News Archive

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UK: The ‘Easter Treat’ cuts more than 50% on Heathrow Express’s adult single ticket price for this Easter weekend in a bid to win more leisure customers.

The company runs non-stop services between Heathrow and Paddington. Prices will be lowered from the usual £21.50 down to £10 for the four-day holiday weekend: Good Friday April 3 to Bank Holiday Monday April 6 only.

Heathrow Express expects to run services at the normal frequency- every 15 minutes- despite work on the tracks by the Crossrail scheme’s Network Rail engineers.

“We are offering £10 single tickets to encourage people who would not normally use our service to give it a try,” said Fraser Brown, director of Heathrow Express. “Two thirds of the 17,000 passengers who use our service are on business. We want leisure customers to use it, too.”

this easter treat yourself

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BRAZIL: The first track segment of Rio de Janeiro’s new light rail transit system called the VLT (‘Veículo Leve sobre Trilhos’) has just been constructed.

400-metres of track has been installed on General Luiz Mendes de Morais Street in the city’s Santo Christo district.

The VLT is part of a wider redevelopment project for the port area called ‘Porto Maravhila’, or ‘Marvellous Port’.

In total, the system covers 28km (17 miles) made of six lines which will serve the Novo Rio bus terminal, Santos Dumont local airport, Central do Brasil and Leopoldina train stations and Barcas ferry terminal. Altogether it will have 42 stations and the capacity to transport 285,000 travellers a day with 415 per carriage.

“The power of the VLT is electric and a form of energy that is run underground. The energy in the rails is automatically triggered only when the vehicle passes by that point, then immediately disconnects,” said Luiz Lobo, the director of operations of the Company for Urban Development of the Region of Porto (CDURP). “Therefore, they will offer no risk to the public.”


32 trams will serve the new system with 27 of them manufactured in Brazil.

The VLT will strengthen the city´s integrated public transportation system which will improve traffic in downtown Rio. The streets in the Port Region are being readied for the new public transportation.

It is scheduled to open service at the end of 2015 in time for the 2016 Olympics, linking the surrounding districts with Santos Dumont Airport.

The cost of implementing the new transportation system are projected at US$450 million [R$1.1 billion], of which US$245 million [R$500 million] will be funded by the federal government through the Growth Acceleration Program aka PAC (Aceleração do Crescimento) and the remainder will be financed under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

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ANGOLA: Mace has been appointed to provide project management and site supervision services for the new Luanda International Airport in Angola.

Since the end of the civil war in 2002, the pace of economic growth in Angola has accelerated in order to link the country with the international business world. To secure the drastic increase in infrastructure and logistics network which is required to support this growth, the construction of a new, large international airport was necessary. The Angolan Government formalised and approved to build the new airport in 2009.

The new Luanda International Airport will be a modern quality infrastructure facility with the aim of becoming ‘the’ aviation hub of western Africa. It will have capacity to accommodate 15 million passengers and 50,000 tonnes of cargo per year.

Mace Luanda Airport

With the above objective in mind, the Angolan Ministry of Transportation signed a FIDIC design and build turnkey contract for US$3.8bn with the Chinese contractor CIF for the new airport. The airport will feature two runways, one 4.2km long (for the A380 airbus) and one of 3.8km. The terminal has a gross floor area of 170,000 m2, and will have three piers with ten gates per pier. The project also includes the construction of a rail link to the capital, to the province of Luanda, and possibly to the neighbouring province of Malanje.

The construction works have already begun on site and the Ministry of Transportation has since concluded that appointing an international project management company to manage and supervise the remaining construction works is required to ensure the delivery of this airport meets international aviation standards. The project is due to complete and open in 2017.

Mace project director, Carlos Cruz commented: “Our team in Angola is proud to be part of what will be the most important construction project in the country for the next couple of years. It is an infrastructure of decisive importance for the economic growth of the country and no doubt it will put Luanda on the international aviation map.”

Regional director for sub-Saharan Africa, Nick Demain, added: “As our first major aviation project in sub-Saharan Africa, this is an exciting project for the team and a great win given the local challenges. It also further strengthens our portfolio for the region as we continue to receive infrastructure and transport-related enquiries.”

