Posted on in Members' News

SOUTH AFRICA: The Gautrain Management Agency has completed and submitted a feasibility study on the extension of the Gautrain rail network. The study has been submitted to Provincial and National Treasuries and to major stakeholders that were consulted during the feasibility process.

The feasibility study concludes that the extension of the Gautrain rail network will provide significant economic and transport related benefits to the province and the country at large; that it offers value for money, and appropriate risk transfer if procured as a Public-Private Partnership.

Demand modelling was done to determine transport needs for Gauteng in 2025 and 2037. Through the modelling process it became clear that the ‘cost of doing nothing’ in the province will lead to major road congestion in 2037, at which stage cars will travel at an average of 15 kilometres an hour due to doubling of car growth.

Gautrain network expansion

The feasibility study identified the following main links and stations of the Gautrain rail network extensions:

  • On the link between Jabulani via Cosmo City and Samrand to Mamelodi, stations include Roodepoort, Little Falls, Fourways, Sunninghill, Olievenhoutsbosch, Irene, Tshwane East and Hazeldean.
  • The link between Sandton and Cosmo City has a station at Randburg.
  • On the link between Rhodesfield and Boksburg there will be a station at East Rand Mall and possible link-up with the OR Tambo International Airport Midfield terminal development.
  • A future link from Cosmo City to Lanseria Airport.

Due to the magnitude and complexity of the project, it will be split into five phases.

“This expansion will primarily be done on a public-private partnership basis, in phases that will take a period of two decades (20 years) to complete,” Premier David Makhura said during his State of the Province Address.

The Gauteng provincial government is aware that a project of this magnitude will require significant funding from various sources. In order to address affordability issues an engagement with the national government is required. This will be facilitated by the national Department of Transport.

 

Posted on in Events News

EVENT: Global AirRail Alliance and Norton Rose Fulbright will co-host the first Airport Access Ideas Forum in London on Wednesday 7th of June 2017.

Airport Ground Access Conference banner2000

The interactive ideas forum will focus 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.

Participants will look at how new technology and the sharing economy is changing road access and car parking businesses at airports, as well as the opportunities public transport can deliver for airport operators in terms of 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 an experience bringing the highest level professionals from the aviation and ground transport industries. The event format takes an interactive shape to include all participants for more engaging discussions and product demonstrations,” Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance said.

The hosts are inviting established transport operators, start-ups and technology companies that are working on passenger mobility innovations to join the forum and submit a proposal for a short presentation in four dedicated areas – Rail, Bus/Coach, Car (including private vehicle, parking, taxi, car sharing and car hailing services), and Future Transport.

Presentations should focus on these key topics:

  • autonomous vehicles,
  • car parking,
  • revenue and funding for surface access projects,
  • wayfinding and passenger information,
  • public and private transport integration,
  • airport employee access,
  • big data,
  • new transport technologies 
  • pedestrian and cycling,
  • transit oriented development.

Submissions should be sent 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.">

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Posted on in Members' News

INTERVIEW: Currently 80 East Midlands train services pass through Luton Airport Parkway (LAP) in each direction every day, with a total of just 18 stopping there. London Luton Airport (LLA) is advocating for the inclusion of four fast trains per hour from central London to Luton Airport Parkway as part of the upcoming East Midlands Trains refranchising process.

East Midlands Train passes through Luton Airport Parkway Station web

The Government is due to announce a public consultation on the East Midlands Trains franchise shortly. The current franchise is a Direct Award to East Midlands Trains Limited, which commenced on 18 October 2015. It is due to end on 4 March 2018, although the Secretary of State may extend it by up to a year. The new franchise is scheduled to commence in 2018.

On 1st of March the Department for Transport has announced that the following companies have successfully pre-qualified to bid in the competition for the East Midlands franchise, to run rail passenger services from November 2018:

  • Arriva Rail East Midlands Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arriva UK Trains Limited
  • First Trenitalia East Midlands Rail Limited, a joint venture company wholly owned by First Rail Holdings Limited and Trenitalia UK Limited
  • Stagecoach East Midlands Trains Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stagecoach Transport Holdings Limited

Last year LLA released independent economic analysis showing that increasing the number of hourly fast trains to LAP from one to four through timetable change could significantly increase rail revenue up to £110 million at no cost to the rail operator or DfT, and could almost double the number of passengers travelling by train to the airport; reducing local traffic congestion by 70,000 journeys and saving 500 tonnes of CO2.

