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UK: Heathrow Express is the UK’s joint top performer in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey, achieving its best ever overall satisfaction score of 97%.

The National Rail Passenger Survey gathers the opinions of UK train passengers twice a year, and Heathrow Express has also outperformed other train companies in London and the South East, where the average overall satisfaction score was 82%.

The survey states that punctuality/reliability has the biggest impact on overall satisfaction, and Heathrow Express scored 96% in that category – 19% more than counterparts in London and the South East. The service, which carries 16,000 people a day between London and Heathrow with a journey time of 15 minutes, also scored 96% in length of time the journey was scheduled to take (speed). The attitudes and helpfulness of staff at the station has scored 90%, up 4% year-on-year, and availability of staff at the station has gone up 10% to 87%.

Heathrow Express has been scored 52% in the value for money category, an 11% improvement on the same period last year and 9% higher than any other operator in London and the South East. This reflects the views of customers who are taking advantage of the advanced purchase fares available online which were introduced last year (starting at £5.50) and a new £15 fare which customers can buy on the day, on Saturdays.

Heathrow Express Director, Fraser Brown, said: “It can be difficult to improve on scores that are already good, so I’m really pleased to see that the team’s hard work is paying off across the board. Our colleagues are renowned for their excellent customer service, but in the past it’s been less common for HEx to do well in a “value for money” context. Our advanced purchase and £15 weekend fares have seen passenger numbers increase by 9% so far this year, and it’s great to see that our passengers are valuing the price of their ticket more as a result.”

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AUSTRALIA: The Federal Government has approved Gold Coast Airport Master Plan 2017 providing a guide to the development of airport facilities, infrastructure and land uses to meet the future requirements of the aviation industry.

Gold Coast Airport (GCA) is Australia’s fastest growing airport, forecasting to serve 16.6 million passengers by 2037.

By 2037, GCA is forecast to have 16.6 million passenger movements annually (13.5 million domestic and 3.1 million international passengers).

“The Master Plan is particularly focused on growth in new aviation infrastructure and commercial facilities over the next 5 years including the continued expansion of the terminal and additional aircraft parking stands,” GCA Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said. “Master planning for the airport has also taken into account the future introduction of heavy and light rail facilities. Whilst this is a medium to long term prospect, planning has occurred to ensure that future stations are highly accessible within the terminal precinct. The Master Plan also has provision for a high quality hotel development.

“In line with our previous Master Plans, we will continue to commit to preserving approximately 25 per cent of the airport lease area for conservation purposes through the Cobaki Environment Precinct.”

The approval of the GCA Master Plan does not authorise any major development on the airport. Such developments require additional community consultation and approval by the Federal Government through the Major Development Plan process.

Download the Master Plan here>>> 

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USA: JetBlue released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the development of a terminal at New York’s JFK Airport. In coordination with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s master plan process, JetBlue is seeking to lead the development of the former Terminal 6 site and potentially the Terminal 7 site.

JetBlue will identify innovative development opportunities that meet the needs of travellers in the New York region. The project would accommodate increases in customer traffic in the airline’s largest focus city, enhance and facilitate codesharing and interline agreements, and open the door to new value-enhancing partnership opportunities.

“Terminal 5 has been and will continue to be a key factor in our success in New York from a customer experience and revenue growth perspective,” said Lisa Reifer, vice president infrastructure, properties and development, JetBlue. “This project lays the groundwork for JetBlue’s future leadership in our largest focus city. We are seeking innovative, cost- and capital-efficient approaches to Governor Cuomo’s ambitious vision for JFK to deliver a world-class airport experience for our customers and crewmembers while allowing us to maximize the value of our strategic airport assets.”

The project, subject to approval from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will include:

  • Phased development on the Terminal 6 and potentially the Terminal 7 site
  • The addition of international gates for JetBlue and partner airlines
  • Seamless connection to Terminal T5 (T5) and throughout the new facilities, both on the landside and on the airside
  • New curb-frontage and roadways providing increased vehicle capacity and enhanced access to the terminals

JetBlue is opening this RFQ process to developers. After receiving submissions from the RFQ, JetBlue will identify a select pool of qualified bidders to participate in a Request for Proposal (RFP) process later this year. For a copy of the RFQ, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Responses are due no later than 5:00 pm ET on August 11, 2017.

