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MARCH 2018 Issue number 09

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR RAIL

www.railprofessional.com

Transforming the skyline The new stations of Hanoi

INTERVIEW Sanjay Kumar - chief engineer at Kolkata Metro Rail

TICKETING Hong Kong’s MTR keeps residents and visitors on the move

MANUFACTURING India’s clean trains of tomorrow


DB Engineering & Consulting

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WELCOME |

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MARCH 2018 Issue number 09

www.railprofessional.com

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR RAIL

Transforming the skyline The new stations of Hanoi

INTERVIEW Sanjay Kumar - chief engineer at Kolkata Metro Rail

TICKETING Hong Kong’s MTR keeps residents and visitors on the move

editor’s note

MANUFACTURING India’s clean trains of tomorrow

publisher RAIL PROFESSIONAL LIMITED Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Tel: +44 (0)1268 711811 EditorIAL EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE editor@railprofessional.com ADVERTISING christian wiles chris@railpro.co.uk BEN WARING ben@railpro.co.uk ADMINISTRATION cherie nugent info@railpro.co.uk LISA ETHERINGTON admin@railpro.co.uk GILLIAN DUNN office@railpro.co.uk DESIGN & PRODUCTION MILES JOHNSTONE production@railpro.co.uk

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. 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.

A

very Happy Lunar New Year to all those celebrating. We hope the Year of the Dog brings you much joy and prosperity. Those of you who were in Vietnam would have been treated to the country’s biggest party of the year and in Hanoi they have even more reason to celebrate as two of the city’s metro lines are starting to stretch out across the skyline. We get into that in depth in this issue as I take a look at how the once laid-back capital city is enduring its steady transformation into towering Asian metropolis. It’s not quite there yet though, and one of the primary goals of the new Hanoi metro, both lines 3 and 2A, is to maintain the appearance and ‘vibe’ of the city that continues to welcome immigrants from the countryside and tourists finishing up the banana pancake route on their way to Ha Long Bay in equal measure. As many cities across the Asia Pacific region have already experienced these growing pains it will be interesting to see how Hanoi’s citizens adopt this new transport option as the city’s local government attempts to claw them away from their motorcycles – a vehicle choice that fewer and fewer city dwellers across the region are making. Our ticketing features throw up a similar sort of disparity as we showcase how MTR keeps Hong Kong on the move by offering the latest in mobile booking and digital ticketing services. Compare that to the Mekong region where paper ticketing is still king and booking online has long been an arduous process. We go over the story of Baolau and how they’re helping to change that. I spoke to Sanjay Kumar from Kolkata Metro in this issue’s interview, he brings us up to speed on a part of the region we don’t often get to hear from. Staying in India, Jean-Francois Beaudoin returns to our pages to tell us all about the various good work that Alstom is doing in that country, especially their joint push for eco-friendly trains. Our regular education columnist, Dr Anna Fraszczyk, teamed up with Dr Janene Piip to tell us all about a recent transport workshop that took place in Bangkok. There’s a lot to look forward to over the next few months, we have rail events like Asia Pacific Rail taking place in Hong Kong on March 20 and 21, Rail Solutions Asia in Kuala Lumpur from May 2-4 and RAIL Asia + RISE Symposium on March 28 and 29 in Bangkok. If you’re visiting any of these events be sure to pick up a copy of the magazine.

Sam Sherwood-Hale editor@railprofessional.com

Rail Professional


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issue 09 • MARCH 2018

News

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Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong XRL trial runs scheduled for April, Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail completes inspection, Contracts signed for Lao-Thai railway extension project, New railway connecting Chongqing and Guiyang to slash travel time to two hours, Phnom Penh’s airport railway halfway complete as Cambodia and Vietnam discuss rail link, CRRC completes R&D of the world first carbon-fibre metro car, Singapore and Malaysia sign deal on new RTS link, Alstom to supply traction and signalling system to the first driverless metro line in Chengdu, AECOM to provide site supervision services for Malaysia’s East Coast Rail Link project

Rail Professional interview

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Sanjay Kumar chief engineer, working on signalling and telecom, at Kolkata Metro Rail (KMRCI)

Ticketing

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We track the story of two graduates from Spain who travelled Southeast Asia together a decade ago and set about making a new ticketing platform to help visitors to the Mekong region navigate the region’s railways

Ticketing

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MTR explains how their developments have helped to keep commuter traffic flowing freely in the pulsating city of Hong Kong

Depots

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We continue our in-depth look at Hanoi’s new metro lines by covering all the details and various considerations taken when constructing the two depots that will service line 3 and line 2A

Stations

Education

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Hanoi has long been home to streets flooded with tiny scooters weaving between lanes and pedestrians but two new metro lines that are close to opening aim to disrupt the traditional commute in the city. The new stations have been designed both to pay homage to the city’s historical architecture but also look to charter a new course as the city’s skyline gets a facelift

Industry experts from the UK and Thailand, including university and industry representatives, converged on the UK-Thai Transport Workshop in Bangkok in January. Our Education columnist Dr Anna Fraszczyk collaborates with Dr Janene Piip to tell us what was achieved at the workshop

Manufacturing

30

Jean-Francois Beaudoin, Alstom’s senior vice president for Asia Pacific takes a look at India’s push for eco-friendly trains

Business Profile

32

Forbo Flooring Systems presents a case study from its experience working with Hitachi Rail on numerous new build rail vehicle projects

People

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MRT Corporation has appointed Abu Bakar Mohd Nor as a board

Rail Professional


Rail Professional


NEWS |

News in brief... Myanma Railways selects preferred bidder for Yangon station redevelopment contract Yangon, Myanmar - Myanma Railways, the state railway operator of Myanmar, has selected a preferred bidder for the contract to redevelop the Yangon Central Railway Station to a consortium made up of local company Min Dharma, Sino Great Wall from China, and property developer Oxley Holdings from Singapore. The consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder to redevelop the station, the project is expected to cost $2.5 billion making it one. ‘The award of contract shall be subject to the completion of negotiations and legal arrangements’ Oxley said in an announcement. The station is part of an intra-city loop railway and long-distance route north to Mandalay. Once the station redevelopment has been completed it will serve a new central transportation hub integrating rail and mass transit. Thailand-Cambodia railway makes progress Phnom Penh, Cambodia - A railway linking Cambodia’s capital city with the town of Poipet on the Thai border has faced years of delays, but the long-awaited route could soon begin testing. Cambodia’s transportation minister, Sun Chanthol, recently announced that 60 kilometres of track had been laid between Poipet and Battambang. ‘We are ready to test passenger trains on the tracks that connect Poipet and Battambang before Khmer New Year’ Mr Chanthol said. The final section of the route, from Battambang to Phnom Penh, could be completed as early as July, he said. ‘We are working hard to complete the western rail line. It will be finished by July or by end of this year the latest’ the minister said. He added that 130 kilometres of track still need to be repaired, which will cost the government $20 million. Trade between Thailand and Cambodia was valued at $5.5 billion in 2017, representing a ten per cent increase on the previous year.

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Guangzhou-ShenzhenHong Kong XRL trial runs scheduled for April Hong Kong – The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong XRL will hold trial runs on April 1, according to the chairman of MTR, Frederick Ma Si-hang. ‘There is still some fix-up works but basically the station is complete’ Ma told Chinese media outlet Xinhua in an interview. The Hong Kong section of the XRL is 26 kilometres long but will provide a link to the Guangzhou-Shenzhen railway, allowing Hong Kong to tap into mainland China’s high-speed rail network, which has a total length of more than 25,000 kilometres. The Hong Kong section is essentially complete, with services expected to begin before the Autumn this year if the trial run is successful. The only remaining issue is the colocation arrangement which is necessary to allow the special administrative zone of Hong Kong and the mainland to operate a quick and efficient customs and immigration clearance. A memorandum was signed last week to confirm most of the arrangements.

Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail completes inspection Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR) project successfully completed its compulsory three-month public inspection exercise and received more than 35,000 responses, the highest number of public feedback among rail-based public transportation projects in Malaysia. The inspection exercise ended on January 31 and provided the public with the opportunity to view information about the KL-SG HSR project such as the planned alignment, locations of the seven Malaysian HSR stations, typical station features and layout, land acquisition plans, railway technical data and the Socio-economic Development Programme (SEDP) at the booths. Over 130 booths were set up at

key locations along the alignment between Kuala Lumpur and Iskandar Puteri. Approximately 95 per cent of public feedback received from visitors and survey respondents were supportive of the KL-SG HSR project, with an overwhelming 98 per cent of positive response received from Kuala Lumpur and Johor. Most of the total respondents were represented by the 21-40 age group. Key areas of interest listed by visitors were the potential benefits brought about by the project in terms of ease of travel and economic development, land acquisition process, station locations and alignment, and environmental mitigation measures to be employed by the project.

Rail Professional


NEWS |

News in brief... Alstom and Siemens team up to bid for Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Siemens, Alstom, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and George Kent together with PORR have mutually agreed to join forces in a consortium to bid for the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail AssetsCo tender for the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail project, announced by the Malaysian and Singaporean governments. The companies will work to prepare a joint offer encompassing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operations & maintenance (O&M) for the purpose of this tender. This partnership shall result in a powerful team combining European technology and project experience with the best local expertise. The consortium brings together the two manufacturers, Siemens and Alstom, with decades of technology leadership and excellence in delivering complex cross-border high speed railway projects. In the past, both companies have worked on similar complex Private Public Partnership (PPP) projects across the globe. Singapore’s LTA has awarded power supply and track circuit contracts on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) Singapore – The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded contracts to upgrade and renew the power supply and track circuit systems on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL). Two contracts were awarded to Meiden Singapore at a total contract sum of $378 million to upgrade and renew the NSEWL power supply system. A third contract valued at $55 million was also awarded to a consortium comprising Siemens and ENGIE Services Singapore to replace the NSEWL track circuit system. The NSEWL’s new power supply system will be equipped with features that significantly reduce the number of powerrelated faults. For example, the system will be able to automatically switch the power supply source during a power outage. The system is also equipped with a Voltage Limiting Device-Fault Identification

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Contracts signed for LaoThai railway extension project Vientiane, Laos – Contracts for the Lao-Thai Railway Construction Project Phase two (Section two) were signed last month after the organizing committee selected a consulting company to operate the project, allowing work got underway last month. The route is 7.5 kilometre of track from Thanalaeng station in Hadxaifong district near the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge that crosses the Mekong River to Vientiane station in Khamsavath village, Xaysettha district. The Lao-Thai Railway Construction Project Phase two is funded by a loan and grant agreement between the Lao and Thai governments through the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency NEDA. The funding support amounts to $52.3 million. The grant accounts for 30 per cent of the total cost with the rest provided through the loan. Section one of the railway opened in March 2017.

New railway connecting Chongqing and Guiyang to slash travel time to two hours Chongqing, China – Southwest China took another leap forward on January 25 as a new railway connecting the cities of Chongqing and Guiyang began service. The new railway is 347 kilometres long and will see trains run at speeds of over 200 kph, cutting travel time between the two cities from ten hours to just two hours. A total of 209 bridges, 115 two-way tunnels and 12 stations were built for the new railway. Western China also benefits as it continues to be drawn closer to the economic centre as the city of Chengdu, the final stop for many freight trains heading towards Europe, will also see travel time to Guiyang cut from 11 hours down to three and a half hours. The southwest of China is close to Southeast Asia and recently opened a searail link to Singapore, the new railway will complement the sea-rail link and is also intended to help phase out the old Sichuan-

Guizhou railway which was constructed between the 1950s and 1970s. The old railway is no longer fit for purpose as design standards have improved so much since then, in addition to difficult and mountainous terrain which restricted the speed the trains could travel at. In order for the sea-rail link to Singapore to work a new high-speed railway was required. The new line brings other developments that will help to improve connectivity across the southwest region. Part of the railway that crosses the Yangtze River includes a five-kilometre double decker bridge with the railway running on the upper deck and a twin lane highway for trucks on the lower deck. ‘With a load capacity of 131 tonnes per metre, the bridge has set a new world record’ said Wang Weifeng, spokesperson for China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group (MBEC), the construction company responsible for the bridge.

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NEWS |

News in brief... System, which will isolate power faults to specific stretches and speed up service recovery. The new system will allow for real-time monitoring and better fault prediction, detection and identification. Through the power Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, engineers will be able to monitor the health of the power supply system in real-time, identify potential faults and rectify them before they can occur. Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong XRL rail link formalises arrangements Hong Kong – A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Jnauary 29 between Hong Kong and China Railways (CR) on how operational issues for the Hong Kong Section of the GuangzhouShenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) will be handled. According to the Memorandum, both parties will: • operate 127 trains daily • set their own ticket prices on their own, with the actual price of the cross-border rail service being a sum of those two numbers • negotiate a future profit-sharing arrangement with CR, with the fares settled in the Chinese currency renminbi. Egis awarded Bangkok Pink Line Monorail contract Bangkok, Thailand – Egis has just registered a new success in Thailand with the signature of a contract for the Bangkok Pink Line as Project Consultant with its local partner Team Consult. The Pink Line, the country’s first monorail project, has been planned as part of the Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan (M-MAP), an extensive programme to develop the public transport network in the Bangkok metropolitan region. Stretching 34.5 kilometres, the future line will run between the north-western province of Nonthaburi and Thailand’s capital city Bangkok.

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More news - visit the website www.railprofessional.com

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Phnom Penh’s airport railway halfway complete as Cambodia and Vietnam discuss rail link Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The Cambodian government’s transportation department has announced that the Phnom Penh airport rail link is 50 per cent complete. The trainsets are due to arrive in March and are expected to start running by the middle of April, in time for the Cambodian New Year. The ministry is hoping to have the service up and running before Khmer New Year in mid-April. Cambodia is also looking into ways to connect the country to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh city by a railway line. The Bavet to Ho Chi Minh city railway will be around 250 kilometres long, most of the track will be in Vietnam as Bavet is on Cambodia’s southwest border with Vietnam. Plans for a railway line connecting Bavet city in Svay Rieng province to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh city were revealed this week by the minister of Transport. During a meeting with Nguyen Nhat, Vietnam’s deputy minister of Transport, Cambodian transport minister Sun Chanthol said both governments are considering the creation of a rail link between both nations, and said they are cooperating to attract private sector investment into the project.

Singapore and Malaysia sign deal on new RTS link Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The governments of Malaysia and Singapore have signed a bilateral agreement on the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link). The RTS Link will cross the Straits of Johor via a 25-metre-high bridge, linking the Bukit Chagar Station in Johor Bahru to the RTS Link Woodlands North Station in Singapore. Each country will appoint an Infrastructure Company (InfraCo) to fund, build, own, maintain, and renew the civil infrastructure and stations within their respective territories. Malaysia’s InfraCo will be Prasarana Malaysia Berhad, while Singapore’s InfraCo will be LTA. Both Governments will jointly appoint an operating company (OpCo) to own, design, build, finance, operate, maintain and renew the RTS Link’s operating assets (trains, tracks, systems). The OpCo will pay a concession fee to the two countries in exchange for the right to collect fare revenue from operating the RTS Link. The RTS Link will have the capacity to carry up to 10,000 passengers per hour per

direction, which translates to additional capacity of 60,000 users crossing the Causeway during peak hours. To facilitate passenger flow, it will have co-located custom, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) facilities in both Bukit Chagar and Woodlands North. Passengers travelling in either direction will clear both Malaysia and Singapore authorities at the point of departure, and need not go through immigration clearance again at the point of arrival. The KTMB Tebrau Shuttle services to Singapore will cease six months after the RTS Link passenger service begins, targeted for December 2024. Both governments agree that for the first concession period, which will cover the first 30 years of operations, the OpCo will be a joint venture between a Malaysian company and a Singaporean company. The companies have committed to incorporate the JV by June 30, and to sign the concession agreement by September 30. Subsequent concessions will be awarded through open tender.

