intermodal transit hub projects in San Francisco and Anaheim.

The Transbay Transit hub will replace San Francisco’s existing 70-year-old transport terminal and will connect the future California High Speed Rail network to the city.

Thornton Tomasetti now has 27 offices internationally, including offices in each of the ‘BRIC’ nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China.



Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center. Photo: HOK.

Thornton Tomasetti said the new Sao Paulo base would present the company “with opportunities to contribute to the development of transportation – rail, aviation and marine – commercial, hospitality, healthcare and entertainment infrastructure” projects in the country.

Euclydes Trovato, director of engineering, Sao Paulo, Thornton Tomasetti, said: “With the opening of an office in Sao Paulo, the firm is able to showcase its strengths in structural engineering design, building skin and sustainability services as many firms in the region tend to specialise in one type of practice.

“This level of expertise and high-professionalism places the firm in a desired position here in Sao Paulo.”

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Brazil desperately needs new rail infrastructure and 160 years after building its first railway, the country is again turning to British engineers for help.

Britain’s relationship with Brazil’s railway began even before the very first line opened in Mau? in 1854. Brazil needed British engineers to design its new lines as well as oversee their construction.

British-built steam locomotives can still be found in Brazil, sitting as relics from the country’s early explorations into rail transport.

Brazil’s railways have been neglected for too long, that’s the view of the country’s residents, and investment is needed to revitalise the regional networks that haven’t moved passengers for 40 years.



Rio de Janeiro light rail design. Photo: MetroRio.

Last year, Brazil, which recently replaced Britain as the world’s sixth largest economy, announced it would be investing a further ?42 billion (US $66 billion) in its road and rail networks, constructing around 12,000 kilometres of new track to try and keep pace with the country’s economic growth.

The massive cash injection is creating new city metro systems, returning regional trains to South America’s largest country and seeing new rail technology being brought into commercial use in Brazil for the first time.

But Brazil faces the same problem it did more than 160 years ago. It needs a national rail network to transport goods in and out of its ports, but the technical knowledge needed to construct essential transport infrastructure doesn’t exist, so it must look to Britain and Europe – the third-largest overseas investor in Brazil.

A good example is Balfour Beatty who entered into the market through a partnership with one of Brazil’s construction giants, Camargo Corr?a. The company has now established itself in the country through work on rail links to Brazil’s mining industry in the north of the country.

“There are a lot of other companies approaching Brazil at the moment,” said Sueli Coca, mass transport lead for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in S?o Paulo.

“We have other construction companies. We have Arup delivering some projects here. We also have Mott MacDonald. We have Carillion trying to explore opportunities here.”



CPTM train running through S?o Paulo. Photo: Lukaaz.

British companies are playing a major part in the planning of Brazil’s new transport infrastructure – an area Sueli says the country has struggled with in the past.

The government now believes it has got a grip of the situation with the creation of a body to oversee Brazil’s transport strategy.

British-born software company Legion, which designs passenger simulation systems, is seeing its technology now being applied to projects around Brazil.

It is a success story that UKTI takes great pride in being a part of.

“We introduced them to the local government and said ‘this is a very innovative product, it’s interesting, what can we do to get them to start supplying to you’,” said Sueli.

“They then helped the local government draw up the tender bidding process because it was so unique even the local guys in the rail industry didn’t know how.”

David James, director of commercial and global operations at Legion, said: “We had a limited presence in Brazil prior to 2012, but we had started to get steady enquiries due to the World Cup and Olympics.

“I then approached UKTI middle of last year and we held Legion events between August and October.



Legion software.

“Brazil is potentially a big market for us and UKTI helped and will continue to help.

“There are sizeable rail projects underway in S?o Paulo itself, there’s talk of the high-speed rail project, which we’ve been slightly involved in, and we know there are other projects going on that will come to fruition this year.”

Having stepped up the company’s focus on Brazil last year, Legion is now looking to build, with UKTI assisted visits planned to the capital of Bras?lia and the cities of Recife and Salvador.

