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SEPTEMBER 2021 Issue number 23

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THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR RAIL

What makes a really outstanding train driver? The defining characteristics of truly special train drivers SPECIALIST SKILLS The six defining characteristics of outstanding drivers

TRAM AND LIGHT RAIL Jiaxing launches new tram network

FLOORING Creating a greener rail environment


Discover potential. Drive performance.

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WELCOME |

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JUNE 2021 Issue number 22

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR RAIL

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Just The Ticket New Psychometric Ticketing Tools for Stations and Onboard Teams SYDNEY METRO Australia’s biggest public transport project

EVENTS RAIL Asia 2021 gears up

STATIONS Singapore LTA awards multiple new stations contracts

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 SALES ADAM OVERALL DEAN SALISBURY JAMIE TREGARTHEN sales@railpro.co.uk ADMINISTRATION LISA ETHERINGTON CHERIE NUGENT ALISHA GHENT info@railpro.co.uk DESIGN & PRODUCTION LUKASZ SACZEK 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

s the Asia Pacific region continues to battle the pandemic there has been less to report on this past quarter. There is, however, still a lot to be positive about as we head towards the end of the year. The scheduled opening of the Laos high-speed railway is still set for 2 December, which is the country’s National Day. In neighbouring Cambodia, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is drafting a railway development strategy which will look at how to expand freight services, amongst other potential improvements to the rail sector. This month we have a compilation of interviews from the last few years of Rail Professional Asia Pacific, including one with Royal Railways CEO John Guiry who told me at the time of our conversation that one key element to his job was making the case for freight as an effective method for transporting goods down to Sihanoukville port. The city has grown exponentially in size even just since our conversation two years ago, so the demand for freight must be commensurate with that – let’s hope the railway development strategy is designed with that focus on freight in mind. Speaking of grand plans, South Korea has announced its intention to invest $102.7 billion over the next ten years to expand the railway network for major cities across the nation. In Vietnam, they are betting on rail freight as a way to alleviate the troubles faced by the shipping industry. In the Summer months three freight trains made the first cross-continental journey carrying goods from Vietnam to Belgium, via Zhengzhou in China. I discussed freight with Dr Ruth Banomyong, advisor to various agencies such as the Asian Development Bank and ASEAN, in another of the interviews this month and he pointed out that the quality of the roads in Thailand is working against the development of rail freight as a viable alternative. Other countries with less developed roads such as Cambodia, Vietnam, even Indonesia or Myanmar could advance freight transport at a quicker pace as heavy-goods vehicles in those countries face any number of issues. RAIL Asia 2021 is scheduled for 25-26 November in Bangkok, Thailand, we will be there and I hope many of you will be able to join us!

Sam Sherwood-Hale Editor

Rail Professional


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ISSUE 23 • SEPTEMBER 2021

06 News

15 Specialist Skills

High-speed railway in Laos set to open, Cambodia update, South Korea to invest $102.7 billion by 2030 to expand railway network, Newest commuter line in Bangkok completes first month of operations, Hangzhou Metro Lines 8 and 9 commence operation, First automatic people mover (APM) delivered to Beijing Capital International Airport, SMRT Trains uplifts rail reliability in Singapore with Track Access Management System, LTA Awards Civil Contract for Design and Construction of Ang Mo Kio Station and Tunnels under Cross Island Line Phase 1, TBMs exit tunnels as roadheader, cross passage excavation continues

Dr Stephen Fletcher, Director and Psychologist at the OPC shares research into what makes an outstanding train driver and why some drivers’ performance is head and shoulders above the rest.

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18 Tram and Light Rail Keolis takes a new step in its development in China with the launch of the Jiaxing tram network

09 Construction A specialist recruitment consultancy, TAG Rail delivers across the Blue Collar labour supply market, White Collar Operational and Commercial recruitment, and Executive Appointments internationally on a temporary or permanent basis

11 Rail Professional Interview

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19 Business Profile Create a greener rail environment with Marmoleum FR² & Striato FR floor coverings

Over the last five years, our editor Sam Sherwood-Hale has spoken to industry experts, decision makers and thought leaders from across the Asia Pacific region, this collection includes conversations with Dr Taku Fujiyama of University College London, Khun Chaiwait, Permanent Secretary for Thailand’s Ministry of Transport, John Guiry CEO of Cambodia’s Royal Railway, Kris Kosmala General Manager for Asia Pacific at Quintiq, Dr Ruth Banomyong, advisor to various agencies such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and ASEAN

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21 Events The Eastern Economic Corridor is to be a highlight theme at RAIL Asia 2021 scheduled for 25-26 November in Thailand Rail Professional


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| NEWS

More news at www.railprofessional.com/news

High-speed railway in Laos set to open Laos’ railway – a 414 kilometre long, US$5.9 billion high-speed line financed by China – is expected to commence services on 2 December, Laos National Day. At the southern end of the railway in Vientiane, the China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group (CREC-5) has completed the construction of the main structure of the longest bridge,

the Phonethong bridge with a length of 7,528 metres. When completed the railway will run from Boten on Laos' northern border with China, south to Vientiane, on its border with Thailand, then connect with the future Bangkok-Nong Khai route.

