News Archive

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UK: London Oxford Airport customers will soon enjoy even faster access to London when a high speed rail service linking brand new Oxford Parkway Station with the capital is launched on October 26th. 

Oxford Parkway station which marks the first railway station to be built in Oxford for nearly 80 years is located five minutes’ drive from London Oxford Airport. It will serve Marylebone Station in the heart of London in under one hour – shaving approximately 15 minutes off the total journey time from the airport. The trains will run from Oxford Parkway every thirty minutes.

This new service will offer more choice for airport customers particularly for business executives needing to reach London with ease and efficiency. Customers arriving by business jet would be welcomed at the airport and be in the centre of London in just over an hour. Only the helicopter is quicker – at 22 minutes direct to The London Heliport in Battersea.

“The thoroughly modern transport hub at Oxford Parkway with the new highly convenient rail link to London offers yet more choice for our London bound customers,” said London Oxford Airport Managing Director Andi Alexander. “We anticipate that many of our executive customers will take advantage of it making London Oxford an even better choice for those wanting to avoid the congestion of the busier airports around the capital.”

This new rail link comes as London Oxford Airport reports a continued increase in business aviation traffic during 2015, bolstered by regular activity from established operators such as Air Hamburg, NetJets and Bombardier Challenger specialist VistaJet.

London Oxford Airport has been the fastest growing privately owned airport for private business aviation in the United Kingdom over the last five years.

Airport’s Oxfordjet business aviation facility can handle aircraft from the smallest of compact private jets to Gulfstream, Global Express and larger passenger airliners of 100-plus seats including the Embraer E190.

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USA: The Arizona Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration, has released the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement for ADOT’s Passenger Rail Corridor Study: Tucson to Phoenix. While the proposed passenger rail project has no identified funding, this environmental impact statement is a step closer to identifying the cost, impacts and benefits from a rail system serving passengers in Arizona.

The Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement considers two rail alternatives and a no-build option in order to identify the most appropriate corridor for a potential passenger rail line between Tucson and Phoenix.

yellow and orange corridor options

The Yellow Alternative would serve East Valley communities and central Pinal County, and could share right of way with Union Pacific Railroad north of Eloy, where appropriate. The Orange Alternative would serve East Valley population centers and share part of its alignment with the planned North-South Freeway Corridor in Pinal County. The two alternatives would run primarily within the I-10 corridor between Eloy and Tucson.

Under the No-Build Alternative, no passenger rail system would be constructed between Tucson and Phoenix. The No-Build Alternative assumes that all proposed highway projects currently funded within the study corridor would be built to provide enhanced capacity for Interstate 10 and the surrounding region.

Along with the alternatives, ADOT has identified general locations for stations along the passenger rail line. The route between Tucson and Phoenix is recommended as a blended service to include an express intercity service that would have few stops between the two metropolitan areas and a local commuter service that would potentially stop at all stations within the corridor. The corridors include system hubs located near downtown Phoenix and downtown Tucson. Both include extensions beyond the system hubs: to the west Phoenix metropolitan area and to Tucson International Airport. However, these extensions are not part of the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, but are compatible with the recommendations. The passenger rail line also proposes to serve Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

By the end of this study, a Final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement will be published and one rail corridor or the No-Build Alternative will be selected. Once the public comment period concludes on Oct. 30, the rail study team will compile and review all comments and work with the federal partners to develop a Final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision. This document will contain a preferred alternative and is expected to be complete by the end of this year, along with a Service Development Plan. The Service Development Plan will include infrastructure and operation plans, an implementation plan, demand and revenue forecasts, capital programming, and operation and maintenance costs of a potential passenger rail system.

Additional future environmental work and site-specific studies would be required before a rail system could be constructed. There is currently no construction schedule and there is no funding identified for future rail studies or to build and maintain a rail system. It will be up to the public, stakeholders and policymakers to decide how the project should move forward and how to generate the funding to pay for it.

