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photo ext 7

RUSSIA: During the first three months of operation, the new Aeroexpress double-decker trains carried an estimated 845,000 thousand passengers. A total of 459,000 passengers were transported between Paveletsky Rail Terminal and Domodedovo Airport, and 386,000 travellers were carried along the Kievsky Rail Terminal-Vnukovo Airport route.

"The modernisation of rolling stock is one of the measures the company is taking to prepare for the 2018 FIFA Cup. The double-decker Aeroexpress trains make it possible to handle a larger number of passengers even during rush hours. This ensures comfortable travel conditions for the company’s customers during the days that the football tournament is taking place,” said COO Valery Fyodorov.

The carrier has purchased eleven trains, seven of which serve the Domodedovo link and four operate on Vnukovo route.

New vehicles offer spacious carriages, additional space to place baggage and easily adjustable armchairs. In addition, ​each carriage is furnished with a video system, air-conditioning, sockets, and free Wi-Fi. There is also a special lift for mobility-impaired passengers to move between the train decks.

The new double-deck Aeroexpress trains, produced by Swiss Stadler, started running between Kievsky Rail Terminal and Vnukovo Airport on 27 October 2017. The first ride on the Paveletsky-Domodedovo route took place on 22 November 2017.

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FRANCE: The consortium led by VINCI Construction, together with Spie batignolles, has been awarded a major contract as part of the Grand Paris Express programme.

The RATP has selected this consortium to execute works on the future Line 14 South between Olympiades and Orly Airport.

The contract, worth almost €400 million, includes excavating a 4.6 km tunnel from Maison Blanche Paris XIII future station and a construction of the new Kremlin Bicêtre Hôpital station. The contract is scheduled to last 72 months.
A large-scale project in an urban environment

It is estimated 260,000 residents will use the Line 14 South connecting central Paris and Orly Airport. It will also provide connections with metro Line 7, Line C of the Paris RER regional express system, Line 7 of the tram system and Lines 15 South and 18 of the Grand Paris Express rapid transit system. It will create a fast link between Paris and Orly Airport, which is essential for 2024 when the city will host the Olympic Games.

VINCI Construction:

  • Dodin Campenon Bernard (consortium leader)
  • VINCI Construction Grands Projets
  • VINCI Construction France
  • Botte Fondations

Spie batignolles:

  • Spie batignolles génie civil
  • Spie batignolles fondations

VINCI Ligne14 845 en

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USA: Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has approved LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINX) as the recommended developer to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the automated people mover at LAX.

The $4.5 billion contract includes milestone payment sfor the design and construction phases, as well as authorizes future payments for operating and maintaining the APM for the contract period. 

Board of Airport Commissioners has approved an Early Works Agreement with LINXS, valued at up to $42M, which will allow pre-construction activities such as hiring, soil testing, engineering, and furthering design of the APM.

The design and build works will include a 2.25-mile, above ground airport transport system connecting the LAX central terminal area to the to-be-constructed consolidated rental car facility as well as six stations and a vehicle maintenance facility.

"The APM will relieve congestion and reduce emissions in and around LAX, and make traveling through our airport easier and more convenient,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin. “It is a critical piece of our strategy to finally connect Metro rail to LAX, and will help transform this into a world-class airport.”

The APM is the centre piece of the Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP), which also includes a Consolidated Rent-a-Car (ConRAC) facility, Intermodal Transportation Facility-West, and associated roadway improvements. The APM will reduce vehicle congestion in the terminal loop, provide a connection with L.A. Metro's regional transportation system, create new and convenient locations for passenger pick-up and drop-off outside of the terminal loop, reduce emissions, and provide reliable access to the terminals. 

The people mover project is schedule to be completed in 2023. 

As part of their proposal, LINXS committed to delivering an environmentally friendly project. Landscape will be drought tolerant using California native plants. LINXS has committed to partner with LAWA in developing opportunities for local small businesses, creation of good-paying career jobs and fostering economic growth.

