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UK: London Gatwick Airport has launched a passenger app providing flight alerts, real-time queue updates for check-in and security, intuitive navigation using beacon technology and shopping, restaurant and airport offers. 

Gatwick’s new app is part of several passenger-facing digital innovations coming on stream soon including advanced chat bots, augmented reality wayfinding and the airport-wide use of the Internet of Things.

The new app means that holidaymakers and business travellers can enjoy a more seamless experience when travelling through Gatwick as it boasts a range of features including:

  • Personalised flight information – real-time updates onflight status and gate information straight to your mobile
  • Real-time queue updates – for check-in and security to plan your time at the airport
  • Intuitive maps - guiding passengers through the airport using 2,000 navigation beacons located throughout terminal buildings
  • Shopping and eating offers – specific to your terminal and instantly redeemable from your phone

Personalised flight information pushed to your phone includes boarding status and gate access, which means passengers can enjoy their time at the airport without having to hunt for flight information screens. 

The free app is a one-stop shop for all things Gatwick with benefits extending beyond use in the terminal buildings, including:

  • Real-time road and rail travel information
  • Ability to book Official Gatwick Parking, Premium Security or Premium Passport Control 
  • A handy ‘Where’s my car?’ feature so those using Gatwick’s on-site car parks can easily store their parking location for a hassle-free return journey
  • ‘Which Terminal’ to get you to the right location for your flight
  • Passenger pick-up and drop-off information, ideal for those meeting friends and family on an inbound flight
  • Information on services across the airport including baby changing, charging points, hotels and lounges
  • Easy access to information for passengers requiring special assistance services or those with hidden disabilities
     
    Cathal Corcoran, Chief Information Officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “Our new app is just one of many exciting digital initiatives that our award-winning digital team is developing. We are transforming the way airport information is communicated and will soon connect passengers to intelligent chat bots using Facebook Messenger, Skype, and other popular apps. The airport’s 2000 wayfinding beacons are also a world first and have the capability to enable augmented reality wayfinding for passengers, making it easier to navigate the airport’s two terminal buildings.”  

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USA: The Chicago Infrastructure Trust and the City of Chicago have issued the Request for Qualifications (RfQ) for the O'Hare Express System Project. 

This project aims to provide express transportation service between O’Hare International Airport and downtown Chicago. This RfQ represents the commencement of the procurement process for selecting the private party that will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Project.

The current total daily number of air passengers traveling between O’Hare and the Chicago Central Business District is approximately 20,000 and is forecast to grow to at least 35,000 daily air passengers in 2045. The Project's aim is to create a better access to the airport and downtown Chicago and cut transit travel times by more than 50%.

One of the project goals is to provide service frequency of at least every 15 minutes for the majority of the day and up to 20 hours of service per day.

The Project will include two initial stations at the beginning and end points of the corridor, and one maintenance facility.

More information about the RfQ can be found here: http://chicagoinfrastructure.org/initiatives/ord-express/> 

 

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SWEDEN: The express train between Stockholm city centre and Arlanda Airport, Arlanda Express is celebrating its 18th birthday today and invites everyone sharing the same birthday to travel on the service for free. 

Arlanda Express Birthday

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USA: The Port Authority New York New Jersey (PANYNJ) has released its proposed 2018 $3.4 billion Capital Budget that includes significant work at its tunnels, bridges, airports and PATH system, while investing in major projects to replace aging facilities with modern infrastructure.

The 2018 Capital Budget aligns with the 10-year 2017-2026 Capital Plan and invests in critical regional transportation projects such as the redevelopment of LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports, advancement of the LaGuardia AirTrain and John F. Kennedy International Airport Vision planning, and the extension of the PATH system to Newark Liberty rail link station.

The 2018 Capital Budget allocates $1.1 billion to redevelop the region's airport and ready them for the future, including $42 million in planning for an AirTrain system at LaGuardia Airport, $167 million for construction of a new Terminal One and associated infrastructure at Newark Liberty Airport, and $42 million to advance planning for the redevelopment of John F. Kennedy Airport.

Importantly, the PATH capital budget also includes $15 million for the continued planning and design of the extension of the PATH system to the Newark Liberty rail link station, a project that will enhance rail access to Newark Airport from lower Manhattan.

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UK: Bristol Airport has begun preparing a new Master Plan which will set out potential development to respond to increasing passenger demand forecast over the next three decades and beyond. 