Cambodia update The airport shuttle and all passenger trains across the country had ceased operations but are expected to restart in the final quarter of this year, subject to the pandemic subsiding as hoped. Upgrades to the Northern Line are expected to start next year and work on rehabilitating the track that crosses the border to Thailand, which had

been due to restart earlier this year, is also expected to recommence later this year. More broadly, The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is drafting a railway development strategy to look at how train transport in the country can be made more efficient.

South Korea to invest $102.7 billion by 2030 to expand railway network South Korea will invest 114.7 trillion won (US$102.7 billion) over the next ten years to expand the railway network for major cities across the nation, the country’s Transport Ministry has announced. South Korea currently has 4,274 kilometres of track nationwide and this new plan is intended to extend that by 5,137 kilometres by 2030, reducing travel time across the country to less than three hours, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation said.

The project would raise the railway transportation capacity to about 17 per cent in 2030 from 11.5 per cent in 2019. The plan aims to have a vast railway network in major cities to ease traffic congestion, especially in the Seoul metropolitan area, and help residents in satellite cities to commute more conveniently to city centres.

Newest commuter line in Bangkok completes first month of operations The airport shuttle and all passenger trains across the country had ceased operations but are expected to restart in the final quarter of this year, subject to the pandemic subsiding as hoped. Upgrades to the Northern Line are expected to start next year and work on rehabilitating the track that crosses the border to Thailand, which had

been due to restart earlier this year, is also expected to recommence later this year. More broadly, The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is drafting a railway development strategy to look at how train transport in the country can be made more efficient.

Hangzhou Metro Lines 8 and 9 commence operation Hangzhou Metro Line 8 and Hangzhou Metro Line 9 have both officially opened for operation. Line 8 spans 2,800 meters, setting a record for the longest route that crosses a river. With a A-type drum car, the vehicles on the line can carry up to 2,460 passengers – a 21 per

Rail Professional

cent increase from the previous B-type car. Manufactured by CRRC Puzhen, the trains for Line 9 comprise six cars and adopt a B-type drum body structure, with a maximum operating speed of 80 kph.


NEWS |

More news at www.railprofessional.com/news

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First automatic people mover (APM) delivered to Beijing Capital International Airport On 14 July, Alstom’s Chinese Joint Venture CRRC Puzhen Bombardier Transportation Systems Limited (PBTS) delivered the first new automatic people mover (APM) train to BCIA (Beijing Capital International Airport). A delivery ceremony was held in the assembly area of its workshop, the customer toured the factory and was able to take the new APM train. Beijing Capital International Airport, as China’s ‘first gateway’, is a large international airport with the most important geographical location, the largest scale, the most complete equipment and the busiest transportation and production in China. The number of flights taking off and landing and the passenger throughput of the airport are in the leading position in the industry worldwide. In 2008, Alstom delivered Beijing Olympic designated project–Beijing Capital International

Airport APM to welcome the Olympic Games, and in November 2019, PBTS and BCIA signed the APM trains supply and upgrading contract. Facing with the challenge of Covid-19, the teams of both sides overcame the difficulties and worked together to push forward the project design, production and delivery, and completed the testing of train in early July 2021, which was ready for delivery. Since established in 2014, PBTS has been committed to providing small and medium volume rubber wheel rail system solutions, and the core products of PBTS, monorail and APM, have achieved impressive results in the domestic and international markets. The rubber wheel APM system is one of the best solutions for passengers to move quickly and easily between airport terminals.

LTA Awards Civil Contract for Design and Construction of Ang Mo Kio Station and Tunnels under Cross Island Line Phase 1 The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded the civil contract for the design and construction of Ang Mo Kio station and tunnels under the first phase of the Cross Island Line (CRL1) to Gammon Construction and Engineering Pte. Ltd – Bachy Soletanche Singapore Pte. Ltd. Joint Venture. Valued at SG$644 million (US$477 million), the contract will also cover addition and alteration (A&A) works to the existing Ang Mo Kio station along the North-South Line (NSL). When completed, Ang Mo Kio station will be an interchange between CRL and NSL. Gammon Construction and Engineering Pte. Ltd has a strong track record of undertaking infrastructure and building projects locally and abroad. It was previously involved in the construction of Chinatown station along Downtown Line and is currently involved in the construction of Havelock station and Mayflower station along the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL). Bachy Soletanche Singapore Pte. Ltd, a specialist in geotechnical and civil engineering, is currently involved in the design and construction of the tunnel between Suffolk Walk and Novena Rise for the North-South Corridor. It is also involved in TEL projects such as Tanjong Rhu, Gardens by the Bay and Orchard stations. Construction works for the CRL1 Ang Mo Kio station are expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year, with passenger service slated for 2030. CRL1 Ang Mo Kio station is an underground station located adjacent to the busy junction of Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 and Ang Mo Kio Ave 8. As it will be located close to the NSL viaduct and surrounding structures, LTA and the contractor will closely monitor the project’s progress and ensure that all works are carried out safely, with minimal impact to existing structures. Deep excavation works for CRL1 Ang Mo Kio station will be carried out under challenging ground conditions, as the rock is typically weaker at the transition point between the Old Alluvium (predominantly soillike material) to Bukit Timah Granite formation. This requires the

