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UK: Porterbrook has signed a contract with Bombardier Transportation to fit digital signalling equipment and complete specialist on-board conversions to Class 387 trains set to serve the Heathrow Express rail link.

The 12 specially converted trains will form a dedicated Heathrow Express fleet as part of a management contract announced in March 2018 which sees Great Western Railway deliver some of the operational aspects of the airport service.

Porterbrook’s £11m investment in the class 387 Electrostar trains sees proven Digital Railway in-cab ETCS signalling installed as well as on-board conversions including improved seating, additional luggage space, at seat power, on-board TV and fast WiFi.

Engineering and design work will take place at Bombardier’s Derby Litchurch Lane works, with fitment taking place at the company’s Ilford depot. The work will be completed by December 2019, meeting the Secretary of State’s commitment to replace existing rolling stock on the route with highly reliable, digitally enabled, Electrostar trains as well as extend the track access agreement to confirm the Heathrow Express service running until at least 2028.

Fitment of ETCS to the Class 387 trains will be the first time that digital signalling has been installed on an existing fleet of electric passenger trains. Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook said: "I am delighted that Porterbrook and Bombardier can lead the way in the fitment of digital signalling to Heathrow Express Electrostar trains that connect London to the UK’s gateway to the world.”

"This first-in-fleet fitment will enable us to accelerate ETCS fitment on other Electrostar fleets, as and when our customers require it." Richard Hunter, President Rail Control Solutions at Bombardier Transportation, said: "As a global signalling solutions provider, we are delighted to be working with Porterbrook, Heathrow Express and Great Western Railway on this project, an exciting next step in the delivery of the Digital Railway."

Les Freer, Director of Heathrow Express said: “The introduction of a fleet of Class 387 trains specially converted for airport passengers is one of the main benefits of our new partnership with Great Western Railway. This helps us build on our 20 year history of excellent customer service as we continue to offer the same fast and frequent non-stop service between Heathrow Airport and London Paddington for years to come.”

Fitment of digital signalling to the Class 387 trains for use on the Heathrow Express route will result in ‘type approval’ from the Office of Rail and Road, enabling ETCS to be fitted to all Electrostar fleets.

Posted on in Members' News

MALAYSIA: Sri Sutra Travel, a local travel agency in business and leisure travel, is partnering with Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL), the operator of KLIA Ekspres, the premium non-stop high-speed train service that connects the city centre to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA & KLIA2). Aside from purchasing KLIA Ekspres tickets at KLIA Ekspres ticket counters, website and app, travellers can now purchase tickets on Sutra.my and TravelCompute One-Stop Travel Technology platform.

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Sri Sutra Travel is an online platform that provides airport transfers, accommodation, car hire, tailored tours, bus and rail ticket reservations, concert and sporting tickets and other related services to travellers. “We are definitely proud and excited to be partnering with one of Malaysia’s leading travel consultancies. Having been in the tourism industry for decades, Sri Sutra Travel has an extensive market both locally and internationally. “This partnership is important to ERL as it will expand KLIA Ekspres’ reach further within the Malaysian travel industry, and it makes it simple for travel agents to package the KLIA Ekspres with other local attractions and services,” said Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of ERL.

Sri Sutra Travel CEO, Dato’ Syed Razif Al-Yahya also expressed his delight in the partnership. He said: “Sri Sutra Travel is committed to provide our customers with the best service for their convenience. Now, they can purchase KLIA Ekspres tickets after booking their flights so they can travel to and from the airport seamlessly and comfortably.”

To purchase the KLIA Ekspres tickets, simply log on to Sutra.my and click on “KLIA Ekspres”. You can select your starting location and destination (KLIA/KLIA2 to KL Sentral or vice versa), as well as the date. After selecting the number of Adult or Child (2-12 years old) tickets, fill in the contact details. Lastly, review your booking before you make the payment.

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BELGIUM: International mobility experts and partners of the LAirA (Landside Airport Accessibility) project, funded by Interreg Central Europe met in Brussels on 23 January 2019 to discuss the merits of different solutions for low carbon mobility at airports. These solutions are meant to support local and regional authorities, infrastructure providers and airports in achieving their goals for green airport access.

The conference "Towards smart and low carbon mobility", organised by the Airport Regions Conference, brought together European institutions, international transport associations, public authorities, airports, and advocacy groups.

LAirA project partners represent seven Central Europe's Functional Urban Areas of Vienna, Budapest, Warsaw, Milan, Stuttgart, Dubrovnik and Poznan. The conference mirrored one of the main objectives of LAirA project: to encourage airport passengers and employees to use sustainable transport modes when travelling to and from the airport. LAirA partners analysed seven action plans to implement low carbon mobility - electric mobility, air-rail links, walking and cycling, shared mobility, intelligent transport systems, wayfinding and road based public transport.

