JUNE 2018 Issue number 10
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR RAIL
Shiny and new Southeast Asia repairs its broken tracks
HIGH-SPEED RAIL Connecting cities and crossing countries
METRO Mapping Asiaâ€™s metropolises
SMART TRANSPORT Where Single Token Travel can take us
Trackbed Scanning Made Easy Rail corridor asset mapping
Trackbed inspection report Switch wear
Structure clearance Ballast particle size
Sleeper spacing Sleeper quality
Track drainage Free draining layer
Wet bed Ballast fouling
2D Laser 360Â° Point Cloud
Multiple Survey Platforms
Ballast thickness Ballast pockets
3D Laser Surface Imaging
GPR Trackbed Condition
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Rail Corridor Mapping
JUNE 2018 Issue number 10
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR RAIL
Shiny and new Southeast Asia repairs its broken tracks
HIGH-SPEED RAIL Connecting cities and crossing countries
METRO Mapping Asia’s metropolises
SMART TRANSPORT Where Single Token Travel can take us
he monsoon season is upon us in the tropical climes of Asia Pacific, this time of year usually comes with the sounds of workers downing
tools and taking shelter from the rain. This year however, the areas
RAIL PROFESSIONAL LIMITED Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Tel: +44 (0)1268 711811 EditorIAL EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE firstname.lastname@example.org
most likely to be affected by torrential downpours have either finished their construction work or are still in the planning phase.
The ambitious marquee projects are being implemented in the north and south of continental
Southeast Asia, the area that suffers the most during the rainy months, and so are less at risk of suffering from the stop-start nature of work.
One half of our cover image today I took at Mass Trans Innovation in Tokyo at the end of last
year whilst the top half was taken near Poipet on the Thai-Cambodian border by Baolau’s Alberto
christian wiles email@example.com BEN WARING firstname.lastname@example.org
in Tokyo might not be on display on Cambodia’s railways anytime soon, once the expected boom
cherie nugent email@example.com LISA ETHERINGTON firstname.lastname@example.org GILLIAN DUNN email@example.com
in trade between Thailand and Cambodia helps bring increased economic activity to the region it’s
DESIGN & PRODUCTION MILES JOHNSTONE firstname.lastname@example.org
The dusty railroads of Cambodia might look permanently deceased but efforts to revitalise the
cross-border railway are finally coming to fruition. Whilst the shiny and new rails being exhibited
likely that the much lauded ‘Japanese standard’ will make an appearance.
I also liked the juxtaposition of the two images as a way to symbolise the two worlds of Asia’s
railways. This issue of Rail Professional Asia Pacific compares those two worlds in all three of our articles. In our high-speed rail feature we showcase the glitz of the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore highspeed rail project and compare it the similarly expensive and ambitious railway being built through Laos.
In our track and trackside feature we explore two countries at the other end of the spectrum:
Cambodia and Vietnam. Both countries are desperately trying to bring back the same level of connectivity they enjoyed in the past and whilst Cambodia has made significant headway in Rail Professional welcomes contributions in the form of articles, photographs or letters, preferably by email. Original photographs may be submitted, but, while every care will be exercised, neither the editor nor the publisher take responsibility for loss of, or damage to, material sent. Submission of material to Rail Professional will be taken as permission for it to be published in the magazine. ISSN 2397-8287 © All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the copyright owners.
rehabilitating its Western Line, Vietnam is still at the proposal stage so its sluggish North-South line will have to struggle on for a bit longer still.
To cover our metro segment, I spoke to Federico Zanatello about his Metro App which provides
detailed metro maps in English and local languages for eight cities across five countries. We also have an article on Single Token Ticketing from Greg Alcorn of Synectics, he explains how Smart Rail projects are being adopted across Asia Pacific.
Finally, our regular columnists Professor John Roberts and Dr Anna Fraszczyk of Kasetsart
and Mahidol universities in Thailand bring us up to speed on Rail education and research in the Kingdom.
We are a media partner for Rail Expansion Asia taking place in Bangkok at the end of this
month. You can find more information in our events section and if you do decide to attend stop by at our stand and introduce yourself to our team.
The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor does it accept liability for any printing errors or otherwise which may occur.
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issue 10 • JUNE 2018
Australian Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities released, MTR Signs MOU on TOD Projects with Chengdu Rail Transit Group, Bombardier’s real-time passenger load display software solution launches in Singapore, Jurong Region Line: enhancing connectivity in the West, Green Oasis to be grown at Hong Kong XRL station, Federal funding to deliver Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade, Alstom to supply 17 additional Metropolis trains for Singapore Circle Line and North East Line, Singapore trials new signalling system on East-West Line, Submission deadline for Kuala LumpurSingapore High Speed Rail project to be extended, Bombardier signs long-term maintenance contract for Melbourne’s first high-capacity signalling system, Phnom Penh launches first airport rail link, Port of Brisbane study to canvass rail links, MyHSR selects project delivery partners for the Kuala Lumpur Singapore High Speed Rail Project, Bombardier’s INNOVIA APM 300 automated people mover system starts passenger service in Shanghai, MTR’s Hong Kong highspeed line enters final preparation phase ahead of opening
Rail Professional interview
Federico Zanetello maps the Asian metro with his Metro App
Asia Pacific’s network of high-speed railways is moving south at a snail’s pace, with opposite ends of the line at different stages of construction
Track and Trackside
Rehabilitating old track is in favour, but challenges range from geographical to financial as Cambodia and Vietnam struggle to bring their railways up to speed
Forbo Flooring on improving customer experience in rail travel
Greg Alcorn of Synectics explores Single Token Travel and how the concept is being received across Asia Pacific
Professor John Roberts and Dr Anna Fraszczyk tell us how two Thai universities, Kasetsart and Mahidol, are tackling the rail skills gap via rail education and research
An overview of six rail events taking place in Asia over the next few months
Neo Kian Hong will succeed Desmond Kuek as Group CEO, MTR has appointed Rose Lee Wai-mun as an Independent Non-executive Director, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Warren Truss has been appointed ARTC Chair, HIMA appoints Fabio Lodigiani as Group Vice President Safety Services Rail Professional
First Class 385 trains, with interiors designed by DCA, completed at Newton Aycliffe factory
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News in brief... Cambodia opens second section of western line The railway line that links the west of Cambodia with its capital Phnom Penh took a step further to relaunching last month now that the Poipet to Battambang section of the line has reopened. The new service will stop at ten stations. Jakarta MRT to enter trial runs in December Jakarta’s MRT is on target to begin service in March 2019 with testing slated for December 2018. The signalling system will arrive from Japan in August and 14 trains will be delivered in November. Three Thai rail projects aim for PPP scheme Bangkok’s Orange Line’s eastern and western sections and the Purple Line’s southern extension are expected to cost $11.4 billion and will seek approval from Thailand’s private-public partnership committee this year. Jakarta to Bandung high-speed railway gets boost The China Development Bank has released the first phase of a loan to Indonesian construction company Wika for the Jakarta to Bandung high-speed railway. The $170 million is the first phase of a $5.9 billion loan for the construction of a 142.5-kilometre railway linking the capital city of Indonesia with the west-Java city of Bandung. China researching even faster trains China’s CRRC is continuing to push for even faster trains after the launch of its ‘Fuxing’ train last year. The train currently runs at 350 kph but research continues with designers aiming for a top speed of 600 kph.
