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RUSSIA: Russian Railways have officially opened the new suburbian rail link to Volgograd Airport on 17th May 2018.

The project is part of the preparation work for the FIFA 2018 Football World Cup, which will allow guests and residents of Volgograd to quickly reach the airport from the city centre. 

The journey from the airport to the city centre will take 40 minutes, the single ticket fare is 40 rubbles (0.54 euro).

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Tirane Railway

ALBANIA: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU) and its partners are stepping up their support for strategic transport links in Albania. The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) has made available up to €35.5 million in grants to complement an EBRD loan of up to €36.9 million.

The funds will serve to modernise more than 34 km of the existing railway line between Tirana and Durres on the Adriatic coast. Durres is the country’s largest port and an important regional hub for international trade. Furthermore, the finance will help to construct a new 7.4km rail link, which will connect both cities to Rinas International Airport. 

The state-owned Albanian Railways is already inviting pre-qualification bids for the two projects. The closing date for submitting applications is May 31 and the construction works must be completed in 30 months from start.

This strategic infrastructure project in Albania is expected to make a tangible difference both to people and businesses across the region. It improves people’s everyday lives by offering a shorter, safer journey on a key route, while also unlocking new trade opportunities for local businesses. Lastly, it promotes a shift from road services to lower-carbon rail services, thereby supporting the long-term goal of building green, sustainable and integrated economies in the Western Balkans.

The railway upgrade in Albania is part of a larger initiative that aims to support connectivity in the region. The EBRD announced in December 2017 that it had committed €190.5 million in loans for major railway improvements in the Western Balkans. The EU is providing over €120 million in grants to ensure these projects can be carried out.

To date, the EBRD has invested almost €1 billion in some 80 projects in Albania.

 

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New Metro North Map and Key Facts 1 e14495753249811

IRELAND: Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has appointed Jacobs Engineering Group and Idom to develop and implement Ireland's first metro system connecting Dublin Airport to south city centre.

The new 19km high frequency, high capacity metro service envisages some 11km of tunnel through the city, with 10 underground stations and five above-ground stations. It will integrate other transport options across the city to maximize user capacity and functionality. Running from Swords, via Dublin Airport to Dublin's south city centre, the scheme will also look to upgrade the existing LUAS green line to Sandford to increase capacity and fully integrate with the new metro.

"With a forecast of economic and population growth, the new metro service will play a vital role in improving Dublin's mobility, unlocking much-needed transit capacity and improving air quality at the same time," said Jacobs Buildings and Infrastructure Europe Senior Vice President and General Manager Donald Morrison. "Continuing our long history in supporting TII with major infrastructure implementation across Ireland, we look forward to working with Idom to bring a global team and depth of metro experience from both organizations to this potentially transformative project."

MetroLink is scheduled to be operational in 2027.

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Montreal Train Station

CANADA: Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) President and CEO Philippe Rainville has announced major infrastructure works to meet the growing passenger demands.

Over the next eight years there are plans to rebuild the multilevel parking garage across from the terminal and the passenger drop off area. Planning of these projects will also include the connection to the REM light rail network. According to Rainville, starting next year the work will begin to add the underground station 35 meters below the multilevel parking.

"Montréal will at last join the ranks of world metropolises that have fast, efficient transit links with their international airports," Rainville said. "At the current rate, Montréal–Trudeau airport will see traffic growth of more than 7% in 2018, and this after posting record growth in passenger numbers of 9.5% in 2017."

The plans also include airside improvement works. In total the projects will require investment of at least $2.5 billion over the next five years.

Montreal Curbside

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Birmingham International Station Tracks 780x390

UK: Plans to transform Birmingham International Station into a fully integrated transport exchange, linked to the new HS2 Interchange Station in Solihull, were given a major boost after £9.27m was secured to progress the design process.

The Urban Growth Company (UGC) – set up by Solihull Council to maximise the benefits of HS2’s arrival – secured the Devolution Deal funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The funding will allow the UGC to appoint consultants to progress the technical design of the station, and design and build contractors to undertake the physical delivery of the project.

The UGC’s plan is to transform the existing station into a multi-modal transport exchange bringing together existing rail, future high speed rail, air, trams, buses, rapid transit, private vehicles, taxis, bicycles and an automated people mover, through seamless connections to Birmingham Airport and the HS2 Interchange Station by 2025.

The plans form a major part of the ambitions for the UK Central Hub which is the area of land in Solihull near the M42 comprising Birmingham Airport, the NEC, Jaguar Land Rover, Birmingham Business Park and Arden Cross, which will be home to the HS2 Interchange Station from 2026.

The UGC has predicted that The Hub has the potential to create up to 77,500 new jobs, 775,000 sq m of commercial space, 4,000 new homes and £4.1bn GVA each year.

Nick Brown, Chairman of the Urban Growth Company, said:

“This project is strategically important because of its role in unlocking major growth and development, as well as improving accessibility and connectivity. It also means that Birmingham International Station, which is set to become one of the busiest stations in the UK, will become an iconic gateway to the region with greater capacity and a much-improved passenger experience.”

The estimated cost of the entire Birmingham International Station project is £286m and the UGC will continue working with regional and central government to secure funding to deliver the project by December 2025.