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CAMBODIA: Minister of Transport Sun Chanthol has announce that Phnom Penh Airport Rail Line is set to open in April 2018.

The project involved building a 1.5km extension to the airport from the existing railway track.

“Once operational, it’ll take 20 minutes to travel from within the city to the airport via the light train,” the Minister said. “It will reduce traffic congestion in the city, particularly for people living around the airport, and tourists can use the service into Phnom Penh from the airport to avoid traffic jams.”

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UK: The Government has published the consultation for the next East Midlands rail line franchise, will deliver reduced journey times for intercity services and more seats for long distance passengers at peak hours, as well as dedicated services and more capacity for commuters coming into London.

The East Midlands franchise serves the heart of England – linking cities and towns such as London, Luton Airport, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln and Derby. The franchise offers 470 services each weekday and provides 26 million passenger journeys each year.

Currently, East Midlands Trains provides one train an hour to and from London St Pancras that calls at Luton Airport Parkway. This is in addition to the six trains per hour provided by Thameslink. East Midlands services take 20 minutes to Luton Airport Parkway, while the fastest Thameslink service takes 33 minutes.

“Providing additional East Midlands fast trains to Luton Airport Parkway might only be possible by reducing the number of stops elsewhere, such as at Luton itself,” states the consultation document. “We understand that the connectivity and journey opportunities between the railway and the airports could be improved. For example, trains that serve some of these locations do not always have sufficient space for luggage.”

Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, responded to the launch saying: “London Luton Airport is the fastest growing major airport in the UK, yet it is the only one without an Express-style train service with four fast trains per hour. The launch of the East Midlands Trains franchise consultation is an opportunity to change that.”

“Introducing four fast trains per hour would help ease the South East’s airport capacity crunch, improve the experience for the travelling public, and accelerate over £1billion in economic growth across the South East Midlands and wider UK.”

According to the consultation document, at the eastern end of the route, options might exist to provide direct services between Nottingham and a wider range of stations in East Anglia, such as Cambridge and Stansted Airport. Some options could also result in changes to the destinations served by the existing Birmingham to Stansted Airport service currently operated by the Cross Country franchise.

The responses should be submitted to the DfT by 11 October 2017.

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USA: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) for preliminary engineering and design for the $10 billion redevelopment of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

"JFK International Airport is an international gateway to New York and a powerful economic engine with the potential to grow even stronger," NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "By enhancing capacity, improving access and creating a unified framework for one of the nation's largest international airports, the new JFK Airport will be a centre of economic activity and a world-class airport of the calibre that New York deserves."

The RFP is complemented by $1.5 billion in new State commitments for improvements to the Van Wyck Expressway and Kew Gardens Interchange that will improve access to the airport and reduce congestion. Phases I and II of the project at the Kew Gardens Interchange in central Queens are complete. These two critical steps will facilitate the transformation of JFK Airport into a unified, world-class airport to meet the demands of the 21st century and accommodate the dramatic growth expected in traveller demand.

The chosen firm will follow the blueprint laid out in the Governor's Vision Plan to reimagine the airport's terminals, roadways, AirTrain, parking, cargo facilities, airside and aeronautical improvements, and support infrastructure.

The Governor's plan will transform JFK into a unified, interconnected, world-class airport, improve road access to the airport and expand rail mass transit to meet projected passenger growth, while providing world class customer service.

The Governor's vision plan calls for consideration of two ways to improve rail mass transit to JFK in response to the dramatic growth of the number of passengers at JFK.

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Step 1: Expand JFK AirTrain

Increase the capacity from two to four cars per train and increase its frequency. These changes would allow the AirTrain to roughly double its capacity and handle more than 40 million passengers annually.

Improve the east of connection from the Subway or LIRR by top-to-bottom rebuild of interconnections at Jamaica and Sutphin Blvd - Completely overhaul the subway and Long Island Railroad connection to the JFK AirTrain. These improvements would include essential modern amenities such as high-performance elevators and escalators, charging stations and expanded walkways. A modernized mezzanine will create simpler navigation and smoother transfers to the AirTrain including improved wayfinding and LED flight status screens.