Australian Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities released Canberra, Australia – The Australian Government has released the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities Report and commenced discussions with State Governments on priority actions. 54 priority actions have been identified by the independent expert panel, which undertook the inquiry in consultation with the industry. The actions will inform the development of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy through the Council of Australian Governments Transport and Infrastructure Council to ensure the freight transport system meets the needs of a growing Australia. Michael McCormack said the report paves the way for the development of a strategy which improves the competitiveness of Australian businesses and delivers for consumers by making it faster, easier, and less expensive to move goods.
MTR Signs MOU on TOD Projects with Chengdu Rail Transit Group Hong Kong – To champion the concept of Transit-oriented Development (TOD), MTR and Chengdu Rail Transit Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly conduct studies on potential integrated development of stations along Chengdu metro lines. ‘Chengdu is a key economic hub of political and cultural significance in the Mainland of China with tremendous growth potential’ said Professor Frederick Ma, Chairman of MTR Corporation. ‘We are honoured to have the opportunity to work with Chengdu Rail Transit Group through signing this MOU. ‘By drawing on Chengdu Rail Transit Group’s strength in railway infrastructure construction in Chengdu, coupled with MTR Corporation’s internationally recognised Rail plus Property development experience, we will jointly explore how we can provide the seamless integration of rail and property to further contribute to the growth and development of Chengdu.’
Singapore trials new signalling system on East-West Line Singapore – The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT conducted trials of the new Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling system during EastWest Line (EWL) passenger service hours from April 29 to May 27 2018. The trials were part of the planned early closures and late openings of the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) which started in December 2017 and gave the LTA, SMRT and signalling system supplier Thales more time to implement the new signalling system on the EWL. Off-service trials have also been ongoing since February 2018 to fine-tune system performance. This includes ensuring accurate train-to-platform door alignment at EWL stations, smooth acceleration and deceleration of trains along EWL tunnels and viaducts, as well as the interface with North-South Line (NSL) operations. The latest version of the CBTC signalling software also underwent testing at the newly opened CBTC Signalling Simulation Facility in Bishan Depot. Rail Professional
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News in brief... China to submit revised Thai rail plan China’s state-owned CRRC is expected to submit a revised high-speed rail plan to Thailand’s State Railway operator in the next few months. The new plan will provide details for an 11-kilometre section of track on the hotly anticipated ThaiChinese high-speed railway. Thai-Cambodia rail link to reopen Thai and Cambodian Government ministers are expecting the crossborder railway that connects Thailand and Cambodia to begin operations in the next few months. The railway will cross the border at the Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo. It has yet to be agreed how many trains will operate the route and how jurisdiction will be managed. Northeast China gets express line An express rail line linking Harbin and Jiamusi cities in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province has been completed and is expected to begin testing in July. The train will run at 200 kph. Freight line from Chengdu to Vienna launched A new freight line running between Chengdu and Vienna has started service. The train goes on a 13-day journey over 9,800 kilometres through Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Slovakia before reaching Austria. A new station will be built in 2020 in accordance with a memorandum of cooperation signed by Austrian OBB Holding AG and Chengdu International Rail Port Investment & Development.
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Bombardier’s real-time passenger load display software solution launches in Singapore Singapore – Bombardier Transportation has launched its software solution installed on the Singapore Downtown Line’s (DTL) existing Train Control Monitoring System (TCMS). This innovative technology maximizes passenger comfort and the system’s operational efficiency by displaying real-time passenger load information on LCD screens at station platforms. The system has entered service following the completion of comprehensive testing by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA). Innovative software designed to improve travel experience and maximize operational efficiency by monitoring vehicle passenger load. The system implementation is the first on Singapore’s rail network to improve passenger distribution for each car. The software solution features an onboard system designed to detect passenger weight load from the vehicle’s braking system and then transmit the information to the passengers waiting at the next stop via a third-party vendor. LCD screens at the platform use a series of colours to indicate the capacity of each car: green represents a high probability of available seating, yellow for partially full and red for full. The implementation, the first of its kind in Singapore, seeks to better distribute passenger load while also improving the trains’ efficiency and reliability.
Green Oasis to be grown at Hong Kong XRL station Hong Kong – Around 100 students and District Council representatives from the communities along the Hong Kong Section of High Speed Rail joined hands on May 5 to plant courtyard greenery at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, where a welcoming green environment is being created around the Station for the public’s enjoyment upon the commissioning of High Speed Rail services this September. Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said that high-speed rail is a new mode of green transport that will create opportunities for generations ‘The Corporation has always been committed to preserving and creating a green environment as far as possible when building new railways. With Hong
Kong West Kowloon Station set to become an iconic new structure for the city, we have made every effort to provide spacious, attractive and publicly accessible open areas with a considerable amount of trees and plants to create an urban oasis for leisure and relaxation in the heart of Hong Kong’ Lincoln Leong, MTR CEO, added.
Federal funding to deliver Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade Brisbane, Australia – The Australian Government is committing AUS$390 million to duplicate Queensland’s North Coast Rail Line between Beerburrum and Landsborough, and build capacity upgrades from Landsborough to Nambour, delivering improved passenger and freight movement between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the Federal Government was committed to providing the rail infrastructure Queenslanders need to enjoy the fast and reliable train services they deserve. ‘Reduced travel times and greater trip reliability makes rail a more attractive option for travellers between the region and Brisbane in particular, while more parking at stations will also add to the equation’ McCormack said. Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said the Turnbull Government had moved quickly to commit this funding following the business case being approved by Infrastructure Australia. ‘This upgrade, which would duplicate about 20 kilometres and upgrade a further 19 kilometres of track along the busy commuter corridor, is big news for the Sunshine Coast and surrounding regions’ Fletcher said. ‘This project makes good sense in itself—as it will relieve pressure on the busy Bruce Highway and provide commuters with additional train services. ‘It also offers a potential launch pad for further work to deliver a faster rail service along this route in the future, depending on the outcome from the business case which is now under way.’
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Alstom to supply 17 additional Metropolis trains for Singapore Circle Line and North East Line Singapore – Alstom has signed an agreement with Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) to supply six additional Metropolis trains (36 metro cars) and 11 additional Metropolis trains (33 metro cars) for the extensions of Singapore North East Line (NEL) and Circle Line (CCL) respectively. All 69 Metropolis cars will be manufactured in Alstom’s Barcelona site. The contract is valued at about $177 million. Alstom has successfully delivered over 100 Metropolis trains (450 metro cars) in operation to Singapore, serving the 35.5-kilometre-long Circle Line and 20-kilometre-long North East Line. Additionally, Alstom provides maintenance training to its customers and supplies spare parts for these trains. ‘Alstom is delighted to win this contract. By providing additional reliable and energy efficient rolling stock to North East Line and Circle Line, we commit to supporting our customer, LTA, to further increase the capacity and availability of the existing lines. Alstom aims to be the preferred partner of LTA for their transport solutions in Singapore’ said Ling Fang, Managing Director of China & East Asia, Alstom. Metropolis is Alstom’s metro train solution. 25 cities in the world have ordered 5,500 Metropolis cars since 1998. It is available in both driverless mode and driver mode. Alstom has implemented some of the first driverless metros in the world, including Singapore North East Line.
Jurong Region Line: enhancing connectivity in the West Singapore – The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced the alignment and station loctions for the seventh MRT line in Singapore, the Jurong Region Line (JRL). The JRL will be an elevated MRT line, which will serve existing and future developments in the western part of Singapore and support the making of Jurong into an attractive place to work, live, learn and play. The JRL will serve residents of Choa Chu Kang, Boon Lay, Jurong, and future developments in the Tengah area. It will also connect to main activity nodes in Jurong, such as the Jurong Industrial Estate, Jurong Innovation
District, and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The JRL will also serve the Jurong Lake District, supporting plans to transform the area into Singapore’s western business district.
