News Archive

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SPAIN: The construction of the 268.4 million euro Barcelona-El Prat Airport Rail Link project has been officially started by the Minister of Development Ana Pastor on Wednesday 22 June.

The work for construction has been awarded back in 2010.

Barcelona ElPrat Minister

The Minister stressed that the new air-rail link will benefit 7 to 9 million passengers a year, making El Prat one of the best connected airports in Europe.

The trains will stop at both terminals T1 and T2, connecting the airport to Barcelona’s commuter rail network via Sants station in approximately 19 minutes.

Pastor pointed out that Barcelona-El Prat Airport is one of the top 10 airports in Europe. In 2014 the airport recorded 37.5 million passengers, 6.7% more than in 2013. The Minister said that 2015 is on track to exceed the record numbers of last year, having already served 18 million passengers by the end of June, 4.8% more than in the same period last year.

The Minister said that “the combined effect of the new airport rail link and the Metro will provide optimum accessibility to the airport, which will translate into further increase in passenger numbers”.

The construction work of the new 4.5km rail link will be executed by the Joint Venture Company formed by the Copcisa, Sacyr and Ferrovial-Agroman Consctruction.

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UK: Manchester Airports Group (M.A.G), owner and operator of Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, has released its audited results for the 12 months ended 31 March 2015.

The strong financial performance has exceeded expectation and been driven by increases in both passenger numbers and commercial revenues.

M.A.G. has recorded a 10% increase in the total revenue, reaching £738.4 million over the last financial year.

“M.A.G has delivered a fifth consecutive year of strong growth, investment and development that has enabled us to exceed expectations across many of our key measures, including the delivery of industry leading passenger numbers and trading performance,” Chief Executive Officer of M.A.G Charlie Cornish said.

Cornish also urged the government to focus its short term airport capacity issues in maximising the potential of existing airports.

“Our airports have a vital role to play in the next 10-15 years as London expands eastwards, the Northern Powerhouse becomes a reality and runway capacity in the South East becomes even scarcer. Following the Airports Commission’s submission of its Final Report, it is imperative that the focus of Government and other stakeholders is on the practical steps needed to maximise the potential of existing airport capacity in the period before any new runway is completed.”

In order to ensure that this potential is utilised, M.A.G. said it is vital that faster rail services are delivered to both Manchester and London Stansted airports and that Stansted’s planning caps are relaxed to enable the airport to make full use of the capacity of its existing runway.

“We continue to request that Government and Network Rail apply greater efforts to improve the rail links into Stansted and Manchester, which together can accommodate an extra 50-60 million passengers a year,” Cornish said.

Passenger numbers continue to increase well ahead of the UK industry average, rising by 10.7% to 48.5m for the year, driven by record numbers at Manchester Airport and ten months of double-digit growth at London Stansted that have enabled it to become the fastest growing airport in the UK in terms of passenger volumes.

In June, M.A.G announced the 10-year ‘Manchester Airport Transformation Programme’ that will significantly alter the airport.

The Group has continued to invest in the infrastructure at all of its airports during the year.

Over half of the spend (£123m) was on new value generating projects that enhance customer experience, including the London Stansted and East Midlands terminal transformations that are now nearing completion, and improvements at Manchester Airport which included the completion of the Metrolink station and rail connection, increases in car parking capacity and additional security lanes.

Passengers  12 months ended 31 March 2015 (m) 12 months ended 31 March 2014 (m) Change (%)
Manchester 22.3 20.8 +7.2%
Stansted 20.9 18.0 +16.1%
East Midlands 4.6 4.3  +7.0%
Bournemouth 0.7 0.7 -
Total  48.5  43.8 +10.7%

UK AirRail 2015 Logo webheader

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UK: The first carriage of the brand new Gatwick Express train, the Class 387/2, has been built and is undergoing static testing by Bombardier Transportation at its manufacturing plant in Derby.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) announced in November that it had signed a £145.2 million order for 108 new custom-built train carriages. The new Gatwick Express trains are due to enter service in 2016, replacing the 1980s-built 442 trains which have been operating on the Gatwick Express service since 2008, and are part of a massive investment in new trains by GTR.