Nick Barton webWe speak with London Luton Airport CEO Nick Barton about the current stage of the proposals.

Where are you in the discussions regarding the franchise? Do you see your conversations progressing towards a positive outcome?

While waiting for the consultation to be announced, we have continued to build our case and engage with stakeholders. I am happy to say that the initial reaction is overwhelmingly positive, as our proposed timetable change will improve not only the connectivity but also the overall economic impact of the airport.

We’ve been meeting key stakeholders, organisations and individuals up and down the rail line. These conversations were extremely useful, highlighting issues that we could address to make our case even stronger. These included questions about the effect on the wider network, future connectivity and payment systems such as the Oyster card.

What is the biggest challenge you came across in your conversations?

Our biggest challenge is still ahead of us and it is to change the thinking of the railway industry. I understand that our issue is very focused and the people we are talking to have a plethora of issues to consider. The Department for Transport has been extremely helpful in listening, understanding and supporting us in communicating our plans to stakeholders.

In 2015 you have successfully launched hourly night train services to London Luton Airport. How will the fast trains complement this and other rail services available at the Luton Airport Parkway station?

The night service is very valuable offering the ten thousand people who work at the airport, and 2-3 million more passengers, a viable option to use rail to get to and from the airport.

The existing Govia Thameslink Railway stopping service travels through London to the South Coast and offers unique access to different markets. The Farringdon connection will become increasingly important, opening up East-West traffic via the newly created Elizabeth Line. These are all excellent improvements to our connectivity.

These additional services, as good as they are, still stop at intermediate stations and take about 40 minutes to travel to/from the airport. This is great for some passengers and employees, but for many people, especially foreign travellers, the expectation is to see direct non-stop rail services to and from the airport.

That is what the new fast trains on the East Midlands line will offer. It will be a very regular service, operating every 15 minutes in both directions. It will effectively act as an ‘express’-style rail service, similar to those already in operation to and from Heathrow and Gatwick. We’re currently the only major London airport without such a service, which is something we need to change.

What would you say to airports who are reluctant to introduce rail connections in fear of losing car parking revenue?

A growing airport with a well-balanced ground access network and different travel options is far better than an airport with a vast car park. Such an airport would struggle to get national support for growth, as access would be too focused on one mode of transport. Rail is one of the best ways to accommodate the passenger demands associated with a busy airport, offering an efficient means of access and reducing congestion on the roads. We also know that poor rail links can be a disincentive to passengers – for example, the introduction of overnight train services to LAP made rail a viable option for an additional 2-3 million passengers, giving them choice and flexibility.

Currently the airport terminals are connected to the railway station by a shuttle bus, but there are plans to build a people mover to improve this link. Where are you at with this project?

The airport owners have recently submitted a planning application for a £200 million mass passenger transit (MPT) system, linking the airport terminal directly with Luton Airport Parkway station. Subject to planning permission, work on this project could begin later this year – with the system ready for operation by Spring 2021.

The MPT system will be a fully-automated, two-way, 24-hour people-mover based on the latest technology and design innovation.

What is the next challenge in improving ground access to London Luton Airport you see in the future?

With all the projects that are happening now, rail access to and from London Luton Airport will be dramatically transformed. The road connections are already good, so the innovations that will come in the future will be about improving accessibility through public transport.

The proposed Oxford-Cambridge rail link, running through the richest part of the UK, is a very interesting development for the airport. The new East-West line will intersect the Midland Mainline which currently serves the airport. This means that LLA is in a prime position to act as an integrated road, air and rail hub at the junction of these two strategic national economic corridors.

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UK: High Speed rail project HS2 took a major step forward as Britain’s new railway successfully completed over 3 years of Parliamentary scrutiny to receive Royal Assent.

Construction will now begin on schedule in the spring.

“Getting the go-ahead to start building HS2 is a massive boost to the UK’s future economic prosperity and a further clear signal that Britain is open for business,” Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said.

“HS2 will be the world’s most advanced passenger railway and the backbone of our rail network. Royal Assent is a major step towards significantly increasing capacity on our congested railways for both passengers and freight; improving connections between the biggest cities and regions; generating jobs, skills and economic growth and helping build an economy that works for all.”