"The recommendations of these analyses could be a valuable input for the European strategy," Isabelle Vandoorne, Deputy Head of the Sustainable and Intelligent Transport Unit at the European Commission said.

One of the key recommendations that was applicable to all action plans was a closer cooperation with the key stakeholders.

"All project partners have emphasized that building strong and sustainable relations with the many stakeholders is key in ensuring the success of the project," Milda Manomaityte, Founding Director of the Global AirRail Alliance said. "LAirA project partners highlighted the political and local support as one of the main challenges in delivering airport rail link projects. The political support can be strengthened if the local community is behind the project and is actively advocating for it."

A surprising hot topic of the event was the walking and cycling, or "Active Travel" action plan, looking at ways to encourage airport staff and passengers to forgo motorised transport and get active. Some airports are already offering cycling schemes to their employees with bicycle maintenance shops and cloakroom facilities. With car parking real-estate becoming a scarce resource, airports agree that it is good idea to convince their workers not to drive and park at the airport, but instead to use public transport or active travel. The discussions, however, kicked off when conference participants started considering the active travel for passengers and if such option is realistic at all. An agreement was reached that walking and cycling would work best within the airport campus, for example, for passengers accessing nearby hotels and conference centres. Currently many airports do not offer safe and enjoyable pedestrian routes, so passengers rely on private hotel shuttles to move around the immediate airport environment.

LAirA project partners have also considered the opportunity to work together and establish a standard wayfinding signs for these new mobility services.

"A passenger that is arriving at the airport for the first time will not be familiar with local public transport system and terminology. For example, public transport can mean different things in different countries, and rail services have different names around the world, such as metro, u-bahn, s-bahn, subway, overground, underground, intercity and many more. Another good example is the app based transportation services, such as Uber and Lyft - each airport started to introduce their own wayfinding signs to represent them," Liam Henderson, Founding Director or Transporting Cities said.

According to Liam, LAirA project partners should lead the way in developing standard wayfinding signs and definitions for different airport land access services.

Andrew Murphy, Manager-Aviation at Transport & Environment, highlighted that airports have a big role to play to change the access to the airport, but also that greater investment and regulation is needed to achieve low carbon mobility.

On behalf of LAirA’s lead partner, Budapest 18th District, Gabor Csaba Sooki-Toth noted that "sustainable airport access has an important role in the development of the region and LAirA project aims to support the European vision of sustainable transportation through better urban planning and by providing mobility solutions accessible for regions, airports and users."

The solutions and actions presented at this event will help further future activities that will improve and decarbonize access to airports, supporting cleaner airport areas as well as the goals of the Paris Agreement.

"Public transport is undergoing major changes and challenges with e-mobility, car-hailing and other emerging mobility services, and it sometimes feels that infrastructures or administrations are not able to cope with these changes, but today we saw so many progresses that I am confident for the readiness of our public transport providers,” Léa Bodossian, Director of Aspire and the moderator of the conference, summarised the event.

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Air-Rail Links Action Plan >>>

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KENYA: A consortium led by Egis has won a contract to carry out a feasibility study for a rail link connecting Nairobi city centre and Jomo Kenyatta Airport.

Kenya Railways Corporation has awarded the contract as part of the FASEP (Private Sector Study and Assistance Fund) framework, a tool set up by the French government to finance feasibility studies and give access to the know-how of French engineering companies.

The project would respond to the need to decongest traffic in Nairobi city centre. More than 4 million people live in Nairobi without any high performance mass transit network. Most of the trips are made in matatus, independent minibuses organised by routes. There is a railway network but it carries only 12,000 passengers a day with a frequency of one to two trains per day in each direction.

Egis and its partners STOA, Transdev, Vinci and Alstom were commissioned to carry out the feasibility studies to connect the city centre and the airport by extending and improving existing lines.

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LLA

UK: London Luton Airport (LLA) experienced its busiest ever year in 2018, as 16.6 million passengers used the airport, a 5% increase compared with the previous year. For the month of December, the airport welcomed over 1.26 million passengers, a 19.7% increase on December 2017.

In its record year, LLA marked the official opening of its £160 million redevelopment project, which will increase capacity by 50% to 18 million by 2020.

Passengers in 2019 will further benefit from the extension of the Oyster and contactless card system on train services between London and the airport.

Work is also continuing on the Direct Air Rail Transit (DART), which will replace the current shuttle bus between Luton Airport Parkway station and the terminal. Once complete, the DART will run 24 hours a day, helping to reduce the journey time to central London to under 30 minutes.

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Dakar Airport Rail Link

SENEGAL: The first phase of a Regional Express Train connecting Dakar to Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) has been officially launched by APIX, Senegal’s National Agency for the Promotion of Investments and Major Projects, on 14 January 2019.

