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FRANCE: The worldwide railway organisation UIC and the International Air Transport Association IATA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote innovation and develop activities of common interest, mostly in the field of ticketing on 30 January 2020.

IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 82% of total air traffic. It supports many areas of aviation activity and helps formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues. IATA’s aim is to assist airlines by simplifying processes and increasing passenger convenience while reducing costs and improving efficiency.

In a similar way as IATA is for the airlines, UIC is for the railways the worldwide professional association representing the railway sector and promoting rail transport.

Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA, said: “As customers increasingly seek sustainable travel options, it is important that providers work together to offer seamless exchanges of passengers and passenger information. IATA has extensive experience in facilitating standards development to support intramodality and our MoU with UIC is an important step toward strengthening this activity.”

François Davenne, UIC Director General, said: “This MoU confirms the desire to really promote multimodality. Offering customers a single ticket for rail and air travel gives them the opportunity to choose the best of both worlds by optimising their journey as well as their carbon footprint. In addition, both IATA and UIC are currently developing tomorrow’s digital standards for ticketing applications: to work on established interfaces right from the design phase is an exciting prospect.”

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Istambul Airport Metro

Picture from the press office of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of Turkey

TURKEY: The President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Minister of Transport Mehmet Cahit Turhan have broken ground of the Gayrettepe-Istanbul Airport Metro project, which will connect Istanbul New Airport, currently under construction.

Minister Turhan expressed the importance of subways in the rail public transportation infrastructure for the city, "at this point, all four corners of Istanbul were connected by metro thanks to the subway constructions that were initiated during your Metropolitan Municipality period and continued during your Prime Ministry and Presidency. We build on a 7-day, 24-hour, 3-shift basis, " the Minister said.

According to the Minister the new metro line M11 will be 37.5 kilometers long, with nine stations along the route, and maximum speed of 120 km/h, making it the fastest underground train line in Turkey. The journey between the Istabul New Airport and Gayrettepe, will take about 35 min.

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RUSSIA: Russian Railways have announced that it will build a new shuttle trains to Sheremetyevo Airport North Terminal Complex (Terminals B and C). The first phase of the work is scheduled to be completed at the beginning of 2022 and will include an 8km rail line, linking the new Sheremetyevo-1 station.

"At the first stage, a railway line will be built that will connect the terminals D, E, F and B, C. This will allow organizing the movement of electric trains between the North and South terminal complexes," said the head of the Moscow Railway (a branch of Russian Railways ) Mikhail Glazkov.

The work has already started on the first flyover. The first phase of the work will link Sheremetyevo's South Terminal Complex to the North with trains running every 15 minutes.

The second stage involves connecting the new rail link with the Moscow Railway towards Savelovsky direction, as part of the Belorussko-Savelovsky project WDC-1.

After completion of the full range of works, the capacity of the railway infrastructure at Sheremetyevo Airport will increase from 38 existing to 72 pairs of trains per day. From Moscow, trains to the airport will depart every 15 minutes.

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Kyiv Boryspil Express new trains 1

Ukrainian Railways JSC press picture

UKRAINE: The Kyiv Boryspil Express service, operating between Kiev Pasazhyrsky central railway station and Boryspil International Airport, has received brand new Ukrainian-made diesel trains. The trains have three 170 seat carriages allowing to carry 470 passengers each way.

The DPKr-3 diesel trains were built in 2019 and has the maximum operating speed of 140km/h. The trains are equipped with six luggage racks in each carriage, power sockets and digital screens. The trains are wheelchair accessible.

The Ukrainian Railways JSC and the Ministry of Infrastructure are now exploring the possibility to electrify the route.

“Electrification of the airport route will allow the rolling stock currently in use on the airport line to be used for regional transport,” said the Ukrainian Railways CEO Yevgeny Kraytsov.

The Kyiv Boryspil Express has also celebrated its one millionth passenger in December 2019.

“Two major events have coincided today: the millionth passenger and the launch of a new diesel train. We are in high demand for our express trains in peak hours, when not even the double train configuration is enough. But thanks to the new trains we will be able to meet this growing demand,” said Yevgeny Kravtsov.

The Kyiv Boryspil Express trains started operating from November 2018 with up to 58 journeys a day.

Currently the trains run from the central railway station to the airport with an intermediate stop at Darbytsya station. Works are underway to upgrade platforms at Vydubichi station so it can be introduced on the airport express route.

 

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GERMANY: The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) is finally set to open on 31 October 2020, after the Supervisory Board approved the proposal on 29 November 2019. Scheduled flights will end in Tegel one week later, on 8 November 2020. In that time, there will be three major relocation steps in which all flight operations will move from Tegel Airport to BER.

The Supervisory Board also passed the 2020 budget. The operating result planned for 2020 is around EUR 86 million due to the one-off charge for commissioning of BER (ORAT programme). 

“The date is set: BER will open on 31 October 2020. All the work that still needs doing at BER is being done intensively. There is still much to be done in the next eleven months. The finished building must become a functioning airport," Chief Executive Officer of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH Engelbert Lütke Daldrup said. 

Deutsche Bahn will also start its operations as soon as the new airport is open.

"We had already completed our tracks and platform facilities in time for the originally scheduled date in October 2011, and will be ready when the flight operations begin", Deutsche Bahn representative for Berlin Alexander Kaczmarek said.

During the long delay of the airport opening, the train stations was undergoing regular safety checks with empty trains running time to time to ventilate the tunnel and the station. The signalling technology at the airport station on tracks 2 and 3 was retrofitted in 2012.

On the dedicated Airport Express Train, the travel time to the airport from the main Berlin station will be 35 min (20 min after the Dresden Railway starts operating), compared to 51 min on the S-Bahn.