HS2 will create around 25,000 jobs during construction as well as 2,000 apprenticeships. It will also support growth in the wider economy, worth an additional 100,000 jobs.

From 2026 tens of thousands of passengers will be using high speed trains every day between London and Birmingham; services will travel onwards to places like Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Preston and Wigan.

From 2033, the high speed network will go into the centres of Manchester and Leeds and services will go onwards to places such as Darlington, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

 

Posted on in News

CANADA: Following extensive public consultation and preliminary engineering work, the City of Ottawa officials have announced plans to move forward with the Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Project.

The Stage 2 LRT Project will extend light rail further and faster to the West, South and East:

  • Confederation Line West: beyond Bayshore to Moodie Drive, and southwest to Algonquin College;
  • Confederation Line East: beyond Place d’Orleans to Trim Road;
  • Trillium Line extension to Bowesville and Riverside South; and
  • An Airport Rail Link from South Keys Station on the Trillium Line.

OttawaLRT Stage 2 map

The Stage 2 expansion of the O-Train network will be undertaken through two new procurements:

  • A new $2.5-billion Design-Build-Finance competition for the Confederation Line East and West extensions (includes Airport, Trim and Highway 417, and City-bundled works); and
  • A new $535-million Design-Build-Finance-Maintain competition for the Trillium Line extension.

Upon approval of this report by Council, the project will go to market later this winter. A final report will be brought forward in early 2018 outlining the results of the procurement process and related activities, leading to the final design and beginning of construction. The Stage 2 project will proceed with staggered openings to allow for faster expansions to LRT service:

  • Trillium Line South extension in 2021
  • Confederation Line East including Trim in 2022
  • Confederation Line West to Moodie by 2023

The Stage 2 LRT Project budget is $3 billion (excluding the Trim Extension with one station at $160 million, and the Airport Rail Link with two stations at $155 million).

The Trim and Airport extensions will only proceed if they are fully funded by the federal and provincial governments; on June 3, 2016 the province of Ontario has committed to covering half of the capital costs for both of these projects.

Posted on in Members' News

UK: London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) has submitted the plans for the £200 million mass passenger transit (MPT) system linking London Luton Airport (LLA) with Luton Airport Parkway railway station.

The MPT will enable fast, easy access from central London to the UK’s fifth biggest and fastest-growing major airport in 30 minutes by providing a seamless transfer time of just five minutes from Luton Airport Parkway to the airport terminal.

Subject to planning permission, work could begin in late 2017 – with the system ready for operation by spring 2021.

LLAL, wholly-owned by the Luton Borough Council, will fund the scheme under its capital programme.

“London Luton Airport is experiencing unparalleled success, with a 44 per cent increase in passenger numbers since 2014,” said Cllr Andy Malcolm, Chair of LLAL and the Council’s Portfolio Holder for finance.

“Along with the £110m transformation of the airport, the MPT will make sure the passenger experience we provide is world-class, and combined will support ongoing growth to 18 million passengers per year by 2021.

“The submission of our planning application is the most significant moment yet in the ongoing £1.5bn transformation of our town under the exciting and ambitious Luton Investment Framework.

“It opens up opportunities for development throughout the London Luton Airport Enterprise Zone and confirms our confidence in Luton’s potential for economic and employment growth.”

LLA People Mover

The MPT system will be a fully-automated, two-way, 24-hour capable people-mover based on latest system technology and design innovation.

The 2.2km route will run between two purpose-built stations at Stirling Place and the Central Terminal.

The MPT will run alongside the mainline railway before crossing over Airport Way via a new landmark bridge. It will then continue through the airport’s existing mid-term car park, under a taxiway, and on to the Central Terminal.

Cllr Malcolm said: “London Luton Airport enjoys a catchment area of 23 million people within a two-hour travel time and is ready and willing to make a significant contribution to meeting the growing demand for air travel in London and the South-East.

“The journey time from St Pancras of less than 30 minutes will beat Liverpool Street to Stansted by 20 minutes and be faster than Victoria to Gatwick too.

“Combined with the prospect of four fast trains an hour from London as part of the upcoming East Midlands rail franchise, which we are campaigning for, this investment in mass passenger transit will transform the experience of those travelling to the airport by rail, and will encourage more people to do so and therefore help to reduce congestion on the roads.”

