News Archive

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CANADA: UP Express announced today that they will officially begin service from Toronto Pearson International Airport to downtown Toronto on June 6th.

Trains will run every 15 minutes and will include Wi-Fi, flight information screens and ticket options thanks to their innovative partnerships. It will take 25 minutes to travel the 25 km track between the airport and downtown stations.

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Last week, UP Express announced three new strategic partnerships with Cisco, Deloitte and Rogers who will be joining the Lead Partner CIBC and who will enhance the travel experience for passengers.

"Our Founding Partners' involvement is a major vote of confidence from the business community, and a reflection of their high interest in UP Express," said Kathy Haley, President of UP Express. "We are delighted they are applying their expertise to create a seamless and connected customer experience for UP Express, whether it's from plane to train or train to plane."

Each Founding Partner is contributing their specific expertise throughout the travel journey with a primary focus on travellers’ needs. In return UP Express will be providing access to marketing assets.

  • Cisco is a worldwide leader in IT and will power the network that helps to create a seamless, Connected Passenger experience by developing special tools for UP Express travellers such as travel alerts, hospitality information and live updates.
  • Deloitte, one of Canada’s leading professional firms, will provide data analytics to help optimize the service and improve the guest experience.
  • Rogers is a leading communications and media company and will have a presence across the UP system, including branded content and newsfeeds on multipurpose media screens on trains and in stations.
  • CIBC, a leading North American financial institution and Lead Founding Partner, will provide travellers with access to multi-currency ATMs at Union and Pearson, complimentary Wi-Fi service on trains and at its stations, and “CIBC UPstairs" lounge at Union Station.

Delegates of the Global AirRail 2015 Conference will not only have a chance to preview the UP Express service but also learn more about each of the partnerships during the Strategic Partnerships workshop on Wednesday 21st May.

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UK: Siemens has announced that the first new Thameslink trains on the Brighton to Bedford line will begin serving Gatwick Airport from spring next year and two direct services to Peterborough and Cambridge from 2018.

Altogether, Siemens is building 55 new 12-car trains and 60 new 8-car trains for the Thameslink fleet. New depots are being constructed by Siemens to maintain the new fleet, with the first trains set to arrive this summer.

Gatwick Airport’s rail capacity is expected to double in the next five years with a train to London leaving the airport every three minutes. The £6.5 billion Thameslink infrastructure upgrade features state-of-the-art trains and new track and signalling systems.

Bombardier are building 108 new carriages for the Gatwick Express trains service from the airport to London Victoria. They are designed specifically for airport passengers with services starting early 2016.

"Overall, the improvements to Gatwick’s rail service means that 15 million people will be brought within 60 minutes of Gatwick by rail – the best reach of any UK airport,” said Guy Stephenson, Gatwick’s Chief Commercial officer.

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The new high frequency train service hourly timetable would be:

•    4 Gatwick Express trains to Victoria
•    6 trains from East and West Coastway, Horsham/Littlehampton, Three Bridges/Haywards Heath to Victoria
•    4 trains from Gatwick and Brighton to Bedford via London Bridge
•    2 trains from Brighton to Cambridge via London Bridge
•    2 trains from Horsham to Peterborough via London Bridge
•    2 trains from Littlehampton/West Coastway, and Haywards Heath/Three Bridges to London Bridge

By 2020, Gatwick Airport railway station will have a £120.5 million redesign to match the improved train services. It would more than double the size of the concourse area to compensate for increase in passengers.

http://youtu.be/Z7WJHmwb1ms

 

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INDONESIA: Funds have been secured by PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) and PT Railink to construct the much-awaited Soekarno-Hatta International Airport rail line.

Four major banks, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Mandiri and private lender Bank Central Asia (BCA) signed two Credit Agreements yesterday to fund the project.

The syndicate bank agreed to fund 84% of the total cost of infrastructure development at Rp 1.45 trillion (US$112 million) for work done by PT KAI.   

PT Railink and the syndicate bank agreed for 85% of the total cost of procurement which amounts to Rp 612 billion (US$47 million).

According to KAI finance director Kurniadi Atmosasmito the rest of the costs will be financed by companies’ own cash flow.

Railink has already ordered 10 six-car trainsets, director Heru Kuswanto said. The procurement of the trains will take 14 months to complete and operations of the new railway are expected to commence in 2016.

