Virgin Hyperloop One set to develop GCC ultra-fast tube


US-based Virgin Hyperloop One, a startup developing super high-speed transportation systems, is working on an ambitious plan to connect the entire Gulf region through an ultra-fast tube transportation system, which will operate at a velocity of 1,100 km per hour.

The company has already signed an agreement with the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Philanthropic Foundation (also known as the Misk Foundation) for this hitech transportation system and to train Saudi youth on engineering and technical skills, reported Arab News.

On behalf of the Misk Foundation, the agreement was inked by Bader Al-Asaker, secretary-general of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Philanthropic Foundation, known as the Misk Foundation.

The proposed ultra-fast tube transportation means that a vehicle would run through a tube at a velocity of 1,100 km for an hour, which could quickly connect countries in the region, revealed Josh Giegel, the founder of US-based Virgin Hyperloop One.

“It will be two to three times faster and cheaper than the high-speed train,” he stated.

The details of the project, such as routes of operations inside as well as outside the kingdom, will be discussed with the Saudi parties shortly, Giegel told Arab News.

He pointed out that such ultra-fast transportation was also ideal for inland transport.

Within a span of two years, Giegel said Hyperloop One has assembled a team of more than 300 world-class experts, and built a campus in downtown Los Angeles, a test and safety site in the Nevada desert, and a 100,000-sq-ft. machine and tooling shop in North Las Vegas.

Pointing out the interest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in empowering Saudi youths under the Vision 2030 program, Giegel said his company had agreed to offer internships for Saudi youths in Los Angeles and train technicians and engineers in relevant fields.

“We are ready to train them in their own fields and update them with the latest technology in the digital world,” he added.


New York vintage subway trains return for holiday season

NEW YORK — The vintage holiday trains are back for the holidays!

With the holiday season among us, the New York Transit Museum is taking us back in time with vintage train cars and vintage buses.

Holiday train rides will be around on Sundays running Nov. 26, Dec. 3, 10, 17, and 24.

In honor of the Second Avenue Subway’s one-year anniversary, this year’s Holiday Nostalgia Train will be running along the F line between 2nd Avenue and Lexington Avenue/63rd Street and via the Q line between Lexington Avenue/63rd Street and 96th Street on the Upper East Side.

On the F line, trains depart at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. while from the 96th Street subway station, trains will depart at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m.

The so-called Shoppers Special train is made up of R1/9-style cars, also known as city cars, which served as the foundation for the modern subway train. The cars, which ran on the lettered lines, are teeming with atmosphere. Have a seat on the rattan chairs, read the newspaper under incandescent bulb lighting, stay cool under the big ceiling fans, and get a read on your final destination from the roll signs.

Nostalgia busses will also be in service from Dec. 4 to Dec. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Special Guest Blog By Ken Kinlock

(Photo from a friend. Interior of Building 273 in Schenectady)


Years 2004-2006
When I review the annual reports of the General Electric Company, they combine the industrial manufacturing, services and media businesses of General Electric Company (GE) with the financial services businesses of General Electric Capital Services, Inc. (GECS or financial services).

I am going to not discuss the last category because it will DISAPPEAR soon. Nor will I discuss NBC. During these years GE invested in other lines of power generation, such as wind power, and developed product services. As a result, Energy revenues have grown signifiantly over these years and the business is positioned well for continued growth in 2007 and beyond. GE also continued to invest in market-leading technology and services at Aviation, Water and Transportation;

The Plastics business was hit particularly hard during these three
years because of additional pressure from significant inflation in
natural gas and certain raw materials such as benzene. As a result
of these factors and the 2006 sales of GE Supply and Advanced
Materials, we do not expect this segment to experience significant
growth in 2007.

Per-share dividends of $1.03 were up 13% from 2005, following an 11%
increase from the preceding year. In December 2006, the Board of Directors raised our quarterly dividend 12% to $0.28 per share. GE has rewarded shareowners with over 100 consecutive years of dividends, with 31 consecutive years of dividend growth.

Of interest to many of our readers, the principal pension plan had a surplus of $11.5 billion at December 31, 2006. GE will not make any contributions to the GE Pension Plan in 2007. To the best of our ability to forecast the next five years, GE does not anticipate making contributions to that plan as long as expected investment returns are achieved.

Selected Segment Operating Results (in millions)
2006 2005 2004
Infrastructure $47,429 $41,803 $37,373
Healthcare $16,562 $15,153 $13,456
Industrial $33,494 $32,631 $30,722

Selected Segment Profit (in millions)
2006 2005 2004
Infrastructure $9,040 $7,769 $6,797
Healthcare $3,143 $2,665 $2,286
Industrial $2,696 $2,559 $1,833

HHHmmmm Jeff has learned what the word “RECAST” means

Now to break it down

(In millions) 2006 2005 2004
Aviation $13,152 $11,904 $11,094
Aviation Financial Services 4,177 3,504 3,159
Energy 19,133 16,525 14,586
Energy Financial Services 1,664 1,349 972
Oil & Gas 4,340 3,598 3,135
Transportation 4,169 3,577 3,007
Aviation $ 2,909 $ 2,573 $ 2,238
Aviation Financial Services 1,108 764 520
Energy 3,000 2,665 2,543
Energy Financial Services 695 646 376
Oil & Gas 548 411 331
Transportation 781 524 516

GE’S TOTAL BACKLOG of firm unfilled orders at the end of 2006
was $46.5 billion, an increase of 29% from year-end 2005,
reflecting increased demand at Infrastructure. Of the total backlog,
$32.2 billion related to products, of which 63% was scheduled
for delivery in 2007. Product services orders, included in this
reported backlog for only the succeeding 12 months, were
$14.3 billion at the end of 2006. Orders constituting this backlog
may be cancelled or deferred by customers, subject in certain
cases to penalties.