A ten week consultation began on Thursday 16 November 2017 to seek views from the public on its priorities and initial concepts that will guide the airport in its development plans to respond to forecast demand of up to 20 million passengers a year by the mid-2040s. Feedback from individuals and organisations will help shape a draft Master Plan which will be subject to further consultation next spring.

Currently the ninth busiest airport in the UK, and the fifth largest outside London, Bristol Airport saw passenger numbers grow by more than 10% in 2016, and will serve more than eight million passengers this year. Existing planning permission is already in place for facilities to handle up to ten million passengers a year, but this capacity is expected to be reached early in the next decade as demand for air travel to and from the South West of the UK continues to rise.

The consultation document, "Your airport: your views", identifies five pillars which will guide the airport’s new Master Plan in order to meet the challenges and opportunities that emerging trends are expected to present aviation with in the future. These guiding principles are:

  • A world-leading regional airport
  • Creating employment and supporting economic growth
  • Providing an integrated transport hub
  • Taking a sustainable approach
  • Ensuring proposals are flexible enough to be delivered in phases over time, and deliver value for money for passengers, airlines and other stakeholders.

A number of design considerations influencing land use are examined, and three example scenarios showing indicative site layouts provide potential ways the airport could meet projected future demand.

Local communities, stakeholders, passengers and the public are invited to find out more and provide feedback online. Bristol Airport will hold a series of drop-in consultation events in local communities across the West of England for those wishing to speak to members of the airport management team first hand. Full details of the consultation, including dates and venues for the drop-in events, can be found by visiting www.bristolairport.co.uk/future.

Consultation closes at midnight, Friday 26 January 2018.

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The Global AirRail Awards 2017 ceremony took place in Brussels on Tuesday 14th of November, during the annual Global AirRail Conference organised by the Global AirRail Alliance and co-hosted by the Airport Regions Conference and Brussels Airport Company. 

The GARA awards seek to raise awareness of partnerships between airports, airlines, railways and other ground transport operators to improve experience of people travelling to and from airports.

"New mobility technologies are emerging fast and changing the entire culture of travel. For public transport to stay competitive in this fast pace world, all the operators, whether in air or on the ground, need to come together and find the best way to join up their services to customers. Through the Global AirRail Awards we want to recognise innovative thinking and partnerships that contribute to the future mobility," Director of the Global AirRail Alliance Milda Manomaityte said.

Winners were announced in seven categories.

AirRail Technology

This award is designed to recognise the best technology solution that has the greatest impact to business, improving services on air-rail journeys.

WINNER
Ethos Farm & Greater Anglia - Train BrApp for Stansted Express
A new colleague specific application that provides daily briefing and communication platform to employees as well as live daily operational updates and during times of disruption.

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From left: Léa Bodossian, Secretary General of Airport Regions Conference; Andrew Camp, Commercial Director of Greater Anglia; Sally Alington and Mat Garner, Founders of Ethos Farm; Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance

Marketing Campaign on the Year,

This award is dedicated to recognising the most creative and successful marketing campaigns in the air-rail sector.

WINNER
Flytoget - Travel Guarantee
Due to Flytoget's consistent punctuality, the travel guarantee is an important but very little known feature. The marketing campaign illustrated the exceptional train service punctuality and the value of travel guarantee when unforeseen events do happen.

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From left: Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance; Alain Vandenplas, Mobility and Intermodality Manager, Brussels Airport Company; Philipp Engedal, CEO of Flytoget.

Customer Service Excellence

The Customer Service Excellence award looks for the best examples of delivering an enjoyable and stress free journey from air to rail.

WINNER
MTR Corporation Limited
To increase customer satisfaction MTR's Airport Express Line has conducted a Journey Mapping exercise, identifying key areas for improvement. This resulted in a sharp increase on both service quality and passenger satisfaction ratings.

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From left: Liam Henderson, Founder of Transporting Cities, Karen Chan, Manager Sales & Airport Express Marketing and David Chan, Operations Manager Airport Express Line at MTR Corporation Limited; Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance

Travelport Project of the Year

This award is given to a project or an initiative that is contributing greatly to future air-rail services, improving customer experience or engaging with local communities.

WINNER
FERROVIENORD and SEA Milano - MXPT2 Link Up
A railway extension connecting Malpensa Airport Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 opened in December 2016 and in the first six months nearly one and a half million passengers have used the service. The link up represents the first phase of the Malpensa North Rail Access Project.