Rail Professional


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| NEWS

Alstom to supply traction and signalling system to the first driverless metro line in Chengdu Chengdu, China – Alstom and its joint ventures (JVs) in China, SATEE and CASCO, have been awarded two contracts by Chengdu Railway to supply traction systems for 200 metro cars and CBTC signalling system for the entire line of Chengdu’s metro Line 9 phase one, the city’s first driverless metro line. The two contracts, which were signed in the third quarter of 2017, are worth approximately $77 million in total. The line is expected to start revenue service by the end of 2020. When it opens, Chengdu Line 9 phase one will be about 22 kilometres long and have 11 stations. It will connect the city’s CBD area in the southwest with city’s West Railway station in the northwest.

Alstom will be supplying its OptONIX metro traction system, specifically designed and developed for the Chinese market. All traction systems will be manufactured jointly by Alstom’s JVs Shanghai Alstom Transport Electrical Equipment (SATEE) and Chengdu Alstom Transport Electrical Equipment (CATEE), with support from Xi’an Alstom Yongji Electric Equipment and two Alstom sites in Europe. Alstom together with CASCO will equip Chengdu Line 9 with its Urbalis signalling system. It is a service proven solution that has been ordered by 54 metro lines in China, 32 of which have started revenue services. CASCO is in charge of the whole life-cycle management of the solution in China.

CRRC completes R&D of the world first carbon-fibre metro car Changchun, China – CRRC Changchun has achieved a significant breakthrough by developing the first metro carbody made of full carbon-fibre composites. The successful R&D of a car composite material carbody not only reduces the weight of carbody, energy consumption and emission, but also improves its safety, comfort and longevity. The full-composite metro car gives full play to the advantages of carbon fibre composite materials which can reduce the total weight by about 35 per cent compared with the metal metro car. The successful application of the composite material came as a result of more than ten material performance tests, modular design verification and testing of more than 6,000 elements, typical parts, components, full-size testing parts, as well as repetitive optimization validation. The car’s vibration resistance is 18 per cent higher than similar metal cars and more effectively prevents the resonance between the carbody body and bogie. The composite materials have strong heat insulation. CRRC Changchun said this new generation of its driverless monorail train was designed to endure extreme weather and is built to withstand with temperatures as low as minus 400C.

AECOM to provide site supervision services for Malaysia’s East Coast Rail Link project Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – AECOM has been appointed by China Communications Construction Company to provide site supervision services for the stations, viaducts, tunnels and depots of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project. Construction of the ECRL began in August last year. The strategic location of the two end points of the railway should secure a larger slice of regional trade as Kota Bharu is near the coast that borders the South China Sea and Port Klang looks out on the Malacca Strait, both of which are busy shipping lanes. ‘AECOM is proud to be involved with this project, which is a tremendous game-changer for the economy of the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia’ said AECOM Malaysia Transportation vice president Ailee Loh. ‘To deliver this large-scale project, we are tapping into our strong local and international experience in delivering transport infrastructure, particularly in the rail sector. We look forward to leveraging world-class innovative approaches on this complex project that will ultimately benefit all of Malaysia.’ ‘Such massive rail infrastructure will open up new opportunities for the people in the East Coast states by facilitating the creation of new jobs, stimulating industries and enhancing mobility, in tandem with the growth that is being driven by the East Coast Economic Region initiative’ said AECOM Malaysia country director Patrick Wong. The ECRL project is part of the Malaysian government’s comprehensive transportation plan and will link Kuala Lumpur and Port Klang to the East Coast through a strategic railway network. It is envisaged to serve all the main hubs of the East Coast Region, traversing Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and parts of Selangor, and be connected to Malaysia’s main rail network by the time it is completed in 2024. Rail Professional

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INTERVIEW |

15

East to West in Kolkata Sanjay Kumar is chief engineer, working on signalling and telecom, at Kolkata Metro Rail (KMRCI) and is also an officer for the Indian Railway Services of Signal Engineers (IRSSE)

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anjay has spent over 25 years in the railway engineering domain, he was instrumental in commissioning India’s first Wi-Fi enabled train on the HowrahDelhi Rajdhani express route. He is currently with KMRCI and is responsible for planning, ICB tendering, execution, testing and commissioning for the Kolkata East West Metro Rail Project. The Kolkata Metro Rail (KMRCL) is implementing a first-of-its-kind metro

The KMRCL is implementing the latest state of the art signalling and train control system, platform screen doors and automatic fare collection system. During my two-and-ahalf-year tenure at KMRCL my achievements are finalization of tenders for automatic fare collection, independent safety assessment and platform screen door works packages

project in India, the railway will connect Howrah and Sealdah railway stations, two of the busiest railway stations in the world. It will also pass under the River Hooghly – the first such river crossing in the country. Sanjay will be speaking at Middle East Rail on March 12-13 and at the World Metro & Light Rail Congress & Expo on April 1819. Tell us more about your experience with Kolkata Metro. Any recent notable achievements and exciting projects in your career you’d like to share? I have over 25 years of experience in a multifunctional range of railway engineering skills which includes planning, tendering, design, execution testing & commissioning and maintenance of railway signal & telecom and train control systems in India and abroad. The KMRCL is implementing the latest state of the art signalling and train control system, platform screen doors and automatic fare collection system. During my two-and-a-half-year tenure at KMRCL my achievements are finalization of tenders for automatic fare collection, independent safety assessment and platform screen door works packages. Each package involves a minimum of three stages and its execution, design approvals, interface management, etc. I was instrumental in obtaining SACFA approval from the Communication Ministry and framing of KMRCL General Rules & Opening rules and business rules. My other notable achievements include the successful completion of S&T enabling works of SGDET Malaysia project. I was instrumental in commissioning of India’s first Wi-Fi internet in running train (Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani express). I have also introduced the first computerised train control charting system and real time train enquiry in the Nagpur division of the SECR zone. This has increased the train control and monitoring efficiency, better crew management and enhanced passenger satisfaction. While working as a divisional engineer, I commissioned a freight operation information system and the first electronic interlocking in the CKP division of SER. What are the objectives of the of Kolkata EW metro projects in the areas of operational readiness, efficiency and

reliability of the rail infrastructure? What sort of challenges do you anticipate in achieving them? Safe, efficient and reliable mass transportation is a priority issue for governments around the world. Rail transit is widely viewed as a sustainable solution, yet its development always comes with a multitude of challenges to bring projects to completion in time, while ensuring that stringent safety and technical standards are adequately met. The KMRCL project is still under the implementation stage. However, we have made the operational strategy which includes various working maintenance models, level of training and staff requirements. As far as reliability and efficiency is concerned, the system is Rail Professional


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INTERVIEW |

being implemented by considering the international standard RAMS requirement. The only challenge being anticipated is for getting the approval of various statutory authorities without which operations cannot be started. The solution to this should come from interacting with various signalling contractors and metro authorities across the country. Are there any specific plans for rail asset management frameworks that Kolkata EW metro will be pursuing upon completion that you would like to share with us? KMRCL is in the implementation phase.