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Boripyl Airport Express Route 2

UKRAINE: The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has announced its support of the construction of an high speed rail line linking Boryspil International Airport.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groisman stressed that there is a growing demand for air transport service but no convenient access by public transport to and from country's biggest airport.

"Boryspil Airport serves 7-8 million passengers annually but there is no convenient way to get travel between the airport and Kiev. This is why a technical solution was found to solve this problem in a short time and should be implemented by the end of the year," the Prime Minister said.

According to the Minister, the construction for the 3.5km rail spur to connect the airport should start by June and be ready for passenger services by the end of the year. The coordination of the project will be carried out by the Vice Prime Minister Volodymyr Kustion.

The new airport rail service will run from Kiev Passenger station, via two intermediate stations to Boryspil Airport Terminal D. Journey time from the city centre to the airport will be 35 minutes. PESA will supply the rolling stock able to carry at least 2.67 million passengers a year.

The project will cost between $22 to 30$ million.

Boripyl Airport Express Route 1

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Finest Tunnel

FINLAND: A study to link Helsinki and Tallinn via railway tunnel has been published by FinEst Link project.

According to the tudy, the railway tunnel would help create a metropolitan twin-city region of three million inhabitants in the future where people, goods and services could move around easily.

The Helsinki–Tallinn tunnel with travel time of only 30 minutes would enable daily commuting across the Gulf of Finland and connect the rail network from Central Europe via Finland to the Arctic.

"Geographically Finland resembles an island and the tunnel would offer a connection to the Central European rail network," says FinEst Link Project Director Kari Ruohonen.

The investment cost of the railway tunnel has been estimated at 13–20 billion euros.

The tunnel project could be economically feasible by using a public-private partnership model where the private sector finances the building of the tunnel. and an EU grant would be needed to cover 40% of the costs. After becoming operational, the ticket revenues from the trains and tunnel fees would cover the annual operational and maintenance costs of the tunnel. In addition, the train operation requires subsidies. The subsidy from Finland and Estonia is 280 million euros per year for 40 years. 

After a planning phase, the building and boring of the tunnel could start in 2025 and be built in 15 years. The tunnel would be ready for passengers and cargo in 2040.

The FinEst Link feasibility study presents an operational model where at peak hours passenger trains run at 20-minute intervals at 200km/h. The travel time would be 30 minutes and single ticket would cost 18 euros. Approximately 40 passenger trains could run between Helsinki and Tallinn daily.

According to the study, three station are planned on the Finnish side - Helsinki city centre, Pasila and Helsinki-Vantaa airport. In Tallinn, the tunnel would reach Ülemiste which is a growing commercial area a bit more than three kilometers away from the Old Town. Located close to the Tallinn airport, Ülemiste has a recently opened tram connection to the city center.

Finland's Minister of Transport and Communications Berner emphasised the increasing importance of the Arctic region from the viewpoint of both the Nordic countries and the EU. Well-functioning transport and telecommunication connections in turn are a prerequisite for the sustainable development and growth of the Arctic region, she said.

The aim now is to evaluate the results of the study in more detail during the spring and reflect on how the possible further work would be implemented and financed.

The FinEst Link project is a feasibility study financed by the EU's Interreg Central Baltic programme. The project has been coordinated by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.

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9E3A8293

SWEDEN: After 15 years as CEO of A-Train, the company who operates Arlanda Express, Per Thorstenson is retiring towards the end of the year. Under his leadership, Arlanda Express has become established as one of the world's most successful, award-winning, airport train companies. The recruitment process to find a new CEO is underway.

Arlanda Express is a major feature for visitors to Stockholm, carrying millions of tourists and Stockholmers every year. Under Per Thorstenson's leadership, the company has won many awards for train design, on-board service and the company's commitment to diversity and durability. At the same time, the number of passengers has been steadily increasing on the Arlanda rail link.

"Leading Arlanda Express has been incredibly rewarding. Together we have created a company that is very strong, as a brand and financially. Our goal has always been to be leading example for customer service, not only in Sweden, but internationally. It is with pride I can say we have succeeded,” Thorstenson said.

