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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.  

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43756 malolos clark railway final

PHILIPPINES: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved financing of up to $2.75 billion for the construction of 53.1km of a passenger railway connecting Malolos, a suburb north of Manila, to Clark economic zone and Clark International Airport in Central Luzon.

The Malolos–Clark railway is part of the Philippine government’s North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project, a 163-km suburban railway network stretching from New Clark City in Tarlac province in the north to Calamba in Laguna province in the south of Manila. The NSCR project is expected to be completed by 2025.

342,000 passengers expected to travel daily along the Manila–Clark corridor and up to 696,000 passengers per day to Calamba by 2025. It is estimated to cut the travel time from Metro Manila to Clark International Airport to less than one hour by rail, compared with 2 to 3 hours by car or bus today. The project is expected to be partially operational from 2022.

“It will be ADB’s single largest infrastructure project financing ever, and from a development perspective, we are pleased this investment is taking place in ADB’s host country. The project, combined with other investments in light rail transit, metro rail transit, and subway systems, will bring back the culture of rail transport in Metro Manila,” said ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao.

ADB will be financing civil works of the Malolos–Clark Railway Project, including the stations, bridges, and viaducts for the elevated railway alignment, and a tunnel leading to the underground station at Clark International Airport. It will also assist the government in using global standards for procurement and environmental and resettlement safeguards.

The project is co-financed with up to $2 billion by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which will finance the rolling stock and the railway systems.

“Our co-financing partnership with JICA allows both our institutions to combine our expertise and knowledge in building a world-class railway in the Philippines,” said ADB Principal Transport Specialist for Southeast Asia Mr. Markus Roesner.

The project includes the construction of two rail segments—a 51.2-km section connecting Malolos City in Bulacan province to the thriving Clark regional growth center and a 1.9-km extension connecting the NSCR to the Blumentritt Station in Manila, where an elevated interchange station for Light Rail Transit Line 1 will be built.

The rail stations will include multimodal facilities, allowing commuters to easily transfer from public buses and jeepneys to the trains. The underground station at the Clark International Airport will provide a short connection to upcoming and future airport terminals.

The project will be built on an elevated alignment, helping reduce the impact on communities, avoid disruption of activities, and mitigate flood risks along the route. It will use innovative construction methods such as pre-fabricated viaduct segments, which limits the need for land acquisition and accelerates construction. High-quality construction methods will be used to achieve the maximum rail speed of up to 160 km per hour.

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ALGERIA: National railway SNTF has officially started the operations of the commercial train service from Agha to Algiers Houari Boumediene Airport on 29 April 2019.

The trains will run every hour between 05:00 to 21:00. The single fare is 80DA (0.6 EUR).