We all know that most metros are the lifeline and backbone to any city and even a short duration of failure will cause a knock-on effect for traffic, even in other areas of the city

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However, the assets with its main components are having their normal life cycle of about 20 years with regular maintenance. Moreover, there will be manual and autochecking system in place for monitoring the performance requirement of these equipment/assets. This will further suggest suitable action to be taken to retain, repair or replace the assets before they reach their predicted expiry date. What are your perspectives on the adoption and future applicability of predictive maintenance and conditionbased monitoring at Kolkata EW metro? What technologies are being considered? We all know that most metros are the lifeline and backbone to any city and even a short duration of failure will cause a knockon effect for traffic, even in other areas of the city. In a nutshell, any failure is not tolerable. Therefore, the time has come for predictive maintenance and conditionbased monitoring of assets. I feel that technology for predictive maintenance and condition-based monitoring is still in the evolution stage here and could see better implementation for selected equipment. You will be delivering a presentation on the rail infrastructure readiness of Kolkata’s EW Metro CBTC system, what will be the major focus on your presentation? The main areas of my presentation will focus on explaining the features and philosophy of signaling and telecom systems for main line and metro systems including its specific

interfacing requirement with rolling stock, power supply, platform screen door, track, tunnel ventilation system and other sub systems. I will also be covering the major technical and contractual challenges for execution of the CBTC project through a specific case study. It will also include the operating principles in different scenarios, technical requirement and the benefits of adopting a CBTC system over the conventional DTG system. The other areas of my presentation will be for the risk associated for implementation of CBTC system and its mitigation arrangement. While doing so, I have highlighted the tools and technologies assisting analysis of rail asset life cycle, through demonstration of RAMS (reliability, availability, maintainability and safety) requirement along with LCC (life-cycle cost) analysis. The optimization of system life Rail Professional


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| INTERVIEW

I learned how experts view the best ways to simplifiy the various mandatory approvals from the statutory (government and non-government) authorities for commissioning of the metro/light rail/mainline rail projects

cycle performance through continuous improvement process has also been covered for the benefit of maintenance. At the 6th Rail Engineering & Maintenance Summit 2017 we observed an exciting panel of speakers around the world including representative speakers from London Underground – Transport for London, MTR Hongkong, Crossrail, Road and Transport Rail Professional

Authority Dubai, MRT Malaysia, Indian Railways and others. What did you learn from this conference? I learned from the experience of the leading professionals in the rail and metro fields in various countries, especially on the signaling and train control system, platform screen door and AFC. I also managed to hear a few case studies the described interface and integration challenges during design, installation, testing and commissioning of

metro projects. In addition, I learned how experts view the best ways to simplifiy the various mandatory approvals from the statutory (government and non-government) authorities for commissioning of the metro/ light rail/mainline rail projects. This event brings together the innovative ideas being adopted across the world for sustainability of the metros. In fact, today it is a big challenge in the industry to maintain the grade of service without compromising RAMS requirement, stringent safety and technical standards. The expert speakers absolutely helped address these issues. About Kolkata and KMA The present population of Kolkata is 4.5 million, with the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) covering 1,851 square kilometres with a population 16.8 Million. 81 per cent of all jobs in West Bengal are concentrated in KMA.


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Connecting the Mekong Starting in China, the Mekong River runs south, splitting the border between Myanmar and China and then Laos and Thailand before spilling out into the East Vietnam Sea

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he surrounding countries are all at different stages of development and yet in the two years of producing this magazine we’ve seen a coming together as Laos and China began construction of their high-speed railway, Thailand and Cambodia will soon be joined by rail and Vietnam and Cambodia have begun discussions on their own cross-border railway. The Mekong is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, and it is also hugely popular with tourists. Building infrastructure to ensure visitors and locals are able to travel across this quickly developing region is essential but the accompanying ticketing platforms also need to be able to support the anticipated surge in traffic and present an easy to navigate process that encourages people to use the railways as part of their travelling experience. The well-trodden ‘Banana Pancake’ route that takes in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos could soon be done entirely by train, and we should all be ready for when that day comes. Baolau Ticketing Baolau Ticketing started in Vietnam in 2013, expanded to Cambodia and Laos in 2016, and Thailand in 2017. Currently, the platform integrates online ticket booking for Vietnam Railways, Cambodia’s Royal Railway, State Railway of Thailand and the international railway service Hanoi – Nanning – Beijing operated by China Railway, in addition to more than 20 regional airlines, 50 bus operators and ten ferry companies. In the future, the platform will cover Myanmar as well as Yunnan and Guangxi provinces of China, providing a single solution to the transportation problem in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The idea emerged in Japan The two co-founders, Alberto and Miguel, met in 2007, as part of a one-year program for Information Technology graduates at the Embassy of Spain. They were assigned respectively to the Economic and Commercial Offices in Vietnam and Singapore, which allowed them to travel and visit many destinations across Southeast Asia. Later, in 2010, Alberto received a scholarship to study a master’s degree in Japan. As a research student, he Rail Professional


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had the opportunity to learn about information technologies applied to public transportation in Japan. He also became familiar with the native train route planning services, such as Hyperdia or Jorudan, which facilitate commuting to millions of residents in Tokyo Metropolitan area. While not busy studying, Alberto enjoyed backpacking around Japan. It was during one of his journeys that the idea of creating a multi-modal travel search engine was born. In summer 2011, he decided to cross the country from East to West using the ‘Seishun 18 Kippu’, a special discount ticket for five days of unlimited rides on local trains operated by Japan Railways Group. Unlike the Japan Rail Pass, designed exclusively for tourists, the ‘Seishun 18’ ticket is also available for foreign residents. However, it comes with a condition: it does not apply to Shinkansen, Limited Express and Express trains. Limited to only Local and Rapid trains through Japan, the travel times were long and the number of interchanges high. The use of information technologies to assist in the calculation of routes, checking timetables and finding where to transit became necessary. Alberto found these information technologies extremely useful and thought that these could not only be applied for commuting and traveling in Japan, but also for the Mekong region, where travelling by train, bus and ferry was particularly difficult due to the language barrier and the lack of accurate information on the internet. Building the system Once he graduated, Alberto returned Rail Professional

to Vietnam in 2013 and proposed the idea of creating a multi-transport travel search engine to Miguel, who remained in Singapore working as a senior web developer. Together, they spent about a year collecting transport data, designing the algorithm to calculate routes and creating the website, baolau.vn. The name ‘Baolau’ comes from the expression ‘bao lâu’, which means ‘how long does it take?’ in Vietnamese, praising the country where the project kicked-off. In the beginning, the online service worked like a metasearch engine. Baolau listed schedules and fares for the three domestic airlines in Vietnam –Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and VietJet Air–, and redirected users to the carrier websites for ticket booking. For buses, the platform integrated routes of few bus companies and referred travelers to the ticket offices at the bus stations. For trains, the team requested assistance from the International Cooperation Department of Vietnam Railways. The department periodically published timetables and price lists for all the railway lines in operation. The data had to be extracted from the documents, digitalized and input manually into the search engine. By the end of 2013, Baolau was listing

schedules and fares for all trains in Vietnam. The next year, Vietnam Railways put into operation the website giotaugiave.vr.com. vn. This allowed the team to retrieve the data directly from an online source and synchronize it with the travel search engine. With the information of flights, trains

and buses up-to-date, the service started gaining traction as many international travelers found it very useful to plan their trip through Vietnam. However, travelers often demanded the ability to book tickets in advance, since the process of booking directly at the railway station was still a bit tedious, queueing took long and tickets for some routes would often sell out by the time travelers get to Vietnam. In efforts to improve the access of international tourists to railway


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in Thailand and interconnects the rail network with 14 airports serving domestic and international flights for all Thai-based airlines. Bus and ferry routes will follow soon. The engineering team is also working on the integration of KTM – Malayan Railway, with the purpose of extending the railway coverage to Malaysia and Singapore. In parallel, another team is adding more airlines and bus routes to the platform, so it can function as a multi-transport route planner for the region.

