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Saudi Airlines

UAE: Saudi Arabian Airlines and Saudi Railways have signed a strategic partnership agreement on 27 May to provide integrated transport services between the airline and the Al-Haramain Express rail service.

The partnership aims to develop an interoperable air-rail passenger experience service including online travel procedures, apps, self-service and seamless baggage transfer between the airline and Haramain train stations in Medina, Jeddah, King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh.

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THAILAND: Thailand’s Cabinet has approved a draft contract worth 225 billion baht (7.07 billion USD) to build a high-speed rail connecting the country’s three major airports of Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao.

The consortium led by Charoen Pokphan (CP) Group is expected to sign the contract, proposed by the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office, with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) on June 15.
Under the contract, the SRT will pay 149 billion baht over a period of 10 years and the joint venture contract covers 50 years.

The 220 km railway will run from Bangkok's Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports to the U-Tapao airport in nearby Rayong Province.

Thailand's government is looking to bring advanced industries like aircraft, robotics and next-generation automobiles to Rayong and its surroundings as part of its ambitious Eastern Economic Corridor scheme.

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Sunshine Light Rail Link

AUSTRALIA: Sunshine Coast Airport has delivered its Draft Master Plan document charting the planned evolution of the airport over the next two decades and beyond.

The release of the draft Sunshine Coast Airport Master Plan 2040 will now be followed by a 50-business day community engagement period, from Thursday 30 May to 5.00pm, Friday 9 August 2019.

The Sunshine Coast Airport Master Plan 2040 will deliver one of the Sunshine Coast’s most significant transport, tourism and economic infrastructure assets, adding $4.1 billion to Gross Regional Product between 2020–2040, and opening-up new direct destinations in Australia, the Pacific and Asia to benefit Sunshine Coast residents and visitors.
The plan inlcudes plans for an integrated transport hub for the region with provisions for a light-rail station and potential for autonomous vehicles.

Currently The Airport is serviced hourly by one bus service running between Maroochydore and Noosa. The existing mode share for public transport at the Airport is low but may be improved with additional or higher frequency services to accommodate growing passenger numbers.

“With the delivery of the new runway at the end of next year there are some immediate priorities to ensure that the airport is fully prepared to meet the new demands, but equally we have outlined plans that look to 2040 and beyond," Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Brodie said.

“They include land-use priorities to ensure that we have space for developments such as light railway and increased freight handling facilities."

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FRANCE: After five months working closely with SNCF Réseau, Île-de-France Mobilités and the communities, the Prefect of Paris Michel Cadot has proposed to the government two scenarios to carry out Paris-North Railway Line works. 

15 major projects are earmarked to be completed by 20124 on the North axis, including the regeneration of tracks of the RER B, new automated operating and signalling system Nexteo, CDG Express connecting Roissy Airport and Paris city centre, Grand Paris Express interconnections with the RER network, Gare du Nord 2024 and many more.

After number of consultations, the Prefect has proposed two technically feasible scenarios to carry out the work on CDG Express.

Scenario 1 -  CDG Express delivered in May 2024

  • Respect of the calendars for the 15 other projects except the partial realization of the regeneration priority 2
  • Closed 3 weeks in the summer of 2023
  • Necessary reduction for 19 months of CDG Express's level of service to compensate for the postponement of functionalities (Aulnay turnaround and Le Bourget garages)
  • Low additional cost
  • High tension in the railway system and operational risk

Scenario 2 - CDG Express delivered in December 2025

  • Respect of calendars for the other 15 projects
  • More weekends worked on 2021/2023
  • Neutrality guaranteed at commissioning
  • High additional cost requiring a decision in the finance law
  • Lower tension on the rail system

These scenarios were presented to the coordinating committee on April 15, 2019, during which each of the partners expressed its preference:

  • ADP, DIJOP and CDG Express project company for Scenario 1;
  • Île-de-France Region, Hauts-de-France Region, Île-de-France Mobilités, City of Paris, Departmental Council of Seine-Saint-Denis, County Council of Val d'Oise and EPT Plaine Commune in favor Scenario 2

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Virgin Trains USA

USA: Virgin Trains USA, formerly Brightline, announced the rail construction contractors for Phase 2 expansion between Orlando and South Florida, representing a total private investment of $4 billion.

Phase 2 contractors are the Hubbard Construction Company, Wharton-Smith Inc., The Middlesex Corporation, Granite and HSR Constructors. These five contractors will be responsible for the development of 170 miles of new track into the completed state-of-the-art intermodal facility located in the new South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport (MCO).

Construction of Phase 2 encompasses four zones, with Zone One and Zone Two work beginning on 21 May 2019, which includes the area of the Orlando International Airport and the Virgin Trains Maintenance Facility. Full scale construction on Zone Three and Zone Four is imminent.  

Phase 2 construction by the numbers

Construction will be conducted in four zones between Orlando and West Palm Beach.

Zone One is located one-mile south of Orlando International Airport and will be overseen by Hubbard Construction Company and Wharton-Smith Inc.   

Zone Two is a 3.5 mile section in the heart of Orlando International Airport (OIA). Middlesex is an integral part of Virgin Trains USA's expansion construction and the company's scope of work will include clearing land, building drainage structures and pump stations, utility relocation, excavation and rail bed embankment, trench and bridge construction, track and signalization installation, and reconstruction of one of the airport interchanges. 

Zone Three is approximately 35 miles of rail alignment following the Highway 528 corridor between OIA and Cocoa.  

Zone Four includes the upgrade of 129 miles of existing track from Class IV to Class VI (allowing service up to 110 MPH).

Construction is expected to be to be complete and service will begin between South Florida and Orlando in 2022.