use of specially-designed machinery to carry out the excavation works safely. When completed, the station will have entrances that connect directly to different residential blocks, AMK Hub, Ang Mo Kio Integrated Transport Hub and Ang Mo Kio Town Garden East. Two of the new entrances will be connected to the station via underpasses across Ang Mo Kio Avenues 3 and 8 (see Figure 1). To ensure smooth traffic flow on the roads, these underpasses will be constructed using a “pipe-roofing and mining” method, where a box structure made of pipes will support the ground while mining works are carried out beneath the surface of the road. This method minimises disturbance to the surrounding roads, buildings and underground services, as compared to the more traditional method of open cut excavation from the ground surface. To facilitate seamless transfer and enhance connectivity for commuters at the station, A&A works will be carried out to retrofit the existing NSL Ang Mo Kio station with additional escalators and reconfiguring of its concourse area. To minimise inconvenience to commuters, LTA will plan and coordinate closely with SMRT to carry out majority of the A&A works during non-operating hours. The CRL is Singapore’s eighth MRT line. It will serve existing and future developments in the eastern, north-eastern and western corridors, linking major hubs such as Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District and Changi region. The CRL will have almost half of its stations as interchanges with other rail lines, making it easier and more convenient for commuters to travel across the rail network. CRL1 is 29 kilometres long and comprises twelve stations from Aviation Park to Bright Hill. This will serve residential and industrial areas in Loyang, Tampines, Pasir Ris, Defu, Hougang, Serangoon North and Ang Mo Kio and benefit more than 100,000 households. With CRL1, common recreational spaces such as Changi Beach Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park will be more accessible by public transport. Studies on the details of subsequent CRL phases are ongoing.

Rail Professional


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| NEWS

More news at www.railprofessional.com/news

SMRT Trains uplifts rail reliability in Singapore with Track Access Management System SMRT Trains and PCCW Solutions has announced the full rollout of the Track Access Management System (TAMS) to the North-South and East-West lines (NSEWL), Singapore’s oldest Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines. TAMS is a digital solution developed by SMRT Trains and PCCW Solutions to digitalize and automate track access allocation for the regular maintenance and planning of engineering works. Replacing time-consuming and labour-intensive manual processes, TAMS is a holistic system with real-time updates of track allocation status and access progress, providing end-to-end visibility of workflows. In addition to optimizing productivity, the system has built-in safety rules to conduct conflict checks on each scheduled track access request against safety requirements, ensuring safety standards are upheld for all stakeholders. The implementation of TAMS has saved the operator 30,000 manhours per year and contributed to increased rail reliability through optimized maintenance efforts. In 2020, the North-South Line (NSL) achieved more than 1.3 million Mean Kilometres Between Failure (MKBF) and the East-West Line (EWL) achieved more than 1.4 million MKBF. Following the success of TAMS for NSEWL, SMRT Trains has embarked on its implementation for the Circle Line (CCL), Bukit Panjang Light Rail Transit (BPLRT) network, and six depots, to reap further productivity gains. Strides Engineering, previously SMRT Services, a business arm of SMRT Corporation which provides a range of station-based rail-related services, and PCCW Solutions also announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop a go-to-market

strategy to promote TAMS in the Southeast Asia region. The collaboration will leverage PCCW Solutions’ strengths as a digital enabler, as well as SMRT’s domain expertise in using digital technology for rail operations and maintenance, bringing the benefits and best practices of TAMS to regional urban train operators. Mr. Lam Sheau Kai, President, SMRT Trains, said: ‘The implementation of TAMS on the North-South, East-West lines has given us optimized use of limited engineering hours for higher productivity and enhanced safety in our maintenance regimen. TAMS exemplifies SMRT’s commitment to Kaizen culture for continual improvements in the operations and maintenance of rail lines for high rail reliability.’ Mr. Gan Boon Jin, President, Strides Engineering, said: ‘Our collaboration with PCCW Solutions has been very fruitful in developing and honing TAMS to a high level of operational efficiency. It is a field-tested digital solution that has provided a great boost to SMRT’s productivity and safety in rail operations and maintenance. We are excited to extend the collaboration with PCCW Solutions to bring the benefits of TAMS to other train operators in the region.’ Mr. Ramez Younan, Managing Director of PCCW Solutions, said: ‘We are delighted to support SMRT’s digitalization journey by harnessing innovative technologies to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of its rail operations. The extension of our collaboration is not only a demonstration of SMRT’s trust in our delivery capabilities but also a testament to our involvement in enhancing the country’s transport ecosystem. We look forward to strengthening our collaboration with Strides Engineering in delivering more digital solutions to support smart mobility across Southeast Asia.’

TBMs exit tunnels as roadheader, cross passage excavation continues After completing tunnelling works in May, the four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) working on the Melbourne Metro are being retrieved from underground. TBMs Meg, Alice, Millie and Joan are being carefully dismantled – including dissecting their 7.2 metre-wide cutterheads into smaller pieces (above) – before being transported back through the tunnels. The machines will be returned to the supplier and reassessed for potential reuse. Digging continues on the project as roadheader machines excavate the tunnels next to the platforms at Town Hall Station. Works are also continuing on the 26 cross passages between the tunnels, which allow people and equipment to move between the tunnels in an emergency. In late May this year, all four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) digging the Metro Tunnel’s 6.3 metre-high, twin nine-kilometre tunnels completed their work. Between them, the TBMs have lined the tunnels from South Yarra to Kensington with around 250,000 tonnes of concrete, tunnelling an average of 90 metres per week. They dug as deep as 40 metres below ground, passing twelve metres under the Yarra River, seven metres beneath the Burnley tunnel and just 1.5 metres below the City Loop. The huge TBMs are now being dismantled. The ‘skin’ of each will remain underground to form part of the permanent tunnel lining, and the remaining TBM components will be assessed for potential reuse on other tunnelling projects. Rail Professional

There is much more work to be done before the Metro Tunnel is completed in 2025 – including more digging works using roadheaders to complete the final section of tunnels alongside the platforms at Town Hall Station. Work is also continuing on building the five new underground stations.