Step 2: Explore the feasibility of one seat ride to JFK

JFK is one of the only major airports in the world that does not offer travellers a one seat ride from its city centre. Therefore, the panel recommends that the MTA and its partners jointly explore the feasibility of a one-seat ride to JFK.

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USA: The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) has authorized Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Automated People Mover (APM) train at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The RFP for the APM is one component of the larger $5.5 billion Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP), which is designed to reduce traffic at the airport by adding a train into the Central Terminal Area (CTA) that connects to Los Angeles Metro’s light rail system, a consolidated rental car (ConRAC) facility, and additional parking structures with new areas for picking up and dropping off passengers.

“We are excited to move forward with this essential component of the LAMP project,” said BOAC President Sean Burton. “One reason Los Angeles World Airports chose a Public Private Partnership for this project is to expedite the delivery of this critical improvement that will create a better experience for passengers at LAX.”

The LAMP project consists of five major components: the APM, the ConRAC, two Intermodal Transportation Facilities (ITF East and West), and roadway improvements throughout the LAX area.

  • The APM will be a be an elevated electric powered train with six stations along the 2.25 mile alignment (three inside the CTA and three outside the CTA), connecting travellers and employees to light rail, regional buses, parking and terminals. APM stations within the CTA will connect to the terminals via pedestrian bridges with moving walkways.
  • The ConRAC will eliminate the need for rental car shuttles/buses to enter the CTA. This will decrease traffic congestion and free up curb space by bringing 23 rental car companies, currently scattered across the airport area, in one facility. Passengers will be dropped off at the ConRAC by the APM.
  • Both the East and West ITFs will serve airport users with two locations outside the CTA. The ITFs will provide parking and curb space to pick-up and drop-off passengers and will connect passengers to the CTA via the APM. The ITF East station will connect to the Metro Green and Crenshaw Rail Lines via a new station being built by Metro.
  • Streets will be improved in and around the project area to provide access to the new facilities.

“The APM is a critical project for the future modernization of LAX and is the solution to providing reliable, time-certain access to airline terminals for passengers, employees and other users.” said LAWA Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint. “Today’s authorization of the RFP is an important step towards delivering on that promise. The RFP scoring process is designed to give us a qualified team that will deliver a high quality, reliable and beautifully designed system.”

The RFP is the last step in a three-part solicitation process. LAWA previously conducted two separate Request for Qualifications (RFQ) processes to identify firms capable of supplying both the APM operating systems and the fixed facilities. After the two lists were established, the eligible developers and operators were free to team up to jointly deliver the APM as an integrated team. Of the initial shortlisted developers and operators, three integrated teams remain.

Scoring for this project is based on technical qualifications, visual appeal, and user experience. The evaluation criteria were developed to ensure a fair and transparent procurement that maximizes private sector creativity and innovation.

Public agencies across the country are utilizing the P3 project delivery DBFOM model to build large infrastructure projects because it allows projects to benefit from the experience, efficiency, and resources of private sector partners. A private partner can accelerate project delivery with innovative ideas and by providing initial investment in exchange for annual payments for the contract duration.

The RFP is scheduled to be released to the integrated teams at the end of July. Technical bids for the APM will be due in November 2017 and proposers whose technical bids meet minimum criteria will submit financial proposals in December 2017. A contract is expected to be awarded by early 2018. The APM is anticipated to be operational in 2023. More information about LAMP is available by visiting www.connectinglax.com.

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UK: A planning permission was granted for a new fully automated £200 million mass passenger transit (MPT) linking London Luton Airport (LLA) terminal with Luton Airport Parkway station.

The 24-hour, 1.4-mile line will replace the existing shuttle bus service and is expected to enter operation in 2021.

To make the most of the MPT link, LLA is also calling on the government to introduce an express-style rail service offering at least four trains per hour to central London as part of the refranchising of the East Midlands rail line later this year.