Railink, the operator of the future airport rail link, is a joint venture between KAI, the operator of Indonesian Railways, and PT Angkasa Pura II, a state enterprise of the Indonesian Department of Transport that is responsible for the management of airports in Indonesia.

The construction of a 36.3 km double track railway will begin this year. It will connect Manggarai train station in South Jakarta with Soekarno-Hatta Airport Northwest of Jakarta.

Once completed, the Soekarno-Hatta will become the second airport in the country with its own railway, after the Kualanamu International Airport.

SeokarnoHatta

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UK: Screens have been installed at Heathrow Terminal 2 showing passengers live price and journey time comparisons between taxis and the airport’s train service to central London.

The screens - a world first - combine real-time traffic, weather and Heathrow Express train service information into one user-friendly data feed, or ‘journey comparison generator,’ at the terminal’s baggage reclaim zone.

The aim is to help customers make the fastest and cheapest choice of onward travel.

“The aim of the ‘journey comparison generator’ is to enable Heathrow passengers to get into London as speedily, easily and cheaply as possible. By harnessing many different sources of real-time data into one we are helping make this happen,” said Fraser Brown, Heathrow Express director.

“Research shows that Heathrow Express trains are three times faster than taxis and a quarter of the price. These screens show how that comparison varies minute to minute depending on traffic, weather and time of day.”

This summer the screens at each baggage carousel will be translated to the main language of people on the arriving flight, and later in the year they will be installed across Heathrow’s Terminals 3 and 5.

The project was jointly devised and created by Heathrow Express, which connects Heathrow and Paddington in just 15 minutes, every 15 minutes; JCDecaux Airport UK, which sells media space; and digital agency DOOH.com, which links digital networks.

“We are delighted to be such an integral part of this world-first proposition that has the ability to transform how brands communicate to passengers as well as enhance travellers’ airport experiences,” Alan Sullivan, Managing Director at JCDecaux Airport, said.

DOOH.com tackled the complex task of bringing together five different layers of real-time data feeds, including GPS traffic information used in TomTom car satnavs, Google, Highways Agency, the Met Office and timetable information from Heathrow Express.

Andrew Newman, co-founder of DOOH.com, said: “Our mission is to help brands make campaigns smart and built around right-time messaging. This dynamic technology provides customer-focussed information in the future.”

http://youtu.be/dq7uhCOMR3g

Fraser Brown will be presenting this project at the annual Global AirRail 2015 Conference, taking place in Toronto, on 20-22 May.

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USA: All Aboard Florida has selected GE Transportation to design and manufacture signalling equipment for the entire length of the 235-mile rail corridor connecting Miami and Orlando. 

The landmark passenger-rail project, the first privately owned and operated project of its kind in the United States, is scheduled to begin initial service from Miami to West Pam Beach in late 2016.

All Aboard Florida is investing $1.5 billion to improve existing railway, and, where needed, build new track in advance of launching its service. GE Transportation will provide a signalling system that includes upgrades to grade crossings in the corridor, effective communications with approaching trains, a system for triggering gate openings and closings, and regulation of train-crossing times.

As a result, All Aboard Florida’s trains will clear grade crossings in less than 60 seconds, less time than vehicles stop for a traffic light. GE’s communications-and-engineering enhancements will be fully integrated into the service’s corridor-wide Positive Train Control system.

“This project introduces advanced communications and engineering improvements in an existing rail corridor that wouldn’t be possible without the investment from this project,” said All Aboard Florida President Mike Reininger. “It’s significant that we’re awarding our first major infrastructure contract for the project to GE. It should attest to how highly we prioritise safety in the corridor.”

Teams at GE Transportation’s Melbourne and Jacksonville, Fla., facilities will take the lead on signal design and engineering. A second GE plant in Warrensburg, Mo., will manufacture the equipment.

“GE’s commitment is to deliver safe, efficient solutions to optimize All Aboard Florida’s mass-transit operations,” said John Reinker, president of Intelligent Transportation Solutions at GE Transportation. “We’re thrilled to have won the confidence of the company. This is an important project that we believe may influence other private-transportation projects across the United States.”

Once service is inaugurated, All Aboard Florida will connect Florida’s two most popular travel destinations in less than 3 hours. Its express trains will traverse South and Central Florida, making intermediate stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Construction has already started at both stations, as well as at MiamiCentral in downtown Miami and Orlando International Airport in Orlando. The new rail service is expected to remove approximately 3 million vehicles from the region’s highways.