PROSPECTS for JR Freight’s M250 freight EMU (RG 5.03 p265) look encouraging given that the Japanese government has decided to impose new regulations on heavy lorries from September, forcing road haulage companies to fit speed limiters which will cut fuel supply if they exceed 90 km/h. Intended to reduce the number of road accidents and cut pollution, the move is certain to boost demand for faster rail container services on major trunk lines.This should cheer the otherwise rather gloomy outlook for JR Freight. JR Central President Yoshiyuki Kasai remarks in his book on the privatisation of JNR (p402) that repair costs for damage caused by freight trains to track, overhead line and other facilities on the 1067mm gauge Tokaido line between Tokyo and Osaka are estimated to cost ¥30bn a year, whereas JR Freight pays only around ´3·5bn in access charges to operate about 200 freight trains a day. Kasai says that there is a legal obligation for JR Freight to aim for a stock market listing, but he dismisses this as ‘completely unrealistic’.Kasai ascribes much of the track damage on the Tokaido line to JR Freight’s heavy locomotives and wagons, so the FEMU’s 12·5 tonne axleload would go some way towards meeting his objections. Total loaded weight is about 730 tonnes, and top speed will be 130 km/h, allowing the train to run between Tokyo and Osaka in less than 6h. The current fastest timing for a loco-hauled container express is 6h 40min, offering an end-to-end average speed including crew change stops of 83 km/h.
Utah Jazz: Jazz and Thunder, both minus their starting point guards, tangle tonight at OKC Related I’m excited right now. I’d like to thank the Miller family for believing in me and giving me this extension and thank the Jazz organization, the coaches, the fans, the media — everybody. It’s a dream come true. – Jazzman Derrick FavorsSALT LAKE CITY — Derrick Favors was happy. Tyrone Corbin was happy. Dennis Lindsey was happy.They were all at the Zions Bank Basketball Center Saturday to talk about Favor’s new four-year contract extension after a morning practice. While announcing the signing, the Jazz didn’t release terms of the agreement, although some media reports put the number at $49 million over four years.“I’m excited right now,’’ Favors said. “I’d like to thank the Miller family for believing in me and giving me this extension and thank the Jazz organization, the coaches, the fans, the media — everybody. It’s a dream come true.’’Corbin echoed Favors, saying he was excited about locking up his young forward for the next five years (this year and the four-year extension).“I’m excited for him, I’m excited for the organization,’’ said Corbin. “He’s a great young player who has demonstrated himself well and continued to grow his game. We’re excited to continue have him as part of the Jazz family.’’Lindsey sort of apologized for the timing of the announcement on the morning of a college football Saturday and said a more formal announcement would come later.“We had a willing and motivated partner in Derrick and (agent) Wallace Prather and we just grinded our way through this,’’ he said. “We feel good with the result. This is a happy day for us.’’Favors was the third overall pick by New Jersey in 2010 after his freshman season at Georgia Tech. However, he was traded to Utah later that season in a deal that sent Deron Williams to New Jersey.Favors said he didn’t feel any pressure to get the extension signed and said he let his agent take care of everything.Calling it “a big relief,’’ Favors said he looks forward to being in Utah for at least the next five years and joked, “I don’t have to buy no boxes for moving no more.”He also talked about why he likes living in Utah and said he hopes to retire as a Jazzman.“The main thing I like about Salt Lake City is that it’s peaceful,’’ he said. “It’s not loud with a lot of stuff going on. You can go home and get peace of mind. I hope to make this my home and I hope to retire here.’’WHAT ABOUT GORDON?: Now that Favors has signed, what about Gordon Hayward?Neither Corbin nor Lindsey would say much about the possibility of a new contract for Hayward before the season.“(Gordon) is happy for Derrick and he understands his situation is what it is and there’s talks going on and hopefully things get worked out,” he said. “We love both guys and hope everything will get worked out so we can keep the guys here and that’s how we’re approaching it.’’“The comment that we had for both guys in the preseason will hold true,’’ said Lindsay. “We’re hopeful and beyond that we won’t comment on negotiations.’’MORE OFFENSE: The Jazz are halfway through their preseason schedule, but they’ll fit their final four games in this week with a game Sunday in Oklahoma City and three games in the Los Angeles area this week.Corbin has been pleased with his defense so far, but wants to see an improvement on the offense this week.“We need to make sure we get better with the offense and be more potent in what we’re doing offensively,’’ he said. “We have to continue to get better on defense. We’ve done a pretty good job of communicating and understanding where we are, from the beginning of camp. But now the offense has to catch up a little bit and we got to make sure we won’t have the lulls we’ve had scoring on the offensive end.’’JAZZ NOTES: Toward the end of Jazz practice Saturday morning, the fire alarm at the Zions Bank facility began blaring and didn’t stop for 25 minutes. A small accident in the kitchen near the court was doused with a fire extinguisher, but there was enough smoke to set off the alarm. … The Jazz took 18 of their 19 players on the trip to Oklahoma City. Injured Marvin Williams and Brandon Rush both went, but rookie Trey Burke stayed home. … Jeremy Evans, who sat out of practice with a strained rotator cuff injury, is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Rudy Gobert, has a sprained shoulder and didn’t practice Saturday and is listed as day-to-day. … Point guard Lester Hudson, who has a sprained ankle, is cleared to play, while Scott Machado, the other backup point guard, has a “lower abdominal contusion” and will be a game-time decision.