David added: “The UKTI team in S?o Paulo were excellent, absolutely excellent. We could not have achieved what we did, in the timescale we did, even if we spent 10 times as much as we allocated for the UKTI budget to host and assist with our events.”

From outside Brazil, the government’s focus on improving public transport links appears to be a reaction to the millions of visitors predicted to arrive between 2014 and 2016.

“There is a misconception with UK companies because most of them talk about the Olympic Games, the sports events, and in fact our problem is much worse than that unfortunately,” said Sueli.

“Although the government is putting a lot of effort towards investing in improving the systems in place or bringing new systems in, we know that this might not be enough because the economy is growing at such a percentage that although we may bring new systems on board, it’s never enough.



British D?bs & Co locomotive in S?o Paulo. Photo: Dornicke.

“Like the metro in S?o Paulo, as soon as a station or a line comes alive, it’s already overloaded, so we need new ones in place with more capacity to improve the quality of the services.”

So, where exactly is the money being spent?

Much of the investment is centered around S?o Paulo, with plans to spend billions extending the existing metro system and constructing new regional train lines to connect the city with the municipalities of Santos and Jundia?.

There are similar plans to expand Rio de Janeiro’s metro network, as well as proposals for a new light rail system to connect Rio’s city centre with the coast.

The most highly-publicised project included in Brazil’s rail plans is a high-speed link between Rio and S?o Paulo, which will include stops at three major airports. At the end of 2012, bidding finally opened for the project.

A number of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup host cities will get their very first metro systems thanks to the country’s infrastructure boom. Billions has already been pledged by the federal government to projects in Curitiba, Porto Alegre and Salvador.



S?o Paulo Line 17 extension. Photo: Metro sp.

UKTI’s role within the country is to connect British companies with Brazilian partners. A key part of this is getting UK firms to make the trip across the Atlantic and see the opportunities for themselves.

Sueli said: “Visiting the market is very important.

“UK companies sometimes don’t see it as an investment, but it is a very important investment to come here to the market and meet the co-partners.

“Brazilians work like that. They have to know you in order to do business with you. This is pretty much the same for both the private sector or government bodies. Having them warmed up definitely helps.”

Aware of its status as an emerging global superpower, Brazil is aiming to have a 40,000 km rail network by 2020. Consider China, which as of 2011 had a network length of more than 90,000 km, and it is clear how much more the country has to do, and the number of opportunities there for British companies.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Thirteen years ago, in the year 2000, twenty GE U20C (SAR class 33) diesel-electric locos arrived in Brazil, ex-Namibia. The 1,067mm gauge was altered to one metre and the couplers were repositioned. New numbers were allocated: 2661-2680.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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A trade delegation from Sao Paulo has arrived in the UK looking for British companies to invest in Brazil’s infrastructure projects.

Members of the Government of Sao Paulo are in the country to present eight Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects totalling $20 billion.

Outside investment is being sought for the construction and maintenance of three subway lines, a monorail and an intercity train network.

Projects include:

  • Intercity train network serving Sao Paulo - 416km of rail network. Investment of BRL 18.5 billion (?5.8 billion). Bid opens November 2013, contract to start in April 2014.
  • Metro Line 6 – Orange. Investment of BRL 7.8 billion (?2.4 billion). Bid opens January 2013, contract to start in June 2013.
  • Metro line 20 – Pink. Investment of BRL 7.5 billion (?2.3 billion). Bid opens October 2013, contract to start March 2014.
  • Metro Line 18 – Bronze (monorail). Investment of BRL 3.01 billion. Bid opens March 2013, contract to start July 2013.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “As Sao Paulo prepares to host the World Cup in 2014, there are some great infrastructure projects ready to get underway in Brazil.

“Our construction sector is one of the world’s biggest and best, and UK companies are ideally placed to capitalise on these excellent opportunities.

The Deputy Governor of Sao Paulo, Guilherme Afif Domingos, said: “The State of Sao Paulo today is alone the 18th largest economy in the world, accounting for 33 per cent of Brazil’s GDP and it has a credibility track-record to attract investments in infrastructure through partnerships with the private sector.

