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From left – Nick Barton, CEO of Birmingham Airport, Allan Cook, Chair of HS2 and Tim Clarke, Chair of Birmingham Airport.

UK: the Chairs of both Birmingham Airport and HS2 Ltd, as well as the CEO of Birmingham Airport, met to reaffirm how the new High Speed Rail network alongside the airport’s growth plans are crucial to improve future connectivity and prosperity for the region.  

HS2 will link over 25 towns and cities, joining up nearly half of the UK population and is set to deliver £92bn of benefits to the UK economy. Not only will HS2 better serve the airport from across the country, the new railway will take trains off the busy West Coast Main Line allowing more regional train services to and from Birmingham International Station.

Tim Clarke, Chair of Birmingham Airport and Allan Cook, Chair of HS2 Ltd, along with Nick Barton, CEO of Birmingham Airport, met at the airport to discuss their infrastructure plans and visited the airport site to understand where the airport developments will take place. This meeting is a clear sign of commitment from the two parties to see both projects delivered in unity for the benefit of the overall region.

Allan Cook, Chair of HS2 Ltd said:
“HS2 is a once in a generation opportunity to better connect the Midlands and the North. Calling at the new Interchange station, our trains will be more reliable, quicker and allow more passengers to use Birmingham Airport, the NEC and other leisure attractions. The new HS2 station will act as a catalyst for the development and growth proposals for the area around the station – including new homes and jobs. We plan to work closely with the Airport and the Urban Growth Company to deliver improved connectivity that will in turn drive economic growth for both the West Midlands and the country.”

Tim Clarke, Chair of Birmingham Airport, said:
“From next month, the airport will begin works on its Master Plan, where £500m will be invested over the next 15 years to grow the airport by 40%, serving 18m passengers a year – using the existing single runway. For us, it is important the airport continues to play a part in the development of the Midlands, acting as a catalyst for the continued growth of the region’s economy. With a greater choice of flights and destinations, alongside improved regional connectivity and a direct link to HS2, we will do just this.”

When HS2 opens, the rail journey between Birmingham Airport and central London will reduce from the current 70 minutes to 38 minutes as it becomes the UK’s first and only high-speed connected airport, whilst also increasing the current two-hour catchment of 35m to 45m people.

Interchange station will be a new major gateway station for the region, part of a new public transport interchange serving Solihull, the West Midlands, Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre. The station will be immediately adjacent to Birmingham Airport, allowing it to take an increasingly national role, helping to drive international trade, investment, employment, inbound tourism and the success of the region’s many universities.

Phase One of HS2, between the West Midlands and London is scheduled to be completed by 2026, with plans to extend to Crewe by 2027 and to Leeds and Manchester by 2033. Works on the first phase of HS2 are already well underway at over 250 work locations.

Around 9,000 jobs are now supported by the delivery of HS2, with 300 apprentices on board and 2,000 businesses supporting the new backbone of Britain’s rail network. When construction peaks, it is estimated that HS2 will need over 30,000 people to design and build the full HS2 rail network when it is built in the North.

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FRANCE: After five months working closely with SNCF Réseau, Île-de-France Mobilités and the communities, the Prefect of Paris Michel Cadot has proposed to the government two scenarios to carry out Paris-North Railway Line works. 

15 major projects are earmarked to be completed by 20124 on the North axis, including the regeneration of tracks of the RER B, new automated operating and signalling system Nexteo, CDG Express connecting Roissy Airport and Paris city centre, Grand Paris Express interconnections with the RER network, Gare du Nord 2024 and many more.

After number of consultations, the Prefect has proposed two technically feasible scenarios to carry out the work on CDG Express.