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Submission deadline for Kuala LumpurSingapore High Speed Rail project to be extended Singapore / Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – MyHSR and SG HSR has announced an extension of time for the submission of bids for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (KL-Singapore HSR) Assets Company (AssetsCo) tender. Bidders will now have until December 28 2018 to submit their proposals. This extension of time will not affect the December 31 2026 date for the commencement of the HSR Express Service from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. The AssetsCo tender was jointly called by MyHSR Corp and SG HSR on 20 December 2017. The AssetsCo will be responsible for designing, building, financing and maintaining all rolling stock, as well as designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining all rail assets such as track work, power, signalling and telecommunications for the KL-Singapore HSR project. The AssetsCo will also manage the system network for operations and maintenance needs. In a joint statement, CEO of MyHSR, Dato’ Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal and SG HSR Managing Director, Mr. Rama Venkta said: ‘We are encouraged by the strong interest in the AssetsCo tender. While the bidders are progressing with their tender preparations, they have also requested for additional time to develop their tender submissions that offer better value to both Governments.
‘After careful consideration, we have extended the tender submission deadline by six months, in view of the complexity and scale of the project. We look forward to receiving high quality and competitive proposals from all the bidders.’ Following the close of the tender, MyHSR Corp and SG HSR expect to complete their evaluation and announce the tender results by the third quarter of 2019.
Port of Brisbane study to canvass rail links Brisbane, Australia – Queensland’s rail freight needs will soon be drawn into sharp focus with the Australian and Queensland Governments formally agreeing to canvass options on how to best serve one of the nation’s most important ports. A jointly-funded $1.5 million study will look at the feasibility of options for improved rail freight connections to the Port of Brisbane from Acacia Ridge. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said freight connections with the Port of Brisbane were critical in supporting south-east Queensland’s continued economic growth and development. ‘Infrastructure Australia identified a dedicated rail freight line servicing the Port of Brisbane as a high priority initiative and this is one of the options which will be investigated as part of the study’ McCormack said. ‘Inland Rail is a strategic investment in Australia’s infrastructure future and the Port of Brisbane study will examine the possibility of a dedicated freight link from the Port. ‘Significant analysis was undertaken as part of the 2015 Inland Rail Business Case which found the existing line could continue to service the port until 2030. The new joint study will now assess a range of immediate and long-term options to ensure freight continues to move efficiently.’ Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said in addition to the feasibility of improved rail freight connections to the Port, the study would also be looking at demand and existing infrastructure capacity. ‘Last year the Queensland Government announced it would fully fund and deliver the Cross River Rail Project and work has already started. Clearly, we need to understand what these projects will mean for the movement of rail freight’ Bailey said.
Bombardier’s INNOVIA APM 300 automated people mover system starts passenger service in Shanghai Shanghai, China – The BOMBARDIER INNOVIA APM 300 system has entered service on Shanghai Metro’s Line Eight Phase Three project, also known as Pujiang Line. The system was produced by Bombardier’s Chinese joint venture CRRC Puzhen Bombardier Transportation Systems (PBTS) and is the result of an order placed by Shanghai Shentong Metro in June 2015 for a turnkey automated people mover (APM) system with 44 vehicles. Shanghai’s Pujiang Line is a new 6.6-kilometre, dual-lane elevated, driverless APM system that solves Pujiangzhen’s first-and-last-kilometre challenge by connecting this large residential district to the Line Eight interchange at the Shendu Highway Station. The INNOVIA APM 300 system, Bombardier’s latest generation of highly-reliable APM technology, offers an eco-friendly passenger experience with a focus on efficiency and safety. Its rubber tires boast low noise and vibration while its 1.9-meter wide doors facilitate boarding and exit, reducing the time required at each stop. Paired with the BOMBARDIER CITYFLO 650 CBTC system – an innovative communications-based train control technology – the INNOVIA APM 300 system also increases line’s capacity by safely reducing the time and distance needed between each vehicle traveling on the line. In addition, the absence of a driver’s cabin means passengers sitting in the front have a 270° view angle to enjoy the spectacular landscape along the Pujiang Line. Rail Professional
Mapping the Asian metro Federico Zanetello spent three years living in China, travelling between Guangzhou and Shanghai
ow based in Bangkok he has a smartphone application that aims to help visitors and locals get around not just those two megacities but many other major Asian cities that are fast evolving sprawling metro networks. What was the inspiration behind your app? Before moving to Bangkok I lived in China for three years, whilst I was there I spent most of my time between Guangzhou and Shanghai. Whenever you go somewhere in these cities (and any other top-tier city in China), people will tell you where the closest subway station is and how to reach different places from each station. Nobody asks how you’re going to get there: it’s always just assumed you’ll go by metro. Both cities have an extensive, constantly evolving subway network: at the start of this
year Guangzhou opened three brand new lines and Shanghai opened two. Time is money, and everyone just wants to get to their destination as soon as possible, instead of wasting time staring at a huge metro map in the station’s platform, the easiest way to find your way is by using an app on your phone. From there it’s easy to get addicted to these kinds of apps: they’re super useful, convenient, and help you to save a lot of time all through the day. Rail Professional
Once my next destination, Bangkok, was chosen, one of the first questions that I asked myself was how I was going to get around? Online research told me that, even in Bangkok, the subway is the fastest way to move around. There was a big hole though: at the time on the App Store there were a few options that were either very limited in terms of features, (such as apps which were just a train timetable) or were outdated (missing the latest line extensions or even whole
lines). Instead of giving up, I took on the task myself. My goal was, and still is, to just help people know how to get from A to B quickly. Most app businesses focus on keeping the user on the app for as long as possible (think Facebook in Europe/USA, WeChat in China, etc), mine is completely the opposite: I want people to find out what they need and be done with the app as quickly as possible. Have you been able to achieve that?