transportation in Vietnam, the co-founders established a company in 2014 and partnered with a local travel agency to sell tickets online. The Baolau team would collect the orders submitted via web, forward to the agency and the staff would purchase the physical tickets at the station, then deliver to customers in Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang or Hanoi. The process was quite inefficient, however the advance reservation system helped hundreds of visitors from Europe, Australia and America to travel by train in Vietnam. Things changed for better in 2015 when Vietnam Railways introduced electronic tickets and launched the website dsvn.vn. The fare system became more complex, as the railway operator started applying fluctuations in the price to compete with the airline industry. The same year, Baolau registered as an official ticket agent and the company put together an engineering team to optimize the data and an operation team to issue the e-tickets through a DSVN system. For the convenience of international travelers, the digital boarding passes were delivered by email and just needed to be printed or displayed in the screen of the mobile phone before boarding the train. At present, Baolau lists more than 150 train stations across Vietnam interconnected with 12 airports, 30 bus stations and 2 passenger ports. The search engine allows travelers to combine rail transportation with flights, roads and waterways to reach all major destinations in the country. Timing is key After validating the model in Vietnam, the team pushed for international expansion as they realized that many international visitors continued their journey through the neighbouring countries: Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. In March 2016, Cambodia announced that the passenger train service for the

Southern line connecting Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville would resume after 14 years of inactivity. Following a successful trial campaign during Khmer New Year, the regular service was established in July. Baolau wanted to be part of the revitalization process and for that purpose sought cooperation with Royal Railway, the company that outsources the railway activities in the kingdom under a government concession. The team travelled to Phnom Penh and met with officials at the railway station to sign up as an official ticket agent. The platform introduced support for online train booking in Cambodia shortly after.

Since then, Baolau looks with optimism the development of the railway industry in Cambodia, as the government has set 2018 as the target date to reopen the Western line connecting Phnom Penh with Poipet, in the border with Thailand. This line is expected to play an important role in boosting travel and tourism between the two countries and the Mekong region. After Cambodia, the opportunity to enter Thailand came in February 2017, when the State Railway of Thailand announced the use of electronic tickets and launched the website thairailwayticket.com/eTSRT. The team integrated the timetables and fares in the platform and connected with SRT system for ticket booking. At this moment, Baolau provides coverage for more than 40 train stations

A mission to interconnect the Greater Mekong Subregion Last year, Baolau qualified for the MIST: Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism accelerator, a program that supports innovative travel and tourism start-ups in developing markets of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The initiative is run jointly by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) and sponsored by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Australian Aid Agency. The Baolau team was invited to present their project at the Mekong Tourism Forum celebrated in June 2017 in Luang Prabang, Laos. The forum is an annual event that fosters cooperation between public and private sectors of the tourism industry to discuss the development and promotion of the Greater Mekong Subregion – represented by Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and the provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi in China, as a single tourist destination. As a part of the MIST program, the vision of Baolau is aligned with the Mekong tourism movement. The team focuses on building a technology that facilitates travel and mobility in the GMS, serving domestic and international tourists. Having interconnected Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, the company looks forward to expanding to Myanmar and China, with an eye on the development of the Kunming– Singapore railway, part of the ambitious Trans–Asian railway network that aims to connect China with Southeast Asia. Company profile Baolau is a multi-modal travel search engine for the Mekong region. The online service aggregates information for multiple types of transportation, calculates routes between cities in real-time, and facilitates internet booking. In contrast to traditional travel search engines, segmented by mean of transportation, Baolau serves flights, trains, buses and ferries in one place, comparing the different options according to requirements such as time or price, and even combining multiple legs when nondirect routes are not available or are more expensive.

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MTR ticketing technology In a city that places great value on convenience and efficiency, Hong Kong’s MTR keeps residents and visitors on the move

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erving 5.6 million daily passenger journeys, the MTR network is the backbone of Hong Kong’s public transport system and delivers a world-leading 99.9 per cent ontime performance. Maintaining a smooth passenger flow at all times through the city’s 93 train stations is a critical component in upholding high operational standards and requires a highly reliable ticketing and fare collection. This function is fulfilled by Octopus contactless smart cards which are used by the vast majority of MTR passengers. Introduced in 1997, Octopus is recognised as one of the world’s most successful public transport payment systems and can be used not only for trains but also light rail, bus, minibus and ferry rides in Hong Kong. It is also widely accepted for smallchange transactions in convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and car parks all around town with an average of more than 14 million daily transactions recorded in 2016. At the same time as we strive to uphold high operation performance standards, MTR also continues to focus on consistently delivering a satisfying end-to-end customer journey experience for our passengers. We look at the needs and expectations of different customers segments at each step of their journey from planning to entering our stations, provision of station facilities, ticketing, customer service, their experience when waiting at the platforms, riding on our trains, leaving the stations and going onward to their final destination. Based on research, surveys and focus group analysis, we can then introduce appropriate service enhancements that are carefully calibrated to meet the needs and expectations of our different customer groups. While Octopus best meets the needs of most MTR customers, in recent years

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we have also introduced mobile ticketing options riding on new technologies to provide additional convenient choices for travellers. These new services include Airport Express ticketing based on QR code and providing designated Ticket Issuing Machines (TIM) that accept mobile payment at tourist stations.

Mobile Ticketing at the Airport Express As there is a growing trend for travellers to purchase and arrange their journeys using their mobile devices, AEL QR code tickets were developed and launched in November 2015 to facilitate mobile users to travel on AEL. Travellers can select a QR code ticket on the online ticketing system and receive a QR


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Kong and Mainland China, where mobile payment systems have been widely adopted by residents. TIMs at these two stations have been upgraded to accept mobile payment for sale of single journey tickets. The trial scheme will be extended to other tourist stations in the first half of 2018. The e-payment terminal is designed to accept different types of payment method by QR code payment which link with credit card or bank account. Currently, several e-wallets are accepted including Alipay, Alipay HK, WeChat Pay and WeChat Pay HK, which allow users to have payment options either in Hong Kong dollars or renminbi. In general, passengers are very satisfied with the new payment method, and complimented that the transaction process is fast and smooth. In the long run, the Corporation would consider extending this service to other stations to provide more payment options to our passengers. The new ticketing technologies introduced by MTR reflect the Corporation’s commitment to enhance services for all

code ticket through email and/or directly in the ticket folder of the mobile app after payment. By scanning the QR code on dedicated QR code gates at AEL stations, travellers can enter or exit in just a few seconds without prior redemption of tickets at the Customer Service Centre. This further enhances the customer experience in taking AEL as travellers, after passing through the baggage claim and custom, can go straight to board the AEL train at the Airport station, as they need not to stop and queue up at the AEL Customer Service Centre for tickets and there are no ticket gates at the Airport station. They can purchase tickets via the MTR website or MTR mobile application while they are sitting comfortably on board the AEL train using the in-train free Wifi. Visitors to Hong Kong could even buy their tickets online before leaving home. When they arrive at the city stations, they can go straight to the exit ticket gate and present their QR code to the ticket gate for exit. This system not only saves time for

travellers but also saves the printing cost of physical tickets which in return improving the AEL P&L. This paperless ticketing is also an eco-friendly approach in the long run. New mobile payment services at tourist stations Since mobile payment is developing quickly in recent years, MTR has gained insights into the trend and taken an immediate response. A trial scheme of new mobile payment services was launched on 16 December 2017 at two tourist stations, namely Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau stations, which are the cross-border stations connecting Hong

of our customers. Their train journeys are an important part of their day, so we want to make sure that our service is not only convenient and efficient but is enjoyable as well. Our aim is to not only meet their customers’ expectations; we want to exceed their expectations. With an average of more than 5.6 million daily passenger journeys, reliable and efficient ticketing is essential to the smooth operation of Hong Kong’s rail network. Advanced three-in-one ticket machines along MTR’s new lines provide passengers with a one-stop-shop to add value to their Octopus, check recent Octopus transactions or buy single journey tickets. Rail Professional


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Two lines, one direction for Hanoi Hanoi has long been home to streets flooded with tiny scooters weaving between lanes and pedestrians