Scenario 1 -  CDG Express delivered in May 2024

  • Respect of the calendars for the 15 other projects except the partial realization of the regeneration priority 2
  • Closed 3 weeks in the summer of 2023
  • Necessary reduction for 19 months of CDG Express's level of service to compensate for the postponement of functionalities (Aulnay turnaround and Le Bourget garages)
  • Low additional cost
  • High tension in the railway system and operational risk

Scenario 2 - CDG Express delivered in December 2025

  • Respect of calendars for the other 15 projects
  • More weekends worked on 2021/2023
  • Neutrality guaranteed at commissioning
  • High additional cost requiring a decision in the finance law
  • Lower tension on the rail system

These scenarios were presented to the coordinating committee on April 15, 2019, during which each of the partners expressed its preference:

  • ADP, DIJOP and CDG Express project company for Scenario 1;
  • Île-de-France Region, Hauts-de-France Region, Île-de-France Mobilités, City of Paris, Departmental Council of Seine-Saint-Denis, County Council of Val d'Oise and EPT Plaine Commune in favor Scenario 2

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UK: Heathrow has announced it is getting ready to introduce a set of tough new measures to protect local air quality, reduce congestion and tackle emissions.  

Heathrow is putting plans in motion to introduce charges for passenger cars and all private hire vehicles. This includes the world’s first airport Ultra Low Emission Zone (the Heathrow ULEZ), set to be introduced in 2022. The Heathrow ULEZ will introduce minimum vehicle emissions standards identical to the London Mayor’s ULEZ for passenger cars and private hire vehicles entering car parks or drop-off areas at any of Heathrow’s terminals, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Over time with the opening of the new runway from 2026 and improvements to public transport access to the airport, the Heathrow ULEZ will transition into a vehicle access charge (VAC) on all passenger cars, taxis and private hire vehicles coming to car parks or drop-off areas. The goal is to tackle the main source of local air pollution – road vehicles – and reduce congestion by encouraging more people to use sustainable ways of getting to and from the airport.

Initial proposals for the Heathrow ULEZ could set the charge figure between £10-15, in line with charges set by the Mayor in central London. Exact details for the Heathrow ULEZ will be confirmed when Heathrow submits its final DCO application for expansion after public consultation. Revenue generated from both schemes will help fund initiatives to improve sustainable transport, contribute to community compensation and help keep airport charges affordable as the airport expands.

The announcement comes at a time when action is needed to protect local air quality by changing industry and public behaviour. Heathrow will now join London and Birmingham as the third UK zone to impose charges on the most polluting cars.

Furthermore, Heathrow is doing its bit to reduce vehicle use by leading industry change through a targeted Colleague Strategy which will be launched next week and will focus on significantly reducing the number of colleague car trips through a mixture of incentives, restraints on parking, and investment in new public transport links. The airport has invested over £1billion in rail infrastructure and provides over £2.5million annually to encourage public transport use via the airport free travel zone, support for bus services and contributions to local sustainable transport schemes.

Heathrow is fully backing plans to treble rail capacity by 2040 through improved transport links which take into account the introduction of the Elizabeth Line, an upgraded Piccadilly Line, and proposed rail links from the West and South. 

Earlier this month Heathrow also published its annual sustainability strategy report – Heathrow 2.0 – which sets out how the airport is addressing the impact of aircraft and other operations. Highlighted in the report are significant investments made to offset emissions and speed up electric flight, supporting the airport’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2020 and to operate zero carbon airport infrastructure by 2050. Initiatives include a project to restore UK peatlands to offset carbon emissions, more electric vehicles and charging points, investment in the development of sustainable fuels, a pledge to waive a year’s landing charges for the first electric or hybrid aircraft put into regular service at Heathrow, along with research into future infrastructure to support electric aircraft and technologies. 

“Heathrow Expansion is not a choice between the economy and the environment – we must deliver for both. Today’s announcement shows that we will take the tough decisions to ensure that the airport grows responsibly,” Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said.

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Virgin Trains USA

USA: Virgin Trains USA, formerly Brightline, announced the rail construction contractors for Phase 2 expansion between Orlando and South Florida, representing a total private investment of $4 billion.

Phase 2 contractors are the Hubbard Construction Company, Wharton-Smith Inc., The Middlesex Corporation, Granite and HSR Constructors. These five contractors will be responsible for the development of 170 miles of new track into the completed state-of-the-art intermodal facility located in the new South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport (MCO).

Construction of Phase 2 encompasses four zones, with Zone One and Zone Two work beginning on 21 May 2019, which includes the area of the Orlando International Airport and the Virgin Trains Maintenance Facility. Full scale construction on Zone Three and Zone Four is imminent.  