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| CONSTRUCTION

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INTERVIEW |

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In conversation with Rail Professional Asia Pacific over the years… Over the last five years, our editor Sam Sherwood-Hale has spoken to industry experts, decision makers and thought leaders from across the Asia Pacific region, here are some highlights

Dr Taku Fujiyama of University College London China and Japan are competing for bids across Southeast Asia, how do you see the two countries differing in their approach? It depends on how you define success, is it imperative that the project performs

financially in the short term or that it functions for the population as it expands? For example, some contractors have what I call the inkjet printer business model, the initial cost is very cheap but if you want to extend the system or do maintenance the new parts are very expensive, so this might not necessarily be a success depending on what the goal of the project is. If you look around the world there very few rail companies that make a profit from carrying passengers only, they have other revenue streams from property. So, planners need to develop new schemes to make money from the land that they own and monetise the customers that come with the business of transportation. In the UK, the franchise contract tends to be five or seven years whereas an infrastructure owner has to think 20 years down the line in terms of planning. There is this mismatch between owner and operator. The railway is not like a mobile phone where you buy a new one every year, the machinery has to last decades. If country A wants to buy infrastructure from Japan or China, the team has to have the skills to manoeuvre within the negotiations. Making money in the long term requires accepting certain standards. Are smaller cities like Hanoi, Phnom Penh, or even Vientiane, which are more reliant on the motorcycle, going to have an easier time of convincing their populations to switch to public transport?

This is a city-wide problem, to promote railways you need multiple policies that are outside of rail but encourage its use, Beijing used to be a bicycle dominated city and then the car became king, now there are many lines and more people use them.

The Government had a car rationing system so depending on your number plate you could only use your car on certain days. We’ve been discussing this in the workshop, access and easiness of the railway (getting there and then getting to where you need to go). Bike parking spaces in Beijing have become much more ubiquitous as there are a lot of bike rental systems around the stations. Rail Professional


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| INTERVIEW

Do you think countries like Myanmar and Cambodia should focus more on developing city metros or repairing their cross-country railways?

• T he second mission is the development of the railway through the integration of rail networks for seamless connectivity. • The third mission is to promote the services and safety standards in rail operations. The fourth mission is to supervise the railway project construction to ensure safety implementation and complyiance with international standards. • The fifth mission is to determine the reasonable fare system to be able to promote the use of the railway and increase the density of land use around the station.

How demand will change over time depends on the country, for city mayors now I would recommend securing land for potential rail projects. As long as the land is there to build on its much easier to plan and make projections, going through land acquisition can cause complications to this process. The Kuala Lumpur monorail is seen as a bit of a disaster, yet the city’s subway system is quite popular. Are monorails less effective than other types of LRT and urban rail? Generally speaking, its very difficult to develop the people who have the necessary skills to maintain the asset properly, in the UK and Japan there is a history that has steadily built to a standard that is at the level it needs to be to maintain the infrastructure. Longevity requires constant maintenance and asset management gets tested the longer you keep the system alive, and that’s where the skills and required standards come in to play. The Asian Development Bank invests a lot in infrastructure, but it could also think about people development. Some international agencies do this but only on a small level which isn’t enough to switch culture. What do you make of passenger flow in cities like Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong? What could these cities do to improve? Passenger flow and headway is not a problem in Bangkok because the frequency is not as high as other cities. The more trains you try to run the more managing passengers becomes a bigger challenge. The new lines are avoiding intersections of passenger flow in other directions as well. In wider terms, which countries are making the most progress in terms of innovation? As a Japanese civil engineer I can say that Japan’s biggest contribution in the last century is the Shinkansen but actually that technology is just a small extension of the existing technology. The main contribution that came from that project is the business model. For the 21st Century I think we need a new business model and railway concept that will lead to innovation.

Rail Professional

All the missions of the Department of Rail Transport aim at achieving the 20 years national strategic plan.

Khun Chaiwait, Permanent Secretary for Thailand’s Ministry of Transport There are three state enterprises under the Ministry of Transport State Railway of Thailand (SRT), Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), and Airport Rail Link. How does your Department manage them all? The Ministry of Transport is responsible for all transportation modes, marine, air and land transport including railways. The Ministry of Transport shall directly supervise two railway state-owned enterprises consisting of the State Railway of Thailand and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand. The SRT operates the long-distance train and established the SRT electric train company (SRTET) to operate the airport rail link line. The MRTA manages the metro line in Bangkok through the Bangkok Expressway and the Metro public company limited (BEM) which operates the Blue Line and Purple Line and the BTS Company which operates the Pink and Yellow line. In addition, the Department of Rail Transport (DRT), the new agency under the Ministry of Transport, performs the duty of railway policymaker and regulator for overall rail transport as well as formulating the strategy and development plans of the rail network in Thailand. What was the motivation behind upgrading the Rail Project Development Office to the new Rail Department? The Rail Project Development Office was a division under The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) and upgraded to be the Department of Rail Transport. The DRT was established on 15 April 2019, with the aim of supervising the railway as the regulator. The Department of Rail Transport has five missions. • The first mission is to monitor and evaluate the existing railway infrastructure development projects.