The recruitment process to find the next CEO is underway and further announcements will be made in due course. Per Thorstenson will remain as an advisor to the company in a transition period.

"Under Per’s exemplary leadership A-Train has developed strongly as a company. It is with great appreciation that we thank him and wish him well in the future,” said Simon Geere, chairman of A-Train.

Milestones under Per Thorstenson’s Leadership

  • Service Score: Best Service "Land Transport" 2013-2017
  • Per Thorstenson awarded as Person of the Year by The Global AirRail Alliance
  • Cambridge Analytica: 3G Diversity Awards 2016
  • Swedish Transport Administration: Sweden's most punctual train operator, 2011- 2015
  • Global AirRail Awards: Best service in the world for express trains to / from airports 2013
  • Monocle Magazine: No. 2 in the World - Travel Top 50 2012
  • Monocle Magazine: Best Express Train to / from Airport 2012
  • Red dot design award / Product design 2011 of the year
  • Global AirRail Awards: Project of the Year 2011
  • ISI Wissing: Most satisfied customers in the travel industry 2011
  • Newspaper Manager: The Year's Expert Award for Working with Diversity 2010
  • Stockholm Chamber of Commerce / Stockholm Shippers: 2002 Transport Company

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USA: Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT) has received four responses to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the O’Hare Express operating system, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced.

The project aims to deliver express service that would take 20 minutes or less to travel from downtown Chicago to O’Hare International Airport (ORD), cutting more than 50 percent off current travel times.

“Four visionary groups have stepped forward because they see what we see – a connected Chicago is a stronger Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Strengthening connections between the economic engines of downtown Chicago and O’Hare airport will build on Chicago’s legacy of innovation and pay dividends for generations to come.”

The CIT, on behalf of the City of Chicago, received responses from the following respondents:

  • The Boring Company
  • Oaktree Capital Management
  • O’Hare Express Train Partners (OHL Infrastructure, Kiewit, Amtrak)
  • O’Hare Xpress LLC (Meridiam, Antarctica Capital, JLC Infrastructure, Mott MacDonald and First Transit)

The responses demonstrate strong private sector interest in the project to create a fast and convenient option for travel directly from ORD to downtown Chicago. The CIT and the City will now begin to evaluate the statements of qualifications. Upon conclusion of that review qualified respondents will be permitted to continue in the process. The next planned step is issuance of an RFP to qualified bidders.

“The CIT’s purpose as a specialized resource to the City focused on infrastructure financing and development involvement makes it the perfect choice to lead this transformative and historic project,” Chicago Treasurer and CIT Chair Kurt Summers said. “We look forward to reviewing the submissions and continuing to move this important project forward.”

The RFQ specifies that the O'Hare Express Service should include a downtown station, an ORD station and one maintenance facility. Corridors may be above or below surface level. Goals of the project include travel times of 20 minutes or less with a reliable service frequency of at least every 15 minutes for the majority of the day with reasonable premium service fares less than the cost of current taxi and ride-share services. Any proposal must also address how potential conflicts or impacts on existing transportation systems and the environment would be avoided or minimized.

Although cost estimates for the project are not yet known, the RFQ stipulates that the O'Hare Express Service will be funded solely by project-specific revenues (like fares or advertising) and financed entirely by the concessionaire.

The current total daily number or air passengers traveling between ORD and the Chicago Central Business District is approximately 20,000 and is forecast to grow to at least 35,000 daily air passengers in 2045.

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CANADA: CDPQ Infra has announced the official launch of its project to build largest public transportation network in Greater Montréal in 50 years: the Réseau express métropolitain (REM).

The REM is a new, integrated 67-km public transit network intended to link downtown Montréal, the South Shore, the West Island (Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue), the North Shore (Laval and Deux-Montagnes) and the airport through an entirely automated and electric light rail transit (LRT) system.

Journey from the airport to downtown will take 20 minutes, with trains running every ten minutes.

Construction of the system will start in April and it is estimated the passenger services will begin in summer of 2021.

Group NouvLR has won the infrastructure engineering, procurement and construction contract and Groupe des Partenaires pour la Mobilité des Montréalais (PMM) will provide the rolling stock and systems as well as operation and maintenance.