“Moreover, the European crisis opens a window of opportunity to awaken the healthy appetite of foreign investors in search of good business options in emerging markets.”

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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A few of the key projects and figures for Brazil’s railway in the year ahead.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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RIO DE JANEIRO, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff enacted a bill Wednesday to lower payroll taxes for the industry and service sectors.

The measure, designed to stimulate the economy and encourage companies to hire more workers, relieves certain companies from paying 20 percent payroll taxes to the government.

Rousseff partially vetoed the original bill, which called for payroll tax cuts in 33 sectors of the economy, saying lower payroll taxes in several sectors would lead to violations of the fiscal responsibility rules, since there were no estimates on the bill's impact in those sectors.

Among the sectors vetoed by the president are media companies, airport, railway and subway companies, hospital services, and engineering companies.

The payroll tax cuts are the latest in a series of measures promoted by the Brazilian government to stimulate the economy, which registered a low growth rate of 0.9 percent last year.

Despite the stimulus packages, the Brazilian economy remains in a fragile recovery.

Earlier Wednesday, the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry adjusted its growth projection from 4 percent to 3.2 percent.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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RIO DE JANEIRO, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian government on Tuesday announced import tax cuts on 157 products, including capital goods and computer equipment.

The government renewed its lower tax rates on 17 products and added another 140 to the list, slashing the tax rate on capital goods from 14 percent to 2 percent and the rate on computer and communications equipment from 16 percent to 2 percent.

The lower import taxes are designed to boost production and efficiency of the country's industrial sector by allowing companies to bring in needed machinery at a lower cost.

The government said it expects the auto parts, railways, services, oil, telecommunications and paper sectors to benefit the most from the tax breaks.

It also voiced the hope that the tax cuts will lead to an investment of some 1.69 billion U.S. dollars.

Several large projects, including improvements to the railway network to accommodate greater production and transportation of goods to ports, are expected to benefit from the lower import taxes.

The tax break will remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2013, for communications equipment and until Dec. 31, 2014, for capital goods.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Brazil indigenous protest blocks major iron ore railway
Protests across the country have not stopped the controversial Belo Monte dam project

Continue reading the main story Related Stories

Brazilian indigenous people in the Amazon region have blocked one of the country's most important railways in a protest for better public services.

The railway is owned by mining giant Vale and connects the world's largest iron ore mine, Carajas, to a port on the northern coast near Sao Luis.

The track transports more than 100m tonnes of the mineral each year.

It is the second time this week that the trains have been halted by protesters of neighbouring villages.

Protesters from several tribes burned wood on the railway in the Amazonian region of Alto Alegre do Pindare, demanding better transport, education, health and security.

Last week, they blocked the railway for two days.

Earlier this week, residents of another village near Sao Luis, in the state of Maranhao, also stopped the trains in a protest.

No passenger service

They want Vale to act on their behalf in negotiations with the authorities.

Because of the protests, the passenger train that transports about 1,500 passengers a day between the city of Parauapebas, in Para, and Sao Luis has not resumed its regular service since last week.

Despite having a court authorisation to evict the protesters at any time, Vale chose not to enforce it, the world's second largest mining company said in a statement.

The demonstrations came about a month after several thousand Brazilians took to the streets of the country's major cities in a wave of protests against poor public services, corruption and the cost of staging the 2014 World Cup.

Vale has faced several protests from indigenous peoples of the region in the past, more recently because of its expansion plans for the 892km-long railway.

Despite court challenges and fierce criticism, work on a second line along its railway to the coast is under way.

Elsewhere in the Amazon, land grabbing, illegal logging and mining conflicts are common grievances.

But the giant Belo Monte hydroelectric dam project has been the focus of most protests and clashes.

The Brazilian government says it is needed to guarantee Brazil's energy provision, especially in the Amazon region, which still relies heavily on fossil fuels.

Critics say the controversial project will cause irreversible social, cultural and environmental damage.