Can you give us an update on the status of the high-speed railway connecting Bangkok’s two major airports with the Eastern Seaboard? This project is a high-speed rail line that will operate between Don Mueang International Airport, Suvarnabhumi International Airport and U-Tapao International Airport. It will be operated by Eastern High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports Company Limited, special-purpose vehicles by the consortium of Charoen Pokphand Holding and partners. The distance from Don Mueang to U-Tapao has a total length of 220 kilometres. The total investment is 224 billion baht ($7 billion). This project was implemented by PPP scheme with a 50-year concession, the private sector partner will be responsible for operation and maintenance (O&M) cost, the PPP allows us to reduce the burden of Government investment, the Government shall support only the civil work cost and allow a private company to develop the Makkasan area to be built as the new hub of transportation and centre business. By 2022, Bangkok’s commuters will be able to ride the new Yellow, Pink and Purple lines as well as extensions to the Green and Blue lines as part Thailand’s Rail Transport Infrastructure Development Strategy 2015-2022. What can you tell us about the Strategy and what you have planned beyond 2022? Thailand’s Transport Infrastructure Development Strategy 2015 – 2022 is the key strategy to promote the railway system and water transport connectivity. For the rail transport sector, there is a master plan to improve the public transport network and service which is named the Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan in Bangkok Metropolitan Region (M-MAP), the goal is to develop a mass rapid transit network in Bangkok and provinces around Bangkok. The Purple line (Tao Poon – Ratburana) will be opened in April 2026. Currently, there are many projects which are under construction which will be finished after 2020. Once our network is already completed, there will be 14 lines with 366 stations covering a total distance of 559.16 kilometres.


INTERVIEW |

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2013 we were back on top of things. The first few months of 2013 we had trouble accessing the tracks, by the end of the year we ran a train to Sihanoukville with 50 containers, we offered the service for free to try an encourage people to use them.

” John Guiry CEO of Cambodia’s Royal Railway How has your technical knowledge helped you in this role heading up rebuilding Cambodia’s railways? In this country you need to have that, I have been in corporate management since I was 27, I was head of operations towards the end of the Government era in Australia through to the split between passenger and freight trains. As the railways evolved and all these changes happened, I bought in the aggregate wage system and saw through the period of modernization and then I got the opportunity to come here in 2010 and it was like an Indiana Jones movie – we opened up the cupboards and blew off the cobwebs and got to work. The railway hadn’t run for two years, so I was COO of nothing really. We had to dig through the mud and get it to where it is today as it’s starting to look like a real railway, we do 44 trips a day now and passenger trains are bedded in and we’re starting to increase our services a week. The Northern line to Poipet is open now. The speeds are still slow, the track is designed for 80kph with an average of 50kph. The speeds are coming up on the passenger trains and today we’re sending a fuel train up there. How is the track rehabilitation process going? The track rehabilitation work was carried out by the Government with a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the money was intended to upgrade the north and south line, the north was completed, and parts of south were done before the cash ran out. The line was in a worse condition than I think we realised. There was a lot of debate about problems with culverts or drainages or the different types of clay, during dry season the clay is like concrete and then in the rainy season the place is surrounded by water. In 2011 and 2012 we had some problems with track rehabilitation but by the end of

The last train to Sihanoukville at the end of the civil war took 28 days because of the terrible condition it was in. Now we have to try and get back the people’s trust and make the case that a freight train is worthwhile for a small or medium company looking to move goods down to the port.

Back before the war Sihanoukville only had three ships a week so getting freight there on time was essential. Since 2013, however, it’s going up every year, two years ago I started telling people we were going to run out of wagons and locomotives, and now we are. We have 136 wagons and six locomotives, in reality we need over 200 wagons and ten locomotives to fulfill the orders we have. If those new trains arrived outside today, we’d put them straight to work. We now do four service to Sihanoukville a day. The northern line we do one a week, but we need to do three a week. People are getting used to the railway and seeing the benefits of being able to get 120 containers on one order all being able to go on one train and arriving at the same time and getting on the ship at the same time. 560 road trucks have to get in and out of the port between 7am and midday and they can’t do it. Logistically it’s a headache and that message is starting to sink in.