Phase 2 construction by the numbers

Construction will be conducted in four zones between Orlando and West Palm Beach.

Zone One is located one-mile south of Orlando International Airport and will be overseen by Hubbard Construction Company and Wharton-Smith Inc.   

Zone Two is a 3.5 mile section in the heart of Orlando International Airport (OIA). Middlesex is an integral part of Virgin Trains USA's expansion construction and the company's scope of work will include clearing land, building drainage structures and pump stations, utility relocation, excavation and rail bed embankment, trench and bridge construction, track and signalization installation, and reconstruction of one of the airport interchanges. 

Zone Three is approximately 35 miles of rail alignment following the Highway 528 corridor between OIA and Cocoa.  

Zone Four includes the upgrade of 129 miles of existing track from Class IV to Class VI (allowing service up to 110 MPH).

Construction is expected to be to be complete and service will begin between South Florida and Orlando in 2022.  

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HEX flower train

UK: Customers boarding Heathrow Express services were greeted with a stunning flower display this week.

More than 3,000 flowers in total were installed on the 43 seat, 23-metre long carriage to celebrate the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show which began on 21 May.

A spokesperson for Heathrow Express said: “The duration of our transfer service is just 15 minutes so we wanted to make an instant impression on customers departing from and arriving in the UK. The Chelsea Flower Show is one of the biggest events of the year but not everyone gets the chance to experience it so we wanted to give travellers a little taster. And we’re delighted to say the reaction of customers has been blooming marvellous.”

The ‘flower express’ display, which was created by Jamie Aston Flowers, featured 1,850 hydrangeas, 220 wisterias and 1,000 stems of fresh sea lavender. The mix of real and artificial flowers were attached to the ceiling and walls using suction grips and hooks and the plants in the luggage racks were held in place by foam.

Jamie Aston said: “We’ve created all manner of flower displays but have never had the chance to create one on board a train. We wanted to create something which would bring a smile to passengers’ faces and help them to unwind ahead or following their flight.”

 

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PHILIPPINES: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved financing of up to $2.75 billion for the construction of 53.1km of a passenger railway connecting Malolos, a suburb north of Manila, to Clark economic zone and Clark International Airport in Central Luzon.

The Malolos–Clark railway is part of the Philippine government’s North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project, a 163-km suburban railway network stretching from New Clark City in Tarlac province in the north to Calamba in Laguna province in the south of Manila. The NSCR project is expected to be completed by 2025.

342,000 passengers expected to travel daily along the Manila–Clark corridor and up to 696,000 passengers per day to Calamba by 2025. It is estimated to cut the travel time from Metro Manila to Clark International Airport to less than one hour by rail, compared with 2 to 3 hours by car or bus today. The project is expected to be partially operational from 2022.

“It will be ADB’s single largest infrastructure project financing ever, and from a development perspective, we are pleased this investment is taking place in ADB’s host country. The project, combined with other investments in light rail transit, metro rail transit, and subway systems, will bring back the culture of rail transport in Metro Manila,” said ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao.

ADB will be financing civil works of the Malolos–Clark Railway Project, including the stations, bridges, and viaducts for the elevated railway alignment, and a tunnel leading to the underground station at Clark International Airport. It will also assist the government in using global standards for procurement and environmental and resettlement safeguards.

The project is co-financed with up to $2 billion by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which will finance the rolling stock and the railway systems.

“Our co-financing partnership with JICA allows both our institutions to combine our expertise and knowledge in building a world-class railway in the Philippines,” said ADB Principal Transport Specialist for Southeast Asia Mr. Markus Roesner.

The project includes the construction of two rail segments—a 51.2-km section connecting Malolos City in Bulacan province to the thriving Clark regional growth center and a 1.9-km extension connecting the NSCR to the Blumentritt Station in Manila, where an elevated interchange station for Light Rail Transit Line 1 will be built.

The rail stations will include multimodal facilities, allowing commuters to easily transfer from public buses and jeepneys to the trains. The underground station at the Clark International Airport will provide a short connection to upcoming and future airport terminals.