So far, however, demonstrations and court challenges have failed to prevent it from going ahead.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Bombardier Inc. has confirmed it is one of several rail manufacturing companies being investigated over allegations of bid-rigging on railway contracts in Brazil.

A spokesman for the Montreal-based aerospace company’s transportation division said on Tuesday that Brazil’s competition agency – the Administrative Council for Economic Protection – seized documents from Bombardier on July 4 as part of a larger probe into an alleged cartel related to bidding for the purchase of railway equipment and the construction and maintenance of railway lines.

Bombardier is absolutely not involved in a cartel in Brazil. What we know is that there is a general investigation going on right now in the rail industry,” said Bombardier Transportation spokesman Marc Laforge.

“We fully co-operated and intend to continue co-operating,” he said.

A spokeswoman for rival Alstom SA of France also confirmed that it is cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

“We were visited last week by the CADE – the Administrative Council for Economic Protection. We have been co-operating with the authorities,” said Céline Huguet in an interview Tuesday.

A report in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo says Germany’s Siemens AG had alerted Brazilian antitrust watchdogs to the existence of a cartel in which it participated.

“Siemens is aware of the investigation conducted by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), related to a cartel accusation in biddings for the acquisition of trains and construction of subway lines in Brazil,” a Siemens spokesperson said in an e-mail Tuesday.

“Since 2007, Siemens has made major efforts to develop a new and effective compliance system, which focuses, in particular, on sensitizing employees with regard to antitrust issues. Siemens’ code of conduct also emphasizes the importance of fair competition and obligates all employees to comply with antitrust regulations.

“Simens fully cooperates with the authorities.”

The Folha newspaper report says the alleged cartel also includes Spain’s CAF and Japan’s Mitsui.

Mr. Laforge said there are 13 rail equipment companies in all being probed.

Several companies are vying for contracts on a project to build a high-speed train line between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Mr. Laforge said Bombardier Transportation unit is studying the possibility of bidding on the high-speed rail project.

Bombardier Transportation is currently at work on a $1.4-billion (U.S.) monorail project in Sao Paulo.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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German engineering giant Siemens self-reported to avoid criminal proceedings for its alleged involvement in a railway price-fixing cartel in Sao Paulo and Brasilia.

The Brazilian daily "Folha de Sao Paulo" reported in its Sunday edition (14.07.2013) on allegations that Munich-based Siemens illegally rigged prices and was possibly involved in a cartel in bids for the construction, fitting and maintenance of metro trains in Sao Paulo und the capital city of Brasilia. Siemens voluntarilyself-reported to Brazilian authorities.

Bombardier of Canada (a French Alstom conglomerate), Spain's CAF and Japan's Mitsui corporate group are also reported to have been involved in the cartel. Illegal price-rigging among the global engineering firms is said to have raised bids to 10 to 20 percent higher than quotes typically found on the market.

Folha reported that subcontractors fronted the deception. Early in July, Brazil's antitrust regulator - the Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE) - searched offices in Sao Paulo, Diadema, Hortolandia and Brasilia, confiscating evidence at 13 firms allegedly involved. Assessment of the secured documents is expected to take up to three months.
Uncertainty remains

According to the newspaper, the cartel is said to have made an appearance in at least six contract placements. It added, however, that the total extent of the deals, the time period and possible damage amount are still not clear. The bidding in which Siemens participated involved several hundred million euros, the paper said.

In the late 1990s, the German engineering firm was awarded the contract for the construction of Sao Paulo's metro line number 5, amounting to 600 million reais (about 204 million euros, or $268 million). There is said to have been an arrangement with Alstom in this case.
Siemens is among a few companies globally that has the ability to produce high-speed trains

Irregularities are also mentioned concerning a contract in 2000 for shipment of 10 suburban trains, built by Siemens and Mitsui. Siemens reportedly also did not play by the rules when it won the bid in 2007 for maintenance of the subway in the capital Brasilia, to the tune of 96 million reais annually (about 33 million euros): Germany's Siemens and French competitor Alstom agreed to share the contract.
Protection from criminal proceedings

The Folha reported that Siemens and Brazilian law enforcement authorities agreed to leniency in light of the firm's self-reporting. In return for cooperating with the probe, Siemens and its leading managers were promised protection from criminal proceedings, should the suspicion of involvement in a cartel be confirmed. It is not clear when Siemens alerted authorities - that information will be kept from public light as part of the deal.