The London Luton Airport Enterprise Zone, supported by SEMLEP and the Government, will deliver 7,200 new jobs via Stirling Place, a revitalised airport business park and a new 70-acre commercial development at Century Park, east of London Luton Airport that will be served by a new 1.6-mile access road.

Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL), said: “We are investing £110m to transform the airport and improve the experience for passengers inside the terminal. Improving accessibility, particularly rail links, is equally crucial for the airport’s development.

“We are already working to secure four fast trains per hour to Luton Airport Parkway station as part of the new East Midlands rail franchise. The creation of a mass passenger transit link between Parkway and the terminal will be a key milestone in the airport’s transformation.”

Neil Slaven, Commercial Manager of easyJet, said: “easyJet welcomes the plan for a new direct rail link connecting Luton Airport Parkway train station with the airport. We already encourage our passengers to travel by rail, offering them the opportunity to purchase tickets on board and we hope the number of easyJet passengers at London Luton Airport who arrive by rail will increase with the new, faster link to the airport.
“We now fly over six million passengers a year to and from London Luton as the number one airline at the airport. The redevelopment of the airport was a key factor in our commitment to double our passenger numbers over the next 10 years.”

Posted on in News

UK: Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) has launched a new Fly-Rail-Coach product with rail and coach operators in the UK.

RB has partnered with National Express, Great Western Railway and Heathrow Express to provide passengers from around the UK with a concise booking service. The service enables passengers to book travel requirements for UK ground travel and international travel with RB in one seamless booking.

Fly-Rail-Coach is available for passengers to book with travel agents using the GDS reservation system and with Royal Brunei Airlines direct. The system sources the most suitable itinerary in combination with flight departure times and prices journeys automatically.

Adiel Mambara, UK Country Manager commented: “Royal Brunei Airlines is thrilled to announce the launch of the Fly-Rail-Coach product getting passengers from door to door with the most ease. Working with travel operators we are also extending our offer throughout the UK to strengthen our position in the marketplace.”

The product has been introduced as part of RB’s ongoing commitment to improving passengers’ experience. The launch of the product will also grow RB’s offering to the wider UK market and strengthen its strategic partnerships.

Royal Bruney

Posted on in Members' News

UK: Stansted Express has announced reduced fares across the board, starting from just £7 per person each way when booked in advance or when four people make a return journey together. Standard single fares are now only £16.60, or £28 return between London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.

The new fares put Stansted Express amongst the cheapest Stansted airport transport providers, while retaining a high quality service which includes fully flexible travel on any train on date of travel (and return tickets are valid for up to one month), no hidden fees, unlimited baggage allowance and free wifi.

With trains every 15 minutes providing the fastest link between central London, Tottenham Hale and Stansted Airport, recent official figures have demonstrated that it is also the most popular form of transport, above the coach or car.

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Best prices are always online at www.stanstedexpress.com, where there are a range of other services available such as discounted hotels, theatre and attractions booking service, for added convenience and value.

Commercial director, Andrew Camp, commented: “People choosing to transfer to the airport by rail arrive quicker and in comfort, and now they’ll pay even less – from just £7 for a great service which includes an easy online booking service, comfortable, spacious and modern trains, free wifi, unlimited baggage allowance and free charge points and no booking fee – perfect for those who can’t wait to start their trip and want to travel in style for less.”

Daniel Gallo, Stansted Airport’s Customer Service & Security Director, said: “Stansted is already one of the UK’s busiest airports serving over 24 million passengers a year, and with the airport forecast to grow by more than any London airport in the next ten years, it’s vital that passengers have access to reliable, frequent and affordable transport options to and from the airport. The announcement of new lower fares is fantastic news as the Stansted Express not only offers some of the most modern and high quality trains serving any UK airport but now has the added benefit of very competitive and great value for money fare choices to make Stansted even more attractive to passengers wishing to take full advantage of the 180 destinations on offer at Stansted.”

Journey time to/from London Liverpool Street with Stansted Express is just 47 minutes or 36 minutes from Tottenham Hale (also in London) and the train station at the airport is directly under the airport terminal, just a 2-minute walk to check-in.