The project will be built on an elevated alignment, helping reduce the impact on communities, avoid disruption of activities, and mitigate flood risks along the route. It will use innovative construction methods such as pre-fabricated viaduct segments, which limits the need for land acquisition and accelerates construction. High-quality construction methods will be used to achieve the maximum rail speed of up to 160 km per hour.

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Gatwick Express Birthday

UK: The Gatwick Express has celebrated its 35 year of operations anniversary on 14 May 2019. Gatwick Express came into full service on 14 May 1984, transporting passengers from London Victoria to Gatwick Airport. The service was initially formed of Class 73 trains with specially modified coaches to carry passenger luggage.

Since the launch, Gatwick Express has evolved; in 2007 the service was extended to and from Brighton, became part of the UK’s biggest rail franchise, Govia Thameslink Railway, in 2015, and saw a £145m fleet renewal programme in 2016.

On its birthday, Gatwick Express team were surprising passengers passing through London Victoria station with limited edition organic tote bags and a string quartet serenading arrivals. A magician was also be on board a number of Gatwick Express services throughout the day, entertaining passengers with some close-up magic.

“The 35-year anniversary of operations is such an exciting occasion to be part of. It makes it even more special to be celebrating this event with the team," said Stephen MacCallaugh, Head of Gatwick Express.

 

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ALGERIA: National railway SNTF has officially started the operations of the commercial train service from Agha to Algiers Houari Boumediene Airport on 29 April 2019.

The trains will run every hour between 05:00 to 21:00. The single fare is 80DA (0.6 EUR).

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KLIA Ekspres Songket web

MALAYSIA: Travellers who are planning for their next adventure are now able to purchase KLIA Ekspres tickets on Tripcarte.Asia, a homegrown online travel platform that allows travellers to book tours, travel activities such as boat riding and cruise, theme park and attraction tickets and watersport activities across Malaysia and Singapore.

Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd’s (ERL) Chief Executive Officer, Noormah Mohd Noor said, “We are delighted to partner with Tripcarte.Asia to bring the very best of Malaysia to travellers from abroad. With Tripcarte.Asia, travellers abroad can now plan their holiday and book their travel arrangements, including KLIA Ekspres tickets, on a single platform.”

A Malaysia based online activity platform, Tripcarte.Asia was founded and launched in 2015. With more than 300+ holiday activities, travellers are able to book attraction tickets online, allowing them to skip the queue and access their favourite attractions on the go. As a homegrown brand, Tripcarte.Asia continuously looks for partners to reach a common goal of turning Malaysia into a more popular holiday destination. Tripcarte.Asia currently offers attractions and tours in Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Melaka, Penang, Johor, Perak, Pahang, Port Dickson, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.

Tripcarte's Chief Executive Officer, Parthiven Shan said, "We believe with this partnership, leisure and business travellers travelling to Malaysia will find it extremely convenient to plan and make their bookings prior to their trip. KLIA Ekspres will be an ideal way to showcase the excellent connectivity Malaysia has to offer to travellers."

Customers planning their next adventure will be able to purchase KLIA Ekspres tickets on Tripcarte.Asia starting 23rd April 2019. For more details, visit www.tripcarte.asia.

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USA: The Regional Transportation District (RTD) and commuter rail concessionaire Denver Transit Partners (DTP) marked a milestone the first week of May, with ridership reaching 20 million passengers on the University of Colorado A Line. RTD’s first commuter rail line has covered more than 8 million miles between downtown Denver and Denver International Airport since it began carrying the public in April 2016.

The celebration comes on the same day as RTD, Uber and Masabi launch Uber Transit ticketing, enabling Denver riders to be the first in the world to seamlessly buy tickets and ride transit – all from the Uber app. Following a staggered rollout over the next few weeks, all Uber riders in the Denver metro region will be able to buy RTD tickets through the Uber app and then use their phone to ride rail and bus services.

Purchasing transit tickets via Uber will cost the same as through existing options. Transit ticketing has been enabled using Masabi’s Justride SDK, a mobile ticketing software development kit (SDK) for public transportation, creating a seamless passenger experience combining transit and new mobility.