CDPQ Infra is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and is responsible for developing and operating infrastructure projects, including the Réseau express métropolitain (REM).

“Today we can confirm that construction of the Réseau express métropolitain will begin in April. The REM is now a reality,” stated Michael Sabia, President and Chief Executive Officer of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
“Since the very start of the project, less than two years ago, we have been meeting with the public, municipalities, transportation companies, and other stakeholders. We listened to their ideas and suggestions, which turned into innovative solutions and continuously improved our project."

The dialogue established with all stakeholders will continue throughout the project to ensure that the REM integrates harmoniously in the various communities. To that end, a project management office will be created to oversee the planning of all future work and its coordination with the partners. A community relations office will be created to maintain close communication with the public.

An advisory committee will also be set up with the City of Montréal to discuss urban planning around REM stations.

“We think it’s critical for the REM to contribute to the vitality of neighbourhoods by integrating harmoniously with innovative urban planning. Today we’re proposing an architectural concept based on this approach, and with the support of our partners and communities, the REM will be rooted in the metropolis. This is a major project for Greater Montréal residents, who are important to its success,” concluded Mr. Sabia.
 
In parallel with the REM’s planning and development, la Caisse identified additional attractive investment opportunities for its infrastructure portfolio. Three shared-use, existing infrastructures, namely the Mont Royal tunnel, Central Station (rail infrastructure) and the Viaduc du Sud, have been or will be acquired and grouped in a new subsidiary of la Caisse (InfraMtl.co) to ensure continued public use.
This subsidiary will maintain these infrastructures shared with current and future operators. It will also generate a stable commercial return comparable to that of assets already in the portfolio.

Groupe NouvLR

  • SNC Lavalin Grands Projets Inc.
  • Dragados Canada Inc.
  • Groupe Aecon Québec Ltée
  • Pomerleau Inc.
  • EBC Inc.

Participants (NouvLR Conception):

  • SNC Lavalin Inc.
  • Aecom Consultants Inc.
     

Groupe des Partenaires pour la Mobilité des Montréalais (PMM)

  • Alstom Transport Canada Inc.
  • SNC-Lavalin O&M Inc.

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LATVIA: RB RAIL AS has announced a tender for the detailed technical design of the railway line in Latvia for sections Upeslejas – Riga Central Station, Tornkalns – Imanta, Riga Airport – the Misa river, covering approximately 57 km of the railway line.

According to the Senior Engineer of RB RAIL AS Jean-Marc Bedmar, the tender marks the preparation process in all three Baltic countries with many railway design tenders to be carried out in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania before 2022.

This competition consists of two stages:

  1. selection of candidates who will be invited to submit a proposal in the second stage of the Competition; and
  2. evaluation of the proposals submitted by candidates which were invited to submit a proposal and award of rights to conclude a contract.

The objective of this tender is design and design supervision services for the construction of the mainline section through Riga.

More information about competition including the specification of the procurement can be found on http://railbaltica.org/tenders/.

Applications shall be submitted electronically using the tools offered by the E-Tenders system available at https://www.eis.gov.lv/EKEIS/Supplier/Procurement/9947.

The first detailed technical designs of the railway line in Estonia (from Pärnu to Rapla) and in Lithuania (from Kaunas to Ramygala) have been announced in December. The submission deadline for both tenders has been extended to February 21, 2018.

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UK: A Scottish comedy duo, the Krankies went undercover to challenge Heathrow Express's team, as a third of parents bend the truth to get reduced fares. Heathrow Express offers free travel for kids aged 15 years and under.

"We are a nation of fibbers when it comes to buying tickets for our children, with over a third (38%) of parents admitting they have tried to beat the system in order to get discounted fares," Heathrow Express said.

British parents have today admitted they have gone to extreme lengths to get cheaper fares, with almost one in five (18%) admitting to having either hidden their child from a ticket inspector, told their child to look and sound younger or asked their child to pretend to be asleep.

One in 10 parents have gone as far as to get their children to rehearse lines to claim they are younger than they are, before heading to the ticket office.