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ut that could soon all be about to change. As the capital of Vietnam struggles under oppressive fumes that engulf the city, the new stations that have begun to pop up along the skyline serve as a symbol of Hanoi’s more eco-friendly future. A city crying out for sustainable growth and travel will soon be about to get it with the opening of the Hanoi Metro. Changing transport choices The attraction of the scooter to most of Hanoi’s citizens, and other countries in the region at a similar level of economic development, is its relatively low price measured against time/cost of travel. Hanoi has a total population of almost eight million people, and four million of them have motorbikes. In 1996 there was only four million motorbikes in the entire country. In 2005 the average commuting time in

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elevated, with each one roughly one to one and a half kilometres apart. Line 3 starts from the depot in the western suburbs, runs for eight elevated stations until it crosses To Lich River and then dives underground for four stations up to Ha Noi station in the centre of the city. Phase one of the project focuses on the construction, equipment manufacturing and installation of the elevated section and depot with the aim of commencing operations in the second quarter of 2020. Due to several difficulties mainly caused by land acquisition and bidding, the railway line is expected to be completed behind schedule. The underground section will be completed by 2022. Different areas of the city throw up different challenges. The site for the underground station near Hoan Kiem Lake is currently being cleared, so far almost two hundred trees have been relocated and Hanoi was 18-20 minutes over a distance of between six and eight kilometres. For 2018 it is predicted that commuting time will take between 30 and 40 minutes. When the locations of the stations on both line 2A and line 3 were discussed it was essential to take into consideration how to maximise their convenience for commuters. As the city’s population continues to expand and congestion worsens it’s important that new developments go some way to maintaining the city’s distinct character. Historical integrity Visitors to Hanoi will be familiar with it’s sense of small town charm, the quiet side streets, the leafy boulevards around the Hoan Kiem lake and coffee shops with cascade seating spilling out onto the wide pavements. But in truth Hanoi has become a major Asian city with a huge number of housing projects popping up over the last five years. In the 1990s people from the countryside would migrate to Hanoi and built the tall narrow houses that typify the city’s character to this day. The centre of the city, the old town, was left largely untouched and many historical buildings, such as the Hanoi Opera House, remained – especially after the area designating the official old town was determined by the government in 1995. But the tight little rooms stacked on top of each other that typify the Hanoi skyline are steadily being replaced by new builds more befitting the city’s growing middle class. The underground metro station at the Temple of Literature (Quoc Tu Giam) has yet to be built but the intention is for the design to imitate the temple’s flowing roof. It’s considerations like this that will help endear the new metro lines to the population. Making the metro useful is important but for the city to truly adopt the new way of travelling it has to appeal to those who might only use the metro sporadically. Whilst some may miss the honking of horns from the motorbikes the metro stations at Vietnam National

University or Hoan Kiem lake have been designed to blend in with the surroundings, which should go some way to helping Hanoi maintain its character. A tale of two metro lines There are two metro lines currently under construction in Hanoi. Line 3 has received funding from the European Investment Bank $170 million, the Asian Development Bank has provided $293 million but the story of this particular line will be one of French-Vietnamese cooperation. The French government and French development agency has provided $640 million in preferential loans with French company Systra working as design consultants responsible for the architecture and civil engineering alongside South Korea’s Posco. Line 2A is a different story however, as the vast majority of its funding has come from a Chinese ODA of $420 million. As is the case with most Chinese-funded projects around the world all of the contractors and companies working on Line 2A Cat Linh-Ha Dong line are Chinese and the trains were purchased from China. This line will also have a larger impact on the city’s appearance as all the twelve of the stations will be

another 82 have been cut down. In total almost four hundred trees will be relocated and another 150 cut down. The site for the ramp to underground section of Kim Ma station, the first underground station heading into the city and the northern part of the next station, near the Pullman Hotel, has been handed over to the contractor. The construction is going to be implemented with tangent piles, test piles, and bored piles along Thu Le Lake. The fencing plan at the ramp in front of Daewoo Hotel and the vertical shaft at Kim Ma – Nui Truc intersection has been approved by the Hanoi Department of Transport (DOT) and the Hanoi People’s Committee (HPC). Convenience and beauty This aricle started by discussing the popularity of the motorcycle across Vietnam and especially in Hanoi. This is primarily attributed to its convenience. The purpose of line 3 of the Hanoi metro is to ferry commuters from the suburbs into the centre of the city with that same convenience whilst also improving Hanoi’s air quality and livability. The impact it will have on the city’s overall aesthetic, remains to be seen. Rail Professional


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Overview of Hanoi’s new depots Hanoi’s line 3 and line 2A are both currently under construction but are following very different procedures

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ine 3 will link the city’s main cross-country railway station with Nhon station in the western suburbs where there will also be a maintenance depot. A consortium of Alstom, Thales and Colas Rail will supply URBALIS 400 trains. The depot and workshop located at Nhon terminus will cover an area of 15 hectares. It is designed to house 24 trains as well as the operational control centre, administrative buildings, the maintenance workshop and a site for routine servicing of rolling stock and fixed equipment. For line 2A, the depot is in Phu

Luong, Ha Dong District with an area of 19.6 hectares. It houses an Operation Control Center (OCC), train parking and maintenance areas, operational building, training area and storage room. The management board The Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board (MRB) is responsible for liaising with the government department, the Hanoi People’s Committee, with regards to construction, operation, maintenance and management of the Hanoi urban railway systems. Whilst there are several metro lines at

various stages of construction, the only line which is near to commencing operation that falls under the MRB’s authority as project owner and operator is line 3. This map shows how developed the government wants the city’s metro network to be in the future. Construction progress The construction of four special bridges, the ramp to the depot and the ramp to the underground section as well as the installation of U girders are being focused on. The whole contract package is expected to be fully completed in December this year. The OCC is responsible for monitoring, supervising and controlling the entire system, ensuring smooth operation and safety. The OCC building is being constructed; the steel structure of other buildings is being installed and manufactured. The contract package is expected to be completed in 2019. On top of this the MRB is planning to design and install 24 billboards in front of the depot. Financing The depot for line 3 is out in the western suburbs, the depot buildings and infrastructure are completely financed by the French Development Agency (AFD). In line with French-Vietnamese cooperation, the depot infrastructure was manufactured by Vietnamese company Vinaconex and the building was constructed by another Vietnamese company called Hancorp. Rail Professional


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Technical details The entrance and exit to the depot has a minimum curve radius of 200 metres and a maximum slope of three per cent. Inside the depot the rails are connected to the main rail of Ha Dong rail station and Ha Dong bus station. The entrance, exit and depot create a triangle which allows for the

trains to easily return when the route will be expanded to the south and connected to depot trails. The interior of the depot is also already set up for signal transfer before entering and after leaving the main rail and for train stoppage before depot entrance and exit. The length of the entrance and exiting rail is about 1.2 kilometres. The testing track is on one side of the main track, allowing the rail to be linked with the track, making it convenient for wagon and huge equipment moving. There is also a built-in train washing workshop which washes the trains upon entering the depot. Environmental and community impact The densely packed and congested city of Hanoi has suffered from haphazard construction throughout the closing years of the 20th century. Part of the drive for these new metro lines is as a result of increased scrutiny over construction projects which has led to more sustainable housing popping up across the city. The informal nature of construction in the 1990s followed by the organised approach in recent years has led to a major resettlement concerns for communities that have effectively been squatting undisturbed on land which should not have been built on. This resulted in a draft resettlement plan being prepared for the project in February 2011 which was consistent with the ADB Safeguards Policy Statement. Two resettlement sites were prepared