The first section of the Regional Express Train links the capital of Dakar to Diamniadio. When both sections are completed in 2020, the Regional Express Train will link Dakar to the new Blaise Diagne International Airport in 45 minutes (14 stations, 55 km of track). T

the projects is part of the Emerging Senegal Plan launched in 2014 to promote the economic and social development of the country.

APIX has awarded the contract to supply 15 regional trains to Alstom in 2016. The Coradia Polyvalent train for Senegal is dual-mode electric and diesel and can travel at speeds of 160 km/h. ENGIE Ineo (lead contractor) and Thales hold the contract for design and construction of rail electrification, revenue collection, signalling, and telecommunication systems

 

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Macau LRT Route Map

MACAU: Macau Transportation Infrastructure Office has confirmed that the construction of the Macau Light Rail Taipa line is underway with relevant tests and operational preparations continuing to advance as scheduled.

The 9.3km Macau LRT Taipa Line will be the first rapid transit system in Macau serving 11 stations, which include Taipa's port and the airport, and is expected to commence services in the second half of 2019.

MTR Railway Operations Macau (MTR Macau), a 100% owned subsidiary of MTR Corporation, will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the line.

Posted on in Members' News

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Johannes Thunert, Co-founder & CBO of Distribusion Technologies GmbH presenting at the Global AirRail Conference 2018

MALAYSIA: Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) continues on its aggressive digital partnership drive by partnering with Distribusion Technologies GmbH (Distribusion), a Berlin-based leading global distributor for airport transfer and intercity bus rides that enables travel retailers (travel metasearch engines, online travel agents, airlines, global distributors) to connect easily with airport transfer and bus operators worldwide.

This partnership marks a huge step for ERL in the expansion of its sales platform. Now with Distribusion onboard, KLIA Ekspres tickets will be available through their international network of partners of more than 30 retail partners, 8000 travel agencies across Europe and 20 airlines in more than 40 countries. This will help make KLIA Ekspres more visible and available to travellers globally.
 
Speaking on the partnership, Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of ERL said, “We are definitely excited and proud to be partnering with Distribusion, a B2B company that connects retailers with travel agents and websites across Europe, Asian and the Americas. Through this partnership, we are able to expand our customer base globally and help travellers feel welcomed to the country by providing a comfortable and safe ride in the KLIA Ekspres”.
 
Founder and CBO Johannes Thunert of Distribusion on the partnership: “Following the high demand of our international retail network for fast and convenient airport transportation, we are delighted to partner with KLIA Ekspres. As an award winning airport transfer, KLIA Ekspres is constantly pushing the boundaries of service and reliability and we could not ask for a better partner than KLIA Ekspres.”

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USA: Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport and Trinity Metro welcomed the start of TEXRail service at Terminal B, offering customers the first public transportation option to directly connect DFW Airport to downtown Fort Worth.

“This year, DFW will serve more customers with more international flights than ever, and a growing number of our customers expect convenient rail service to take them from the Airport to a city centre,” said Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport. “TEXRail provides our customers with direct access to Fort Worth, one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Along with DART service to Dallas, DFW customers have more choices to access the Airport or make their way across the Dallas Fort Worth region.”

“We believe TEXRail is going to be a game-changer for this region,” said Trinity Metro President/CEO Paul J Ballard. “Our new commuter rail line will give travellers the ease and convenience of taking the train to the Airport and arriving on time. TEXRail will be a great option for airport workers and other people who work along the route.”

DFW’s construction of the station cost $39 million and took 19 months to complete. From Terminal B, customers can access other terminals via Terminal Link (pre-security) or Skylink (post-security). TEXRail is the second train line to connect the Airport to the DFW metroplex, with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Orange Line providing light rail service between DFW Airport and Dallas since 2014.

Ticket fares are $2.50 one way or $5.00 for an all-day pass. Trains run daily from Fort Worth starting at 3:30 a.m. and arriving at the Airport before 4:30 a.m. The last train will leave DFW at 1:00 a.m. TEXRail will operate seven days a week, with trains running every 30 minutes during peak hours.

“We are providing first-class service for a nominal price,” said Trinity Metro Senior Vice President Bob Baulsir. “We expect to have 8,000 riders a day by the end of the first year of service.”

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SNCF AirFrance2

FRANCE: SNCF Gares & Connexions and Air France partnered up to offer in-town baggage drop-off service to customers travelling to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport from Paris Gare du Nord railway station. 

An Air France check-in counter, located at Paris Gare du Nord next to platform 3 opposite the SNCF shop, will welcome customers for three months as from December 17, 2018 from 10am to 7pm Monday to Sunday.

Air France, Joon and HOP! customers travelling from Paris-Charles de Gaulle will be able to check in their baggage between 30 hours and 8 hours before their flight. The service costs €15 for the first baggage item and €10 for each subsequent baggage item. Customers' luggage will then be picked up and delivered to Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport.