Iâ€™m proud to say that, thanks to 3D touch and localization services, you can now find the way from your nearest station to any other with just one tap in my app. You can be done with the app, from launching to closing, in less than ten seconds. What do you have planned for the future? Obviously, plotting a journey from A to B is only one of the features of my apps, Iâ€™ve Rail Professional
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been constantly working on these apps for over two years now and I keep adding features and improvements almost daily. I’m not even half done with these apps: I have a roadmap that spans over two major versions (we are currently at version 2.2) and that will take at the very least two more
years. Beside adding new features, I’m quite keen to collaborate with network operators in order to achieve further integration of my metro apps with their services. Specifically, I would love to offer my users the possibility to see live information
like how long until the next train on a given route arrives or how much credit is left on their transport card. The possibilities are endless and I’m super excited to see what will happen next. In your experience how do different cities handle urban transportation? Every city has its own unique way to deal with the issue of urban transportation. I quite like the Shanghai approach, where it’s not easy to get a car plate which discourages private car ownership as I believe that private car ownership in top tier Asian cities is dead. But there are other positive elements to Shanghai’s approach, motorcycles are almost non-existent and large trucks are only allowed within the city early in the morning and late in the day. Bike sharing has surged in popularity ever since the concept was introduced with many stations across the city offering this service, effectively allowing for an entire journey to take place on bike and then by the metro or bus network. However, something that Shanghai is still missing is the availability of public transportation for the whole day. The very first time I visited Shanghai I had to leave downtown well before 10pm if I wanted to go home by public transportation. Obviously, taxis (and black taxis, a.k.a. unlicensed taxis) were, and still are, wildly available at any given time. Last year the Shanghai Municipal Government announced extended operating times on Fridays and Saturdays for the main lines, which certainly helps some, but I’m still excited to see what’s next for Shanghai. What about other cities that are organised differently? Kuala Lumpur has good transportation downtown, but it has more work to do on the city’s outskirts. Seoul is fantastic in terms of both bus and metro, in fact many people there like to say that they have a BMW: Bus, Metro and Walk. Bangkok, where I currently live, is well behind all the cities mentioned above. Public transportation started quite early with an extensive (at the time) tram network in the very late 1800s, a series of bad decisions and unlucky events brought this network to a complete, definitive halt in the 1960s, the same decade where the first Thai automotive plant opened as well. Following this Thailand invested heavily in car infrastructure for decades. If you build car infrastructure, more cars will come, and this investment resulted in even more cars in Bangkok, causing exasperating traffic jams, instead of less. The Bangkok municipality has realised this way too late, and only now we see more investments and projects on the Bangkok public transportation. Not everything is lost, but we will still need several more years before being comparable to other Asian cities. Rail Professional
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Asia’s high-speed spine replacement Asia Pacific’s network of high-speed railways is moving south at a snail’s pace, with opposite ends of the line at different stages of construction
he Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR is a strategic project between the Governments of Malaysia and Singapore that aims to facilitate a ninety-minute travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The project is expected to enhance business links and bring the people of both countries closer together. The project includes domestic services within Malaysia that will improve intercity connectivity and promote economic agglomeration under the Socio-economic Development Programme intended to benefit local communities along the corridor. The Governments of both countries signed a Bilateral Agreement on December 13 2016, which captured the key points of agreement on the project, including the technical parameters, commercial model, customs, immigration and quarantine clearance, safety and security matters, regulatory framework and project management approach. MRCB Gamuda Consortium and YTL-THP were appointed on May 2 2018 as the Project Delivery Partners for the construction of civil works in Malaysia. Eight stations are currently planned for the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore HSR: Bandar Malaysia, Sepang-Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri stations in Malaysia and the Jurong East station in Singapore, with operations of the KL-SG HSR service between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore targeted for commencement by December 31 2026. Local benefits MyHSR predicts that the Kuala LumpurSingapore High Speed Rail will bring huge benefits to the local supply chain and have put in place measures to ensure Malaysian companies have a fair crack at the various contracts that are available. The project is expected to generate more than 70,000 jobs, thus creating opportunities for professionals, skilled workers, and students from all over the country to work along the corridor of the 335-kilometre alignment within Malaysia. In addition, more than sixty civil work packages will result in over 5,000 sub-contract packages opened to local firms which will stimulate the growth of local industries. More than forty per cent in values of the
civil work packages will be allocated to local Malaysian companies. Dato’ Mohd Nur Ismal bin Mohamed Kamal, CEO of MyHSR is quoted as saying: ‘MyHSR Corp supports the push for localisation and has at the start of this procurement process emphasised the importance of local players in the project. However, given that HSR is new in Malaysia, we have also asked our local players to partner with HSR expertise globally to ensure that we build a safe and efficient HSR.’ The project will give local engineers and graduates the opportunity to upskill and gain experience in the HSR industry as plans are in progress to source engineers from various local universities throughout the country, with special focus on the seven cities. Dividing the scope of works according to northern and southern packages will ensure that civil works are completed on time and within budget. In addition, the two consortia will provide a wider pool of resources and expertise necessary to deliver the massive project. $52.5 billion is estimated in Gross National Income (GNI) contribution based on spill over effects in the rail and supporting industries as a result of developing HSR capabilities in 2035. Assets Company tender Bidders for the Assets Company (AssetsCo) tender will now have until December 28 2018 to submit their proposals. The extension will not affect the December 31 2026 date for the commencement of the HSR Express Service from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. The AssetsCo will be responsible
for designing, building, financing and maintaining all rolling stock, as well as designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining all rail assets such as track work, power, signalling and telecommunications for the KL-Singapore HSR project. The AssetsCo will also manage the system network for operations and maintenance needs. Following the close of the tender, MyHSR and SG HSR expect to complete their evaluation and announce the tender results by the third quarter of 2019. Linking the chain The success of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Railway is predicated on the financial wealth that both cities currently enjoy. Improving the link between two economic powerhouses that already see high capacity traffic in each direction is a nobrainer but stretching that line further north into Thailand and then beyond might be a harder sell. Whilst Singapore and Kuala Lumpur work towards a common goal of high-speed connectivity, Thailand has to decide which country it would rather be connected to. With the temptation of a high-speed train station in Vientiane on the other side of the Mekong River beckoning, the Thai Government has so far only committed to a high-speed railway connecting Bangkok to the northeast city of Nakhon Ratchasima but it is vital that both ends of the line are extended north and south. In Laos and Thailand, authorities are preparing for the start of freight rail transport between the two countries. Deputy Director Rail Professional
| HIGH-SPEED RAIL
and prepared the report, Connecting Greater Mekong Subregion Railways: A Strategic Framework, which was endorsed at the GMS ministerial meeting held in Hanoi in August 2010. This strategic framework provided a practical approach to GMS railway development with an initial outline for achieving integration and interoperability. It identified priority initiatives, built a platform for further dialogue, and provided a context for evaluating future projects. This has led to the establishment of the Greater Mekong Railway Association (GMRA), whose membership includes all the GMS countries. Jamie Leather, Principal Transport Specialist at ADB and lead officer in charge of the GMRA said: ‘Rail connections within the GMS could be a game changer in terms of intra- and inter-regional trade and transport for Southeast Asia, reducing travel time and cost while increasing reliability and volume of transport.’