To celebrate the hilarious lengths parents go to, Heathrow Express who conducted the research, have partnered with iconic Scottish comedy duo, The Krankies, in a new video which sees Wee Jimmy Krankie go undercover to blag a free ticket on the Heathrow Express.

Ian Tough, star of The Krankies, said; “We’ve loved bringing back Janette’s character to see if the Oldest Kid in Town can even try to pull off what so many parents continue to do across the country. Thanks to Heathrow Express and their free tickets for children 15 and under, we were able to just about pull it off.”

The research also reveals that parents are likely to twist the truth on average four times in a lifetime to get discounted tickets, with dads more likely to encourage their child to look younger to get cheaper tickets than Mums. Out of those parents that have never claimed their child was younger, 38% have been tempted to do so, whilst more than a quarter of the nation (26%) think it’s totally acceptable to bend the truth to get cheaper fares.

Fraser Brown, Director at Heathrow Express said; “It’s been a lot of fun working with the Krankies to see if they can still pull off the legendary Wee Jimmy Krankie character! For those travelling on the Heathrow Express with children, there is no need to tell any fibs because all children aged 15 and under get free tickets. You can also get your tickets for a cheaper fare too if you book in advance – head to the website today to book.”

 

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Renfe Eva

SPAIN: The Minister of Public Works Íñigo de la Serna has presented the new Renfe Smart Train concept Eva, a product that will combine high speed, digitalisation, flexible & personalised fare system, and a door-to-door service.

The high speed rail service will operate five services a day between Madrid Atocha and the new El Prat de Llobregat intermodal hub near Barcelona Airport, with one intermediate stop at Camp de Tarragona.

Renfe's Madrid-Barcelona high speed route is about to celebrate its 10th year anniversary and the new concept Eva will optimise the high speed product to suit more travellers and complete Renfe's product portfolio in commercial services.

According to the Minister, Eva will be a low cost high speed service, a Smart Train designed with new technologies in mind and aimed for the sector of the population that still today choses to drive - small groups, young people and families.

Eva will be 20-25% cheaper than the regular high speed rail service and will have only a digital ticket which will also integrate other transport modes such as taxi, commuter rail, metro, bus or rental car. Biometrics will be used for passenger identification. Eva will offer a 100% connected trip with wifi, journey location and passenger information services via augmented reality.

In addition the trains will be designed to adapt to different types of travel, with spaces for mini-groups of two, four or six people, special assistance passengers and more areas to work.

The El Prat station is predicted to open in 2019 and will also offer better opportunities for modal integration with air as well as park-and-ride facilities.

 

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RUSSIA: Moscow's airport express rail operator Aeroexpress and the local ride-share company BelkaCar have completed their first joint campaign with over 800 air-rail passengers using a promo code for their first ride with a discounted fare.

Aeroexpress passengers who have booked their rail ticket through the website or via the mobile app received a 500 roubles discount to travel via Moscow's leading car-sharing service.

“Thanks to our cooperation with BelkaCar, we were able to offer passengers the fastest and most beneficial way to reach the airport right from their home or office. During the New Year holidays, this was particularly in demand,” commented Valery Fyodorov, Chief Operating Officer of Aeroexpress.
During the campaign, which ended on 11th of January, passengers purchasing Aeroexpress e-tickets received a code to claim the discount with the car-sharing service.

On 25th of January BelkaCar has announced that they are extending the partnership until 8th of February. According to BelkaCar, the goal of the partnership is to help alleviate the transportation problems around the city, especially during the busy New Year's celebrations period.

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 Heathrow Southern Access Map

UK: A private sector venture Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) has agreed terms for a major investment with a global infrastructure firm AECOM.

HSRL intends to create direct rail access to Heathrow Airport from the south by building 8 miles of rail infrastructure alongside the M25 motorway from the west end of the Terminal 5 station.

A connection to the existing Windsor-Staines line enables direct trains between Heathrow and London Waterloo via Clapham Junction, Putney, Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Staines and other intermediate stations.

