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RUSSIA: RZD International and the group of Vietnamese investors headed by Lung Lo Construction Corporation, signed a partnership agreement on the Project of Construction of the Light Metro Line linking Tan Tạo - Linh Dong - Long Thanh Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai Province.

Under the agreement RZD International will provide expert support and prepare preliminary feasibility study for the project.

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USA: The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) has started the renovation and expansion work on the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport rail station.

The $4.7 million renovation will include an expanded waiting area, new ticketing facilities, a concession area and restrooms. Construction is expected to last 14 months.

“Our customers truly will appreciate the new features in the renovated MARC station at BWI,” said Andrea Farmer, MDOT MTA’s director of MARC Train. “We will provide not only a more aesthetically pleasing station, but a much more functional facility to best meet the needs of our riders.”

During construction, the station will continue to be open for both train and bus service. A temporary station at the north end of the site will continue to provide MARC and Amtrak customers with ticketing services, a waiting area and restrooms.

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Helsinki rail

FINLAND: Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) has approved all seven bidders who submitted the applications to operate commuter rail service, including the airport Ring Rail Line service, for 10 years starting in June 2021.

The approved bidders include two state rail companies - Finland's VR Group Ltd and SJ AB from Sweden. The remaining five bidders are Arriva Sverige AB, MTR Nordic AB, Transdev Sverige AB, First Rail Holdings and The Go-Ahead Group plc.

HSL will now conduct individual negotiations with the bidders with the aim to ensure that all the necessary details in the bidding and contract are taken into account.

"We are very pleased that so many qualified applicants participate in the bidding process. We have good chances to reach the goals of the competition," CEO HSL Suvi Rihtniemi said.

According to Rihtniemi, the goal of the tender is to provide a better functioning commuter rail services with lower costs. New operators will be task to improve the quality and reliability of the rail service as well as better integrate it to the wider public transport system in Helsinki.

The winner of the bidding is due to be announced in April 2020. The successful tenderer will be awarded a 10-year contract for managing and operating the commuter rail services in Helsinki area from June 2021. 

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Lufthansa Express Rail web

GERMANY: Lufthansa is increasing its Express Rail partnership with Deutsche Bahn allowing customers to book a seamless flight and train journey from Frankfurt Airport to selected rail stations in Germany.

The Lufthansa Express Rail service destinations will increase from eight to twenty new city hubs, with new stations gradually being added in Göttingen, Kassel, Erfurt and Aachen in September; Freiburg and Ulm in December; Essen, Bochum, Duisburg, Wuppertal, Oberhausen and Bonn in early summer next year.

Lufthansa Express Rail is already available from Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Mannheim, Karlsruhe,
Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Würzburg.

Lufthansa passengers can book any of those destinations on the airline's website and receive a single ticket covering their flight to or from Frankfurt Airport and a train journey on Deutsche Bahn.

"Easy booking, easy change-over and a direct connection to the world. The Lufthansa Premium understanding is to be able to make each customer an individual offer according to their needs. This cooperation aims precisely at this. In addition, Lufthansa is responding to the growing importance
of networked mobility. Simple - global!," Harry Hohmeister, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and responsible for hub management said.

"We want to offer our customers the simplest and most comfortable door-to-door travel chain possible," emphasizes Berthold Huber, Board Member for Passenger Transport at Deutsche Bahn AG. "The seamless transition from rail to air, which enables our cooperation with Lufthansa, ideally complements our portfolio as a provider of networked mobility."

Up to eight daily connections per departure point provide a convenient link to Lufthansa flights in Frankfurt. Lufthansa Express Rail guests also benefit from a reserved seat on the train, Miles&More loyalty points and a guaranteed connection. In the event of an unexpected delay of train or flight, Lufthansa will change to another connection free of charge. Business class guests travel in the first class of Deutsche Bahn and have access to the DB lounges.

Check-in and seat allocation for the Lufthansa Express Rail Service can also be done online via or mobile via the Lufthansa App. The boarding pass serves as a ticket for the booked Lufthansa Express Rail connection. At the AiRail Terminal in Frankfurt, Lufthansa Express Rail guests can check in their baggage and pick it up again.

GARA2018 long full dates

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Haramain Rail Project

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Minister of Transport Nabil bin Mohammed Al Amoudi has inspected the preparations and readiness of the 450km Haramain High Speed Rail project on 4th September.

Once completed the new railway line will link the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah, King Abdulaziz International Airport, and King Abdullah Economic City.

After inspecting the stations and taking the test ride on the train, the Minister has confirmed the operational readiness of the project.