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From Left: Christoph Klenner, Secretary General of the European Technology and Travel Services Association; Paolo Mantegazza, Head of Asset Management, FERROVIENORD; Massimo Corradi, Real Estate and Funding Programmes Manager at SEA Milano. 

AccesRail Integrated AirRail Partnership of the Year

This award celebrates successful partnerships between operators, suppliers and organisations, who work together to create seamless air-rail journeys.

WINNER
Austrian Airlines, ÖBB and AccesRail
The partnership was established to implement the intermodal travel in the Austrian market, enabling to book train and flight segments via airline distribution channels.

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From left: Oddbjorn Taraldsvik, Director Business Development at AccesRail/ACP Marketing; Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance; Oliver Kuselbauer, Partner Manager at Austrian Airlines; Michael Forstner, CEO at City Air Terminal Betriebsgesellschaf; Julianna Moats, Principal Systems Engineer at WSP.

North Star AirRail Link of the Year

The North Star Air Rail Link of the Year award recognises the service with best performance results and highest overall impact to the air-rail market over the past year.

WINNER
Heathrow Express
Effective communication with customers during disruption time, new off-peak pricing strategy and partnerships with travel management companies helped Heathrow Express to achieve 9% ridership increase, 14% online sales growth and 97% overall customer satisfaction rate.

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From left: Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance; Karan Suri, Pricing Manager and Fraser Brown, Business Lead at Heathroew Express; Richard Brown, Managing Director of North Star Consultancy. 

AirRail Personality of the Year

Personality of the Year award recognises the achievements of an individual who has delivered a great positive impact to improving and promoting air-rail journeys.

WINNER
Per Thorstenson, CEO, Arlanda Express
Per is an inspirational leader for Arlanda Express and has created a strong culture of collaboration for his staff. Under Per's leadership Arlanda Express dares to be a little different and stand out while providing an exciting experience for millions of passengers.

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From left: Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance; Per Thorstenson, CEO of Arlanda Express.

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RUSSIA: Russian Railways is building a new 1.2km rail link connecting Volgograd's international airport to Gumrak station. The journey on electric trains between the airport and the suburbian station of Volgograd-1 will be about 30 min.

Russian Railways will also build a dedicated station next to the airport terminal.

The project is funded by Russian Railways and is estimated to cost some 40 million euros.

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INDIA: Three Nagpur metro rail stations at Khapri, New Airport and Airport South are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, Managing Director of Mahametro Brijesh Dixit said.

According to the Nagpur Today, the New Airport station is being build in Indo-Saracenic style fused with Buddhist architecture. It will have an eight-foot statue of Buddha placed under a 13.4 meter dome.

Green will dominate at the Airport South station, with glass walls and steel sheet roof. The upper floor of the station will have a grand hall where conventions, weddings and other events can be held.

Nagpur Metro Rail Project is a 38.2 km metro corridor with total of 37 stations and 2 Depots. The entire stretch will be divided into 2 corridors - North-South and East-West.

The North-South corridor will connect the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport with the Sitaburdi Interchange, where the two lines will meet.

NagpurMetro2

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RUSSIA: Aeroexpress has placed into operations the first of the new Stadler built double-deckers trains on the Vnukovo airport route. From next month the new double-decker trains will also run on the Domodedovo Airport line, the company has announced.

Stadler has specifically designed the double decker trains for Aeroexpress as part of their rolling stock renewal programme in preparations for the 2018 World Cup. Aeroexpress has already completed the construction of a new platform for Domodedovo airport and is currently building a second one, as well as executing reconstruction works on the platform in Paveletsky railway station. As part of the preparations for the major sporting event next year, Aeroexpress has modernised the wifi network.

“This is one of the most important events for the company in recent years,” Aeroexpress CEO Alexei Krivoruchko said. “We are confident that our passengers will appreciate all the technological innovations implemented in the new double-decker trains.”

“Vnukovo Airport serves more than 60 thousand passengers daily and for we strive to create the best customer experience for each one of them. The launch of the new double-decker trains to our airport is a very important step towards the improvement of airport access infrastructure,” Vnukovo International Airport General Manger Vasily Alexandrov said.

In total four double-decker trains are planned to be put in operation by the end of November on the Vnukovo Airport line and seven trains will run to Domodedovo airport before the end of the year.

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USA: The Port of Seattle has announced a one dollar per trip fee increase starting November 1 for transportation network companies (TNC’s - such as Uber, Lyft and Wingz) serving Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. This is the first change in the per trip fee since the launch of a pilot program in April of 2016 which has seen the number of app-based transportation services more than triple at Sea-Tac Airport.