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PHILIPPINES: The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said it is now preparing the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the public tender of the Clark Rail Transit System (Clark Rail) that will link with the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

BCDA President and CEO Arnel Paciano D. Casanova said BCDA is in the process of drafting the TOR and intends to bid out the Clark Rail as a joint-venture (JV) project. He said the Clark Rail is essentially an extension of the NEDA Board approved NSCR Project that will connect at Malolos, Bulacan.

“Offhand, BCDA will provide the land needed including substantial areas for commercial development at every station. The private JV partner will plan, design, finance, build, operate and maintain the Clark Rail,” Casanova said.

According to Casanova, the Clark Rail will be electric powered. It will involve some 82 kilometres of double back track between Malolos and Tarlac City, and will have approximately 13 stations. He said the alignment of Clark Rail is still being studied.

He added that the JV partner will conduct the final alignment study.

“We are considering to put the Clark Rail on a new alignment that would allow us to provide the area needed for the commercial development at every station. The Clark Rail will serve as the backbone for the movement of goods, services and people to and from Manila, Clark Green City, Clark International Airport, Clark Special Economic Zone, and Tarlac City,” Casanova said.

Casanova said BCDA will also provide some 100 hectares of Clark Green City land for use as transport hub that will include the Clark Rail depot.

The bidding is expected to be conducted before the end of the year.

Last February, the NEDA Board, chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III, approved two projects under the North-South Railway masterplan. The two projects are the Phase 1 of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project and the North-South Railway Project – South Line. Both projects are under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

The Phase 1 of the NSCR Project involves the construction of a 36.7-kilometer narrow-gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos to Tutuban. The project’s total estimated cost is PhP117.30 billion and targeted to be implemented from 2015 with a 35-year operation period starting 2020.

The North-South Railway Project – South Line, on the other hand, has a total estimated cost of PhP170.70 billion. This project consists of commuter railway operations between Tutuban and Calamba, Laguna. It also includes a long haul railway operation between Tutuban and Legaspi, Albay and on the branch line between Calamba and Batangas and an extension between Legaspi and Matnog.

The NSCR Project, the NSRP-South Line and the Clark Rail Project are envisioned to improve efficiency of land transportation capacity of Metro Manila and provide a more environmentally sustainable mode of transport

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USA: Tri-Rail’s new Miami Airport Station (MIA) will finally open on Sunday, April 5, 2015 after a four year wait.

It is a part of the Miami Central Station at the Miami Intermodal Centre (MIC) on the east side of the airport. Tri-Rail passengers will be able to seamlessly and immediately connect to the airport via a short ride on the MIA Mover.

“This is another significant milestone, which is symbolic of our vital role to connect South Florida to the world,” said Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, Chair of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority/Tri-Rail.

Currently, riders have to get off at Hialeah with their luggage and take a separate shuttle to the airport which can take 20 minutes or longer. Passengers are pleased to hear this announcement as the station had been closed for to construction.

Tri-Rail's schedule will be slightly adjusted to include the new station on the 72-mile line that runs west along the I-95 between Miami and Mangonia Park, north of West Palm Beach.

Arrival times for the other stations will remain the same as in the current schedule. The beginning of the northbound run for trains leaving the Miami Airport Station will be the only noticeable times affected.

Commissioner Barreiro said: “Our loyal passengers, plus the thousands of new riders that we anticipate to travel in and out of Miami International Airport, will greatly enjoy this state-of-the art facility that we expect will become an international transit hub of which we can all be proud.”


Tri-Rail will join Miami-Dade Transit’s Metrorail and Metrobus services which already have access to the facility. The Rental Car Centre and taxi service will also be linked and made available for travellers. They have included a room at the hub for high-speed rail in the future. Other anticipated future services will include Amtrak, Greyhound and even bicycle lockers.

A lot of buzz has been happening on their social media about the new station. Tri-Rail is determined to assist passengers with their transportation needs. They have increased their activity on social media which is allowing them to connect to the public and amplify their outreach efforts, alert passengers about updates via platforms.