A further connection to the existing Virginia Water-Weybridge line provides a new, direct link between Heathrow and Woking. The project could dramatically improve connectivity between Surrey and London for commuters, with new through trains between Basingstoke/Guildford and London Paddington via Woking, Heathrow and Old Oak Common (for HS2 and the Elizabeth Line).

“The funding from AECOM will be used for developing the project to the next stage, which will include further stakeholder engagement – vital given that our proposed new rail connection will benefit many communities in the region. This is a significant step forward for the Heathrow Southern Railway, which will be fully financed privately – at no net cost to the taxpayers – and could be operational by as early as 2024,” HSRL Chair Baroness Jo Valentine said.

David Barwell, Chief Executive, AECOM London said, “We are delighted to announce our investment in Heathrow Southern Rail. As a long-term partner to Government, AECOM is delighted to bring its development, engineering and delivery capability to resolve current and future infrastructure needs and to bring private sector funding to accelerate the delivery of critical public infrastructure”

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Railink Jakarta 1

INDONESIA: Railway operator PT Railink has officially launched the new service between Jakarta and the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on 26th of December 2016.

The 34km rail line transports passengers from Jakarta to the airport in 55 minutes. According to the local press, the same journey by road would take two to three hours or more.

Once fully operational the line will have a total of five stops and stretch 37km, most of which will be on existing tracks already in use by greater Jakarta's commuter lines.

The Soekarno-Hatta station is linked to the airport's three terminals with the recently launched Skytrain, an automated people mover service.

Meanwhile, work is underway to connect some of the stations in Jakarta with other public transportation -- including the existing commuter lines and TransJakarta bus system, as well as the metro and light-rail transit networks that are currently under construction.

It is Indonesia's second airport railway, with the first connecting Kualanamu Airport in North Sumatra with Medan, the provincial capital, that began operation in 2013.

Both projects are owned by Railink, a joint venture between state-owned railway operator Kereta Api Indonesia and airport operator Angkasa Pura II. According to Nikkey Asian Review, Railink is mulling a third railway project that would connect Yogyakarta Province, a tourism hub on Java island, with a planned new airport.

Railink Jakarta 3

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Airtrain wrapped tram web

AUSTRALIA: Following the highly anticipated launch of the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 on December 17, Airtrain is now set to wrap a tram in a unique design developed with customer feedback from December 21 to June 2018, to help passengers recognise the new Airtrain and tram connection and its convenience and affordability.

A number of passengers have already experienced seamless travel from Brisbane Airport’s Domestic and International terminals straight to Surfers Paradise and all major stops in between, thanks to the one simple change from Airtrain to tram at Helensvale station.

With Gold Coast tourism seeing a 7.2% increase in domestic visitors from June 2016 - 2017, the renowned holiday destination is well placed to attract more travellers in 2018 with the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

GoldlinQ (G:link) CEO Phil Mumford said passengers were embracing the extended light rail system more with than 40,000 people riding the G: on the opening day.

An online survey by Airtrain of almost 800 participants showed more than 90% of respondents praising the new tram connection.

One respondent of the survey said: “It is good to know that once you get on the tram at the Gold Coast, you get the connecting train all the way to the Brisbane Airport. Also the same can be done in reverse.”

Airtrain CEO, Chris Basche said the tram service greatly assists tourists and locals in accessing the coastal region of the Gold Coast and he is excited for the wrap to help travellers identify the smooth and faster connection from the Brisbane Airport to the beaches.

“Thanks to the new tram connection at Helensvale, it has never been easier to travel between Brisbane Airport and Surfers Paradise and the wrap will encourage more tourists and locals to take advantage of the simple connection of the tram service from Brisbane Airport,” said Mr Basche.

“We have already seen an overwhelmingly positive response from travellers with hundreds of bookings made for the tram service in recent days since the service launched on Monday.

“We’re excited to continue to meet the growing passenger demand of those travelling between the Brisbane Airport terminals and the Gold Coast during the busy Christmas period, into the Commonwealth Games and for years to come.”

Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director, welcomed the launch of the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2, saying the new seamless transport option supports the growing number of visitors travelling via Brisbane Airport to the Gold Coast and beyond.

“Currently 23%, or nearly a quarter of a million, of all international visitors arriving into Brisbane Airport travel onwards to the Gold Coast region,” Ms Alroe said.

“Having this rail link operational prior to the Commonwealth Games in April is good news as 70% of all attendees coming for the Commonwealth Games are expected to arrive and depart via Brisbane.” 

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Elizabeth Line Map

UK: The start of Elizabeth line services connecting London major stations to Heathrow Airport is just a year away. To mark the countdown, Transport for London (TfL) has released a December 2018 Tube map with the Elizabeth line displayed. 

The construction of the line has now entered its final stages and will open to the public in phases from December next year with initial three services:.

Paddington (Elizabeth line station) to Abbey Wood via central London

  • Paddington (mainline station) to Heathrow (Terminals 2 & 3 and 4)
  • Liverpool Street (mainline station) to Shenfield
  • Fifteen trains per hour will run through the new tunnels, increasing to 24 trains per hour through the central section by May 2019.

From December 2019, customers from Reading and Heathrow will be able to travel all the way through central London to the West End and the City and beyond without needing to change trains. By linking Berkshire and Heathrow in the west, to east London and Essex in the east, the line will transform travel across the South East, carrying over 200 million passengers every year. It will increase rail capacity in central London by 10%, reduce congestion on the London Underground, and an extra 1.5 million people will be within 45 minutes commuting distance of London's key employment districts.

Elizabeth line customers will benefit from brand new, longer trains with walk-through air-conditioned carriages, live travel information and free Wi-Fi. All 41 stations will be step-free from street to platform, in addition to the Mayor's target for 40% of the London Underground network to be step-free by 2022.

Paul Maynard, Rail Minister, said: "Seeing the Elizabeth line on the Tube map for the very first time is exciting confirmation that we are closer than ever to delivering a transformative change in London's rail network. That means better, faster journeys for over half a million passengers per day, as well as offering new connections that will link people to Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton.

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orlando station2

USA: The Department of Transportation issued the last environmental approval needed to construct the privately funded Brightline intercity passenger rail system between West Palm Beach and Orlando. 

"The most critical and final step in the extension of Brightline's service to Orlando and we are exited to move forward with the Phase 2," Brightline's CEO Dave Howard said. “This was a great year for us as we completed construction on two of our major stations and rail infrastructure, successfully presold tickets and corporate packages to individuals and businesses throughout the region and priced $600 million in Private Activity Bonds to fund Phase 1. We look forward to launching service to Miami and starting construction north to Orlando in the first quarter of 2018.”
 
Over the next few months, Brightline will finalize the design for the rail infrastructure and the 70-acre Vehicle Maintenance Facility that will be located on Orlando International Airport property.
 
Brightline’s station in Orlando will be located at the Orlando International Airport’s new Intermodal Terminal Facility (ITF) that will be the hub of the future South Terminal complex. The ITF is connected to the North Terminal by a recently completed Automated People Mover and includes a 5,000-space parking garage. SunRail, Central Florida’s commuter rail system, has a planned connection to the ITF. The completion of the South Terminal will add 16 new gates for international and domestic flights.
 
Brightline will announce the launch date for the start of introductory service between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach soon. The company expects to become fully operational and extend service into downtown Miami in early 2018.

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KLIA Ekspres Grab Package

MALAYSIA: KLIA Ekspres and the on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform Grab Malaysia have joined forces to offer a promotional package for their customers.

Travellers who purchase a KLIA Ekspres single trip plus Grab package online at RM55 can get a free Grab ride (worth RM10) to or from KL Sentral Station. This is the same fare as the normal KLIA Ekspres single trip ticket at the counter.

With each single trip package purchased via KLIA Ekspres website, mobile app or kiosk, they will receive a Grab Promo Code worth RM10 each. They can use the Promo Code on a GrabCar, GrabTaxi or a GrabShare ride. Travellers who purchase a KLIA Ekspres Return Trip + Grab package will receive two Grab Promo Codes worth RM10 each.
 
