PRASA train

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Drayson Racing claims four new electric land speed records while South Africa orders 600 new trains for 2015-2025 in this month’s figures.


South Africa’s Passenger Rail Agency (PRASA) has ordered 600 new trains (3,600 coaches) from Gibela, an Alstom-led joint venture, to be delivered between 2015 and 2025. The contract, which includes construction of a local manufacturing plant and technology transfer from Brazil, is worth R51 billion (about £3bn) and is Alstom’s largest ever, while the project is one of the biggest in rail transport worldwide.



The European Commission has published a list of 250 energy infrastructure ‘projects of common interest’. The projects, which must benefit at least two member states, will be eligible for accelerated licensing procedures and may qualify for financial support from a €5.85bn fund called the Connecting Europe Facility.



The market for 3D printing materials could be worth $615m by 2025, according to analysis by IdTechEx, as some suppliers continue to lock in users and charge premiums for products. However, if a fully competitive market has emerged by then it will be worth $244m. The report provides forecasts for different materials (inkjet material, metal powder, powder thermoplastic, solid thermoplastic and photopolymers).



Drayson Racing says it set four new electric land speed records in October, subject to official confirmation. The all-electric car driven by Lord (Paul) Drayson achieved a two-way average speed of 205.139mph over the measured mile and 333.271km/h over the measured kilometre on the 3km-long Elvington runway in Yorkshire - both world records for sub-999kg electric vehicles.

The measured mile speed also represents a new British land speed record for cars of any propulsion driven by the wheels.

In addition, the team put the car through timed acceleration runs, setting a new world electric record from a standing start over a quarter mile with a time of 9.742 seconds and a top speed of 92.383mph.



Global nuclear generation capacity totalled more than 370GW in 2012 according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration. Following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor in 2011, both Japan and Germany shut down nuclear plants while other countries halted plans for new ones, but EIA says there are now 69 nuclear reactors under construction around the world, mostly in Asia. The new capacity is intended to meet rising demand in rapidly emerging economies, while addressing concerns over energy security and carbon emissions.


1 million

Strong demand in September pushed 2013 UK car production past one million units to 1,125,433: up 3.9 per cent over the comparable figure in 2012. More than three-quarters of the output was for export. Engine production also rose slightly, according to automotive trade body SMMT, but commercial vehicle manufacturing continued its sharp downward trend as Eurozone demand remained weak.

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