Posted on in News

USA: Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) has started work on a new Parking and Transportation Center at Nashville International Airport (BNA), the first major project comprising BNA Vision, the Airport Authority’s comprehensive growth and expansion plan, which includes a potential multi-modal connector to link BNA to future Nashville transit system.

The six-level, 2,000 space parking structure will be located directly south of the current Short Term Garage. The first floor will be a dedicated Ground Transportation Center for commercial vehicles such as taxis, limos, shuttles and ride-sharing. Other new features include a parking space guidance system, green-screen vegetation wall, capacity for 20,000 gallons of rain water harvesting for landscape irrigation and a 50-kilowatt solar array on the top level.

The Parking and Transportation Center is set to open summer 2018.

BNA31

"Nashville International Airport is the gateway to our city for so many of our visitors, and it is important that we leave a great first impression," said Mayor Megan Barry. "BNA Vision will create an even more enjoyable experience for travelers, while promoting sustainability and generating economic revenue in the process."

"This is the first phase of construction of BNA Vision, our dynamic plan to meet the needs of our rapidly growing region," said Rob Wigington, MNAA president and CEO. "This state-of-the-art Parking and Transportation Center is step one in our continued effort to maintain Nashville International Airport as a world-class facility for our passengers."

Activity at Nashville International Airport has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, making it one the fastest growing airports in North America. In 2016, 12,979,803 passengers traveled into and out of BNA, an increase of 11 percent over the previous year, and setting a new all-time passenger record for the fourth consecutive calendar year. Current projections indicate passenger traffic at BNA will surpass 20 million by 2035.

Nashville BNA Vision Still

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CANADA: The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has announced its moving ahead with plans for a regional transit centre to connect the airport area to key employment and residential areas throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

In addition to serving as a regional transportation centre, it will also be home to airport passenger processing, including security screening. GTAA President and CEO, Howard Eng, has unveiled preliminary concept plans for the transit centre.

“Toronto Pearson is a world-class airport in every respect, and Southern Ontario is a diverse and dynamic region,” said Howard Eng. “By the time New York and Chicago were the size that Toronto is today, they each had at least two major transportation hubs. Now is the time to ensure that better transit options are in place; otherwise we risk squandering the significant opportunities that are part and parcel of the exciting growth that the airport, thecity and the region are experiencing.”

The area around Toronto Pearson is the second largest employment zone in Canada after downtown Toronto according to NEPTIS Research Foundation.

More than 300,000 people work in the zone that includes parts of Brampton, Mississauga, and Toronto. Among the sectors located in the Airport Employment Zone are construction and logistics, but also financial and business services. NEPTIS reports that there are more financial services related jobs located around the airport than all the jobs located in North York. Due to the lack of transit in the area, NEPTIS found that the area generates more than 1 million car trips daily, more trips than traveling to and from downtown Toronto.

“Location matters and Toronto Pearson's close proximity to Brampton gives us a definite advantage when it comes to attracting global companies to our City,” said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. "A major multi-modal transit centre serving the western GTA, located at our airport will provide a critical connection between Brampton and the rest of the world."

toronto pearson transit hub design

The GTAA’s proposed transit centre located on airport lands will help to address the low transit mode split in the area today with only 10 percent of people taking transit. The centre will potentially connect a number of transit lines that are already in development or have been proposed by various levels of government, including: Eglinton Crosstown West LRT; Mississauga Bus Rapid Transit; Finch West LRT; Regional Express Rail on the Kitchener line; and the Province of Ontario’s High-Speed Rail concept.

The centre, proposed to be located across Airport Road from Terminals 1 and 3, with access from Highways 409 and 427 and from Airport Road, will be at the heart of a new mixed use commercial area that will include office, retail, hotel and other commercial space. The vision for the area around the transit centre calls for improved streetscapes through sidewalks, landscaping, and improved lighting. The GTAA has held preliminary discussions with all levels of government to raise awareness about the opportunity for the regional transit centre at Toronto Pearson. It anticipates continued planning discussions throughout 2017 both for the centre, as well as for the individual transit lines that will connect into the centre.

“Better connections regionally and around the world boosts the competitiveness of Brampton businesses,” said Todd Letts, CEO of the Brampton Board of Trade. “Toronto Pearson's vision for a multi-modal transit centre will be an important driver for the development of our local economy."

