Category Archives: EUROPE


Scotland’s New Rail Line And Its Shocking Performance

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Scotland’s newest rail line will celebrate its first birthday on September 6 amidst complaints on its punctuality and shocking performance. The Borders Railway was expected to achieve 300,000 more trips from its target of 1.3 million before its first anniversary, but its poor performance is affecting passengers.

According to the figures of ScotRail, only about one in four trains or 28.4% has arrived on time since the first of the month. At least 70 trains have been cancelled over the first 10 days of August because of track and train faults, a fallen tree and a driver going on sick leave. On the other hand, David Spaven, a railway consultant and author, has stated that the Borders Railways is a classic example of a pound-foolish project.

If the poor performance of Class 158 trains and the frequency of failure on the track and signaling equipment were taken together, there is a clear case for inquiry in order to find out how such problems have occurred and allowed to develop. Rail campaigners have expressed their concerns on the delays and cancellations that have obviously reached epidemic proportions. The concerns have been ignored and travelers are now abandoning the unreliable railway.

According to the Scottish government, Network Rail and Scot Rail, a robust recovery plan was must be established immediately in order to save the Borders Railway otherwise passengers will look for better options. A Scot Rail spokesperson has said that they are doing everything they can for the convenience of travelers and they are working to match reliability with the demand for services on the new rail line.  On the other hand, a Transport Scotland spokesperson also said that they are committed in ensuring that Scot Rail will deliver a reliable and punctual service across the network.

People usually go online when they need to Book a train in Thailand because it is more efficient and convenient than buying tickets at the train station prior to departure. The steps in online booking are very simple because the homepage shows all the tickets that you can purchase. You only have to select and click to go about with the task.


UK Experts Successfully Grow Rare Birch Species

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Scientists from UK finally germinated Betula chichibuensis seedlings, an endangered Japanese Birch species. These were the first successfully germinated seedlings for the past thirty years. There are only 21 known surviving species of the tree. The propagation of the trees needs to be aided or else the trees won’t last.

Two trees need to be located near enough to make cross-pollination possible. This makes production of seeds difficult in small groups. Deforestation and forest degradation also threatens the survival of the rare birch trees.

On 2014, a group of experts led by University of Oxford Botanic Gardens together with University of Tokyo went on a mission to gather seeds from Betula chichibuensis species. Dan Luscombe of Forestry Commission’s Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest joined the team.

Luscombe said they were fortunate to arrive at the perfect time. The tree was found in an extremely isolated location which is difficult to access. It was the time when the seeds were shedding which it does only once. They were able to gather plenty of seeds from the deteriorating tree.

Luscombe approximated that the group collected around a thousand seeds. From these seeds, Bedgebury Pinetum was able to germinate a hundred seedlings. He explained that the seedlings are extremely rare and forests are vulnerable. Someone who wants to return them to their natural habitat or plant them on a different place must learn how to raise them.

The lasting goal of the venture is to grow the rare birch seedlings in different arboretums throughout U.K. They will also continue collaboration with experts in Japan to guard the existence of the rare Japanese birch species in the forests.

Luscombe and his colleagues plan to try cultivating the birch trees in diverse weather conditions, soils and other environments. He expounded that cultivating the seedlings in different areas of the country would lessen the risk of trees destructed by storm or plant diseases.

They also plan to make seed orchards for a continuous seed supply. The trees can be placed in parks and landscapes with the help of Pro Decor as long as the owners will learn how to take care of the threated species of Japanese birch.


The Surge In Release In House Equity Release In The United Kingdom

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If you are into real estate investing then you are perhaps familiar with HomeUnion Investment Properties. HomeUnion investment has been a forerunner in the industry where it belongs to. Its years of fruitful experience in the real estate industry sector as well as the pool of expert real estate agents and consultants have added to the reliability of their brand.

The UK scenario
In the second quarter this year, it has been official that the equity release lending to the home owners in United Kingdom for owners aged more than 55 amounted to 384.3 million pounds. This is the largest amount ever recorded for any quarter.
This latest figure from the Equity Release Council surpasses the previous high which was in the amount of 375.4 million pounds. The record also showed that the withdrawal of over the age of 55 was about 4.2 million pounds everyday from the months April to June in relation with housing wealth.

This uplift in the real estate industry came despite the savers have gained greater access to their respective pensions under the freedoms that was launched last April. As the prices of housing increases, it shows that there is a rising appeal in leveraging property wealth as an extra means of source of retirement fund later in life.