This service is available to customers travelling in the Economy, Premium Economy and Business cabins for flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to all destinations, except the United States and Israel. All baggage, with a maximum weight of 32 kg and a maximum dimension of 158 cm, can be checked in.

For family trips, a member of the family with parental authority can drop off everyone's baggage. This person must be part of the travelling party and must show all the family's travel documents.

This service is an important part of SNCF Gares & Connexions' City Booster strategy, which aims to open up stations in the city and provide improved connections to other modes of transport. It also helps customers travelling to Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport by public transport by taking their baggage and simplifying their mobility.

The only other city in Europe offering this service is Vienna, where City Airport Train (CAT) passengers can drop-off their luggage in the CAT city railway station.

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Cotton Belt Station rendering web

USA: Dallas Area Rapid Transit has approved a $783 million contract for Archer Western and joint venture partner Herzog Contracting Group to design and build the Cotton Belt commuter rail line with assistance from lead designer Jacobs Engineering. The 26-mile line will stretch across North Texas from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Plano, and it will connect northern areas of Tarrant, Dallas, and Collin counties. 

Cotton Belt includes 10 total stations as well as interchanges with the DART light rail Orange, Green and Red lines, the TEXRail commuter line to Fort Worth and local bus services. Stations will be located in Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson and Plano. 

"North Texas is booming, and this reliable, local transit option will be a welcomed addition for many residents," said David Casey, president of Archer Western's heavy civil division. "We are thrilled to partner with DART and connect the communities of North Texas via Cotton Belt's high-quality transit service." 

Cotton Belt Map web

In addition to numerous past DART projects, Archer Western and Herzog are delivering transportation infrastructure in tandem across the Dallas/Fort Worth region. The companies are in the final stages of constructing TEXRail, a new 27-mile commuter rail project for Trinity Metro extending from downtown Fort Worth into Terminal B at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Archer Western is also completing a separate contract for the new DFW Terminal B station, the terminus for TEXRail. 

Construction on the Cotton Belt line will begin in 2019 with project completion anticipated in 2022.

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USA: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced that it has awarded a total of $16.6 million to 20 organizations around the country to support comprehensive planning projects that improve access to public transportation. The funds are made available through FTA’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning, which assists communities that are developing new or expanded mass transit systems.  

The Pilot Program for TOD Planning provides funding to project sponsors who will integrate land use and transportation planning efforts with eligible transit projects. The grants will fund comprehensive planning to support transit ridership, multimodal connectivity, and mixed-use development near transit stations.

FTA’s TOD Pilot Program was established under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) in 2012 and continued by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act in 2015. The program is authorized through fiscal year 2020.

Two airport access improvement projects were awarded the grant:

FTA Blue Line Map web

Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo) in Indiana will receive $320,000 to support planning along the Blue Line Rapid Transit project, a planned bus rapid transit line that will link downtown Indianapolis, the airport and the Town of Cumberland. The operation of the line is planned for late 2022.

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The City of Charlotte in North Carolina will receive $920,000 to plan for development along the proposed LYNX Silver Line, a light rail extension from Gaston County to the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Uptown Charlotte, Mathews and Union County.

In November 2016, the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) approved staff's recommendation of light rail as the locally preferred alternative for the Southeast Corridor by adopting the LYNX Silver Line light rail alignment into the 2030 Transit System Plan

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AUSTRALIA: City of Greater Geelong Council has appointed a new committee aimed at moving the fast rail connection between Geelong and Melbourne project ahead.

The New Spirit of Progress Committee is an informal partnership between the key regional centres and it will work in collaboration with the state government on urgently needed regional rail upgrades, including the Melbourne to Geelong Fast Rail Project.

Council has also released a report commissioned by the City, which shows fast rail could deliver:

  • An express service from Melbourne to Geelong in 32 minutes;
  • A three-stop service via Sunshine, North Geelong and Corio in 36 minutes;
  • Geelong to Sunshine (Melbourne Metro’s future main transfer station) in 25 minutes.

The report proposes a new 7km regional rail tunnel at Footscray, which could pave the way for expansion of fast rail all the way to Warrnambool, and would also open major new capacity for Metro trains in Melbourne’s west.

A new dedicated station at Avalon, which would allow for 27-minute express services from Melbourne to Avalon International Airport is also included in the project report.

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AUSTRALIA: Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that more than 100 local and global organisations have expressed interest to deliver the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

The Andrews Labor Government has committed up to $5 billion to build this project, which will run from the CBD to Melbourne Airport via Sunshine and form the north-western section of the Suburban Rail Loop.

“We are not wasting a minute in getting this project planned, designed and delivered. The Melbourne Airport Rail Link is the next step in our transformation of Victoria’s public transport network and a key part of the Suburban Rail Loop,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Over the past four months, Rail Projects Victoria tested market interest from across the professional disciplines needed to deliver the Melbourne Airport Rail Link – including design, engineering, construction and finance.