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USA: Archer Western has been selected by the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to build a new $28.5 million TEX Rail station adjacent to Terminal B at DFW.

The Terminal B station will serve as the terminating stop in TEX Rail’s planned 27-mile commuter rail project, currently under construction by the Archer Western Herzog Joint Venture that will connect downtown Fort Worth and DFW Airport. The new line is expected to serve 8,000 daily riders, and will improve commuting times to and from Fort Worth, and will feature a walkway connecting to the existing Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) station next to Terminal A.

Archer Western is among the national leaders in building mass transit and rail, having completed more than 55-miles of passenger rail in the Dallas Fort Worth area over the last 17 years and currently delivering transit to airports, including new automated people mover systems at Orlando and Tampa International Airports.

TEX Rail Station at Terminal B DFW courtesy HKS 1523dee63aa58cea8d9572a9c35fa43e

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USA: The Port Authority New York New Jersey (PANYNJ) issued a Request for Proposals for preliminary engineering and other planning work for a new AirTrain connection to LaGuardia Airport.

The expert firm’s work will represent a critical next step in advancing the LaGuardia AirTrain project. The RFP is open to all qualified firms and responses are due in four weeks.

By 2030, the number of passengers at LaGuardia is expected to increase by more than 6 million passengers annually and the AirTrain is a key pillar of the airport’s strategy to accommodate this growth.

"The millions of passengers who travel through LaGuardia each year deserve a convenient and reliable mass transit option that connects this key transportation hub to the heart of Manhattan," Governor Cuomo said. "We are transforming LaGuardia into a world-class transportation gateway, and an essential piece of the puzzle is ensuring rail mass transit access to the airport. With this action, we're taking the next major step toward making this a reality."

The selected consultant team will carry out preliminary engineering work related to three different components of the project:

  • Construction of up to two new AirTrain stations at the new terminal buildings at the airport;
  • Construction of an AirTrain station at Willets Point;
  • Construction related to the "right-of-way" for the train from the airport to Willets Point.

Image 03a Cropped Parkway View

The Willets Point station will be part of a brand new three-station complex at Willets Point. The MTA has already initiated preliminary engineering work to build both a completely new LIRR station and a completely new 7-line subway station at Willets Point. The new AirTrain station at Willets Point will be integrated with the construction of the two new MTA stations into a new complex that will create a seamless transfer for passengers with luggage between the new LIRR and 7-line subway stations, and the new LaGuardia AirTrain station.

The firm will also conduct a detailed ridership analysis and begin analyzing public-private partnerships and other financing options to identify the most advantageous financing plan for the AirTrain. This process will also determine how best to consolidate ten car rental companies at Willets Point as well as how best to add additional parking options for airport passengers there.

The new elevated AirTrain, providing a six-minute ride from LaGuardia to Willets Point, will be a key part of the modernization and transformation of LaGuardia into a world-class airport. The total travel time between Midtown Manhattan and LaGuardia would be less than 30 minutes via the new AirTrain – a 15-minutes LIRR ride between midtown Manhattan and Willets Point and a six-minute Air Train ride to the airport.

The LaGuardia AirTrain will also transform access to the airport for millions of passengers from Long Island who will be able to utilize a seamless Long Island Railroad connection at Willets Point. The AirTrain will also have regional impacts for drivers who will be able utilize new parking lots and take advantage of a streamlined rental car operation at Willets Point.

"LaGuardia is an anachronistic anomaly and is the only major airport on the East Coast - from Boston in the north to Miami in the South - that does not have rail access," Patrick Foye, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said. "The LaGuardia AirTrain will drive economic activity while reducing congestion across our roadways - benefitting the region, the state and Queens."

Currently, 86 percent of LaGuardia passengers, as well as over 60 percent of the airport’s 12,000 employees, travel to the airport by car. The volume of vehicles travelling to LaGuardia creates significant congestion on the Queens roadways leading to the airport. Passengers face uncertain travel times from Manhattan that range anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour or significantly more. That variability and uncertainty leads to lost productivity for business travellers and shorter stays for tourists. The LaGuardia AirTrain will provide a guaranteed 30-minute ride to the airport from Midtown Manhattan’s two rail hubs, Grand Central and Penn Stations, creating a significantly enhanced travel option for passengers. Reducing the number of vehicles driving to the airport will also bring significant environmental benefits – lower emissions and less air pollution.