“This exciting next phase of RTD’s collaboration with Uber is yet another way our transit agency is leading the dialogue about mobility strategy, not just for the Denver metro region but for cities across the globe,” said RTD CEO and General Manager Dave Genova. “This project broadens our reach and stays at pace with the public’s needs, allowing people to plan and pay for trips from start to finish.”

“For the first time ever, taking an Uber trip can mean taking public transit,” said David Reich, Uber’s Head of Transit. “We are excited to expand our collaboration with RTD and Masabi to make Denver the first city in the world where riders can purchase transit tickets and ride public transit seamlessly through the Uber app. With this step, we are moving closer to making Uber's platform a one-stop shop for transportation access, from shared rides to buses and bikes.”

“We know convenience is the number one reason people choose a transit option, and we truly believe that a multimodal public and shared private approach will be a key part of encouraging more people to take fewer private car journeys, reducing congestion for all,” said Brian Zanghi, Chief Executive Officer at Masabi. “By making public transit tickets available through Masabi’s Justride SDK in the Uber app, we are making this a reality for the first time, helping more people seamlessly and conveniently discover and access public transit services. The future of mobility in our cities relies on innovative agencies like RTD taking the right approach and ensuring that public transit is at the core of the emerging mobility ecosystem, and we’re confident more cities will follow their lead.”

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USA: Virgin Trains USA, formerly Brightline, announced the closing of $1.75 billion in private activity bonds (PAB) to help fund the company's expansion to Orlando. Morgan Stanley was the underwriter for the transaction that was purchased by 67 different investors.

With the closing of the sale, Virgin Trains USA has the necessary funds to begin construction for service to Orlando, including 170 miles of new track to a state-of-the-art intermodal facility located in the new South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport. Construction will begin imminently and is expected to be complete in 2022.

The rail construction between West Palm Beach and Orlando is expected to have a significant economic impact in the State of Florida, including the creation of more than 10,000 jobs and is anticipated to generate more than $650 million in federal, state and local tax revenue. The project is 100 percent privately financed and represents a total investment of $4 billion.

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AUSTRIA: Due to renewal work on the runway at Salzburg Airport from 24 April until the end of May 2019, all flight service to and from the airport will be suspended during this period. For this reason, Austrian Airlines is offering expanded travel options by train between Salzburg’s Central Station and Vienna Airport. The existing AIRail offering in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) will be increased tenfold from three to up to 30 daily train connections until one week after the shutdown of the runway. Accordingly, a Railjet with an Austrian Airlines flight number linking Salzburg and Vienna will be available to passengers every hour between 5 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. 

Austrian Airlines customers receive various advantages, for example a guaranteed connection, regardless of whether their journey continues by plane or train. This means that in the case of an unexpected delay of the train or flight, passengers will be automatically booked on an alternative connecting service if they do not reach their train or flight on time. Business Class passengers travel in first class on the train and are also given free access to the ÖBB lounge before departure. Moreover, passengers can collect miles on AIRail route within the context of the Miles & More program. Finally, there is also a catering voucher, which can be used in the ÖBB dining car. Travel time between Salzburg Central Station and Vienna Airport amounts to 2 hours 49 minutes. 

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USA: Jacobs has been selected as the principal design consultant for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Cotton Belt Regional Rail Corridor Project. The 26-mile project extends between Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport and Shiloh Road Station in Plano and will connect to three existing DART light rail lines.

As the principal design consultant to the Archer Western Construction, LLC and Herzog Contracting Corporation joint venture for the project, Jacobs will provide design and oversite services for track alignments, drainage, bridges, retaining walls, stations and signalling for the design-build project, which is anticipated for completion, with revenue service, by 2022. DART estimates the contract value at $1.1 billion.

The Cotton Belt Project will provide passenger rail connections and service to improve mobility, accessibility and system linkages to major employment, population and activity centers, as well as support sustainable growth and local and regional land-use visions.

In addition to the existing Orange, Green and Red DART lines, the Cotton Belt project will also connect to the Trinity Metro TEXRail, a 27-mile regional commuter line between DFW Airport and downtown Fort Worth, for which Jacobs previously served as program manager.

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USA: TriMet, a public agency that operates mass transit in Portland, has announced plans to extend the MAX Red Line to Hillsboro, and add a second track to sections of the Red Line near Portland International Airport and Gateway Transit Center.