The Labor Government will now assess which organisations have the capability to make the Melbourne Airport Rail Link a reality and begin gauging the interest of potential private sector investors and operators.

The full business case is now underway, with the project set to begin construction by 2022.

Aurecon Jacobs Mott MacDonald Joint Venture (AJM JV) has been appointed as a technical advisor and KPMG has been appointed as a commercial advisor for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

AJM JV have already started site investigations in the Airport Rail Link corridor as part of early planning work.

Ecologists are looking for protected flora and fauna to map the sites. The results from the surveys will be used to support detailed planning and assessments for the Airport Rail Link project.

The Joint Venture is also working on the Western Rail Plan, carrying out detailed investigations of infrastructure upgrades, costs and train requirements to deliver fast rail to the regions as part of the Airport Rail Link.

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UK: Network Rail has announced that the proposals for a new rail link from the Great Western Main Line to Heathrow Airport have been given a boost with a large majority of people backing it during the statutory public consultation carried out earlier this year.

Views were sought from rail users, communities, businesses and other interested parties. 1,333 responses were received via post, email and on Network Rail’s official consultation website, building on the previous 1,000 responses received during two previous rounds of public engagement and consultation in 2015 and 2016.

A total of 72% of respondents agreed with the proposals to build the new rail link with 11% of total respondents asking for the industry to speed up delivery of the scheme. 23% disagreed with the proposals with a required road closure in the Iver area being cited as the most common reason for the negative response.

The link would allow passengers throughout the West, and beyond, to travel directly to Heathrow Airport from Reading, Twyford, Maidenhead and Slough, without having to change at London Paddington. This would make journey times to Heathrow as short as 26 minutes from Reading and just 7 minutes from Slough. It would therefore help ease congestion on the roads, and bring economic growth and new jobs into the Thames Valley and surrounding areas.

The plans have been drawn up on behalf of the Department for Transport.         

Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail’s Western route explained: “We are delighted that the proposals have been given the overwhelming support of the public, businesses and stakeholders. We have also heard the concerns of some local residents so will continue to work hard to make sure our final plans, which will be submitted for consent in 2019, work with other developments in the area.”

All of the detailed proposals for the scheme are available online at www.networkrail.co.uk/heathrow.

heathrow west access

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UKRAINE: National rail company Ukrzaliznytsya has officially opened the Kyiv Boryspil Express rail service on 30 November 2018. The new rail links will connect Kiev Central Station with the airport terminals, with one intermediate stop oat Darnitsa. One way single ticket fare is EUR 2.5 and the journey time is 38 minutes. According to the operator, over 6 thousand passengers have used the airport rail link in the first week of service.

The total cost of the project was EUR 15m, which included construction of 4km of new railway track to connect with the existing network and new passenger platforms at the airport.

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USA: BART is launching a new app offering groups 25% saving on their airport transit trips. The BART to Airport app is designed as a one-year test of mobile ticketing at BART, marking the first time BART is offering mobile tickets through an app.

Friends, families, and business travellers of two or more can use the BART to Airport app to purchase discounted tickets in advance for airport trips with the stored tickets on the buyer’s phone ready for use any time. 

Riders will need to download the free app, register a debit card, credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay or PayPal account into the account, then purchase a ticket. When they are ready to take BART, they activate the ticket and show it to a Station Agent as they enter and exit stations. 

"With the BART to Airport app, group travellers won’t have to worry about finding and paying for expensive parking at crowded airport lots or sifting through the chaotic curbside pick-ups and drop-offs at airport terminals,” said BART Board President Robert Raburn. “We want to test how mobile ticketing could work at BART while also making group travel on transit more affordable.”

BART offers frequent service directly to the doorstep of both Oakland International and San Francisco International airports. Three to four trains per hour depart from the SFO International Terminal and it’s just 30 minutes to downtown San Francisco.  The Oakland Airport BART Station is a short walk to both airline terminals and trains run every 6 minutes until 11pm and every 20 minutes after 11pm.

Posted on in Events News

The Global AirRail Awards 2018 ceremony took place in London on 29 November, celebrating 10th anniversary of the Global AirRail Alliance, an international community of airports, rail operators, planners and suppliers, working together to improve access to airports for passengers and staff.

“Each year the air-rail community gathers from around the world to share their challenges and achievements in improving passenger experience. Even though operators from different countries, regions and cities face their own unique challenges, by sharing them with their counterparts from around the world, operators can take a step back and better understand how lesson learned can be applied to their own service,” Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance said.

The Global AirRail Awards recognise excellence in improving rail access to and from airports from around the world in different categories. Each category is judged by a selection of transport professionals from around the world. The nominees are then shortlisted to top three entries and the winners is announced during the Global AirRail Awards dinner, taking place at the end of the annual Global AirRail Conference.