Introducing an express-style service will not only dramatically improve the experience for passengers, but also contribute an additional £100 million in revenue to government and the rail franchisee. It is also expected to take over 70,000 cars per year off the M1 and reduce CO2 emissions by 500 tonnes per year by encouraging more people to travel to the airport by public transport.

“The new MPT rail link is a major milestone in the airport’s transformation. Passengers will soon enjoy a seamless transfer between Luton Airport Parkway station and the terminal. LLA will be faster to reach from central London than both Gatwick and Stansted. But we want to go further. LLA is the fastest growing major airport in the UK, yet it is the only London airport without an express-style service. An improved rail service, in conjunction with the new MPT link, will improve the experience for passengers, deliver significant environmental benefits for local communities and accelerate economic growth across the region,” Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said.

Over 1.5 million passengers chose to travel through London Luton Airport (LLA) last month, representing a 6.2% increase compared to June 2016 and LLA has now recorded 39 consecutive months of passenger growth. To meet rapidly rising demand, the airport is delivering the biggest investment programme in its history and increasing capacity by 50%.

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UK: Doncaster Council, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and Doncaster Sheffield Airport have taken the next step in exploring the potential of connecting the airport to the East Coast Mainline to provide a station.

A study has been commissioned to determine the feasibility and strategic business case for a potential rail link and will be awarded through a competitive bidding process. The study is hoped to be completed by the end of the year.

The airport has also unveiled early design concepts for the station which could serve the next major international airport for the UK in the North.

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An airport station off the East Coast Mainline could be a major economic boost for Yorkshire and the Sheffield City Region, having a transformational effect beyond the airport site as a catalyst for encouraging investment, providing new jobs and support the growing innovation district at the airport’s 1,600 acre site, known as Aero Centre Yorkshire.

The station could also serve local communities and businesses in the vicinity such as the rapidly expanding Yorkshire Wildlife Park and other forthcoming new leisure attractions such as the European Tour backed golf course at Rossington.

Ros Jones, mayor of Doncaster said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport is a huge asset for Doncaster, the Sheffield City Region, Yorkshire and the North and we are committed to making it a big success.

“The opening of Great Yorkshire Way created exceptional links between the airport and the motorway network and has helped them achieve incredible growth. This shows if you have a forward thinking vision to deliver important infrastructure projects they can have a real economic impact.

“We are ambitious for the future and our concept to provide an East Coast Mainline station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport could certainly release its immense untapped potential and bring significant benefits to Doncaster and the wider region.”

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Steve Gill, chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport is one of few regional airport sites in the UK which offers unconstrained physical and airspace capacity with the existing runway able to accommodate a throughput of 25 million passengers per annum, providing an international gateway serving the east side of the country. An airport station could mean London is less than 80 minutes train travel away, and in many places quicker than travelling across to Heathrow or Gatwick on already congested routes. The proposal could also support boosting international trade, deliver improved regional connectivity and contribute towards government strategy to rebalance the economy.

“The proposal for the airport station shows how a quicker, more affordable and sustainable solution in the North can deliver much needed future UK aviation capacity for passengers and cargo, complementing planned investment in South East airports.

“These aspirational designs we’ve released aim to show the scale of our ambition for the station and we hope they inspire people to get behind this proposal.”

Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “The success of Aero Centre Yorkshire is a key part of our strategic plan to build a truly competitive centre of business excellence in Sheffield City Region. The airport’s new link road illustrates our simple and straightforward approach to doing business. In Sheffield City Region we just get things done and we look forward to working in partnership to deliver a new rail connection and station providing a connection from the airport to the East Coast Mainline. Through pulling together to achieve transformational change we are building a thriving, super-connected and successful economy.”

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UK: Heathrow, Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) have agreed a commitment to boost integrated rail connectivity to the airport, including the addition of two new Elizabeth line trains per hour serving Terminal 5 from December 2019.

Under the plan, services to Heathrow will increase from 18 trains per hour today to at least 22 trains per hour in 2019, of which six will be on the Elizabeth line.

A train will depart Central London to Heathrow on average every two-and-a-half minutes – including two Elizabeth line trains per hour to Terminal 5. Journey times to Heathrow from Bond Street will be 27 minutes, Liverpool Street 35 minutes and Canary Wharf will be only 39 minutes away on a direct train.