The increase was informed by 18 months of trip data and market analysis. Overall, ground transportation trips are up 13% from last year and demand for TNC services continues to soar. Compared to last year, TNC trips are up 87%, requiring more staff and operational changes to the airport parking garage and off-site holding lot.

Ground transportation fees will go directly to support airport maintenance and projects such as improvements in the walkway from the terminal to the light rail station, enhanced wi-fi service, and lighting and safety improvements in the airport garage.

The $6 per trip fee is in line with fees charged by many other airports. Even higher fees of $7–10 per trip are charged by airports in San Francisco, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Cleveland, Orlando, Chicago and Detroit. Customers using on-demand/for hire taxis and other ground transportation services will not see any change in rates charged by the Port.

The Port monitors ground transportation trends and will issue a comprehensive study by the end of 2017 or early 2018 to include current trends and inform future policy decisions.

Sea-Tac Airport ground transportation by the numbers:

  • Overall ground transportation trips are up 13.1% versus 2016 with 2,855,128 trips year to date in 2017. For the month of September, overall trips were up 8.6% with 335,754 compared to 309,303 in September of 2016.
  • TNC’s have grown from 39,975 during the first month of operation at Sea-Tac in April of 2016 to 120,803 during September of 2017, a 202% increase.
  • September of 2017 saw 120,803 TNC trips compared to 74,405 last year, an increase of 62.4%.
  • On-demand taxi and flat-rate activity dropped 2.7% in September of this year (67,280) compared to the same month in 2016 (69,141). Through September this year, on-demand taxi and flat-rate trips numbered 583,953.
  • Based on numbers through September, on-demand taxi and flat-rate provide 20% of the overall ground transportation services while TNC’s provide 33% and all other ground transportation services provide 47%.

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NEW ZEALAND: Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed the Government's announcement that it will allow Auckland to introduce a regional fuel tax to fund investment in the city's transport network including light rail to the airport.

Mayor Phil Goff said, "During the mayoral campaign I advocated for a regional fuel tax to fund Auckland's transport needs.

"Light rail will help decongest our roads and provide a 21st century gateway to visitors to Auckland. It will also allow for more intensive housing development around transport hubs bringing economic benefits to those suburbs it travels through.

According to the mayor, a fuel tax is effective, cheap, and easy to administer. It will help ensure that Auckland can pay its share of the nearly $27 billion expenditure on transport infrastructure over the next 10 years.

"Without this level of investment our rapidly growing population will worsen the congestion on our roads with mounting costs in frustration and lost productivity.

"A regional fuel tax of 10 cents a litre will raise twice as much money as the Interim Transport Levy to invest in new transport infrastructure. It will also be much fairer by relating the money paid to use of our roads.

"Transport investment in Auckland is a partnership between Government and Council, and I look forward to discussions with the Prime Minister and Minister for Transport in the coming weeks to begin work to introduce the fuel tax in Auckland as quickly as possible and agree on the funding and transport priorities over the coming decade," Mayor Phil Goff said.

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Management and staff with Exec Chairman with the award at the SPADs LPT Gala Dinner web

MALAYSIA: Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) was named the Best Operator (Railway) at the recent Land Public Transport (LPT) Gala Dinner & Industry Award 2017 organised by Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD) in conjunction with its annual LPT Symposium themed Reimagining Transportation: Sustainable Mobility. ERL received the awards for Best Customer Service and Best Safety Practices at the awards ceremony last year.

“We are truly honoured to receive this award and we would like to thank SPAD for this recognition. It will certainly inspire us to work even harder and to continue our commitment to provide the highest level of service to our passengers. They can look forward to improved services, better travel experience and more value-for-money deals in the near future,” Executive Chairman of ERL, YBhg Tan Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh.

ERL purchased six new trains manufactured by CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Company Limited; two for KLIA Ekspres and four for KLIA Transit. The new trains are currently undergoing intensive testing and commissioning.

ERL also received the Outstanding Green Air-Rail Transport Award at the Malaysia Canada Business Council 25th Anniversary Business Excellence Awards Gala Dinner in May this year.

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Market Share 2017 Index

UK: Strategic railway consultancy, North Star has released its 5th Annual Global Air-Rail Market Intelligence Report, looking into global trends in airport rail link services. The report is based on a study of nine leading air-rail operators across Europe, Australia, Asia and South Africa. 