“The judges were very impressed by the quality of entries and overwhelmingly suggested we introduce a Highly Commended certificate to recognise the runners up of the Global AirRail Awards,” Milda added.

Winners and Highly Commended entries were announced in seven categories.

North Star Operator of the Year

This award recognises the service with best performance results and highest overall impact to the air-rail market over the past year.

Winner - Flytoget

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Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Philipp Engedal, CEO of Flytoget, NicolaiBryde, Commercial Director and Lotte Queru, Head of Marketing at Flytoget, Richard Brown, Managing Director of Nothr Star Consultancy.

Faced with increased competition and decreasing passenger numbers, Flytoget dared to continue being different, even if all the signs suggested they ought to conform. The operator has turned things around with forecasts predicting this year to have an all-time passenger record.

What Judges say: “A great effort to regain market share amidst strong competition. This is possible.”

Highly Commended - Stansted Express

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Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, David Metherell, Head of Commercial Development and Chris Ford, Digital and Marketing Manager at Stansted Express, Richard Brown, Managing Director of North Star Consultancy

Stansted Express has achieved its highest market share despite increased competition and numerous operational challenges, with over 30 per cent of airport passengers choosing rail transport in the past 12 months.

What Judges say: “I was impressed by Stansted Express's acknowledge of changing expectations amongst (younger) travellers and the increasing development of low cost bus options.”

AccesRail Partnership of the Year 2018

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

Winner - Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn

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Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Carmen Röschner, Infrastructure Innovations & Joint Venture, Deutsche Lufthansa, Oddbjorn Taraldsvik, Director Business Development at AccesRail, and Daniel Scheider, Senior Product Manager, Deutsche Bahn

With the launch of the intermodal interface, the partnership of Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn has been lifted to a higher cooperation level. As a result, the manual process is history, the monetary risks are reduced and it’s easier to launch new Lufthansa Express Rail destinations.

What Judges say: “A complete intermodal project showing that when working together (rail/air/airport/local government) the benefit of intermodality can be a success.”

Highly Commended - Gatwick Airport and Govia Thameslink Railway

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Picture: (from left) Oddbjorn Taraldsvik, Director Business Development at AccesRail, Stephen Maccallaugh, Head of Gatwick Express, Hannah Godfrey, Surface Access Planning Manager at Gatwick Airport, David Stronell, Area Station Manager Gatwick Express, Stephen Darbyshire, Gatwick Express Operations Manager, and Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance

The strategic partnership brings together teams from both organisations and has supported efforts to ease passenger flows through the station, with improved wayfinding and new ticketing opportunities.

What Judges say: “I was very impressed with the collaboration between train, airport, retailers and airlines in improving the journey from plane to train, especially the effort to get disruption information to passengers before they reach the airport and making the ticket purchase easier.”

Project of the Year 2018

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

Winner - Express Rail Link “New Trains”

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Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Darren Santa Maria, Railway Operations and Systems Maintenance at ERL Maintenance, Sheila Shamsudin, Deputy VP Marketing and Sales, Express Rail Link, and Johannah Randall, Head of Station Operations at HS2 Ltd

Express Rail Link bought six new trains to cater to the expected traffic growth from low-cost carrier terminal KLIA2, as well as key townships along the rail corridor. The 50% increase in capacity means better reliability, more comfort onboard and less scheduled downtime for maintenance.

What Judges say: “This project demonstrates good contract management and a culture of engaging with suppliers to resolve issues whilst enforcing contractual obligations.”

Highly Commended - Gatwick Airport - Becoming the UK's Most Accessible Airport

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Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Stephen Darbyshire, Gatwick Express Operations Manager, Hannah Godfrey, Surface Access Planning Manager at Gatwick Airport, and Johannah Randall, Head of Station Operations at HS2 Ltd

Gatwick’s aim to become the UK’s most accessible airport includes a range of initiatives and projects providing enhanced facilities for passengers with disabilities, including the Hidden Disability Lanyard, Dementia Friends training and enhanced airport facilities.

What Judges say: “The ambition to be UK's most accessible airport is a very worthwhile objective is the range of initiatives presented show the effort to achieve this goal. I expect this will be a template for other airports over time.”

Marketing Campaign of the Year 2018

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

Winner - Brisbane’s Airtrain – Airtrain and Tram

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Picture: (from left) Diane Burke, Business Consultant at Glassford Consulting, Chris Basche, CEO of Brisbane Airtrain, and Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance

The “Airtrain and Tram” campaign promoting Surfers Paradise has positioned Airtrain as the preferred transport option between Brisbane Airport and the Gold Coast.

What Judges say: “In a very challenging marketplace this campaign offers an eye catching, simple and effective message. I particularly liked the extension of the campaign to Gold Coast - shows diverse thinking.”