TriMet Board of Directors voted to adopt two resolutions on April 24 allowing for the project to move forward. One of the resolutions approved the Locally Preferred Alternative, and the second resolution authorizes TriMet to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Port of Portland. The agreement commits TriMet to continue funding further design of the project, and to work with the FTA on the total cost estimates and benefits of the project. This is the next step towards securing funding from the FTA that could pay for half of the $200 million project, with TriMet paying the other half.

TriMet’s MAX Red Line runs between Beaverton Transit Center and Portland International Airport. The plan is to extend the line ten stations to the west, to run between the Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport Station and Portland’s airport. The MAX Blue Line currently is the only light rail service west of Beaverton Transit Center and trains are often crowded during peak travel times. With continuing growth in both housing and jobs in Washington County, the request for more MAX service along the corridor between Hillsboro and Beaverton Transit Center is increasing and the extension would double service in that area most hours of the day.

The expanded service requires improving track and switches, upgrading the signal system and building an operator break facility at the Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport Station. The agency also plans to add up to eight new light rail vehicles to accommodate the extended service.

Construction is expected to begin in 2021-2022 with opening about two years later.

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UK: Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, has won five major contracts to support Heathrow Airport’s sustainable expansion programme. The contracts will see Atkins – which is part of Heathrow Airport’s Integrated Design Team – provide design and advisory services as Heathrow prepares for further public consultation in June, followed by submission of a Development Consent Order application in 2020.
 
The scope of work includes: airport connectivity, ensuring people and goods can move to, from and around the airport seamlessly; energy and utilities; water, including drainage and flood prevention; land use and development zones; and construction delivery support, which will see Atkins advise on Design for Manufacture and Assembly, modern methods of construction, and the design of temporary infrastructure.
 
Atkins is the lead consultant for all five contracts and will be supported by its integrated design partners (Arup, Grimshaw, Mott MacDonald, Jacobs, Quod and Woods Group), plus WSP and Buro Happold.
 
Atkins will draw on local expertise and its regional hubs to deliver the work, with a focus on providing career and development opportunities for graduates and apprentices.

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MALAYSIA: KLIA Ekspres tickets are now available globally through Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL)’s partnership with GlobalTix, a Singapore based e-ticketing and Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing platform.

Chief Executive Officer of ERL, Noormah Mohd Noor said, “This is our second partnership with a B2B company in just three months. It is significant for us as KLIA Ekspres tickets are now made available through GlobalTix’s network of over 4,000 partners, travel agents and distributors. This, in turn, will provide more purchase options for travellers planning their Malaysian adventure. We are definitely excited to welcome more travellers onboard the KLIA Ekspres, the fastest train in Southeast Asia.”

Launched in 2013, GlobalTix is a Singapore-based company that is run by passionate team members who believe that travelling should be as easy as possible. It is a B2B platform with a specific focus on digitalising tickets for tourist attractions.

Speaking on behalf of GlobalTix, Vice President of Global Commercial, Chanel Leong said “We are delighted to be working with KLIA Ekspres, one of the most prominent companies in Malaysia, allowing us to touch base with a company that knows and provides the best for its audience. We are excited to see where this venture will go to and we are confident this will allow both our companies to grow even further.”

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Dooh STEX web

UK: A digital Out of Home ads at London Stansted Airport are enabling commuters to make quick-fire judgements on the quickest route into Central London.

Digital Out of Home production agency DOOH.com in partnership with LIDA, who are part of the M&C Saatchi Group, have designed the logic behind the system, ensuring travellers are provided with live travel comparison information demonstrating the speed and efficiency of the Stansted Express rail service versus alternative routes in and out of London.

Neil McKenney, Managing Partner, DOOH.com on the campaign, “Applying live data is a fantastic way of turning an otherwise general advert into a functional utility that saves passengers time and effort during what is often a stressful part of their journey. Using our platform, it becomes easy to infuse digital OOH ads with the ability to function in the same way as a web-page. ”

The digital screens are positioned at the baggage reclaim area of Stansted Airport, providing passengers with live journey time comparisons between car, coach and the Stansted Express train service to London Liverpool Street station; all powered by real-time data via multiple API’s.