General of the Lao Railway Department, Sonesack Nhansana, said that the transport of goods by railway could cut costs by thirty to fifty per cent compared to road transportation. Whilst these projects are not on the same grand scale of the high-speed railway their progress does help the wider narrative of rail being part of the future development of Southeast Asia. Even though the Thai Government has dithered repeatedly on whether or not they will even build their stretch of the high-speed railway, the good news in Laos and China Railway Group’s renewed impetus on overseas revenue could see the project increase in popularity. Last year Thailand began construction of a depot in the northeast of the country. The $57 million logistics centre is expected to be completed in three years. The project is funded as a PPP (public-private partnership) and jointly managed by the Port Authority of Thailand and the State Railway of Thailand along with Khon Khaen City Development, according to Chairman of the Provincial Chamber of Commerce, Khemchart Somjaiwong. The depot is located close to an existing train station and will serve as a logistical centre for processing and transporting agricultural goods to be carried around the country and shipped overseas. Customs clearance would be done at the facility and then transported to Laem Chabang port on the eastern seaboard for export. The bill currently on the table calls for an assetmanaging agency by 2020, a railway-operating Rail Professional
agency by 2024 and a maintenance agency by the same year. Bidding for an eleven-kilometre long stretch of high-speed railway in Thailand is expected to take place in August, with a revised blueprint currently being reviewed in China. Speeding up trade A lot of focus right now is on the metro systems being installed in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh but the impact of a revitalised railway linking the two cities would reverberate around the region – namely the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). According to the Asian Development Bank, cross-border trade within the GMS has increased nearly a hundred-fold – from just $5 billion in 1992, to over $414 billion as of 2017. At the GMS summit held earlier in the year Ministers from the relevant countries endorsed a new plan – the Hanoi Action Plan – that sets forth a path for strengthening links between rural and urban areas in the subregion. The Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework, 2012–2022 stresses the importance of ensuring that all countries in the sub-region are connected to the GMS rail network by 2020. This ambitious goal calls for the development of a seamless rail network in the Greater Mekong Sub-region as part of a regional cooperation strategy that promotes cross-border infrastructure development. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded a technical assistance project to assess the requirements for regional rail connectivity
The Laos connection In Peninsula Malaysia high-speed rail is expected to herald an economic boom time for Malaysian companies whilst providing Singaporeans with another pipeline to tap into. Far in the North in Laos however, the economic benefits are more of a payoff than a pay rise. Chinese involvement in Thailand’s highspeed railway is well known, with 77 Chinese engineers being granted the necessary licenses to work on the $5.2 billion first phase of the railway. This had initially been a sticking point as engineering is a protected industry in Thailand making it impossible for non-Thai citizens to be employed as engineers. Thailand’s Prime Minister passed a law allowing Chinese engineers to work on this project back in June last year. In Laos however, Chinese investment comes wholesale, with the high-speed railway being built to connect China to Thailand and the other nearby GMS countries. To smooth over the fact that the railway itself might not directly bring the same economic boomtime to Laotians as it will bring elsewhere, China has offered a three-year grant of $626 million to finance initiatives that will bring clean water and power to around 100 villages across Laos. Part of the deal for the railway requires Laos to provide land for construction which has led to local communities across four provinces and Vientiane which the railway will pass through demanding compensation. The amount has been approved but will once again require a loan from China. Slightly over $78 million has been allocated for compensation payments. Two-way trade between Laos and China reached $3 billion in 2017, an increase of 28.6 percent on the year before. As of March 23, construction of the railway was 26.5 percent complete. In the first three months of 2018, 221,800 Chinese visited Laos, an increase of 32 per cent on last year.
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he 20 month project involved cargo comprising of 3 types of wagon, with dimensions of 14.35 x 3.20 x 4.50m, weighing 30 tons each, which were moved by rail from the factory to Gdansk port. ALS provided Project Management, Ships Agency, Port and Site Operations.
Permission As the wagons are built to US standard, it wasnâ€™t easy to get permission for this part of the transport. However, thanks to the experienced rail staff and some smart modifications to the wagons, the permit to move the wagons by rail was given by the Polish authorities. Due to the construction of the wagon, handling the wagons by crane was not allowed. At the port of Gdansk the wagons were therefore loaded via a ramp onto specially prepared roll trailers with embedded rails, then lashed and secured for the sailing to Dammam. Protection All wagons were shipped by a Saudi flag carrier. In addition special protective material was placed on the wagons to shield some special parts from sandblasting and extreme temperatures in Saudi Arabia. In Dammam the wagons were loaded onto road trailers by winch, where they were transported to their final destination. Upon arrival at the destination the wagons were off loaded via a ramp direct onto the rail tracks. Contact ALS at www.abnormal-loads.com
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Opposite ends of the track Rehabilitating old track is in favour, but challenges range from geographical to financial as Cambodia and Vietnam struggle to bring their railways up to speed
ambodia and Thailand have been working towards a rail link for years and whilst logistics and jurisdiction are currently being agreed upon between the two countries, the reality on the ground is far less advanced.
Cracking the spine For Vietnam rekindling links to other countries is not on the agenda just yet, the country is currently embroiled in internal discussions concerning the best way to reshape the coastline. The long, thin country has two major economic areas: the capital city Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh city near the Mekong Delta in the south. They are joined by a single track, meter gauge, non-electrified railway that is 1,720 kilometres long. The total capacity for trains running the entire length of that railway is limited to 36 trains per day. The current subpar condition of the railway is due to damage suffered during the wars throughout the 20th Century, exacerbated by poor maintenance due to budget shortages with only minor upgrades in recent decades. Infrastructure issues There are several critical bottlenecks within the mountainous areas the North-South railway must get through, totalling about 44 kilometres in length and requiring
Images: Alberto Moreno of Baolau Track work taking place in Cambodia near the Thai border
Going West Cambodia is currently rehabilitating its Western Line which links the border town of Poipet to the city of Sisophon a few miles inside the country. At the start of this year repair works had reached the old station in Sisophon with a test car brought from China carrying out tests on the track. At the same time in Poipet workers were still building concrete platforms to place the rails on. The old stations in Sisophon and Poipet also need refurbishing but due to their colonial architecture it is more likely they will build new terminals. The old Poipet station is one kilometre away from the border and as the stated goal of the railway
is to foster a new cross-border flow of goods and passengers placing a station right on the actual border should be high on the priority list. Thailand is one of Cambodiaâ€™s main trading partners with bilateral trade valued at $6 billion in 2017. The vast majority of that is made up of exports from Thailand to Cambodia, with trade in the other direction valued at just $937 million. The two countries have agreed to an ambitious goal of $15 billion in crossborder trade by 2020, according to the Thai Government. Soeng Sophary, spokesperson at the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, says it is possible due to strong ties between both Governments. Much of Cambodiaâ€™s 600 kilometres of railway is not operational, but the Southern Line connecting Phnom Penh to the seaside town of Sihanoukville was revived a few years ago and there is continued interest in reopening a route from the capital city to Battambang, 115 kilometres away from Poipet.
TRACK & TRACKSIDE |
one and a half hours to pass. The train’s speed is limited by the low curve radius: 39 kilometres have a radius of 300 kilometres and 215 kilometres have a radius of 300-800 kilometres. The speed of the trains is limited
at other sections along the route as well, mainly at the tunnels where 22 out of the 27 have confined cross sections. There is also the issue of semi-collapsed tunnels and caveins that have caused structural integrity,
in total 3.3 kilometres of track across 11 tunnels is in critical condition. Another issue impacting the quality and competitiveness of the North-South railway is the excessive distance between stations. There is a total of 165 stations along the line with around half of those spaced out at intervals of ten to fifteen kilometres. A further 25 stations sit at even lonelier points on the track, limiting the number of trains that can be operated. The short length of usable tracks at the stations poses more problems, 17 stations out of the total have two tracks and the length of tracks at all of the stations is roughly 350 to 400 metres. When crossing tropical jungle terrain, tunnels are only half the story, out of 1,450 bridges along the route 600 are speed or load limited – again slowing down any and all travel. The bridges on the southern half of the route, from the coastal city of Danang to Ho Chi Minh city, are limited to just 3.6 t/m whilst permissible train load on bridges for the northern section from Hanoi to Danang is 4.2 t/m. Numerous other legacy issues have been allowed to pile up including: • Narrow track bed width • Outdated track components with numerous types of rail (P38, P43, P50 etc.) sleepers made from steel with elastic rigid fastening >>>
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decision around financing expected in the coming months. 1. Rehabilitation of railway lines on the Hanoi to Vinh section. 2. Rehabilitation of railway lines on the Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh section. 3. Rehabilitation of unsecured tunnels and related works on the Vinh to Nha Trang section. 4. Rehabilitation of unsecured bridge and fortification of anti-collision piers. The total cost of these projects is estimated to be around $320 million. As mentioned above, the platforms at all the stations need to be lengthened. In all around thirty stations could have their sidings extended to ensure a usable length of 400 metres. The proposition being debated would also see eight new stations and halts on long section between adjacent stations built on the Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh section. In addition, three new stations would be built on the Vinh to Nha Trang section as part of the tunnel rehabilitation work. Restoring 111 bridges would involve building and fortifying anti-collision piers for six grand bridges and repairing track bed and renewing fifty kilometres of bridge approach station. In order to increase the average range of technical speed to 80 kph, around 250 kilometres of track would need to be renewed. Finally, around thirty kilometres of fence and feeder roads would be built along the railway’s right of ways to eliminate illegal crossings.