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for resettlement needs. An updated resettlement plan was prepared and approved by the ADB. The land acquisition associated with the elevated section, mainly the viaduct but also a few above ground stations, is expected to impact some local businesses. The vast majority of the underground line alignment will be constructed under existing roads and is expected to have a minimal impact in terms of resettlement of local communities. The number of affected households and the total scope of the impact has yet to be determined. An environmental management plan (EMP) covering the depot, viaduct and tunnel sections was also prepared. Major issues that are addressed in the EMP pertain to spoils disposal and impacts on air quality and noise, traffic, culturally significant sites and undiscovered archaeological relics, groundwater quality, as well as health and safety of workers and the public. Rail Professional


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| EDUCATION

Transport-related research funding opportunities for ASEAN In late January this year transport researchers from the UK spent five days in Thailand at a transport workshop

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n total 40 industry experts from the UK and Thailand, including university and industry representatives, converged on the UK-Thai Transport Workshop. The Workshop presented an opportunity for industry professionals and academics to network and discuss freight transport of the future, with rail as the main focus of the Workshop. This event was possible thanks to support received by the Newton Fund from the UK and the Thailand Research Fund and was coordinated by the British Council Thailand, Mahidol University and Newcastle University. During the event a number of potential transport research and education collaborations were discussed and possible

Rail Professional

funding sources were identified. As an outcome of the Workshop Thai and UK researchers formed preliminary interest groups and are currently discussing potential project proposals and identifying suitable funding mechanisms to fund their research ideas. International collaborations International collaborations are in any transport researcher’s DNA. Currently groups across Europe collaborate on a variety of research projects co-funded by the European Commission via schemes such as SHIFT2RAIL or via specific projects in ‘Smart, Green and Integrated Transport’ in the EU.

These cross-border collaborations are crucial to exchange ideas, share resources and train people in both hard and soft skills, including language skills and multicultural understanding. Opportunities for ASEAN ASEAN and Asia Pacific countries are eligible to join some of the schemes and benefit from expertise and experience of developed countries. The Newton Fund offers support to ODA countries (official development assistance). The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 funding programme allows consortia with Third Countries. Both universities and industry partners from ASEAN might be


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Bombardier signs new agreement for rail industry education and research in Thailand

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ombardier Transportation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mahidol University in Thailand to strengthen cooperation for graduate education and research in the field of rail transportation over the next five years. Gregory Enjalbert, vice president Rail Control Solutions Asia Pacific and managing director Thailand, Bombardier Transportation, commented: ‘Bombardier remains fully committed to developing local talent in Thailand, as reflected in this prestigious agreement with Mahidol University. ‘Over our 20-year presence in Bangkok, we have grown our team to over 500 employees working on some of the most advanced rail projects across the world and we place a high emphasis on deepening our academic partnerships to ensure the development of technical expertise and innovation in the industry.’ Partnerships with academia demonstrate Bombardier’s commitment to investing in the communities where it operates. The MoU with the University’s Faculty of Engineering supports a newly-established set of rail and logistics engineering postgraduate programmes and is Bombardier’s first academic partnership in Thailand to focus on this advanced level of research and education. The agreement covers areas such as academic programmes and teaching, joint research in the areas of rail control and signalling, as well as the opportunity for internships and practical training. In Thailand, Bombardier is also developing undergraduate rail engineering education with Kasetsart University and Navamindradhiraj University’s Urban Community College of Bangkok. Since establishing its Bangkok site in 1997, Bombardier has grown its highly-skilled local team of over 500 employees at its regional hub and engineering centre working on rail signalling, vehicle and system integration projects for Asia Pacific and globally. This includes providing the trains and systems for Bangkok’s two new, driverless Monorail lines under construction, as well as rail control for the city’s expanding BTS Skytrain and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Chalong Ratchadham (Purple) Line, which today transport over 700,000 passengers daily. The combined Skytrain and Monorail Services are expected to carry up to twomillion passengers per day, when the latter commence operations. In addition, Bombardier has equipped two sections of the State Railway of Thailand network, connecting to Bangkok. In 2017, a state-of-the-art test centre for advanced urban rail control was opened at the Bombardier Bangkok site to support projects across the region.

engineering science, mathematics, statistics or health. eligible to receive funding or join research activities. From an Australian perspective In Australia, there are a number of schemes available for researchers to develop partnerships with Asia Pacific countries. The Australian Academy of Science outlines travel grants and exchange programs for researchers to broaden their international connections and collaborations. Programs include the Australia–India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) for Early- and Mid-Career Researcher (EMCR) Fellowships in 2018–19. Support funding of up to A$40,500 (US$32,000) is available for Australian researchers to travel to India to work with leading researchers at major Indian science and technology organisations for a period of between three and nine months. Areas of research include any field of natural science (basic and applied),

Regional Collaborations Program The project aims to develop regional collaborations to address shared regional challenges such as transport, along with building and enhancing regional science, research and industry relationships. Funding is provided on a matched basis. Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellowships The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) has Postdoctoral Fellowships available for Australian researchers who work in the fields of natural sciences (including technology, engineering and medicine), the humanities and social sciences. Calls for applications will be made later in 2018. Australia-China Young Scientists Exchange Program 2018 This program is currently open for applications and closes on March 23 2018 for travel between October 28 to November

9 2018 to develop cultural understanding and the science and research practices and systems of the two countries. Action If you are interested in applying for international funding and join partners working on transport-related research projects benefitting ASEAN or Asia Pacific countries, all you need to do is to have a research idea and form/join an international consortium. If you need help, feel free to contact RailUniNet members for assistance. Good luck! Dr Anna Fraszczyk is a visiting professor at Mahidol University, UIC Railway Talents ambassador and RailUniNet secretary Email: anna.fra@mahidol.ac.th Visit: www.railtalent.org Dr Janene Piip is a career and talent consultant at JP Research & Consulting, Australia, UIC Railway Talents ambassador and RailUniNet member Email: janenepiip@gmail.com Visit: www.railtalent.org Rail Professional


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India’s clean trains of tomorrow Jean-Francois Beaudoin, Alstom’s senior vice president for Asia Pacific takes a look at India’s push for eco-friendly trains

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n November last year, Alstom commenced production at its first electric locomotive manufacturing facility in India. Over the next eleven years the factory, located in Madhepura, Bihar State, will produce 800 Prima T8 locomotives, especially adapted for the Indian network and manufactured locally in support of the government’s Make In India campaign. Among the most powerful in the world, these electric freight locomotives can haul up to 9,000 tonnes at 120 kph – double the current speed and set to transform the heavy freight transport landscape in the country. The project would also enable Indian Railways to have a fleet of locomotives equipped with state of the art propulsion technology. The 12,000 HP locomotives would be a quantum leap over the existing 6,000 HP locomotives used for freight operations. The introduction of the T8 fleet is part of Indian Railways’ ambitious commitment to electrify India’s entire rail network by 2022. The first locomotive will be ready for rollout early next year, followed by five electric locomotives in 2019. This number will increase to 35 by 2020, 60 in 2021 and by 100 every year until the target of 800 is completed.