“The findings again clearly indicate that air-rail services continued to be a vital component of global aviation, in fact, across our sample of nine operators, more than 44 million train passenger movements were experienced during 2016," North Star’s Managing Director, Richard Brown said.

However, the report concludes that the combined market share index for the nine operators show a slight decrease in people choosing rail when travelling to and from airports around the world. More specifically, three operators within the study showed some market share growth, whilst six experienced a decrease.

North Star’s findings indicate that operators all face growing competition from new transport providers, such as Uber and similar car-sharing companies. “This has been the main driver for the slight decrease”, explains Brown, “and this disruption trend, let’s call it the ‘Uber-effect’, will only continue”. In response, the operators report an increasing need to enhance marketing and service delivery to address the challenge.

The findings also reveal that marketing spend varies greatly amongst the air-rail operators, with many continuing to focus their marketing on reliability, price and the perception of value. 

Other outcomes of the study indicate that higher market share is experienced by air-rail operators who have the greatest price advantage over the standard taxi or car-sharing services. Trends also indicate that car-sharing services into capital city inner suburbs is on the increase. 

“North Star has been pleased to conduct this fifth annual report”, concludes Richard Brown. “It provides an excellent snap-shot of the challenges and opportunities of the global air-rail industry. And like many industries, technological disruption is also raising its head in air-rail.”

Chris Basche, CEO, Brisbane Airtrain commented: “The report is extremely useful and serves as a guide for how air-rail operators are adopting to the challenges of a changing competitive market environment.”   

Richard Brown will present the study’s findings at the Global Air Rail Association’s conference in Brussels on the 13th & 14th November 2017.

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GARA Brussels logo BRU

EVENTS: Brussels Airport has joined the annual Global AirRail Conference and Awards 2017 as one of the hosts. Each year the event discusses key challenges in providing multimodal access to and from airports, focusing on improving rail connectivity for passengers and employees.

Over the past few years, Brussels Airport has grown into a multimodal transport hub and an economic powerhouse in the heart of Europe, contributing 1.8% to the national GDP and with an added value for Belgium of EUR 3.2 billion.

Commercial passenger flights and cargo activities at Brussels Airport generate direct and indirect employment for 60,000 people.

“Brussels Airport aims to improve the connections between the various means of transport. The intermodal hub at Brussels Airport can be extended further with more trains and buses, and with a tram and bicycle network. This will give passengers and Airport Community staff more options for travelling to and from the airport, as well as transferring at the airport on the way to their final destination," says Alain Vandenplas, Mobility & Intermodality Manager of Brussels Airport Company.

"The airport will be making a major contribution towards better mobility for all commuters and other travellers in the region as a whole. As part of the Strategic Vision 2040, the airport has set itself a target that by the year 2040, 50% of the passengers and the Airport Community employees will come by public transport, bicycle or on foot, as compared with the current 30%. We are working with the government and the transport companies to give substance to this plan, but are also really looking forward to exchange ideas and discuss airport access with other industry leaders from around the world.”

The Global AirRail Conference and Awards is taking place in Brussels on 13-14 November and is a partnership between the Global AirRail Alliance (GARA), an organization promoting rail access to airports, and the Airport Regions Conference (ARC), an association of regional and local authorities across Europe with an international airport situated within or near its territory.

"I am very happy to welcome Brussels Airport as our hosts and grateful for their support in bringing the Global AirRail event to Brussels. The Airport is at the centre of our discussions on how to improve access for all of its users and we have set up a very engaging programme for our conference delegates," said Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance.

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CANADA: Ontario is pushing forward with plans to bring high speed rail to the Toronto-Windsor corridor by establishing an HSR Planning Advisory Board to provide strategic support on the landmark project.

“High speed rail will dramatically change what’s possible for people in Southwestern Ontario. Whether that’s giving people a faster, greener way to get to a great job in the tech industry, allowing family members to visit more often or helping people discover more of our beautiful province. Canada’s first high speed rail service will also help companies along the Toronto-Windsor corridor to continue to attract top talent and take their business to the next level,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said.

In addition to providing strategic advice on major business issues associated with the project, the HSR Planning Advisory Board will engage with the private sector, stakeholders and Indigenous communities. The team members will bring a breadth and depth of expertise to the project, including in the high tech and innovation sectors; engineering, environmental sciences and transportation planning; and the financing and delivery of infrastructure projects.