Kris Kosmala General Manager for Asia Pacific at Quintiq Do you see China-Europe rail as more viable than the China-ASEAN rail? The major rail lane coming from the OBOR (One Belt One Road) is the route that links dry ports in Europe with major Chinese cities, a number of these central Asian economies will benefit from the network effect. In the future, there will be a need for our solutions because there will be feeder trains or local trains which will need to be synergized with the main line. In terms of freight, rail offers real time inventory, it takes 15 days to get to Europe versus 45 days by ship, so even with the higher cost the real time inventory that companies can run cancels out these fears. I believe freight to Europe will dominate the discussion for now but the Chinese economy is going through a transition period, many companies will move their factories to Southeast Asia instead of automating. When this happens, the ports will be effected but rail will actually benefit from this if the infrastructure is in place to support the growth of exporting companies there. What issues concerning network management do you see facing the Asia Pacific region in the next five to ten years? Integration. In the past, everyone did their own little thing, in the future we have to have an integrated system of control for the track and the train. The more data we can get in real time we can adjust the network dynamically instead of planning a day in advance. So regional traffic control centres will have to be set up so that freight and passenger trains are all on everyone’s radar, signalling and control and connected gauges. With the exception of OBOR which is building a network linking so many economies, in places like Thailand and Vietnam the major projects Rail Professional


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| INTERVIEW

are being built in isolation. If you remember ERTMS (European Railway Traffic Management System) was legislated in Europe and then each government helped the companies to roll out the system. Everyone understood the value of it, the same thing must take hold in Asia. Australia has ports on the opposite sides of a huge, round shaped land mass, it’s a simple process to offload containers on the west coast then move them by rail to the east coast. Then road transportation was liberalized, taxes lowered and the routes were changed so they allowed these huge trucks to compete with freight and then rail sunk. In many Asian countries they are still big on building roads, rail is not seen in the same light, as long as they persist in building roads cheaply and then widening when necessary, rail has no chance. Building a heavy rail is much more expensive than just simply paving another three metres on the side of the road. In Australia they build an airport and then build a railway 20 years later when they think it makes sense, in the meantime they build a road and send buses up it. I was hoping that OBOR would bring this all together, but at the moment its still investment funding for infrastructure projects and not yet at that next layer.

Dr Ruth Banomyong, advisor to various agencies such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and ASEAN There has been some change to the climate around railway projects what with what’s happening in Laos with the Chinese funded high-speed railway there and then the long discussions about a similar project here in Thailand. Do you think high-speed rail can be a success in Thailand? Rail Professional

Before we can talk about HSR we have to talk about how rail in Thailand is not functioning as it should. Double tracking the railways is more important because you can already increase the average speed from 30 kph to 60 kph just by doing that. HSR is on the other end of the spectrum, its more for passengers and not freight, I am not saying we shouldn’t do it but we need to improve on the basics first. Geopolitics plays a big part in the game with China, Laos doesn’t have the bargaining power and they’ve ended up giving structural integrity away to another sovereign power. In Thailand we have the bargaining power. The technocrats that go to negotiate all graduated from the UK or USA and they know financial models so there is a level playing field where they can discuss it in an equal manner.

How can they add enough value to make these plans viable?

There was a Japanese report recently about a proposed high-speed route from Bangkok to Rayong on Thailand’s southeast cost. Apparently to make it feasible it would have to leave every nine minutes. Haha, that was my quote! I told them competing with the motorway in Thailand is hard right now because that’s already so convenient. Thailand has really high quality roads, compare this to Laos or Cambodia and other countries where the roads are so poor they can’t compete with rail. In Cambodia they don’t have enough money to invest in the railways, they can’t do it on their own so money comes in the form of aid which is often insufficient and too late. I said earlier that every party has to have the desire to see a project through, this is most important in the case of the Kunming to Singapore high-speed railway. The problem is nobody will want to sit all the way from Kunming to Singapore and there are no goods that will travel that distance either. What will happen is the Singapore to Malaysia route will be busy and then maybe from that same route can continue up to the south of Thailand, then a different route could go from Malaysia to Thailand and then on to Cambodia and Vietnam, finally you could see some traffic within Vietnam and up to Kunming, but nothing will actually go door to door. So, you can romanticise it and call it a Kunming to Singapore railway but in reality, that’s not the case. Tell me about the logistics park being planned on the Laos-Thai border. There have been a number of studies looking at inland container depots and logistics plans for that region. The truth is there’s not much activity because a lot of goods in that part of the country are not high in value, so they don’t bring in a sufficient amount of money. The type of commodities being produced are agricultural, so they can’t pay all the costs involved. If they can find a way to add value, then a logistics and industrial estate would make sense.

Rail is a public service, so you shouldn’t complain that it runs a deficit, but then freight should not lose money which could lead to cross subsidisation. If freight can’t make enough to cover the loss from passenger transport, the owners could become property developers to maximise value from their land, but then they would need different expertise for that.

The best example is the Japanese, their stations are all about urban development, you have shopping malls, hotels and restaurants. They don’t look at rail as jut rail itself, they look at it in terms of how to develop the country, which areas and industries need focus. In Southeast Asia this could be done to help grow catchment areas and set up satellite cities, but the discussion here just stops at rail. In the case of Taiwan, the high-speed rail companies there make money from leasing out offices and retail space to subsidise it, here there is just a unimodal perspective here, there’s no coordination. Apart from Singapore everywhere is struggling with this.


SPECIALIST SKILLS |

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Special skills … or just special people? What makes a really outstanding train driver? Dr Stephen Fletcher, Director and Psychologist at the OPC shares research into what makes an outstanding train driver and why some drivers’ performance is head and shoulders above the rest.

