Members' News

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UK: The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced a £150 million scheme to upgrade the railway station at Gatwick Airport, which will reduce train delays caused by platform overcrowding and congestion, while also improving passenger experience by providing easier connections to other destinations.

Planned upgrades will include doubling the size of the station concourse, adding 5 new lifts and 8 escalators to improve passenger flow, and widening 2 platforms to reduce overcrowding.

"With 46 million people now using Gatwick Airport every year and 20 million coming by train, it is vital that we make the station more accessible and customer friendly for those travelling through it. The UK’s second largest airport has direct rail links to more than 120 destinations and is an important public transport hub," Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport commented that the redesigned train station will provide a seamless transition between the airport and the station.

"The new station will complement the huge improvements to rail services at the airport, which include new fleets of Gatwick Express and Thameslink trains and services that now leave the airport for London every 3 minutes – as frequently as services on the tube," Stewart Wingate said.

The number of people using Gatwick Airport station each year has grown by 6 million since 2010. Currently the station is not designed for the high volume of daily passengers, often carrying bulky luggage.

The renovation will be managed by Network Rail, in partnership with DfT. Gatwick Airport Ltd and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership are co-funding the project with £37 million and £10 million respectively.

Paul Harwood, Director of Investment for Network Rail, said:

"The transformational enhancement to Gatwick Airport station will provide passengers with a much smoother and more pleasant experience and also reduce train delays.

Along with the recent improvements on the Brighton Main Line and our record £4.3 billion funding settlement for maintaining, operating and renewing the railway over the next five years, this investment is excellent news for passengers, businesses and the economy."

Patrick Verwer, Chief Executive Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, said:

"This much-needed scheme will deliver real benefits for passengers thanks to enhanced platforms, new lifts and a larger concourse. At such a busy station these upgraded facilities will significantly contribute to the smooth running of our services for travellers getting to and from the airport."

Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital said:

"If our economy is to grow, we need a transport network that supports faster, more reliable, and less polluting journeys for business, leisure and freight travel. Gatwick airport is an international destination and its station is a gateway to London and the wider Coast to Capital area.

This plan will greatly improve the interchange for commuters, visitors and business which will support the sustainable growth of the area with Gatwick airport at its heart.

We are delighted to have contributed £10 million and look forward to working with partners to deliver a better experience for passengers."

The improvement works will start in spring 2020 and will take around 2 years to complete. The works will be sequenced to ensure minimum disruption.

 

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Aoife Considine

UK: Aoife Considine, a Fleet Engineering Manager of Heathrow Express, was nominated and shortlisted for the Everywoman Awards in 2019.

Aoife is an excellent ambassador for the rail industry and excels at raising awareness and encouraging young people to enter engineering as well as ensuring that they reach their potential in their careers. She participates in annual debates for National Women in Engineering Day and is visiting students in schools to act as a mentor.

“We were very proud of our Fleet Engineering Manager Aoife Considine on making the shortlist for the everywoman Transport & Logistics Awards. Aoife is only really just beginning her career, and has already made an incredible impact at a complex time for the company – maintaining our existing HEx fleet and the TfL Rail fleet, while also planning for the launch of a new HEx fleet and subsequent depot move. She is an excellent ambassador for the rail industry and excels at raising awareness and encouraging young people and women to enter engineering in the rail industry,” Les Freer, Director of Heathrow Express said.

Congratulations to Aoife from GARA!

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Discover KL 1

MALAYSIA: The operator of KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit airport rail link services in Kuala Lumpur Express Rail Links Sdn Bhd (ERL) had a busy week with three new partnerships announced.

Discover Kuala Lumpur package is a collaboration between ERL and KL Hop-On Hop-Off. The partnership allows passengers with at least eight hours of waiting time at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA & KLIA2) to make a quick visit to the city. The package includes a KLIA Ekspres Return Ticket and a round trip on the KL Hop-On Hop-Off bus. There are two routes available - the Garden Route and the City Route which will take about two hours each depending on the traffic conditions. It operates on the "hop on, hop off" approach allowing participants of the tour to get off and on the bus at any
stop they choose within 24 hours of their voucher redemption. Discover Kuala Lumpur packages can be purchased online via the KLIA Ekspres website and app, as well as the self-service kiosks at KLIA, KLIA2 and KL Sentral.

Another initiative launched this week was “Go Cashless on Public Transport” Campaign which was organised by ERL at KL Sentral. The launch event saw the participation of ERL’s strategic partners, namely, Boost e-wallet, GrabPay, Mastercard, Maybank, Touch ‘n Go, UnionPay and Visa. In support of the national agenda, to promote awareness and usage of contactless cards and digital/mobile wallets by the travelling public on train services and at stations. The usage of cashless transactions on all ERL services is 47%, an increase of 5% compared to 2018.

And finally, in a bid to extend its rail expertise globally, ERL will continue supporting the Al Mashaaer Al Muqadassah Metro – or Makkah Metro – during the Hajj season. This time around, 28 staff from ERL as well as staff from ERL Maintenance Support Sdn Bhd (E-MAS) will hold numerous positions for about two months starting June to support the operations. Among the roles are Deputy Station Manager, Station Master, Assistant Station Master and Station Control Room Agent. This year's secondment marks the eighth year that ERL has been seconding staff for the rail system that runs only seven days every year.

"Including this year's secondment, we can say around 80 ERL and E-MAS staff have contributed to the smooth running of the Makkah Metro from 2012," said ERL Chief Executive Officer, Noormah Mohd Noor. "This gives our staff the opportunity to gain new and unique experiences, especially in a situation that has a strong call for mass transportation. In the operations, each pilgrim must be transported into and out of Arafat within six to eight hours. This exposure to crowd control, station management and train operations on a massive scale will not only help them to develop their interpersonal skills, but hone and develop new management skills as their job requires them to coordinate and communicate with all levels of operation staff from various nationalities."

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Gautrain Extension map

SOUTH AFRICA: The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) has completed the feasibility study for the Gauteng Rail Extension Network and the study was submitted to National Treasury for approval.

According to GMA's Senior Executive Manager, Communication and Marketing Dr Barbara Jensen, once approval has been granted the planning and Environmental Impact Assessment of Phase 1 will begin. 

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oh flytoget 201723 530 web

NORWAY: Starting from 22 June through to 9 August, Flytoget will run all night rail service between city centre and Oslo Airport.

"We are very excited to introduce the "Night Summer Train" for the travellers choosing Flytoget as their airport access mode," CEO of Flytoget Philipp Engedal said. "We know that many of our customers fly at slightly different times in the summer and more departures at night was something they have asked for. We hope and believe that the offer will be well received."

Usually the last Flytoget train departs from Oslo Airport at 00.50 and first 05:30, but this summer the following departures are set up from Oslo Airport at 01:10, 01:30, 02:10, 02:40, 04:50 and 05:10.

Usually the first Flytoget trains from Oslo S to Oslo Airport leaves at 04.40, but this summer there will be additional departures at 04:00 and 04:20.