• Backwards and non-uniformed signalling and telecommunications system. One final holdup to trackwork is the large number of illegal level crossings which suffocate safe train operation and also are causes of accidents. The problem of informal construction plagues urban railways in Vietnam and the cross-border railway in Cambodia where concerns around rehabilitating displaced families caused delays for years. Relocating people who live on the train line in Banteay Meanchey province was still being discussed last year although updates on their situation have been few and far between. There are also unauthorised buildings along one kilometre of track in Poipet on the Thai border. Potential rehabilitation plans in Vietnam Plans that are currently being discussed in the country, by the Ministry of Transport in Rail Professional
Vietnam, include: • Increasing the average speed for passenger trains up to 80/90 kph and 50/60 kph for freight trains • Increase line capacity to fifty trains a day The Government of Vietnam has declared its intention to invest $320 million to improve the country’s railways. Proposed solutions • Install new sidings on stations with only two tracks • Extend sidings to ensure usable length of 400 metres • Build new stations or halts on long open lines between adjacent stations • Renew track, realigning sections with sharp curves – especially the Hanoi to Vinh sections and Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh sections. The Government and Vietnam Railways have four projects on the table with a
Challenges and opportunities Beyond the biggest hurdle, which is of course the cost of the project, more specific challenges include the difficulty of carrying out construction work on a single track with high train density. Also, the parts of the track that require the most work are in remote areas which will cause serious access problems and render construction vehicles that aren’t specifically designed for the environment tough to deploy. Whilst the promised land of extracting ever larger cross-border trade awaits Cambodia once they completely restore their Western and Southern lines, for Vietnam the current proposal presents a chance to upgrade and remarkably improve a backbone line that will literally gather all major economic areas along the spine of the country. The volume of freight that can be carried between the major northern and southern cities of Vietnam could be increased by fivefold with a similar increase in passenger volume. New technology is being utilised throughout the region, Japan and China are investing in railways and Malaysia and Singapore are incorporating new technology, modern materials and construction devices. It is essential to prepare the country now for the same high-speed rail technology that is currently being implemented in four other countries in the region.
BUSINESS PROFILE |
Improving customer experience in rail travel As the public transport industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, the arena is becoming much more competitive
ncreased urbanization and connectivity allow people to travel further and therefore spend more time on public transport, both in frequency and length of journeys. Since the explosion of digital technology available to the consumer, passengers now have increased power – social media platforms have given them a voice. This combined with an increasingly competitive environment means passengers expect more from their journey. Transport operators now have to do more to satisfy their customer base – the industry is no longer just functional, it is experiential and increasingly design led. Below are some of the latest
developments in public transport design that service providers are incorporating into their customer strategies to ensure they remain competitive and maintain high customer service levels. With the development of technology, customer service has little room for error. Public transport operators are beginning to include passengers in the design process. This enables the provider to really tailor its services to customer needs and also strengthen relationships with passengers – when customers are listened to, they feel valued and generally happier. Light and sound There is a long history of research into how
light affects our mood and wellbeing in general life. However, there is little that links directly to public transport – but the same results are transferable. Research shows that on sunny days people have higher wellbeing and are more helpful. The study also showed that in bright light, emotions were intensified – people found positive words to be ‘more positive’ in brighter settings. Natural lighting through a window has a very calming and peaceful effect whilst dark environments can trigger depression. As passengers spend longer on public transport, the environment – light and sound included – has a greater impact on their wellbeing. Lots of natural lighting can encourage passengers to be more engaged in
| BUSINESS PROFILE
colours on the spectrum and is typically associated with excitement. Orange can bring people high energy and stimulate activity.
time in transit, we are more exposed to the impact of colour. There are two overarching types of passengers, the business traveller and the pleasure traveller so how can interior design in transport increase customer satisfaction?
and receptive to the journey they’ve had. Considering light reflectance value (LRV) ratings of materials is also important, using paints, wall coverings and floor coverings that have good light reflectance value can also enhance the passenger experience as they create a brighter, more inviting space. Forbo Flooring Systems notes LRV’s as standard these days on all point of sale materials, understanding how important it is in the overall interior design process. Sound greatly impacts on passenger engagement. If the passenger environment is too noisy, it can create discomfort and impact negatively on the overall experience. Noise can be a result of sound from the vehicle, other passengers and/or the materials used on the interiors. This is where operators should consider acoustic properties of flooring, wall coverings and windows. Colour psychology Colour has a significant impact on our mood and wellbeing, whether it be at home, at work or in public spaces and public transport is not exempt. As we are spending more Rail Professional
The business traveller Whether it be by plane or by train, the commuter typically uses their journey as an opportunity to be productive and catch up on emails or get on with some work. Transport operators can enhance this productivity by using certain colours to create an effective mobile working environment. The four main colours to consider are: Yellow: yellow is the easiest colour for the eye to see and is associated with optimism and is said to encourage innovation Blue: known to be the top favourite colour in the world, blue is a calming colour and increases focus and productivity Violet: this shade of purple is associated with power and pride. Brighter hues increase creativity and lift the mood Orange: orange is one of the more vibrant
The pleasure traveller When people are traveling for pleasure, they seek out a more relaxing and enjoyable journey. The pleasure traveller typically uses their journey to read a book, watch a film, listen to music or even enjoy a meal. Transport operators can maximise customers’ rest and relaxation with a range of more calming hues. The four main colours to consider are: Green: green is the most seen colour in the world due to its symbolization of nature. It is said to soothe the mind and encourage mental relaxation Blue: although blue is colour that encourages focus and productivity, it is also a colour associated with tranquillity and serenity. This hue is a symbol of rest and reduces tension Violet: pale shades of violet are known to bring inner balance and peace, encouraging ultimate relaxation Grey: grey has been dubbed a ‘boring’ colour but paler shades can actually create a soothing and cooling presence. Incorporating colour science into transport interior design, whether it be trains or buses, can enhance passenger wellbeing and therefore greatly increase customer satisfaction with design and colour determining the overall mood and having a positive impact on passenger experience. All of these elements of design create a more memorable experience for passengers. Enhancing the passenger environment to offer customers ultimate comfort lifts their mood and improves wellbeing, in turn making them feel more positive about their experience. If transport operators get this part right, customer satisfaction levels will remain high, enabling them to stay competitive and maintain repeat business – a win for all; business, passengers and of course, our environment. Company profile Forbo Flooring Systems offers the widest portfolio of floor coverings for rail and its design team are keen to work with you to design floor coverings that fit perfectly into your bespoke interior design schemes. Working with the likes of Virgin East Coast Trains, Hitachi Rail, East Midlands Trains, Auckland Transport, Kiwi Rail, Translink N I Railways, Nederlandse Spoorwegen and many more, Forbo Flooring Systems understands the importance of creating that perfect look and feel in order to ensure that the passengers have the best possible overall experience. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)1773 744121 Website: www.forbo-flooring.com/rail
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SMART TRANSPORT |
Making the right connections for Asian rail Greg Alcorn of Synectics explores Single Token Travel and how the concept is being received across Asia Pacific
here Smart Rail was once an aspirational concept, there are now many working examples of it in Asia. Networks fed by analytics and device-driven data, to ultimately streamline and improve journey times and services, are increasingly common across the region. Which begs the question, what is next for rail in a region already leading the world when it comes to utilizing technology? Single Token Travel could be that next step to offer a completely connected journey for passengers. Where Single Token Travel can take us Single Token Travel, or Single Identity Travel as it is sometimes referred to, is a concept currently more closely associated with airports. The premise is simple, one passenger, one journey, one digital security token (ID) that unlocks and manages the different stages in the journey through the airport. What if this did not just apply to airports and had a more inclusive purpose rather than simply for security? What if the same principles could be applied to a journey that spanned air, bus, and rail, creating a seamless transition between modes of transport for a truly holistic passenger experience? Singapore is leading the way with this exciting possibility, pioneering the adoption and convergence of smart technologies. The presence of simplified management structures means rail services are neatly aligned with bus, metro, airport, and soon even taxi services â€“ all to the overall benefit of citizens, the economy, and tourism. Last year arrivals to Singapore increased by 6.2 per cent to 17.4 million, a statistic that can in part be attributed to the superior passenger experience delivered. Given the number of Smart Rail projects already operational or under construction in places like Jakarta, Beijing, and Bangkok, and the evolved technology available to simplify system convergence, there is huge potential for other major Asian cities to follow suit with smart, connected journeys to unlock similar benefits.