Stansted Express delivers an average journey time to Liverpool Street of 47 minutes with departures every 15 minutes during the day, and 30 minutes in the early morning and late evening.

Chris Ford, Marketing & Digital Manager at Stansted Express, commented, “We appreciate this part of the journey is a fine balance of excitement and frustration for passengers, particularly as navigating transfer options can be tricky.

“By harnessing different sources of real-time data into one we can provide reliable and digestible information to help customers make informed decisions on how to get to and from central London.”

Victoria Nikishina, client services director at Primesight celebrated the campaign saying “It’s fantastic to see Stansted Express use the full dynamic capabilities of digital out-of-home to enhance their already established long-term holding at London Stansted, reaching 27 million passengers a year.

“Stansted Express’ use of real time traffic data across our digital arrivals gallery and D6 networks enhances the consumer journey and helps the arriving audience make informed choices on the best, most available mode of onward travel.

“This is a best-in-class example of how digital OOH is being used in a data-rich airport environment in real time, to enhance Stansted Express’ significant long-term branding.”

The project was jointly devised and created by Stansted Express, creative agency LIDA and digital production agency DOOH.com, with ads appearing on media owner Primesight’s Digital Arrivals Network and Digital 6-sheets.

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MALAYSIA: Malindo Air guests are now able to buy KLIA Ekspres tickets together with their flight tickets on Malindo Air’s website. This e-ticketing facility further strengthens the partnership between Malindo Air and Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) following the launch of the airline’s check-in service at KL Sentral in December 2016.

Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of ERL said, “We are excited about this latest collaboration with Malindo Air. It is in line with our digital partnership drive with partners who share a common goal in providing convenient and seamless service to our mutual customers. For passengers who fly with Malindo Air, they can rest assured that their luggage will arrive safely at their final destination as each piece of luggage is barcoded and tracked.”

Malindo Air commenced operations in March 2013 and has a network of flights throughout Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, China, Singapore, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Taiwan, Pakistan and Hong Kong. With an extensive network of 55 routes in the region, Malindo Air has over 800 flights travelling weekly.

Chandran Rama Muthy, Chief Executive Officer of Malindo Air said. "We are pleased to bring our collaboration with ERL to another level with this initiative. Moreover, our passengers get to enjoy exclusive fares and seamless connection to and from KLIA, which we believe will enhance their travel experience by flying with Malindo Air.”

To purchase KLIA Ekspres tickets, simply log on to www.malindoair.com. Once your Malindo Air flight tickets are confirmed, click on the KLIA Ekspres banner in the Booking Confirmation page to purchase KLIA Ekspres tickets at exclusive fares.

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AUSTRALIA: Victorian and Commonwealth Governments have formally signed off on the Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL) project.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the signing of the Heads of Agreement on 13 March 2019, which sets out the strategic objectives, governance arrangements and information sharing processes for the $10 billion joint commitment.

Mr Morrison said the people of Melbourne and Victoria had been waiting far too long for the rail link to become a reality.

“For decades Victorians have talked about a train line to the airport. We are delivering it. In last year’s Budget we made a $5 billion investment in the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, it was the biggest infrastructure commitment in the Budget.

“Melbourne is truly a global city that deserves world class infrastructure. The Rail Link is part of our plan to bust congestion across the city and get people home faster and safer.

“I’d like to thank the Premier and Minister Tudge who have worked constructively with me to land this agreement and bring the project closer to fruition.”

A project team will be established to drive the development of a full Business Case for the project, which will not only connect Melbourne Airport to the rail network for the first time – but also integrate it with the Metro Tunnel and the future Suburban Rail Loop, and pave the way for fast-rail to the regions.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the Victorian Government is not wasting a minute leading the planning work for an Airport Rail Link that delivers for all Victorians.

“The Melbourne Airport Rail Link has been talked about for far too long – we’re doing the detailed planning and development work to make it a reality,” Mr Andrews said.

“By choosing the Sunshine route, we are ensuring all Victorians can benefit from the rail link, including people living in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. As we complete the business case, we’re also doing the work needed to deliver fast rail to the regions.”