There is also an ambition to add further services in the future. A joint feasibility study is underway to look at delivering a further two Elizabeth line trains per hour to Terminal 5 meaning eight Elizabeth line trains per hour serving Heathrow, as well as additional work on developing western rail access to Heathrow.

“This agreement is a big step forward. Together Heathrow, TfL and the DfT are working together to boost rail connections to the UK’s hub, giving our passengers more choices to travel sustainably between Heathrow and London. With 22 trains per hour, an ambition to add even more services and easy to use Oyster and Contactless ticketing, Heathrow will be at the heart of an integrated transport network and our passengers will reap the benefits,” Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said.

An interchange at Old Oak Common will connect High Speed 2 to Heathrow via the Elizabeth line in under 20 minutes, from 2026. Four Heathrow Express services from Paddington will continue to run every 15 minutes offering a fast 15-minute connection between Heathrow and central London.

From May 2018, new ticket readers will be installed at Heathrow, meaning passengers using Heathrow Express and TfL Rail between Paddington and Heathrow will be able to use pay as you go Oyster or a contactless device. The new ways to pay for journeys to the airport will mean more convenience and flexibility for passengers. Passengers travelling on the Heathrow Express will benefit from easier on-the-day ticketing and can still purchase tickets in advance online from as little as £5.50.

The initiative will support Heathrow’s plans to ensure that half of all journeys to and from the airport are by electric or low emission public transport by 2030.

“We have been working with Heathrow on how we can deliver the best services for customers to and from the airport. It is great news that we can now confirm that the Elizabeth line will serve all the Terminals,” Mike Brown, London’s Transport Commissioner said.

Rail services to Heathrow from December 2019:

  • 12 Piccadilly Line trains per hour – 6 trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and 6 trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 5
  • 6 Elizabeth Line trains per hour – 4 trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and 2 trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 5
  • 4 Heathrow Express trains per hour – all trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 5

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USA: Port Authority Of New York And New Jersey has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the proposed LaGuardia Airtrain system, vehicles and system technology.

The Port Authority is seeking information from firms that manufacture rail vehicles and rail vehicle components for automated people movers, metro or light rail technologies. According to the RFI, the Port Authority may use this information to help inform next steps for the proposed AirTrain system at LaGuardia Airport.

As part of the redevelopment of LGA, the Port Authority is considering the development of a new AirTrain automated rail transportation system (LGA AirTrain) from the Airport to Willets Point, Queens.

The proposed LGA AirTrain system would serve air travellers, airport employees, and others having airport-related business, operating between LGA and Willets Point, with connections to the Long Island Rail Road (Port Washington Branch) and the Willets Point-Mets Station of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s New York City Transit Flushing subway line (7 train).

The proposed LGA AirTrain system would also serve as an on-airport transit system to accommodate current growth and the redevelopment of the Airport’s Central Terminal Building (Terminal B), and the redevelopment of Delta Airlines’ Terminals C and D, while not precluding a possible future expansion to Terminal A.

The Port Authority is currently conducting planning and feasibility studies of the proposed LGA AirTrain system, including the development of conceptual alignments, ridership forecasts, geotechnical investigation, analysis of traffic impacts, technology assessment and financial feasibility.

The submission deadline is 20th July 2017. Link to RFI document >>>http://www.panynj.gov/business-opportunities/pdf/RFIDOC_50144.pdf

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EVENTS: 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, have partnered joining the 8th Global AirRail Conference and Awards and ARC’s annual meeting into a three day event.

Agenda at a glance

Day 1 – 13 November 2017 - will be dedicated to GARA meetings and discussions, focusing on rail links to airports

Day 2 – 14 November 2017 - will see joined GARA and ARC conference sessions and discussions, focusing on wider airport access issues. Global AirRail Awards will take place on Day 2.

Day 3 – 15 November 2017 - will be dedicated to ARC meetings and discussions, focusing on regional policies.