To better understand how, letâ€™s first look at what happens in Singapore in a bit more detail â€“ from a passenger perspective. A spotlight on Singapore A large number of citizens have the MyTransport.sg mobile application from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on their phone. They all have tickets which they can use to hop on, off, and between rail, bus, metro, and airport services. Their transit is smooth; they enter stations quickly with efficient ticketing, flowing gates and escalators, always with the latest information on travel times, issues, and updates at their fingertips. The trains they board are on time and, thanks to passenger counting technology and algorithmic optimization that enables trains to run closer together, there are reduced crowd pressures. Passengers also benefit from full Wi-Fi connectivity, so they can access entertainment or continue to
work on the move. The wide-scale usage of the mobile application means that passengers in Singapore have also become the eyes of the authorities. They can send alerts about incidents, damage, or other kinds of disruption by taking and submitting pictures via the app. These can then be streamed to the relevant personnel such as cleaners, engineers, police, or even the defence forces for serious incidents. Singapore prides itself on the reputation of its transport infrastructure. More connected passengers have a unified and louder voice, and it reflects poorly on the city if the transit network is not running as promised. This in turn keeps the authorities on the front foot with development and optimization. Technology that makes Single Token Travel possible Replicating the efficacy of the system adopted in Singapore can appear quite daunting. Linking to apps and multiple aspects of city management might seem a complex set-up that is difficult to achieve. This is not necessarily the case, a rail operator wishing to be part of a connected transport infrastructure like that of Singapore requires three components: 1) A way to collate and interrogate owned data i.e. information from disparate devices and systems located on trains and across supporting network infrastructure such as GPS, telematics, surveillance, passenger counting systems, analytics, communications, scheduling and staffing databases, emergency systems etc. 2) The ability to pair the owned data with external sources i.e. information from other transport operators, authorities, agencies, and indeed passengers. These can include weather warnings, incident bulletins, social media reports and service scheduling updates 3) A mechanism for automating actions based on the combined data to respond to evolving needs, circumstances, and customer demands, from shutting down areas of track or updating live passenger information displays and apps, to notifying other service providers Rail Professional
| SMART TRANSPORT
(transport, city, leisure e.g. shopping malls/event venues) of passenger issues and security threats. These requirements can be easily addressed through the adoption of integrated centralized command and control software. When operators have the full picture, passengers can too Open architecture command and control solutions allow data from any third-party system to be monitored and managed from a single unified interface, connecting and converging these individual systems over an IP network and capitalizing on wireless connectivity where possible. This gives rail operators the overarching view of their services, passenger activity, and information relating to city-wide events they need in order to provide the connected and informed service passengers want if a new era of Single Token Travel is to dawn. Through interoperability and tailorable workflows, command and control solutions such as these also provide a simplified mechanism for automating services and responses based on live data received. Examples might include approving passengers for onward travel based on biometric data (to prevent barrier congestion); using GPS data from vehicles and external traffic analysis to automatically update passenger information points Rail Professional
(on vehicles, apps, and at appropriate interchange points) to aid smooth transition from rail to other transport modes; or, from a security perspective, pushing images of individuals identified as persons of interest to police at the nearest next stop. In Bangkok, by pairing facial recognition technology with traveller card information, this ability to combine real-time data sets and automate activity based on criteria met could actually be used to issue fines for eating food on a train. The possibilities are almost limitless. Systems based on a centralized command and control platform of this nature are also responsive to major factors that might influence service provision and safety, like weather for example. If there is a tropical downpour, weather information can be used to open flood gates, trigger alternative routes, or even alternative transit mode protocols so citizens can remain on the move. Is this future unstoppable? While increasing instances of cities adopting this new breed of joined-up Single Token Travel is inevitable â€’ particularly in Asia where transport operating structures and, more specifically, state-owned infrastructures more readily lend themselves to this approach â€“ progress is not without obstacle. Connectivity is one factor that poses a challenge. To be part of a smart transport
operation that supports Single Token Travel, operators need greater bandwidth to support live, mobile device connections to the wider network. However, as a world frontrunner in 5G development, the Asia Pacific region is likely to jump this hurdle sooner than most. Security is a further concern; system convergence creates a tempting target. Operators will require rock-solid cybersecurity measures to block attacks, or else hackers would be able to roam free and cause untold damage. Privacy is another factor; operators and public agencies need to ensure the correct management protocols are implemented to protect citizen rights while also helping passengers reap the benefits of connected services. These are all considerations that demand technical address, but they are not barriers to development. Asia Pacific rail operators already have the individual elements they need to follow Singaporeâ€™s lead, make the connections necessary to improve their own services, and ensure that these fit neatly into a broader, smarter network that truly supports seamless, multi-modal transport and meets evolving passenger demands.
