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Track for the 8km tunnels is starting to be laid for the Forrestfield-Airport link by METRONET. The first kilometre of track for the $1.86 billion project has been laid near Redcliffe Station, following the completion of tunnelling in April.

The link will deliver a new rail service to the eastern suburbs of Perth – with three new stations at Redcliffe, Airport Central and High Wycombe.

The line will spur off the existing Midland Line near Bayswater Station and run to High Wycombe through twin-bored tunnels using over 2400 tonnes of Australian made steel.

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Greater Anglia have entered their brand-new Stansted Express trains into passenger service between London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.

Built by Stadler, the new, longer Stansted Express trains have 767 seats – an increase of 83% over the old 8-carriage trains currently operating the services.

Technical project manager for Stadler, Leandro Haggenmacher, said: “The start of the roll-out of trains for the Stansted Express route is a significant landmark, as we enter the final stages of the project to supply 58 new trains for the Greater Anglia network. We are very pleased to have reached this point, recognising the important role Stansted Airport plays in the regional economy, boosting economic growth and supporting jobs.”

The new trains are part of a massive investment in new Stadler by Rock Rail East Anglia and will be leased to Greater Anglia.

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By Hywel Rees, CEO, Leeds Bradford Airport

(Published in the Yorkshire Evening Post 27/06/20)

There seem to be some misconceptions around access to Leeds Bradford Airport’s new terminal planning application and it is important that we are clear on the facts.

I have seen many claims that if approved our plans would result in additional traffic on the roads, but we are doing all we can to prevent this.

We are not proposing to extend our car parks, which means that there are only a limited amount of people who can feasibly drive to the airport, and we have created a new Travel Plan to maximise opportunities for sustainable travel which includes a restriction on any new car parking.

We have committed to a Sustainable Travel Fund of £4 million which will be used to fund a range of sustainable Travel Plan measures and public transport improvements, particularly the new rail link off Scotland Road.

One of these improvements is a new dedicated bus terminal at the front of the main entrance, with segregated access for buses.

As part of this venture, we are committed to enhancing and bettering these services, including increasing the daytime frequency of the bus routes, introducing a direct coach service between Leeds and Bradford interchanges and additional bus routes, and bringing new shuttle bus services to areas with large numbers of employees.

The bus terminal will be future proofed to allow for operations following delivery of the planned new rail station, which will be just under a mile away and provide the airport with increased connectivity with Leeds, Harrogate and the East Coast mainline.

As well as continuing to promote car sharing schemes for staff and passengers, a new, shared footway/cycle route between Whitehouse Lane and the terminal forecourt will be created.

Though it is clear there is a perception in Yorkshire that Leeds Bradford Airport is hard to get to, readers may be interested to know that Leeds Bradford Airport is reachable by nine per cent of the UK population within 1.5 hours, which is much higher than most other UK regional airports which significantly outperform Leeds Bradford Airport passenger numbers.

I’m confident that these enhancements to our surface access will only make LBA more accessible in efficient ways as we move towards a more sustainable future.

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Construction has begun on the Pudong section of the express Metro line which will connect the Shanghai’s two airports by 2024.

Launched two years ago, in late June workers began building Zhangjiang station for the express line along with two shield tunnels and other support structures. The two-story underground station covers approximately 71,000m2, while the two tunnels are 2.47km and 5.69km long. The station is expected to be completed by December 2023.

The 68.6km mainly-underground line will shorten the travel time between the two airports to less than 40 minutes. Currently the journey takes between 70 and 90 minutes with passengers using Metro line 2 and the Airport Maglev or an airport bus service.

The 160km/h-capable line express line will also benefit passengers travelling across the city, with nine stations across Xuhui and Minhang districts as well as the Pudong New Area,according to the city government.

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Former Australian premiers have called for an express rail link to Melbourne airport, warning that a slow, all-stations service will simply not attract passengers.

Jeff Kennett and Ted Baillieu told The Age newspaper on 30 June that high costs and a lack of demand had delayed airport rail links in recent decades, but that the time is now right to create such a link. Melbourne Airport opened 50 years ago this week, yet it is still without a dedicated rail link, leading to congestion and delays on the 11-lane Tullamarine Freeway.

The Victorian and federal governments have each committed AUD5bn towards a new fixed link, with the final alignment set to be confirmed shortly. It is understood that a new above-ground line between the airport and Sunshine is favoured, with services using existing tracks between the western hub and the city via the new Metro Tunnel. This proposal would render a competing AUD7bn design from IFM Investors to build a tunnel between the city and Sunshine, allowing express airport services on dedicated tracks.

Former Liberal premier Mr Kennett – who reserved land for a rail line through Broadmeadows while in power but prioritised the construction of CityLink – called for an express rail service from the city to the airport to ensure the service was competitive with road-based alternatives. “If people are going to use it in large volumes, you’ve got to get to and from the airport quickly,” he said. “There’s no point in stopping at one or several stations along the way; its self-defeating.”

Mr Baillieu – who promised to build rail links to Avalon and Tullamarine during his time in office – said, when asked why the project has been put off so long, that the “more direct” airport rail routes had always proven more costly. “It has been difficult to demonstrate the benefits in terms of speed and time for passengers and, secondly, it seems to be getting more expensive by the day,” he said.
“Commuters will judge this very quickly and very harshly," he added. “It will be judged on frequency, speed and cost to them – not to the taxpayer – and what happens at each end. That’ll be it.”