LaGuardia has high volumes of single travellers and small parties who travel light with the average party size of 1.7 people per group, who are more likely to use mass transit to access the airport.

The JFK AirTrain system demonstrates the high demand for rail transit access to our NY airports, as it now serves over 21 million riders per year, nearly tripling the ridership since the first year of operation 12 years prior.

The selected consultants will work with additional input from financial and legal advisors. Study results are expected within a year from the contract award date.

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UK: On the back of bmi regional’s recent announcement to establish a new base at Birmingham with services to Graz, Gothenburg and Nuremberg, bmi regional is partnering with Virgin Trains to add a train travel booking facility to its website, making it easier for customers to travel beyond Birmingham International, located directly at Birmingham Airport and the NEC connecting the airline’s new routes with Virgin Train’s extensive high-speed train network to the wider UK.

Jochen Schnadt, chief commercial officer of bmi regional explains, “At bmi regional, we pride ourselves on offering customers quality and convenience.

The partnership with Virgin Trains allows us to develop this important niche further, so that flybmi.com becomes a one stop shop for all of our customers’ needs, whether business or leisure. This new partnership expands bmi regional’s reach in the UK and allows our customers travelling to/from Graz, Gothenburg and Nuremberg to conveniently connect on Virgin Trains to London, the North West and Scotland and the wider rail network.”

“We’re delighted to be able to partner with bmi regional to offer their customers even more choice when travelling to and from Birmingham Airport,” Mandy Robinson, Head of Sales at Virgin Trains said. “With fast and frequent services to Birmingham International, linking the UK’s largest cities, getting to the airport by rail couldn’t be easier with the likes of London are just 1hr 14mins away.

Flights to Graz in Austria will start from bmi regional’s new Birmingham hub on 27 February 2017, closely followed by the launch of routes to Nuremberg in Germany and Gothenburg in Sweden in on 8 May 2017.

Pendolino tilting

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CAMBODIA: Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol has said that the construction of the rail link from the city centre to the Phnom Penh International Airport will start in March 2018.

The Minister met with the representatives from Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), Royal Railways, Phnom Penh Special Economi Zone, State Secretariat of Civil Aviation and Cambodia Airports to discuss the pre-feasibility study.

According to Chanthol, the government needs to find ways to implement this passenger train service as soon as possible.

The participants of the meeting also agreed to look at the temporary solution for combining passenger train and bus service from Phnom Penh train station to the airport.

The Minister suggested that Cambodia Airports and Royal Railway work closely together to implement this project.

Phnom Penh International Airport is the largest airport in Cambodia, located 10 km from the capital. The airport serve 3.4 million passengers in 2016.

Cambodia Meeting

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IRELAND: Dublin Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the news that the Government is looking to speed up the construction of the Metro North rail link.

The Chamber was responding to reports that the Minister for Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe, is looking to bring forward the construction of the project by two years as part of the revised Capital Plan.

The Chamber said that the building of the line, which will run from the city centre to Dublin Airport, is urgently needed to address ever-worsening congestion in Dublin.

"Speeding up the construction of Metro North would send a clear signal to the people and businesses of Dublin - and also workers and companies looking to locate here in light of Brexit - that Ireland is serious about addressing the current infrastructure deficits that threaten to stifle growth. The lack of a rail link between the city and the Airport is proving a deterrant to companies moving jobs and business to Ireland," Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke said.

Metro North will provide a transport solution for Dublin Airport and the fast-growing North County Dublin region.

Ms Burke said: "A new rail link is needed not only to serve Dublin Airport, but also to cater for the additional 40,000+ people who will be commuting into Dublin city centre from north county Dublin by 2023. At the same time, passenger numbers through Dublin Airport are expected to exceed 36 million by 2022, up from 25 million last year. A new rail link will go a long way to accommodating such strong growth levels."

Dublin Chamber has called for the revised Capital Plan to also include dates for the start and finish of the construction of Dart Underground.

The Chamber pointed to successive global indices – including the recent World Economic Forum report - which have highlighted the lack of infrastructure investment as a threat to Ireland’s competitiveness.