Call for speakers

We are now building the agenda for Day 1 and Day 2 and are inviting companies to contribute with presentations on these four key topics:

  • Major Air-Rail Projects
  • Technology and Innovation to improve air-rail experience or wider airport access
  • Major Airport Access Projects
  • Best Practice in Stakeholder Engagement

We are looking for “outside the box” thinking when delivering major air-rail and airport access projects, examples of collaboration and partnerships, forward thinking and new technology implementation. Please note that all presentations will be 10 minute long, to keep it focused and engaging. We are also open to any other suggestions that do not fit in the four categories.

Please send you presentation synopsis to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Not all suggested presentations will be included in the programme.

Awards

Entries for the Global AirRail Awards 2017 are now open. You can submit your projects here: https://www.globalairrail.com/awards/categories

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UK: Heathrow Express has carried 100 million passengers since the service opened in 1998. To mark the occasion the operator has launched a pop-up photo Hexibition at Paddington Station.

The exhibition celebrates the diverse groups of customers and colleagues who travel on and work at HEx. The company has collaborated with a travel blogger, Dave Burt from the @London Instagram account (2.1m followers), who has taken the photos.

The Hexibition will be up from Wed 28th - Tues 4 July – see it near platforms 6&7, next to Upper Crust in the station.

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FRANCE: The European Commission has approved French support measures for the construction of an express railway line between Paris and the Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

The Commission received from France a notification of its plans to grant state aid to a joint venture between SNCF Réseau and Paris Aéroport, which will build and operate a direct express railway line between the Parisian train station Gare de l'Est and the Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

The total estimated cost of the project is €1.32 billion, with the new 32 kilometre line expected to start operations in 2023. The aid will be provided in the form of a tax-free grant, to be financed by a levy imposed from 2024 on all air passengers using the Charles-de-Gaulle airport (except passengers in transit).

In addition, a state guarantee type mechanism (known as "cession Dailly acceptée") will guarantee payment of the concessionaire's loans.

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SAUDI ARABIA: The Haramain Express Train has run a successful trip from King Abdullah City in Rabigh to Madinah at speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour (km/h), Arab News reported.

The project — which will connect Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah’s airport and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh — will be completed by the end of 2017, said the chairman of the Public Transport Authority, Rumaih bin Mohammed Al-Rumaih, who is also acting head of the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO).

The 450km line is expected to cut travel between Mecca and Jeddah to 21 minutes, Jeddah to King Abdulaziz Airport to 14 minutes, King Abdulaziz Airport to Rabigh to 36 minutes and Rabigh to Madinah to 61 minutes.

Saudi’s General Investment Fund (GIF) has financed and facilitated the implementation of the project.

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UK: In the first collaboration of its kind, Heathrow Express has launched an exclusive €15 ticket in conjunction with the new British Airways’ “Day Tripper” fare this month.

Saving more than 60% off the turn up and go price, the exclusive day return fares will be available on Saturdays and Sundays for passengers flying into London Heathrow from Milan, Paris and Berlin on the British Airways €99 fare in Euro Traveller (economy) and the €199 fare in Club Europe (business class).

In addition, children aged 15 and under travel free on Heathrow Express at all times.

Fraser Brown Director of Heathrow Express said: “This is a first for Heathrow Express and British Airways. We are delighted to launch this exclusive ticket offer and are committed to supporting British Airways in their endeavours to attract more visitors to London for business or pleasure.

“The UK capital has been named the top destination for shoppers this summer, and we know day trippers want to connect to the centre of London as quickly as possible. These fares not only offer the best price but also the fastest route into the heart of the capital.

“We continue to offer flexible pricing to our customers and airline partnerships continue to be a priority for our commercial expansion.”

Avios can also be earned on flights and Heathrow Express tickets.

Posted on in Members' News

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CANADA: Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced that the province has commenced the GO Rail Network Electrification Transit Project Assessment Process. The process builds on public consultations held last year and will assess the environmental impacts of converting core segments of the GO rail network, including the UP Express, from diesel to electric. It is a critical step towards enabling the province to begin the procurement process to select a vendor to electrify the system.

In tandem with the assessment process, Ontario is also undertaking a feasibility study on the use of hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative technology for electrifying GO rail service and the UP Express. Recent advances in the use of hydrogen fuel cells to power electric trains in other jurisdictions makes it important that Ontario consider this clean electric technology as an alternative to conventional overhead wires. As part of the study, this fall the province will bring together industry leaders in fuel cell technology for a symposium to explore the potential application of hydrogen fuel cell technology to electrify the GO rail network.