The record lending during the second quarter of this year means that the total value of the equities released within January to June hit at least 710 million pounds. This is the largest amount recorded for the first half of any year in history. The amount reflects also an 11 percent increase from the first half of last year.

In the second quarter, records show that there were more than 5000 new equity releases to clients and the figure is a significant 11 percent increase from the previous quarter. The number pushed the total figure of new customers past the 10,000 mark for the first half of 2015.

Consequently, the value of lending thru the lump sum mortgages also increased by at least 10 percent on a year on year basis during the first six months of this year. The value reached to a staggering 285.3 million pounds. This is by far the highest total amount recorded for a lump sum activity during the first half of any given year since 2007.


Forecast For The Paper And Paperboard Packaging Market

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What can packaging firms like Paper Mart expect in the near future? After the economic slowdown from 2007 to 2009, paper and paperboard packaging markets is showing a slight growth. The market for paper and paperboard packaging is projected to reach at least $213.4 billion by 2020 and a CAGR of 3.5% from 2015 to 2020.

The European region accounts for approximately 33% of the total market share value and closely followed by the North American and Asia Pacific regions. The Asia Pacific region particular China and India is estimated to gain the fastest growth during the review period because of the increase in demand for convenience food and better healthcare and personal products. The growth of the market is also related to the increasing population and the growth of disposable income among the citizens in the region.

Paper and paperboard packaging is an end-user oriented market. It is growing in accordance with packaging industry. It is mostly driven by consumer preferences for eco-friendly packaging solutions due to the increasing problems of landfills. Other packaging materials like plastic and metal are non-biodegradable or degrade very slowly that is why most manufacturers have switched to paper and paperboard packaging. Concerns over the ecosystem and animal habitat are the main reasons that are driving the packaging industry to come up with innovative solutions that are more convenient to their customers.

The eco-friendly appeal of paper has penetrated global packaging. In the last decade, the packaging industry has experienced innovations in design and technological advancements. Paper and paperboard packaging has captured new segments like frozen foods, multi-pack beverage holders and recycled paperboard for dry food packaging and healthcare products.

However, there is fierce competition in the paper and paperboard packaging industry because of the entry of a large number of players. In order to ensure their presence in the market, they key strategies used by most market players include new product launches, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and expansions.

The market research report is annually published by Markets and Markets that specializes in business research across high growth markets, cutting edge technologies and newer applications.


$2.98M 2015 Budget Gets Approval From Norwich Council

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Welcoming the 2015, Norwich Township Council initiates a draft, giving approval to the budget that will act as capital of the township for this year, 2015. The project includes about $3 Million in purchases and projects topping a stunning impact of $764,500 budget. This will be their budget in Paving Norwich a better future.

Norwich has experienced quite a few accidents within their pavements, and so, most of the budget will deal with Paving Norwich better roads and streets. It was presented on January 29, 2015, that the biggest material on the list of the project will fall under the road constructions. However, what follows it on the list are also big projects like, completing the unfinished municipal building and new items and equipment for their firefighting group.

Most of the funding that are on the budget will be squeezed out from reserve funds which Norwich has managed to accumulate over the years. Here are some of the changes included in the list of plans for the road construction project mentioned above:

• $25,000 of the budget will fall on reconstructing sidewalks which became a hot topic due to compensations lead from occasional trips and falls of pedestrians.

• The Burgess Street will experience an extension dubbed as ‘Burgessville’ where $25,000 will be allocated for it.

• ‘John’ Street will also be experiencing the reconstruction with an astounding $390,000 budget. The $390,000 budget is squeezed from the impact tax of about $350,000 while the remaining $40,000 will be squeezed from the reserve funds of the council.

• The Quaker street will also be involved in some serious reconstruction. It will be Pulverized first, then paved anew. The Street is located 13 County Road Eastern side. The budget for this project totals $457,000. The $147,000 will come from the reserve funds while the remaining $310,000 will come from grants. There will be no impact tax for the project which saves it from further payments.

• A $50,000 budget will also be reserved for future bridge reconstructions.
The Council is also expecting to save from fuel and asphalt this year, which may possibly give them an additional project that will help them extend distances of their project in Quaker Street. The reserve funds are also amazingly huge as they were also used to buy the equipment for the projects:

• $62,000 on trailer and paver of asphalt.

• $190,000 on truck with plow and sole axle dump.

• $5,000 for level of laser.