Greg Alcorn is Divisional Director, Transport & Infrastructure at security and surveillance company Synectics
| EDUCATION & RESEARCH
Rail education and research update How two Thai universities, Kasetsart and Mahidol, are tackling rail skills gap via rail education and research
nder the umbrella of the ASEAN International Railway Academy the academic arm of KURail is preparing for the conclusion of the first year of a very intense MEng majoring in Railway Studies. The 24 students from all sectors of the rail industry have found the class to be extremely interesting and sometimes demanding. The study work has been designed to be taught during the weekend to allow the students to carry on their duties in various sectors. This includes engineers from Laos State Railway, Thai State Railway, Office of Transport Policy, AMR Industries and many more. During the Summer break KURail will develop an additional discipline within the MEng programme to cover Railway System Maintenance and Refurbishment calling up expertise from KURail in-house and partner Universities such as Newcastle plus establishing links with the Railway Education Centre at the Barrowhill Rail Heritage Centre in Chesterfield UK. MUâ€™s Master of Engineering Programme in Railway Transportation System is also finalising its first year. The teaching of compulsory courses was delivered in blocks
and students had a chance to participate in lectures and labs delivered by both MU staff and six international experts representing various partner institutions. In February Professor Joern Pachl from Technical University of Braunschweig (Germany) delivered a module on Railway Signalling and Operations. Next, in April and May a five-person delegation from Tokyo Tech, RTRI and NTSEL (Japan) delivered two modules on Railway System Components and Standards and Principles of Service and Maintenance Design for Rail System. The two modules were part of the THAIST Rail Certificate programme, delivered by NSTDA and Tokyo Tech in collaboration with MU, and were open to a wider audience. A recruitment drive for both rail Master programs for a new academic year 2018/2019 starts now with new classes beginning in August 2018. Rail research KURail has had strong links with AMR Asia for many years and they have taken student projects at KU Engineering faculty to guide them through the industrialisation process. One excellent example of such a project
is an innovative platform screen door system which now in full scale production. This Industry/Academia cooperation is an essential part of the education process of University students. A consortium of four partners, including two Thai (Mahidol University and BTS) and two British (Newcastle University and TW Metro) organisations, has just started a new industry-academia partnership project co-funded by Newton Fund. The aim of this two-year project called MetroExchange is to focus on metro operations and performance benchmarking. A number of student internships, research projects, short courses and industry meetings will be delivered in Thailand and in the UK. In addition, free STEM resources will be designed and shared with the public to promote rail research and careers in the rail industry. Also, an international duet of researchers led by MU, and supported by UIC â€“ International Union of Railways, is currently investigating barriers to digital learning in rail. An online survey which closed in the middle of May was open to rail educators and trainers from around the world. Over thirty professionals and academics responded to the survey and the majority
EDUCATION & RESEARCH |
of them expressed an interest in follow-up interviews. The collected data is now being analysed and two scientific papers discussing outcomes of the project will be presented in July at SITCE 2018 conference in Singapore.
KURail will redefine and resign its current MoU with Bombardier Transportation (Thailand) and in doing so will re-establish the joint goals for collaboration in the fields of railway systems for signalling and rolling stock.
MoUs with industry With industry-academia cooperation in mind MoUs with local industry partners have been recently signed. KURail signed a MoU to forge positive links with industry partner AMR Asia and MU signed a MoU with Bombardier Transportation (Thailand). During May 2018
Prof John Roberts is an Adjunct Professor at KURail, Kasetsart University Thailand, Chairman of KURail and UIC Railway Talents Ambassador Email: email@example.com Visit: http://kurail.org/
Ambassador and RailUniNet secretary Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: www.railtalent.org
Dr Anna Fraszczyk is a Visiting Professor at Mahidol University Thailand, UIC Railway Talents
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Upcoming Events... Rail Expansion Asia he third edition of the Rail Expansion Asia puts the spotlight on the investment and technology in Asia. Over two days on June 28 and 29 visitors will hear case studies and discussions focussing on: • Navigating the direction of railway investment • Development of rolling stock operation and maintenance • New projects and line extensions in Asia • One Belt, One Road – the integrated rail network across Asia.
Rail+Metro China 2018 ail+Metro China 2018 (the 2018 China International Rail Transit
Tel: +86 21 6101 4318 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: www.railexpansion.org/
he third edition of the LTA-UITP Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition will return in July, as a three-day congress and exhibition from July 9 to 11, running parallel to the World Cities Summit. For this edition, UITP’s established International Rail Conference will be fully integrated within SITCE 2018. focusing on how digital technologies will transform the rail transport landscape and the need to bring innovative solutions to a peoplecentric transportation system in order to improve commuters’ experience. SITCE 2018 will take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore. Tel: +65 6389 6628 Email: email@example.com Visit: www.sitce.org/
R HSR Asia 2018 SR Asia 2018 will track the rapid development of growth and network expansion of highspeed rail systems and will offer insights and analysis of the Asia Pacific rail market, covering the current situation, expected new developments, key trends, issues and opportunities. The two-day international summit will focus on high speed rail development and rail construction featuring innovative technology, communications and signaling, effective operations, financing models and options, cyber security, enhanced and increased capacity, fare collection and network integration – all whilst delivering an integrated transport system that is sustainable, within costs and on time. Presentations will include: • High Speed Rail updates globally • Integrated sustainable transport systems • Innovative technology for future rail • Financing models and options / Economics of HSR • Fare collection • Intelligent transport systems • Communications & signaling • Cybersecurity • Development along the rail link route • Innovation in maintenance • Cross border transportation • Resourcing for HSR projects.
Tel: +65 9362 6118, +64 21 858 455 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: www.stratcoms.com RISSB Rail Cyber Security Conference ollowing the success of the inaugural RISSB Rail Cyber Security Conference, this year’s RISSB conference will be held on September 11 and 12 2018 at the newly opened Calile Hotel in Brisbane. To increase your understanding of these vulnerabilities and discuss strategies to protect your rail assets, the 2018 RISSB Rail Cyber Security Conference will build upon the foundations set by the case-studies and open discussions shared in 2017.
Tel: 02 9080 4432 Email: Samantha.Lister@informa.com.au Visit: www.informa.com.au/event/rissb-railcyber-security-conference/
Exhibition), produced by the Shanghai Shentong Metro Group and Shanghai Intex Exhibitions, is taking place at the Shanghai New International Expo Center from November 7 to 9 2018. Over 200 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors are expected to participate in the show. CRRC and 19 of its subordinate companies, Bombardier Transportation Group, Alstom and BYD Group will be amongst the exhibitors. Tel: +86-21-62951059 Email: email@example.com Visit: www.railmetrochina.com/en/
ART 2018 he second Asian Conference on Railway Engineering and Transportation (ART 2018) will be held from October 17 to 19, 2018 in Jeju, Korea, hosted by the Korean Society for Railway. The Asian Conference on Railway Engineering and Transportation has been held biennially since 2016 to provide a unique platform for researchers to share their latest research progress in and explore future directions of railway engineering and transportation studies.
Tel: +82-2-565-3571 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: www.acrt2018.org/
Visit www.railprofessional.com for information on many of the companies, products and services that will be on show at the above events and exhibitions. Rail Professional
| PEOPLE NEWS
New Independent Non-Executive Director Joins MTR Board MTR has appointed Rose Lee Wai-mun as an Independent Non-executive Director, following approval by shareholders at the Corporation’s 2018 Annual General Meeting. In addition, with effect from the same date, Ms Lee has become a member of each of the Audit Committee and the Risk Committee of the Corporation. ‘I warmly welcome Ms Lee to the MTR Board. With Ms Lee’s extensive experience in listed companies as well as in the banking sector, coupled with her advisory roles in various trade development committees across Hong Kong and the Mainland of China, she will be a valuable member of the Board’ said Professor Frederick Ma, Chairman of MTR Corporation.
Leadership Succession at SMRT Effective August 1 2018 SMRT is pleased to announce that Neo Kian Hong will succeed Mr Desmond Kuek as Group CEO on August 1 2018. SMRT Chairman, Seah Moon Ming, welcomed Neo Kian Hong as SMRT Group CEO, following a global search for a successor for Mr Kuek. Seah Moon Ming said: ‘On behalf of the Board, I welcome Kian Hong as the next Group CEO of SMRT. The Board was impressed with Kian Hong’s appreciation of interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as his vision and experience in leveraging new technologies for public service.’
HIMA appoints Fabio Lodigiani as Group Vice President Safety Services HIMA has appointed Fabio Lodigiani as Head of the Safety Services business segment. As Group Vice President Safety Services, Fabio Lodigiani manages and coordinates the company’s worldwide service activities. HIMA’s lifecycle management and services are concentrated in the newly positioned Safety Services business segment.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss appointed ARTC Chair Former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has been appointed Chair of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said Mr Truss would bring experience and energy to the Australian Government owned interstate rail network company.
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