First carriage of brand new Gatwick Express Class 387 2 fleet built web

The 27 four-car Class 387/2s trains have been specially designed for the airport route with:

  • easier boarding
  • better luggage space
  • two-by-two seating
  • power points at every seat
  • air-conditioning
  • Wi-Fi
  • the latest automated on-board service information
  • excellent facilities for people with disabilities

Angie Doll, the new Passenger Service Director for Gatwick Express, said:

“This is a key milestone in the journey to brand new trains for Gatwick Express. The benefits our passengers will receive will also be felt by those travelling from Brighton, as in the off-peak some of these trains will be extended to this station.”

Alan Fravolini, Bombardier’s Project Director said:

“These new trains for Gatwick Express demonstrate how our ELECTROSTAR product has the flexibility to meet wide-ranging requirements from train operators, including airport services. We’re delighted to be supplying these new trains, in support of GTR’s investment programme.”

UK AirRail 2015 Logo webheader 

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USA: The Regional Transportation District (RTD) staff recommended to the RTD Board of Directors to move forward with a proposal from Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. (BBII) to design and build the Southeast Rail Extension.

“This extension will make it possible for RTD to connect people in a rapidly growing part of the metro area to the rest of the region, including Denver International Airport,” said Dave Genova, RTD’s Interim General Manager.

RTD Denver Airport a line dia view

The Southeast Rail Extension will build an additional 2.3 miles of light rail line that will run along the west side of I-25 from the Lincoln Station and then cross over the Interstate and run along the east side of the highway to the south side of RidgeGate Parkway in Douglas County.

RTDmap se extension

The proposal commits to completing construction of the line by early 2019.

Once approved by the RTD Board, BBII would begin design on the project in the fall with construction expected to start in spring 2016. The projected opening of the extension is 2019.

The BBII team includes:

  • Parsons Brinckerhoff (design)
  • Capitol Management (DBE/SBE/WIN)
  • Transit Safety & Security Solutions (system safety)
  • Systems Consulting, LLC (quality assurance)
  • Communication Infrastructure Group (public information)

The current projected budget for the Southeast Rail Extension is $233.1 million. This total includes:

  • $34 million spent through 2014 on environmental analysis
  • preliminary engineering and design
  • acquisition of eight light rail vehicles for the project

The remaining $198.7 million project cost will be financed through a combination of federal, private and local funds.

Half of the project will be funded by the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts program, which supplies major capital grants to metropolitan areas; plus a sizeable local match of 14 percent from private businesses and local governments; and 36 percent from RTD through local funding sources.

The project has already been accepted into FTA’s New Start’s engineering phase and is included in President Obama’s FY 2016 budget.

The current Southeast Rail Line is 19 miles long and connects passengers at I-25/Broadway to Lincoln Avenue in Douglas County and also runs along I-225 from I-25 to the Nine Mile Station at Parker Road in Aurora.

Beginning in late 2016, passengers will be connected between Nine Mile and the Peoria Station near I-70 when the R Line through Aurora opens. They can then ride to and from the airport on the new A Line opening in spring 2016.

RTDmap a line

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CZECH REPUBLIC: An option to connect downtown Prague to Václav Havel Airport has been chosen by the Ministry of Transport and is based on a feasibility study by the Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC). The study evaluated track capacity, environmental acceptability and economic efficiency.

“The option we chose, allows for connection to the airport from Masaryk station via Dejvice and Veleslavín, branching off from the Prague-Ruzyne station,” Transport Minister Dan Ťok said.

The airport rail link will require a significant upgrade of the existing rail network, electrification and building of a new branch to the airport. Six trains an hour will run on the line during peak times, allowing for a 27 minute journey from city centre to the airport.

The total construction cost is estimated to cost around EUR720 million.

“The construction of the line could start in about three years. The aim is to launch the largest part during the EU financing period of 2014–2020,” the Minister added.

PragueAirportRail Route