Melbourne Airport is a key part of Victoria and Australia’s economic growth. In 2016-17, it handled more than 35 million passenger movements and by 2038, it is expected to almost double to more than 67 million, as Victoria’s population continues to grow and demand increases.

Melbourne Airport Rail Link will alleviate congestion on the main road connection to the airport, the Tullamarine Freeway, and unlock capacity for the growing population in Melbourne’s north-west.

Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said following the successful widening of the Tullamarine Freeway, the airport link would bust congestion for generations to come.

“This is a critical project for Melbourne. It will make it easier for residents and make our city more attractive to visitors,” Mr Tudge said.

“When complete, someone in Pakenham, Frankston or Ringwood will be able to get onto the train, and be at the airport in the time it would have taken to drive, but without having to worry about parking.”

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said this is part of the Victorian Government’s unprecedented pipeline of major transport projects.

“We’re building the Metro Tunnel, removing dangerous level crossings and getting on with the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.”
“This is not just about getting from the airport to the city – it’s about better connecting our suburbs and regions, so people have better services wherever they live.”

Planning and development of the MARL Business Case is already well underway. Rail Projects Victoria has engaged expert technical and commercial advisers for the project, and ecological, traffic and geotechnical investigations have begun.

Early market engagement on the MARL attracted submissions from more than 100 local and global organisations. Further market sounding will be undertaken to assess equity partners, private sector involvement, financing arrangements and other matters.

A reference group including community, industry and local government representatives will be established to provide guidance and feedback to the project team as the Business Case is developed.

The State and Federal Governments have committed up to $5 billion each to deliver MARL. The total cost of the project is estimated to be in the range of $8-13 billion, with construction to take up to nine years and due to commence in 2022.

The Business Case will be delivered by 2020 and will assess station and procurement options, value capture and creation opportunities, and economic analysis of the recommended solution.

Posted on in Members' News

Flytoget new train2 web

NORWAY: Flytoget is set to increase its capacity by 50% and this week the company has showed off its brand-new trains for the very first time. Wider seats, less noise and larger windows will ensure that passengers have an even more comfortable and efficient journey.

In 2015 Flytoget contracted Spanish train producer CAF to deliver eight new trains. The new units will be adding to Flytoget’s existing fleet of sixteen trains – and will therefore be increasing the company’s capacity by 50%. This will enable them to carry even more passengers to and from Oslo Airport.

"Last year Flytoget carried a record number of passengers, close to seven million, so it is essential for us to be bringing in these new units this year. The new trains have been built to the same exacting standards as our existing fleet, but have been fitted with features that we know our passengers have been wanting for a long time; less noise, wider seats, power sockets, USB access and cup holders at every seat, as well as more space for luggage. The trains will also be the first in Norway to display carriage loadings to passengers, so that they can see where there are free seats before boarding," says Philipp Engedal, Flytoget’s CEO.

Flytoget new train web

The new airport express trains have undergone comprehensive testing before arriving in Norway and have spent time in Spain, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic on the way, to allow for cold chamber tests and other trials. The new trains will be approved for a maximum speed of 245 km/h, but in order to achieve this approval they will be tested at speeds as high as 270 km/h.

"For the time being, we can only run at 210 km/h to and from Oslo Airport, but of course we think it’s cool that the new trains have the capacity to run at such high speeds. Flytoget’s airport express is the fastest train in Norway, and this gives exciting opportunities for the future," says Engedal.

Spanish CAF will also be delivering new trams to Oslo. Félix Fernández, the Project Director, is very happy with the company’s collaboration with Norwegian Flytoget – and not least the outcome of their joint efforts :

"I can honestly say that this is one of the most amazing trains we have ever built. Flytoget’s project team is a group of perfectionists who never rest until the minutest detail is in place. The result is a fantastic train, and I am positive that customers will love it." 

The new train has generally been designed to enable further development of the qualities that are important to Flytoget. Working with in-house staff and prominent designers the manufacturers have produced a train that reflects a modern Norwegian building style and Flytoget’s values. Another important aim has been to ensure that the new trains are as energy efficient as possible, and to incorporate good universal design solutions throughout.