Ontario is undertaking a $21.3 billion transformation of the GO network, which is the largest commuter rail project in Canada. The investment will deliver faster and more frequent service, create thousands of jobs and improve people's quality of life. Ontario is on track to electrify and expand the rail network, and bring more two-way, all-day service to commuters and families by increasing the number of weekly trips from about 1,500 to nearly 6,000 by 2025.

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CANADA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a federal investment of $1.283 billion from the long-term Investing in Canada infrastructure plan to support the Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) light rail network in Montréal, connecting the airport with city centre. This announcement will make it possible to finalize the financing of the project and meet the construction schedule of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

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The Prime Minister also announced that, once the Canada Infrastructure Bank is established, it will be possible for the Province of Quebec and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to identify the project as an opportunity for independent analysis and consideration by the Bank. If the Bank decides to move forward with an investment in the REM project, it will be possible for an investment to come from the Bank rather than Quebec’s transit allocation.

Once completed, this new, automated light rail network will include 27 stations, span 67 kilometres, and operate 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. It will link Montréal’s downtown to the West Island, South Shore, North Shore, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

“The REM is one of the most ambitious public transportation projects in our history. In addition to making it quicker and easier for millions of Quebec residents to get around, the REM will reduce the number of cars on the roads, help ease traffic and make the air cleaner. The announcement today represents a big step toward improving the quality of life of Canadians and their families, creating good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and growing the economy,” Justin Trudeau said.

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EVENTS: Global AirRail Alliance and global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright co-hosted the first Airport Access Ideas Forum in London on Wednesday 7th of June 2017.

The interactive ideas forum focused on challenges and opportunities related to the provision of seamless access to national and international airports around the world, improving customer experience and reducing carbon emissions.

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Participants looked at how new technology and the sharing economy is changing road access and car parking businesses at airports, as well as opportunities for public transport and airport operators to form partnerships in order to deliver non-aeronautical revenue, improved customer experience and business development.

Duncan Field, partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, commented: “The progressive growth in air passenger numbers has created challenges for operators globally in ensuring easy access to their airports, and has meant that future proofing airport developments has become increasingly important. We see this already in the UK with road and rail improvements playing a central role in current and proposed airport expansion projects but new technology, ranging from drones that can transport passengers and their luggage, through to the increasing use of software applications and big data, have the potential to transform how passengers access airports and to create new commercial opportunities.”

“Airport Access Ideas Forum is bringing together professionals from the aviation and ground transport industries at the highest levels. The event format has taken an interactive shape to include all participants and to drive a more engaging discussion and product demonstrations,” Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance said.

The post event report with the summary of discussions and recommendations to the industry will be released shortly.

Case Studies are available to download here: https://www.globalairrail.com/events/airport-access-ideas-forum-2017/about-the-forum

Speakers at the Forum included

Pierre Becher, Head of Marketing, Distribusion Technologies
Distribusion Technologies launched its partnership with CarTrawler to expand airport bus offerings for airlines. The one-time integration adds pre-bookable rides of more than 100 airport and intercity bus carriers to CarTrawler’s ancillary revenue platform and will be merchandised to multiple airlines and 2,000 online travel retail partners.

John McGinty, Director, Public Transportation Partnerships, Mozio
Mozio recently launched its multimodal platform in Philadelphia, allowing individuals to compare, and book the airport rail line, on-demand, taxis, shuttles, and sedans all native on the same platform. It is the first major integration of public transit into the larger travel landscape. Mozio solicited the support of city leaders, the airport, the public transit agency, visitors’ bureau, and private suppliers.

Anita Neudeck, Senior Referent Innovation & Digitalization, Munich Airport and Geert Vanbeveren, Director Business Development Innovative Technologies Mobility Management, Siemens
Munich Airport and Siemens have developed an information service for passengers travelling from city centre to the airport, directly to the gate – and vice versa. The service offers guidance and indication of expected processing times at the airport, traffic jams on the road or delays on public transport. The service is based on Siemens SiMobility Connect, enabling integration of multiple mobility services like taxi, train, car-sharing, Lufthansa Airport Bus as well as real-time information on traffic.