“As Malaysia and Southeast Asia’s preferred ride hailing service, we are always on the lookout for partnerships that will add value to our passengers, business partners and driver-partners. Therefore, this partnership with KLIA Ekspres will definitely improve the overall ride experience for our travellers – both locally and also foreigners, and support our objective of providing convenient and accessible mobility services to all in any way we can,” said Sean Goh, Country Head of GrabMalaysia.
 
Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL), the operator of KLIA Ekspres said: “At ERL, we recognise that ride-hailing is not only here to stay but will also grow with time – and we embrace this change. We are pleased to launch a new collaboration with Grab that will utilise ride-hailing features as part of the overall KLIA Ekspres service. We believe this will also encourage greater public use of the rail network and improve travel convenience for KLIA Ekspres customers.”
 
“This collaboration will provide a complete airport-to-home travel solution. Ensuring comfortable, convenient, and affordable transportation is a great way to make the start and end of any journey memorable!” said Noormah.
 
Goh further added that with features such as GrabChat (in-app chat system), GrabPay (cashless payment) and GrabRewards (Grab’s loyalty and rewards programme), every ride is made easier because passengers, especially tourists from the SEA region, can communicate with their drivers to minimise miscommunications, pay for their Grab ride without having to fumble for any small change, and above all, get to either use or collect GrabRewards points and exchange them for any local promotion.

Posted on in Members' News

Airtrain NewTrains web

AUSTRALIA: New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains have commenced passenger service on Monday 11 December on the Gold Coast Line. 

“The NGR trains are essential to meeting demand during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and our team has worked around the clock to ensure they were ready this year. More trains will be rolled out on the Gold Coast to Airport line over the coming months, including some services to Doomben and Northgate, and will eventually operate across the entire South East Queensland passenger rail network," Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said.

The new trains will operate between Brisbane's Domestic and International airport stations and the Gold Coast, allowing travellers to have a more comfortable and better-informed journey.

Brisbane's Airtrain CEO, Chris Basche, said to have NGR trains servicing the network was good news for Airtrain passengers, especially leading up to the Commonwealth Games.

“We strive to ensure all of our passengers experience a positive journey when travelling to or from Brisbane Airports and the NGR trains will only enhance their experience,” said Mr Basche.

“To have the first of these new trains up and running on our network and servicing the Gold Coast in time for the Commonwealth Games is fantastic both for Airtrain and for our passengers, existing and future.”

All NGR trains will be Wi-Fi enabled and will feature LCD display screens in each carriage to provide more up to date route and next station information.

They will also have more legroom and larger windows as well as 12 spaces dedicated for those who require mobility aids in the middle two cars that will align with assisted boarding points at the majority of stations on the network.

Airtrain is the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way to reach Brisbane and the Gold Coast from Brisbane Airport. It is the sole rail service connecting Brisbane Airport to Brisbane CBD with more than 21 million passenger trips taken in the company’s 16 years of operation.

Posted on in News

IRAQ:Alstom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iraqi government for the development of urban transport in Baghdad and Basra.

The MoU covers two major projects. The first project is to implement a 20 km Elevated Train in Baghdad, with the supply of rolling stock, electromechanical systems, tracks, associated civil works. The light rail system would link Al-Mustansirya, AlShab, Al-Wazyria, Alsarafia AlEtafia bridge, Al-Khadumia, AlMuthana airport and Al-Alawi.

The second project focuses on the development of the Metro System in Basra, which consists of two elevated lines of approximately 30km each, 15 stations and one depot for each line from North to South, from Zubair to Shat Alarab and from East to West, from Karma to the Desert.

These projects would significantly contribute to the development of the country’s urban infrastructure and national economy.

“We appreciate the opportunity to develop industrial cooperation with the Republic of Iraq, in order to better address the country’s needs for urban transportation. Alstom is ready to bring its innovative technologies and sees the signature of this MoU as a first step towards the development of a long-term partnership with Iraq”, said Bernard Peille, Managing Director of Alstom in Western & Central Asia.