Special Guest Blog By Ken Kinlock

(Featured photo is Burlington Northern locomotive made by GE Tansportation Systems)


GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of technology to the energy industry, providing a comprehensive range of solutions for oil and gas, traditional and renewable power generation and energy management.

GE Healthcare is a global leader in diagnostic and interventional medical imaging, information and services technology. The pending acquisition of
Amersham plc, a world leader in diagnostic imaging agents and life sciences, will transform GE Healthcare into the world’s most comprehensive
medical diagnostics company.

America’s first broadcast network, NBC is a diverse, international media company with the Number One-ranked U.S. television network, 29 owned and
operated stations, cable channels CNBC, MSNBC and Bravo, and Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo. NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment have agreed to merge and form NBC Universal, creating one of the world’s fastest-growing media companies.

GE Transportation comprises Aircraft Engines and Rail, two industry-leading business units whose products and services span the aviation, rail, marine and off-highway industries with jet engines for military
and civil aircraft, freight and passenger locomotives, motorized systems for mining trucks and drills, and gas turbines for marine and industrial applications.

GE Infrastructure is a high-technology platform comprising some of GE’s fastest-growing businesses. They offer a set of protection and productivity solutions to some of the most pressing issues that industries face: pure water, safe facilities, plant automation and sensing applications for operating environments.

GE Advanced Materials is a world leader in providing customers in a wide range of industries with materials solutions through engineering thermoplastics, siliconbased products and technology platforms, and fused
quartz and ceramics.

GE Consumer & Industrial serves customers in more than 100 countries with appliances, lighting products and integrated industrial equipment, systems and services sold under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, SmartWater™ and Reveal® consumerbrands, and the Entellisys™ industrial brand.

The board and I are not selling insurance businesses out of frustration at their operating erformance. Insurance is simply not the right business for us in the future. It requires significant capital to grow, and it does not fully leverage GE’s capabilities.

We made great progress in energy efficiency. We introduced four leading products in 2003: the H System™ gas turbine; a 3.6-megawatt wind turbine; the GE Evolution™ Series locomotive engine; and the GE90-115B jet engine.

segments, we will achieve lower costs of operations in platforms
that will accommodate our future growth. The new segments
most affected by this change follow:
• Advanced Materials — plastics, silicones and quartz
• Infrastructure—water, security, sensors and Fanuc Automation
• Transportation — aircraft engines, rail and certain parts of
GE Supply
• Consumer and Industrial—appliances, lighting and industrial
• Commercial Finance — the combination of Commercial
Finance and the Fleet Services business that was previously
part of Equipment Management
• Equipment & Other Services—the combination of Equipment
Management (excluding Fleet Services) and the All Other
GECS segments

For the years ended December 31 (In millions) 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999
Advanced Materials $7,078 $6,963 $7,069 $8,020 $7,118
Commercial Finance 20,813 19,592 17,723 17,549 14,506
Consumer Finance 12,845 10,266 9,508 9,320 7,562
Consumer & Industrial 12,843 12,887 13,063 13,406 13,051
Energy 19,082 23,633 21,030 15,703 10,998
Equipment & Other Services 4,427 5,545 7,735 15,074 14,768
Healthcare 10,198 8,955 8,409 7,275 6,171
Infrastructure 3,078 1,901 392 486 421
Insurance 26,194 23,296 23,890 24,766 19,433
NBC 6,871 7,149 5,769 6,797 5,790
Transportation 13,515 13,685 13,885 13,285 13,293
Corporate items and eliminations (2,757) (1,662) (2,057) (1,296) (961)
CONSOLIDATED REVENUES $134,187 $132,210 $126,416 $130,385 $112,150

Advanced Materials ($616) $1,000 $1,433 $1,864 $1,588
Commercial Finance 3,910 3,310 2,879 2,528 1,940
Consumer Finance 2,161 1,799 1,602 1,295 848
Consumer & Industrial 577 567 894 1,270 1,330
Energy 4,109 6,294 4,897 2,598 1,583
Equipment & Other Services (419) (388) (222) (212) 25
Healthcare 1,701 1,546 1,498 1,321 1,107
Infrastructure 462 297 26 45 63
Insurance 2,102 (95) 1,879 2,201 2,142
NBC 1,998 1,658 1,408 1,609 1,427
Transportation 2,661 2,510 2,577 2,511 2,233
Total segment profit 19,878 18,498 18,871 17,030 14,286
GECS goodwill amortization — — (552) (620) (512)
GE corporate items and eliminations (491) 1,041 819 935 960
GE interest and other financial charges (941) (569) (817) (811) (810)
GE provision for income taxes (2,857) (3,837) (4,193) (3,799) (3,207)
Earnings before accounting changes 15,589 15,133 14,128 12,735 10,717
Cumulative effect of accounting changes (587) (1,015) (444) — —
CONSOLIDATED NET EARNINGS $÷15,002 $÷14,118 $÷13,684 $÷12,735 $÷10,717

Now let’s next see what Jeff ended up with in 2004!