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SPAIN: Minister of Development Ana Pastor has announced that the new faster Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport rail line will open on September, a month earlier than originally planned.

The trains will carry passengers from Atocha station in the city centre to the airport every 30 min with only one intermediate stop at Chamartin.

Atocha station is the largest railway station in Madrid serving commuter, intercity, regional and AVE high speed trains from Barcelona, Zaragoza, Seville and Valencia.

The major work for this project was done at the Atocha station, mainly the installation of elevators allowing to directly connect air passengers to high speed trains.

The Madrid airport is already connected by Metro Line 8 running from all terminals to Nuevos Ministerios station in central Madrid and a suburban train Line 4 running from Terminal 4 to Atocha with four intermediate stops.

AENA MAD Transporte Publico ES EN marzo15

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POLAND: The Pomeranian Metropolitan Railway (PKM) has announced the inauguration day of the 18 km line linking Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country, to the city.

On the last day of summer 30th of Augusts the line will be officially inaugurated celebrating two key milestones - the first completely new railways line built in Poland in the last 40 years and country’s first railway built by the provincial government.

PKMinauguracja 3

During the inauguration two trains will run the route – the new airport line and a retro train, running parallel each other. 10,000 lucky passengers will be able to win an inaugural ticket.
The official passenger operations on the line will start next day – 1st of September 2015.

PKMinauguracja 1

PKM Map web

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UK: The first brand new Siemens-built Class 700 Desiro City train has arrived in the United Kingdom and are set to transform passenger experience on the Thameslink rail routes when it rolls into action next year.

Designed to provide much-needed extra capacity on the South-East’s busy commuter routes, the train arrived at the newly constructed Three Bridges traincare facility near Crawley, West Sussex.

Siemens and operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will now be undertaking an exhaustive testing programme.

Siemens Thameslink Train1 web

Passenger services will begin in spring 2016 on the Thameslink network between Bedford and Brighton and later on routes to and from Cambridge and Peterborough as well as to other destinations in Kent and Sussex, inlcuding London Luton and Gatwick Airports.

UK Rail Minister Claire Perry said: "We are investing record amounts building a world-class railway that provides more capacity, more services and better journeys. The Class 700 trains will transform rail travel for customers and provide a massive jobs boost for Britain and a significant boost to our economy. I am looking forward to these spacious new trains being introduced across London and the South East on schedule from spring next year providing quicker, more reliable and more comfortable journeys for millions of customers."

"Building the Class 700 Desiro City trains is, and continues to be, one of the most important projects at Siemens. The arrival of this first train signifies major progress in the project, and we are looking forward to the start of service next year", said Jochen Eickholt, CEO Siemens Mobility Division.

Siemens Thameslink Train2 web

The trains feature intelligent air conditioning, wide doors and open through-carriages which contribute to a more accessible and comfortable passenger experience. They will also bring the following benefits to commuters in 2018 in the morning three-hour peak:

  • Over double the number of carriages, providing 80% more peak seats across central London (between Blackfriars and St Pancras).
  • 60% increase in carriages and over 50% more seats from St Albans to London.
  • Additional trains from Gatwick Airport with over 50% more running across central London between Blackfriars and St Pancras, with four trains an hour continuing to Peterborough and Cambridge.
  • 1,000 extra seats from Brighton.
  • 15% more seats from stations along the line from Peterborough and Cambridge.

Siemens Thameslink Train3 web

In welcoming the new trains, GTR's Programme Director Keith Wallace said:
"The new Class 700 trains will bring many changes and benefits to our passengers - from more frequent services on longer trains, to greater capacity, easier access, better on-board information, and an altogether better train environment. We're looking forward to our passengers seeing them in service next spring."

"I am delighted to see the first Class 700 train arriving in the UK in what is another significant project milestone. The next few months will see a series of tests completed before the train takes its first outing in passenger service on the UK rail network – another step forward in ensuring the train is completely ready for passengers," added Andy Pitt, Executive Chairman of train owners Cross London Trains (XLT).

 UK AirRail 2015 Logo webheader