First indications of irregularities arose as early as June 2008, when a Brazilian member of parliament and a former Siemens employee disclosed detailed information on how the German industrial giant fixed prices with other global enterprises - even inolving bribes. The ensuing probe, however, did not produce concrete evidence. New suspicious facts emerged in the fall of 2010, but Siemens conducted an internal probe that came out empty-handed.
Massive payoffs

Earlier, the company was embroiled in one of the largest corruption scandals in German economic history. In November 2006, what has become known as the "Siemens affair" shed light on an extensive bribery scheme.

The resulting fallout forced CEOs to step down, and in October 2007, a Munich court fined the firm 201 million euros ($263 million). Even the US Securities and Exchange Commission investigated Siemens, since it is traded on Wall Street. An extrajudicial settlement cost the Munich company 800 million dollars.
Peter Löscher has been at the helm of the company for six years

Earlier that year, in January 2007, the EU levied a 750 million euro fine against 11 multinational firms for illegal price-fixing and involvement in cartels; Siemens was forced to pay the lion's share of 400 million euros.

The company consequently introduced an anti-corruption system, while new management headed by Peter Löscher pledged to forgo lucrative deals rather than resorting to illegal practices again in the future.

The case in Brazil shows that it is not always easy to act on promises. When news of the self-report broke, Siemens issued a statement saying the firm had been aware of the probe. The statement mentioned efforts made since 2007 toward developing an effective compliance system while adhering to "the commitment of all employees to comply with antitrust guidelines," adding that the firm would cooperate "fully with the authorities."
Tender for high-speed route

Siemens' voluntary disclosure surfaced just weeks before a contract for a 511-kilometer (318-mile) high-speed line between the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro - the first of its kind in Latin America - will come up for bidding in August. The companies accused in the cartel are among the most promising candidates to win the bid for the mega-project that would link the country's two most significant cities.

The Brazilian government expects costs of 35 billion reais (12 billion euros or $16 billion). Apart from the five multinational conglomerates allegedly entangled in the illegal price-fixing scandal, only five other companies worldwide are even capable of producing such high-speed trains.

Of those five, only South Korea's Rotem company has shown an interest in the contract. Against that background, the government in Brasilia as well as Siemens may prefer a quiet settlement.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Brazil's US$46bn railway tenders unlikely before 2015, says economistBy Daniel Bland - Monday, October 14, 2013

Railway tenders under Brazil's100bn-real(US$46.0bn) railway concession plan - originally set for a 3Q13 launch - are unlikely to occur before 2015, Latin American development economist LuizAlberto Machado told BNamericas.

"As 2014 is an election year, uncertainties loom and tenders will probably be launched by the next government administration," said Machado, who is the vice president of Brazil's federal council of economy and professor at FAAP university in the city of São Paulo.

One uncertainty is a plan by the federal government to divide concessions into two parts, with one for the construction of railway infrastructure and the other for the operation of railway lines.

This type of concession model can be used but there are risks, according to Machado.

One potential problem is that soon as the initiative is divided into two lots, those responsible for each of the areas will not be concerned about the other part and this could bring negative results.

This has already happened to highways. Starting in the 1960s, freight companies transported whatever they could on trucks without any concern for improving road conditions, and those building and maintaining highways also did their work independently.

In summary, "I believe the government is still going through a period of concession model fine tuning so that a more credible and concrete plan is developed," said Machado.

In related news, a preliminary analysis by Brazil's federal audit court TCU has found that the railway concession model has a faulty legal basis, and tenders are expected to be delayed. For more on the story, visit this page.

 

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