Rail Professional


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| SPECIALIST SKILLS

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e all know someone who is excellent in their role, or we can remember someone who was just amazing at their job – someone who was really exceptional, not just average. We can recall things that made them really stand out like; they went the ‘extra mile’; they cared deeply about the people they worked with or customers and showed it on a daily basis. Nothing was too much trouble for them. The Occupational Psychology Centre (OPC) has been working with drivers and train operators for nearly 30 years, and in that time, they have worked with some exceptional drivers. They also regularly hear from clients that they want to recruit the ‘very best drivers’ from a pool of talent. So, because one of the OPC’s specialist skills is helping select the absolute right person for a role, they set about researching what makes the outstanding driver and developing assessment tools to help recruit them.

set of all-encompassing characteristics for the outstanding train driver. This was undertaken using a range of job profiling techniques. Once the OPC had completed all the job analysis they did in-depth scrutiny of the information. The data was collated and broken down; picking out key skills utilised, actions taken, specific behaviours and motivations shown. This ensured an inclusive, generic and universal set of competencies and behaviours. What did the job profiling reveal? There were six key competencies identified and a further twelve subscales relating to the key characteristics of an excellent or outstanding train driver. i.e., a driver who is not just ‘average’, but one who is excellent in the role. So, what do these six competencies look like for our outstanding drivers on the job?

they feel they aren’t right or safe. They don’t follow or engage in ‘mess room’ gossip. They aren’t impressionable and will show self-will and determination to do the right thing at all times. Responsibility for their own actions and demonstrates self-awareness. The outstanding driver possesses a realistic view of their own job performance. They are able to evaluate their actions and recognise if, and when they have made a mistake. They will not respond defensively to constructive criticism. They are aware of their own weaknesses. As well as being able to demonstrate self-awareness, he/she will hold themselves to account and take responsibility for any ‘under par’ performance or mistakes made. They will adopt an open and honest approach to reporting any incidents to their manager. They would not consider trying to hide or blame others for their own mistakes.

The six defining characteristics of outstanding drivers Confidence to be self-sufficient and challenge wrong decisions when necessary

Responsibility for their own actions and displays self-awareness

Develops and maintains positive relationships based on trust and respect

Logical thinkers able to make safe, sound decisions and judgements in all areas of their driving role

Motivated to continuously learn, develop and keep up to date

Consistently displays a self-motivated and selfless approach to work

@ Copyright 2021. The Occupational Psychology Centre Limited

Research into what makes an outstanding driver. The people who see what an outstanding driver looks like are those who work with them every day, so doing research amongst job experts was going to yield the best data. The OPC approached five separate UK train operators and recruited job experts from these companies to take part in their research. The UK experts came from roles such as driver managers/team leaders, driver instructors and also some hand-picked exceptional drivers too. There were three stages in the research. Firstly, the job experts from each train operator were asked to identify a set of unique characteristics that made a driver outstanding for their organisation. Secondly, the OPC amalgamated these unique characteristics, identifying the consistent themes across all the operators. Finally, the OPC developed a Rail Professional

Displays the confidence to be selfsufficient and challenge wrong decisions when necessary. An outstanding driver is an individual who possesses the optimum balance of confidence and assertiveness. A positive behaviour seen is that of quiet confidence in their own knowledge and ability. Consequently, they feel able to act in an independent way. If an issue arises, they will feel self-sufficiently confident to act appropriately without having to wait for intervention or guidance from a driver manager unless required to do so. The outstanding driver demonstrates a strong sense of right and wrong – integrity; and acts accordingly, never following others blindly. If they know something is unsafe, they will flag it and ensure best practice is followed. They will question decisions if

Develops and maintains positive interpersonal relationships based on trust and respect. The outstanding driver shows respect towards their colleagues, managers and customers, behaving in a positive, consistent manner at all times. They naturally maintain productive relationships with a manager in the same way that they maintain positive relationships with colleagues and customers alike. They are patient and care for others and this comes across in the way that they are willing to help and offer advice to anyone who requires it; conveying an approachable demeanour at all times. The very best drivers possess strong moral values which guide them in all areas of their work and personal life. They are seen as an honest and trustworthy individual who is respectful. They can often be found just


SPECIALIST SKILLS |

having a ‘chat over a cuppa’ to maintain open rapports. Wanting to do a good job, they will strive to maintain constructive relationships with others that are based on mutual respect. They also take great pride in how they interact with customers. They genuinely care about their customers’ experiences and take delight in assisting them when necessary. Logical thinkers able to make safe, sound decisions and judgements in all areas of their driving role. The very best drivers are able to make effective decisions in all areas of their work and understand the wider importance of solving any problems encountered. They have an ability to make sound and safe decisions. In their decision deliberations, they will adopt an objective and rational approach, evaluating all the information available to them in a logical, sound manner and ensuring that safety has always been accounted for. Safety is a priority for these drivers and they will not compromise it under any circumstances. If available information is limited or they are under pressure, they will use their initiative. They are able to think on their feet demonstrating an awareness of risk and how to minimise it. They will take ownership for a problem and offer up solutions to resolve it if they are able, rather than ‘pass the buck!’ A star quality that an outstanding driver also has is the very valuable ability of seeing problems in a wider context than just the immediate situation. They will look at the bigger picture and understand the impact of leaving a problem unsolved and how it may impact on the organisation or customer service in general. Sound decision making is also evident in their personal life, as the exceptional driver understands the impact that his/ her social life may have on their driving performance. So, they are more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices and decisions. For example, they will plan their social life (Covid-19 permitting!), including alcohol consumption and sleep in a way that does not impose on their driving abilities and work.

