Subscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.
GERMANY: Open access operator RDC Deutschland has submitted proposals to DB Netz for upgrading of the car-carrier shuttle service between Niebüll and Westerland on the island of Sylt. In return for higher access fees that would pay for upgrading of terminals and other infrastructure improvements, RDC Deutschland, the German subsidiary of Railroad Development Corp, plans to operate a more frequent service throughout the day. This would prove attractive both for visitors and for local residents, the company suggests. According to General Director, Passenger Services Hans Leister, the Sylt shuttle has ‘exceptional development potential’.RDC Deutschland envisages taking over the Sylt shuttle from December 2015 for a period of 10 years using a fleet of new trains. The proposal means applying for paths now with a view to signing an agreement with DB Netz in March 2015 — in the meantime the application for paths has to be agreed with other operators using the route. In view of the high level of investment in the shuttle service, regulatory body Bundesnetzagentur has already agreed that a contract could be awarded for a 10-year period. RDC Deutschland envisages taking on existing staff and offering new jobs to operate the expanded service.RDC has expressed concern about the withdrawal of overnight and car-carrier trains in Europe. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Leister said that RDC is considering extension of its Hamburg – Köln HKX services to Frankfurt-am-Main and would be keen to take over the Berlin – Paris City Night Line overnight service that DB Fernverkehr’s DB AutoZug GmbH subsidiary plans to withdraw in December.
Didier Drogba gave Chelsea a precious lead to take to the Nou Camp for the Champions League semi-final second leg as his goal beat holders Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.The Catalans dominated possession as well as creating a succession of chances – but Drogba struck in first-half injury time to give interim manager Roberto di Matteo’s side an advantage to protect in Barcelona next Tuesday.Chelsea were forced to mount a resilient rearguard action in the face of Barcelona’s famous passing “carousel”, but Drogba converted their one clear chance to reward the outstanding defensive work of Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole and captain John Terry in keeping Lionel Messi and co at bay.Barcelona produced evidence of the huge threat they will pose in front of their own supporters as they enjoyed 72% of the possession, but Chelsea will be elated at not only claiming the victory but also keeping a crucial clean sheet.Alexis Sanchez hit the crossbar for Barcelona early on and Pedro hit the post in the dying seconds – while Cole cleared off the line from Cesc Fabregas. Goalkeeper Petr Cech also saved well from Messi and Carles Puyol as Pep Guardiola’s team tried every avenue in an attempt to break Chelsea down.In the end, Chelsea’s organisation and discipline was rewarded but Di Matteo knows they will have to produce the same – and more besides – in the Nou Camp to confirm a meeting with either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final in Munich next month. Di Matteo clearly saw Drogba’s power as a potential threat to a Barcelona defence stripped of Gerard Pique – but he barely caught sight of goal in a first 45 minutes in which the Catalans exerted their technical superiority. Chelsea were riding their luck as early as the eighth minute when Andres Iniesta played in Sanchez. The Chilean’s lob left Cech stranded but his effort bounced back to safety off the bar.Fabregas was the guilty party when Chelsea had another escape soon after. Messi was the creator to set up Iniesta but when Cech could only push out his shot, the former Arsenal captain miscued his finish from eight yards.Messi was the next to test Cech with a header from Sanchez’s cross, the Chelsea keeper gathering the effort comfortably as Barcelona once more failed to produce the final touch to accompany their artistic approach work.As half-time approached Fabregas had another chance to give Barcelona the lead. He collected an incisive Messi pass and this time beat Cech, who required Cole to scramble back and clear the ball off the line. Chelsea, at this point, would have been happy to reach the interval on level terms – but instead they produced the wonderful bonus of a goal in first-half injury time.Messi was caught in possession by Frank Lampard, who released Ramires, and the reliable Brazilian served up the perfect cross for Drogba to sweep a left-footed finish past Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes.Drogba’s main contribution prior to his goal was to go through his full range of theatrics but this was an example of exactly why Di Matteo made him his choice. As is their style, Barcelona continued as if almost failing to recognise they had fallen behind – but also in the same vein of wasting the openings they created as Adriano saw a shot pushed away by Cech and Sanchez was unable to apply the finish to Fabregas’s scooped pass.Chelsea were pushed right back into their own territory as Barcelona probed and passed for an opening. They were able, however, to survive without too many serious alarms until the closing moments. Cech dived away to his right to save Puyol’s header from Messi’s free-kick then escaped again in the final seconds as substitute Pedro struck the base of the post, with Sergio Busquets lifting the rebound wildly over the bar.And after clinching a place against Liverpool in the FA Cup Final with victory against Tottenham on Sunday, Chelsea can now contemplate the possibility of reaching their second Champions League Final in five years.