Robert Cook, Managing Director, Blackstone Gates
Blackstone Gates has designed a global customer knowledge travel platform. This, together with smart data analytics, enables travel service providers a critical insight into a traveller’s preferences and context.

Clement Boussard, CEO, Stanley Robotics
Stanley Robotics has introduced France’s first automated valet service at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. No more wasting time finding a parking space. Passengers can drop off their cars close to the terminals, lock it and take the keys - the service does not need it. Once the car is ready, they just need to confirm the booking and Stan, the valet robot, comes to collect the vehicle and take it to a secure car park.

Nick Mallinson, Programme Manager, University of Warwick
Revolution Very Light Rail Vehicle project is developing a lighter, lower-cost, passenger friendly solution for linking heavy rail stations, airports and other hubs in the transport network to rural and suburban areas, in the first instance using segregated alignments to avoid inter-operability issues with conventional rail.

Mark Chestney, Head of Rail, Heathrow Airport and Dr. Chris Featherstone, Technical Expert, Heathrow Airport
ULTra Personal Rapid Transit is a centrally controlled synchronous system of light-weight guideway loops with offline stations, utilised by four-person, fully integrated, automated, battery-electric vehicles. It launched between Heathrow Terminal 5 and the Business Car Park in 2011. The system has been in full operation for over six years. Over 1.5 million journeys have carried over 2.3 million passengers.

Julianna Moats, Principal Systems Engineer, Rail Systems, WSP Group
A rail link between London Waterloo Station and Heathrow Airport has been on the Government’s major project radar for half a century. The difference between this proposal and all others which have come before, or come since: this is a regeneration project, not a rail link project. The London Borough of Hounslow commissioned WSP for a feasibility study for the southern rail access link.

Glyn Jones, CEO, Stobart Aviation
Since acquiring London Southend Airport, Stobart Group has invested over £140 million to transform it from a small regional operation catering for just 47,000 passengers annually, into a facility with capacity for five million annual passengers that has won Which? UK’s award for customer satisfaction three years running.

Priit Koff, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development, Tallinn Airport
Rail Baltic is a high-speed railway project linking Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia) and Kaunas (Lithuania) to the Polish border, thus providing access to the 1435mm standard gauge railway network in continental Europe. This is part of the TEN-T North Sea-Baltic transport corridor to be completed after 2025. The first step towards the implementation of this project is the soon-to-be completed light rail/tram access to Tallinn Airport, scheduled to open for in August/September 2017.

Henrik Rothe, Senior Lecturer Air Transport Management, Cranfield University
Urban turbine is aiming to reduce the un-manned travel to and from airports by establishing a variety of innovative public transport systems and offering alternative uses for airports. This includes new job definitions and forms of their execution.

Alex Kirkwood, Associate Partner, Weston Williamson
Future sustainable cities will need to be built around efficient transport infrastructure. Environmental strategies and planning authority policies will become increasingly important if we are to achieve sustainable growth. Cities will be more attuned with nature, incorporating extensive natural landscape, reducing energy, water consumption and enhancing bio diversity.

Gavin Wicks, Head of Transport Planning, London City Airport
To become a Major East London transport hub London City Airport needs to create an interchange for international, national and local travel for people in London and the South-East. The Silvertown Crossrail station supports the Mayor’s vision for strategic growth by maximising the regeneration potential of the Royal Docks Area as well as providing faster links to key London employment areas, and unlocking more land for homes and businesses.

Notes to Editors

Global AirRail Alliance
The Global AirRail Alliance (GARA) is an international organisation that joins rail operators, airports, airlines and suppliers from around the world who work on creating seamless travel experience between air and rail. Global AirRail Alliance was set up to deliver dedicated, information and international events for the air-rail market mainly focusing on integration of rail with airports, recognising global trends in seamless travel infrastructure and information. The air-rail market is a leader in innovation and partnerships creating seamless travel, integrating different transport modes, innovating in e-ticketing and passenger information systems.

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