Highly Commended - Stansted Express - Fast Forward Your Escape

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Picture: (from left) Diane Burke, Business Consultant at Glassford Consulting, David Metherell, Head of Commercial Development and Chris Ford, Digital and Marketing Manager at Stansted Express, and Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance

The campaign leveraged some of the unique advantages that train travel offers to help Stansted Express distinguish itself from the competition demonstrating value for money, and quick and seamless customer experience.

What Judges say: “Excellent campaign with excellent results. The service continually reinvents itself with positive outcomes and the bold investment paid off.”

Innovation of the Year 2018

This award is designed to recognise technological and operational innovations that have the greatest impact to business and improving services on air-rail journeys.

Winner - Heathrow Express – Blue Lights

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Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Sophie Chapman Head Of Operations at Heathrow Express, and Ruth Purim, CEO and Founder of Activas Group

Blue hazard lights which flash when the train doors of Heathrow Express open on Platform 6 at London Paddington were switched on in December 2017, as part of a new measure to warn passengers to mind the gap and improve train and platform safety.

What Judges say: “Very important and innovative project - impressive statistics to have achieved a 95% decrease in step board accidents.”

Highly Commended - Journey PAL - The Rating Product for Accessible Travel

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Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Mat Garner, Co-Founder of Ethos Farm, Liam Henderson, Founder of Transporting Cities, Sally Alington, Founder and CEO of Ethos Farm, and Ruth Purim, CEO and Founder of Activas Group

Journey PAL is a web-based product that lets passengers with restricted mobility view and rate their rail journey, specific to their personal needs, whilst allowing them to contribute to a crowd-sourced database of accessibility information.

What Judges say: “This is such a positive initiative with great social benefits to make rail accessible for all whilst improving the journey.”

Airport of the Year

This award recognises airport’s achievements in improving passenger ground transport choices by working together with different stakeholders to create a truly multimodal hub.

Winner – Gatwick Airport

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Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Stephen Darbyshire, Gatwick Express Operations Manager, David Stronell, Area Station Manager Gatwick Express, Hannah Godfrey, Surface Access Planning Manager at Gatwick Airport, and Stephen Maccallaugh, Head of Gatwick Express,

Gatwick operates the world’s most efficient single runway airport and UK’s busiest airport rail station serving over 120 destinations directly and more than 700 within just one change. Gatwick has a proud rail history as the world’s first fully integrated air-rail interchange, with a strong emphasis on providing a seamless passenger journey from train to plane since 1958.

What Judges say: “Gatwick airport leads the way of forward thinking on how to ensure each of their users have a number of access choices depending on their different circumstances.”

Personality of the Year

Personality of the Year award recognises the achievements of an individual who has delivered a great positive impact to improving and promoting air-rail journeys and who’s work continues to inspire us all.

Winner – Fraser Brown

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Picture: Heathrow Express team accepting the award on behalf of Fraser 

In the past year Fraser Brown has successfully secured the foreseeable future of Heathrow Express with a new agreement between Heathrow Airport, Heathrow Express, the Department for Transport and Great Western Railway which sees the service extended until at least 2028. The innovative new business model will also see a new fleet of specially converted trains come into operation by December 2019.

At the same time, Fraser has overseen the successful introduction of ticket barriers and an upgraded ticketing system at Heathrow which represents the biggest change to station operations in 20 years of Heathrow Express.

Posted on in Members' News

HEX sustainability posters 0000 Artwork YoungPeople

UK: Heathrow Express has marked the 20th anniversary of sustainable service with a 36-metre long poster campaign created using some of the tons of rubbish left on its trains every year, telling the company’s sustainability story over the past two decades. The posters run along the breadth of the Heathrow Express walkway at Terminal 2.

Cups, plastic bottles and free newspapers found on Heathrow Express trains have been upcycled into mini works of art by award-winning illustrator and paper sculptor Rebecca Sutherland and photographed for the posters. Hundreds of thousands of travellers using the ‘Plane-to-Paddington at Heathrow’ service will now see the company’s sustainability achievements such as how the number of female drivers exceeds the industry average, how none of its waste goes to landfill, the fact that their fleet of trains are all-electric and that children travel for free.

One of the posters, highlighting the 500 hours of community work Heathrow Express has given, features a typically British plate of fish and chips crafted as a clever piece of up-cycled origami. Bottle tops have been repurposed as salt and pepper, a ring-pull used for the fish eye and there is a paper-folded knife and fork. Another, illustrating how the train service has helped youngsters find jobs, comprises a collage of tiny silhouettes and figures cut from newspaper pages, showing people at work.

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The campaign, which has been devised by brand purpose consultancy Given London, reflects the growing importance of sustainable travel amongst consumers – a reality increasingly recognised by travel providers. Hotel booking platform Booking.com’s 2017 Sustainable Travel Report found that 67 percent of travellers would be willing to spend more on travel options which were more sustainable and TUI has found that its sustainability certified hotels result in better client experiences.