Ms Burke said: "Metro North and Dart Underground have the potential to transform public transport in Dublin. Together, they can provide the cornerstone of a public transport network that will set Dublin up for the next 100+ years. The Transport Minister's commitment to making both projects happen is very welcome and must now be supported by a commitment by Government and the transport authroties to secure the required funding to deliver Metro North and Dart Underground much quicker than previously intimated."

Posted on in News

USA: Visit Denver has released a video showing how easy, accessible & affordable it is to take the new Airport Rail Line to and from the Denver International Airport and Denver Union Station.

 

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TAIWAN: The Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line will open to the public for a one-month trial run on 2nd February 2017 Transport Minister Ho Chen Tan and Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-Tsan said Wednesday.

According to the Taoyuan Mass Transit Corp., the new MRT line will offer free rides to the public in two phases over the course of one month before commercial operations begin on 2nd March 2017.

In the first phase from 2-15 February, group passengers who apply in advance will be allowed to travel for free between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. During this phase, passengers will be restricted to boarding and disembarking at only six of the 21 stations and will not include the airport stations.

In the second phase from 16th of February until 1st of March, individual passengers will be allowed to travel for free between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. During this phase, passengers will have access to all 21 stations, including the airport stations, and in-town check-in service will be available at Taipei Main Station.

Taipei Main Station, is the only station that initially will offer advanced check-in at least three hours before the flight for passengers taking the Airport MRT.

According to the company, airline check-in areas are planned to be implemented at the New Taipei Industrial Park and Hengshan stations, but it is not yet known when these facilities will be operational.

The Airport MRT will officially open to all passengers on 2nd March 2017 with tickets available at a 50 percent discount during the first month of operation. The trains will run from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.

Taipei Airport MRT Route Map

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AUSTRALIA: Ansaldo STS has signed a contract worth 44 million AUD with Salini Impregilo - NRW Joint Venture (SINRW) to deliver the complete signalling and telecommunications system for Perth’s 8 km Forrestfield - Airport Link rail extension project.

Under the contract awarded to Ansaldo STS by the SINRW, Ansaldo STS will deliver the complete signalling and telecommunications system for an 8 km rail extension to the Perth Transport Authority’s (PTA) railway line from Perth’s eastern suburbs to the city’s airport.

The scope of work, to be delivered by Ansaldo STS, includes the design, supply, installation and testing of signalling and communication for the 8 km line extension, which includes three new stations. MicroLok® interlocking will be the key technology used in the delivery of the signalling package.
Work on the project will begin immediately, with project completion scheduled for September 2020.

Forrestfield Airport Link Route

Posted on in Members' News

UK: Heathrow Express has received an overall satisfaction rate of 96% from the latest National Rail Passenger Survey, placing it well above the national average of 81% and 17 percentage points ahead of the London & South East average of 80%.

The consumer poll puts a spotlight on Heathrow Express’ unique selling points of speed – where it scored 96% compared to the region’s average of 80% and punctuality and reliability where Heathrow Express scored 93% compared to the London and South East average of 69%.

The largest improvement is value for money, which has improved 11 percentage points to 53% compared to a London and South East average of 43%.

New offers starting at £5.50 per journey and a permanent commitment for children under 15 to travel free mean these offers have resulted in growth of digital sales and leisure passengers.

Service scores have all improved. Recent internal analysis of customer travel patterns between plane and train resulted in investment in service standards as well as award winning technology to improve communication with customers.

Bucking the national trend, availability of staff at the station and on the train jumped to 85% and 86% respectively versus a national average of 66% and 44%

Attitude and helpfulness of staff at the station and on the train increased 5 and 6 points to 92% and 93%, the best ever score for the Heathrow Express team.

Fraser Brown, Director of Heathrow Express said: “Providing an excellent premium service means dedication from staff and attention to detail and we couldn’t achieve these scores without the huge efforts of our team.

“These scores prove once again that not only does Heathrow Express provide the fastest way to travel between the UK’s biggest airport and central London, but it does so professionally and without fuss. Our priority is to get passengers between Heathrow Airport and Paddington as quickly and as safely as possible, but we also go the extra mile. Passengers in this survey have recognised us for our customer service, convenience, and the pride we take in our trains and stations. Our carriages not only look good, but provide plenty of facilities such as fast WiFi, as well as being clean and spacious – with good legroom and plenty of space for luggage, which is why we also scored an excellent 97% satisfaction rate for the trains themselves.”

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