High speed trains between Toronto and Windsor would travel at up to 250 kilometres per hour on a combination of existing track and new dedicated rail corridors. This could cut travel times between these major centres from over four hours to just over two. By expanding Ontario's Innovation SuperCorridor to Windsor, high speed rail will support and enhance opportunities for economic growth in Southwestern Ontario and across the province.

The high speed rail line will serve a corridor that’s home to more than seven million people. The proposed stops are Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto Union Station, with a connection to Pearson International Airport.

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USA: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released a Tier I combined Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD) for the High Speed Ground Transportation (HSGT) project that will connect Atlanta to Chattanooga. 

The chosen route includes eight rail stations and is estimated to take 88 minutes to travel from the first to the last station along the corridor. The route will begin on the eastside of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (HJAIA) at the proposed HJAIA/Southern Crescent Station and end at a proposed downtown Chattanooga station.

“This combined FEIS and ROD is a product of nine years’ work from FRA and its state partners,” said FRA Deputy Administrator Heath Hall. “The administration is working diligently to remove barriers, which slow down the environmental process so that people can get to work rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.”

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) studied the corridor as part of Georgia’s 1997 Intercity Rail Plan, which recommended further study – specifically with an emphasis on high-speed rail service. During the scoping process of the study, GDOT and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) identified 15 unique corridors between Atlanta and Chattanooga. GDOT and TDOT then subjected those corridors to a screening process and ultimately narrowed down three corridors for the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision.

The FEIS/ROD provides information on train technology, maximum operating speeds and station location options. However, decisions on these issues, as well as the exact alignment within the preferred corridor, will be part of a Tier II NEPA study, if additional funding is secured.

Atlanta to Chattanooga HSGT FEIS ROD 4

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LUXEMBOURG: Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure François Bausch has announced two tram extensions, one of which will connect the airport to with the future Héienhaff interchange. The first 4.9km line will run from Luxemburg central station to Cloche d’Or with seven stops and the second 3.9 km extension will run from Luxexpo via Héienhaff to Findel Airport.

The total cost for the construction of the two extensions is estimated at EUR214 million, the first extension coming up to EUR114.9 million and the airport extension EUR99.1 million.

Both lines are scheduled to open at the end of 2021.

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EIB Bangalore Loan

INDIA: The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide EUR 500 million to support the construction of a new 18 station Rapid Transit line in Bangalore and the purchase of 96 train cars for use on the line.

This support for investment to expand the second longest urban metro system in the country is the largest ever EIB loan in India and also the largest ever support for sustainable transport outside Europe.

The new line will cut travel times for some journeys from 2 hours today to 15 minutes.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is expected support the project in the first ever joint financing between the EIB and AIIB.

“Daily travel for hundreds of thousands people on the Namma Metro will be transformed by expanding urban transport in Bangalore. The impressive Reach 6 project shows how a world city is providing 21st century sustainable transport for its citizens. The EUR 500 million financing agreed with the European Investment Bank demonstrates Europe’s commitment to support world class climate related investment across Asia and the increased momentum of EIB financing for urban transport across India. This new loan follows backing for the impressive Lucknow Metro last year.” said Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for South Asia.

Once operational in 2021 the new 22km Reach 6 metro line will transform transport in the southern Indian city. Reach 6 is a key part of the second phase of the Bangalore Metro and a key component of the future rail link to Bangalore Airport. More than 800 people are expected to be employed during construction.

The Bangalore Metro is the first infrastructure project to be jointly financed by the European Investment Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It is the EIB’s second sovereign loan with the Republic of India.

As well as providing EUR 450 million for construction of the new Lucknow Metro, In recent years the EIB has supported investment in urban transport across Asia in Hanoi, Vientiane and Bangladesh.

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CHINA: Singapore based investment management and holding company Sapphire Corporation Ltd announced that its subsidiary Ranken Railway Construction Group has secured two new contracts for municipal metro and rail transit lines in China, worth S$176 million.

The contract includes building part of the 24.5km Dalian Metro Line 5, connecting to Dalian Metro North-South Line 1, which links to the upcoming Jinzhouwan International Airport. The Metro Line 5 is scheduled for completion in November 2019.

Ranken has also secured part of the municipal construction contract for the second phase of Urumqi Airport Rail Transit Line. The 13.35km line will have six stations, of which Ranken will build a 3.6km section between International Airport Station and Terminal 4. The contract is scheduled for completion on December 2019.