Chris Crauford, Head of Commercial at Heathrow Express said: “We felt it was time we were more vocal and confident in our sustainability credentials and this has been our most ambitious attempt yet to engage passengers in them. Increasingly consumers are committing to more sustainable approaches to travel and are interrogating brand’s individual approaches. We think many people will be surprised about how conscious we are in our operations – from the waste we recycle to our gender diversity commitments.”

Heathrow Express’ sustainability strategy supports the Heathrow 2.0 strategy for sustainable growth. Each of the themes in the posters feed into the four pillars of Heathrow’s wider sustainability ambitions - being a great place to work, a great place to live, a world worth travelling and a thriving, sustainable economy.

The upcycled sculptures were created by illustrator and paper sculptor Rebecca Sutherland. Sutherland said: “My thinking was to create things that touched that sweet spot between being seen as refuse and a visually stunning image. It’s strange to say, but when I was clearing up from the project, I had around 15 cups left over. It seemed strange to throw them in the bin. They had been a resource all week. They had been as valuable as my pencil or my scissors.”

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Posted on in News

Rail Baltica North Sea Baltic Network

LATVIA: Rail Baltica Joint Venture is starting the second stage of the procurement of the design and design supervision services for the Rail Baltica section Upeslejas–Riga–Misa in Latvia.

This Rail Baltica main line section is 56 kilometres long, involves five municipalities and consists of three subsections: Upeslejas–Riga Central Station, Torņakalns–Imanta and Riga Airport–Misa River. It is one of the most complex sections since it crosses densely populated urban areas and includes the only Rail Baltica tunnel on the whole Rail Baltica route. In addition, it is interlinking the Rail Baltica International Passenger Stations in the Riga Central Station and the Riga International Airport.

The tender proposal submission deadline is 22 January 2019 and the contract duration will be 24 months during which the selected contractor will develop a master design, value engineering studies, spatial planning solutions and detailed technical design. In addition, the contract includes provision of the design author’s supervision during the construction phase of the line.

“Since Rail Baltica is the key missing link of the Trans-European Transport network, I carefully follow its progress," Kaspars Ozoliņš, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Transport of Latvia said. "Design of the Upeslejas–Riga–Misa section is a natural continuation of the earlier signed detailed technical design of Riga International Airport RB passenger station civil structures and junction contract as well as the ongoing procurement for the detailed technical design and construction of the Riga Central Station junction. Moreover, in the nearest future we plan to sign our first construction contract. I am pleased to see that Rail Baltica project remains in spotlights of the international community as so many international companies have expressed their interest to bid for Rail Baltica tenders. And our, Latvian, enterprises go with them.”

According to the preliminary plans, 12 road viaducts, 16 rail viaducts, 13 segregated pedestrian crossings, 5 bridges, the second part of the railway overpass in Riga Airport as well as a cut and cover tunnel need to be designed for this Rail Baltica section.

“Design of the Rail Baltica line through Riga is a technically challenging task and we are pleased to see strong and experienced competitors taking part in the tender,” Ignas Degutis, RB Rail AS acting CEO said. “Our plan is to ensure that Rail Baltica line will be sustainably integrated in the environment of the Latvian capital and the neighbouring municipalities on the route. The selected designer will play the key role in defining technical solutions in cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders, while also providing solutions to address the expectations of the surrounding communities, such as visual integration of the railway in the landscape as well as tackling noise pollution.”

Six tenderers with extensive international knowledge and experience were preselected earlier in 2018 to take part in the second stage of the tender:

  • Group of suppliers “ACG3I-AMBERG-CONSULTRANS-GEG-GREISCH-GRID-INZENIERBUVE” (Amberg Engineering AG; Amberg Technologies AG; CONSULTRANS S.A.U.; GEG Gabinete de Estruturas e Geotecnia Lda; GREISCH Ingénierie S.A.; GRID Consultas Estudos e Projectos de Engenharia S.A.; GRID International Consulting S.A.; INZENIERBUVE LLC).
  • Group of suppliers “IDOM-INECO” (IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture, S.A.U.; Ingeniería y Economía del Transporte SME MP S.A. (INECO)).
  • Group of suppliers “OBERMEYER Planen + Beraten GmbH”.
  • Group of suppliers “Consortium TYPSA – SETEC – TUC RAIL – REM PRO” (Setec International; Técnica y Proyectos S.A. (TYPSA); TUC RAIL S.A.; REM PRO SIA).
  • Group of suppliers “SYSTRA/COWI Mainline through Riga JV” (SYSTRA SA; COWI A/S).
  • Group of suppliers “AIA Latvia Mainline Riga” (Aecom Inocsa S.L.U.; Italferr S.p.A).

The entire Rail Baltica line is divided in 11 sections to be contracted separately for the provision of detailed technical design. By now, the procurement is underway for 6 out of 11 sections. It is expected that the detailed technical design for the entire line will be procured by the end of 2021.