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Electric country Electrifying the railways is a key component of an astonishingly bold move for all-electric transport across India. The government’s vision, announced earlier this year, is to move completely towards all-electric vehicles by 2030. The motivation for this visionary plan is two-fold. First is the urgent need to reduce

India’s level of pollution, already among the world’s worst. The country is a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement and has pledged to substantially reduce emissions by 2030. Conversion of the automobile sector to all-electrical vehicles is forecast to bring down harmful emissions by 37 per cent. The second objective of this move is to reduce costs. India imports 82 per cent of its oil needs, and the switch to electric vehicles will cut the country’s oil bill by a massive $60 billion. Aside from the automotive sector, the electrification of India’s railways is a vital element of the country’s renewable energy plan. This will be a huge undertaking – India’s fabled rail network boasts 92,000 kilometres of running track and more than 7,000 stations. Indian Railways carries more than 22 million passengers every day. Railway electrification in India actually began as long ago as 1925, and in more recent years the Central Railway and Western Railway zones switched completely to 25kV AC traction. However, to implement 100 per cent electrification will be a pioneering achievement. Experts have said total network electrification is something no country has achieved or even targeted. Nonetheless, the government is


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Like all governments, India faces the challenge of moving people and freight efficiently, cleanly and economically. The broad choice is between road and rail – and the evidence stacks very much in favour of rail. There is no doubt that rail is the cleanest mode of transport. Rail transport uses only 2.1 per cent of transport final energy and is responsible for just 3.6 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in transport, while carrying eight per cent of the world’s passengers and freight. Prioritising rail transport would significantly reduce the contribution of the transport sector to air pollution in cities. Space saving Rail is also the most efficient transport mode in terms of use of space. Worldwide, road infrastructure uses 37 times more land than rail infrastructure while only carrying 3.5 times more transport units. As a world leader in sustainable integrated railway systems, Alstom is committed to a constant effort to develop transport solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as the high cost of energy. The company works hard to make rail one of the most energy-efficient transport modes, reflecting the efficiency of mass transport and the benefits of efficient electric traction. Alstom has constantly reduced the energy consumption of its solutions. In recent years, Alstom has reduced energy consumption by up to 20 per cent on a wide range of their solutions: from components and technologies to infrastructure, trains and services, as well as on their fully integrated mobility solutions.

determined to see this project through. The same as for road vehicles, the two perceived benefits are cleaner air and cost reduction. Government officials have estimated that full electrification will save Indian Railway more than $15 billion over ten years, from reduced imports of fuel and lower maintenance costs. Sustainability It is no surprise that the government decided to partner with Alstom to provide the project’s first electric locomotives. Alstom’s initial core activity was the manufacture of locomotives, and it produced

its first electric locos in 1926. Since then, through constant investment in R&D, Alstom has developed a range of innovative locomotives that combine sustainability with the strongest traction capability in the world. Among these, the Prima T8 locomotive chosen by Indian Railways is designed to provide operators with the most suitable solution for heavy freight services. E-locos are a real game-changer, as one of the most sustainable methods of transportation, consuming up to 50 per cent less fuel than conventional shunting locomotives.

Cooperation Thus, Alstom and India share a vision of ecofriendly, efficient and economic transport for freight and passengers. Their partnership at the start of the world’s most ambitious rail electrification project bodes well for India’s economy and citizens alike. Alstom has a history of ecologically minded engagement in India. Back in 2015 the Alstom Foundation inaugurated an Eco Village in Moldanga, West Bengal by setting up solar powered lamps and providing water filters. Headquartered in Bangalore, Alstom’s current manufacturing footprint in India includes its metro rolling stock manufacturing facility at Sricity, component manufacturing facility at Coimbatore with the latest addition being e-loco manufacturing facility at Madhepura. For the e-loco project, the company is also setting-up two maintenance depots at Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh state) and Nagpur (Maharashtra state). In addition, it also has a rolling stock and signaling design and engineering centre in Bangalore. Jean-Francois Beaudoin is Alstom’s senior vice president for Asia Pacific Rail Professional


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| BUSINESS PROFILE

Coral FR into the new Hitachi Rail trains Forbo Flooring Systems are currently working closely with Hitachi Rail on numerous new build rail vehicle projects

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hese include Trans Pennine Express, Abelio Scot Rail, West of England and IEP Great Western Main Line/ East coast Main Line. All vehicles have Coral Classic FR in the vestibule areas, and the Abelio Scot Rail project also has Coral Move FR carpeting in the saloons. First contacts were made with Hitachi via DCA back in 2010, regarding design concepts. The building and fit out of these new rail vehicles have predominantly been managed via Hitachi’s UK manufacturing facility in the North East. Flooring started being put into these projects back in 2016 and is still ongoing. Hitachi called upon the services of DCA Design International. One of the world’s leading product design and development consultancies, operating globally from their headquarters in Warwick, UK. Transport being one of their focused market sectors. A senior associate of DCA Design International, Paul Rutter, explained that train interiors comprise a rich variety of materials, colours and finishes and that a key part of the interior mix is the carpet. Often overlooked as a visual component, the carpet serves as an important backdrop that sets the overall look and feel. Pattern, texture and under foot feel convey a sensual quality that can lift a design and the carpets are a major contributor to this. ‘Forbo offer the degree of customisation needed to create individual carpet designs from a standardised product range. This is cost effective and provides that unique quality that rail operators are keen to offer’ said Mr Rutter. He continued: ‘When designing the interiors of Hitachi’s new intercity and commuter fleets Forbo offered a choice of carpet types suitable for high wear areas like vestibules and in the first class and standard class saloons where a quiet, comfortable travelling environment are the key requirements.’ Forbo carpets provide protection, sound attenuation and add that ‘domestic touch’. Mass transit vehicles like trains and metros often use hard floor coverings. Forbo products can provide similar levels of practical performance but add a degree Rail Professional

of visual quality that enhances the journey experience. Paul also stated that: ‘Customisation and ease of cleaning were primary criteria for selecting the ‘Move’ and ‘Coral’ carpet products for Hitachi plus the overall low cost of ownership. By having a choice of bonded

or replaceable (using hook and loop type fastening strips) the carpet fitting process is cost effective and efficient.’ As noted by Bob Summers: ‘The product that Hitachi manufactures is a very good one. The trains are top of the range. They are a very competent train builder.’


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Coral Classic FR (Vestibules) By removing wet and dry soiling from the soles of shoes and wheel treads, an effective entrance system reduces premature wear and tear to interior floor coverings, minimises cleaning and maintenance costs and protects passengers by reducing slip hazards. Coral Move FR (Saloons) A bespoke made, tufted carpet solution for rail interiors offering great customisation possibilities to complement interior design. The first steps in protecting your rail vehicle Creating a good entrance flooring involves thinking about footfall, the number of people walking in and out during a given period and the type of soiling (dry/wet), then applying all of that information into the design of the entrance area. By stopping up to 95 per cent of walked in dirt and moisture, our Coral FR entrance flooring systems can prolong the life of your rail vehicle interior floor coverings, as well as greatly reducing cleaning costs and the risk for slipping. With almost 50 years of experience Coral offers you the best entrance flooring solutions for your entrance areas on board rail vehicles. First impressions are crucial. Which is why an effective entrance flooring that stops dirt and moisture being tracked into carriages and saloon entrances is fundamental to modern train design.  By removing wet and dry soiling from the soles of shoes and wheel treads, an effective entrance system reduces premature wear and tear to interior floor coverings, minimizes cleaning and maintenance costs and protects passengers by reducing slip hazards. Benefits • • • • •

high moisture absorption dirt scraping for effective clean-off excellent soil hiding properties advanced colouring and design choice reaction to fire EN 45545-2: HL2.

Tel: 01773 744121 Email: info@forbo-transportflooring.com Visit: www.forbo-flooring.com/transport Rail Professional


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| PEOPLE

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RT Corporation has appointed Abu Bakar Mohd Nor as a board director. He started his new position on January 23

2018. Mr Bakar began his career in the Safety department and held various appointments in the Operations and Commercial departments at Keppel. In 2011, he was the CEO of Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM), a joint-venture between Qatargas Transport Company and Keppel. Abu Bakar is the managing director (Gas & Specialized Vessels), Keppel Offshore & Marine & Keppel Singmarine. He sits on various boards in Keppel Group companies and associates, such as Keppel Shipyard Limited and Arab Heavy Industries PJSC Abu Bakar has also served in various committees of the Ministry of Defence as a member of the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence, Reward and Recognition Committee for Defence and was a member of the SAFRA Management Committee where he chaired various SAFRA Clubs as Chairman and Vice-Chairman.  Abu Bakar is the chief of Staff of HQ 2 PDF Command, holding the rank of Colonel in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). In October last year, Mr Bakar also received the Berita Harian Achiever of the Year Award.

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