Members' News

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Aoife Considine

UK: Aoife Considine, a Fleet Engineering Manager of Heathrow Express, was nominated and shortlisted for the Everywoman Awards in 2019.

Aoife is an excellent ambassador for the rail industry and excels at raising awareness and encouraging young people to enter engineering as well as ensuring that they reach their potential in their careers. She participates in annual debates for National Women in Engineering Day and is visiting students in schools to act as a mentor.

“We were very proud of our Fleet Engineering Manager Aoife Considine on making the shortlist for the everywoman Transport & Logistics Awards. Aoife is only really just beginning her career, and has already made an incredible impact at a complex time for the company – maintaining our existing HEx fleet and the TfL Rail fleet, while also planning for the launch of a new HEx fleet and subsequent depot move. She is an excellent ambassador for the rail industry and excels at raising awareness and encouraging young people and women to enter engineering in the rail industry,” Les Freer, Director of Heathrow Express said.

Congratulations to Aoife from GARA!

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Discover KL 1

MALAYSIA: The operator of KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit airport rail link services in Kuala Lumpur Express Rail Links Sdn Bhd (ERL) had a busy week with three new partnerships announced.

Discover Kuala Lumpur package is a collaboration between ERL and KL Hop-On Hop-Off. The partnership allows passengers with at least eight hours of waiting time at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA & KLIA2) to make a quick visit to the city. The package includes a KLIA Ekspres Return Ticket and a round trip on the KL Hop-On Hop-Off bus. There are two routes available - the Garden Route and the City Route which will take about two hours each depending on the traffic conditions. It operates on the "hop on, hop off" approach allowing participants of the tour to get off and on the bus at any
stop they choose within 24 hours of their voucher redemption. Discover Kuala Lumpur packages can be purchased online via the KLIA Ekspres website and app, as well as the self-service kiosks at KLIA, KLIA2 and KL Sentral.

Another initiative launched this week was “Go Cashless on Public Transport” Campaign which was organised by ERL at KL Sentral. The launch event saw the participation of ERL’s strategic partners, namely, Boost e-wallet, GrabPay, Mastercard, Maybank, Touch ‘n Go, UnionPay and Visa. In support of the national agenda, to promote awareness and usage of contactless cards and digital/mobile wallets by the travelling public on train services and at stations. The usage of cashless transactions on all ERL services is 47%, an increase of 5% compared to 2018.

And finally, in a bid to extend its rail expertise globally, ERL will continue supporting the Al Mashaaer Al Muqadassah Metro – or Makkah Metro – during the Hajj season. This time around, 28 staff from ERL as well as staff from ERL Maintenance Support Sdn Bhd (E-MAS) will hold numerous positions for about two months starting June to support the operations. Among the roles are Deputy Station Manager, Station Master, Assistant Station Master and Station Control Room Agent. This year's secondment marks the eighth year that ERL has been seconding staff for the rail system that runs only seven days every year.

"Including this year's secondment, we can say around 80 ERL and E-MAS staff have contributed to the smooth running of the Makkah Metro from 2012," said ERL Chief Executive Officer, Noormah Mohd Noor. "This gives our staff the opportunity to gain new and unique experiences, especially in a situation that has a strong call for mass transportation. In the operations, each pilgrim must be transported into and out of Arafat within six to eight hours. This exposure to crowd control, station management and train operations on a massive scale will not only help them to develop their interpersonal skills, but hone and develop new management skills as their job requires them to coordinate and communicate with all levels of operation staff from various nationalities."

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Gautrain Extension map

SOUTH AFRICA: The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) has completed the feasibility study for the Gauteng Rail Extension Network and the study was submitted to National Treasury for approval.

According to GMA's Senior Executive Manager, Communication and Marketing Dr Barbara Jensen, once approval has been granted the planning and Environmental Impact Assessment of Phase 1 will begin. 

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oh flytoget 201723 530 web

NORWAY: Starting from 22 June through to 9 August, Flytoget will run all night rail service between city centre and Oslo Airport.

"We are very excited to introduce the "Night Summer Train" for the travellers choosing Flytoget as their airport access mode," CEO of Flytoget Philipp Engedal said. "We know that many of our customers fly at slightly different times in the summer and more departures at night was something they have asked for. We hope and believe that the offer will be well received."

Usually the last Flytoget train departs from Oslo Airport at 00.50 and first 05:30, but this summer the following departures are set up from Oslo Airport at 01:10, 01:30, 02:10, 02:40, 04:50 and 05:10.

Usually the first Flytoget trains from Oslo S to Oslo Airport leaves at 04.40, but this summer there will be additional departures at 04:00 and 04:20.

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From left – Nick Barton, CEO of Birmingham Airport, Allan Cook, Chair of HS2 and Tim Clarke, Chair of Birmingham Airport.

UK: the Chairs of both Birmingham Airport and HS2 Ltd, as well as the CEO of Birmingham Airport, met to reaffirm how the new High Speed Rail network alongside the airport’s growth plans are crucial to improve future connectivity and prosperity for the region.  

HS2 will link over 25 towns and cities, joining up nearly half of the UK population and is set to deliver £92bn of benefits to the UK economy. Not only will HS2 better serve the airport from across the country, the new railway will take trains off the busy West Coast Main Line allowing more regional train services to and from Birmingham International Station.

Tim Clarke, Chair of Birmingham Airport and Allan Cook, Chair of HS2 Ltd, along with Nick Barton, CEO of Birmingham Airport, met at the airport to discuss their infrastructure plans and visited the airport site to understand where the airport developments will take place. This meeting is a clear sign of commitment from the two parties to see both projects delivered in unity for the benefit of the overall region.

Allan Cook, Chair of HS2 Ltd said:
“HS2 is a once in a generation opportunity to better connect the Midlands and the North. Calling at the new Interchange station, our trains will be more reliable, quicker and allow more passengers to use Birmingham Airport, the NEC and other leisure attractions. The new HS2 station will act as a catalyst for the development and growth proposals for the area around the station – including new homes and jobs. We plan to work closely with the Airport and the Urban Growth Company to deliver improved connectivity that will in turn drive economic growth for both the West Midlands and the country.”

Tim Clarke, Chair of Birmingham Airport, said:
“From next month, the airport will begin works on its Master Plan, where £500m will be invested over the next 15 years to grow the airport by 40%, serving 18m passengers a year – using the existing single runway. For us, it is important the airport continues to play a part in the development of the Midlands, acting as a catalyst for the continued growth of the region’s economy. With a greater choice of flights and destinations, alongside improved regional connectivity and a direct link to HS2, we will do just this.”

When HS2 opens, the rail journey between Birmingham Airport and central London will reduce from the current 70 minutes to 38 minutes as it becomes the UK’s first and only high-speed connected airport, whilst also increasing the current two-hour catchment of 35m to 45m people.

Interchange station will be a new major gateway station for the region, part of a new public transport interchange serving Solihull, the West Midlands, Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre. The station will be immediately adjacent to Birmingham Airport, allowing it to take an increasingly national role, helping to drive international trade, investment, employment, inbound tourism and the success of the region’s many universities.

Phase One of HS2, between the West Midlands and London is scheduled to be completed by 2026, with plans to extend to Crewe by 2027 and to Leeds and Manchester by 2033. Works on the first phase of HS2 are already well underway at over 250 work locations.

Around 9,000 jobs are now supported by the delivery of HS2, with 300 apprentices on board and 2,000 businesses supporting the new backbone of Britain’s rail network. When construction peaks, it is estimated that HS2 will need over 30,000 people to design and build the full HS2 rail network when it is built in the North.