Diver research interview extract. ‘Some drivers always try to pass problems on, whereas I always try to deal with it.’ Motivated to continuously learn, develop and keep up to date. The outstanding driver is selfmotivated to learn and develop, driven to update and extend their existing knowledge. They are inquisitive…. we could say one of life’s classic, curious cats! They will seek feedback on their performance, take on board any constructive criticism in a positive manner and analyse their own behaviour to see where they might improve. They enjoy extending their knowledge through further training or by refreshing themselves on procedures or guidelines in the pursuit of becoming a better driver. They will not be complacent and assume they already possess the necessary knowledge and skills. This thirst for learning also includes keeping up to date with day-to-day changes, new notices/ services or driving conditions. They are eager to learn; rather than being disinterested or dismissive of new learning opportunities and training courses. Driver Instructor research interview extract. ‘A driver trainee who hadn’t begun his traction and route learning decided to spend a lot of his own time riding around on the route he would be driving. This was so he could familiarise himself with it before his route learning. It really helped him be as prepared and knowledgeable in advance of his course.’ Consistently displays a self-motivated and selfless approach to work. The outstanding driver is committed to high standards. They are extremely flexible and willing to go the extra mile – even if this means taking on additional responsibility; it’s outside the confines of their job or means working extra, unpaid hours. This characteristic motivates them to complete any task assigned – regardless of

the effort involved or whether or not it is compulsory. The exceptional driver will behave in this pro-active manner at all times choosing the ‘best option’ and never the ‘easy option’. The ‘I’ll do what I’m paid to do’ statement is not in their vocabulary! In addition to this ‘gold standard’ approach, they will complete tasks in a selfless manner without complaint, consistently putting the company first. They will be the first to volunteer to drive if the team is under-staffed. Similarly, if they’ve been unwell, they will return back to driving asap. All to minimise disruption – putting the company first. However, whatever they engage in they will always have safety front of mind. Driver Manager research interview extract. ‘Following a major incident, a driver was working a train North and then returning back to London. Because of the disruption he got stopped midway. Instead of going home at that point, he volunteered to help by going North again, even though he knew this would create huge problems for him getting home later.’

Driver Manager research interview extract. ‘X was a hard worker who valued his job. He had a good level of knowledge and always tried to expand on that. ….. He enjoyed the job and was always happy to help out. He had strong morals and was selfless. He appreciated that sometimes people have to invest their own time to see the benefits and he was prepared to do this for the good of others. He also had high personal standards and was organised.’ OPC Assessment tools to help find outstanding drivers in a talent acquisition process. Having explored and defined the characteristics of what makes an outstanding driver in depth, the OPC developed assessment tools to help identify exceptional drivers in a recruitment process. The Outstanding Train Driver Personality Questionnaire (OTDPQ) assesses each of the

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six personality characteristics explored in this article. It provides scores for a candidate vs a norm group of over a thousand UK train driver applicants that helps assess if they are more or less likely to behave in the outstanding manner identified. There is also a combined UK and Australian driver applicant norm available too. The OTDPQ is suitable for use recruiting train or light rail drivers; it has been used extensively by rail companies for many years. The OTDPQ can also take each applicant's personality profile and generate bespoke interview questions that can be used to explore and probe a candidate’s behaviour and motivations further at interview. Additionally, the Magnificent Seven Situational Judgement Test (M7SJT) is a situational judgement test that explores a candidate’s behavioural decisionmaking and thought processes in realistic, hypothetical, workrelated scenarios. The M7SJT covers situations that are linked to all the outstanding driver personality characteristics. The OTDPQ and M7SJT can be used alongside each other to help recruit the very best drivers. Both the OTDPQ and the M7SJT are available online via the OPC’s user-friendly testing platform that allows results to be downloaded immediately. In summary Dr Stephen Fletcher said: ‘The very best train drivers are quietly confident, and not arrogant or overly authoritative in any way. They are often very humble and selfsacrificing people, but not at the expense of safety. They are indeed special people and are a rare find. We support many train operators to first find them, and then select them from a large applicant pool. However, understanding and using these outstanding driver qualities doesn’t just end at selection. We also share them through training or development workshops for existing drivers as part of an operator’s continuous improvement process – helping drivers to pursue excellence, and be the very best they can be.’ Tel: +44 1923 234 646 Email: admin@theopc.co.uk Visit: www.theopc.co.uk

Rail Professional


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| TRAM AND LIGHT RAIL

Jiaxing launches new tram network Keolis takes a new step in its development in China with the launch of the Jiaxing tram network

staff. They were then trained on the Songjiang tram network, operated by Shanghai Keolis in Shanghai, in order to prepare for the start-up of the Jiaxing network.

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n 25 June 2021, Shanghai Keolis started operating and maintaining Jiaxing’s tram network, the first of its kind in the coastal province of Zhejiang, south-west of Shanghai. Awarded in October 2020, this is the Group’s first contract outside Shanghai. Following a full year of construction of the network and trams under Shanghai Keolis’ supervision, the first line opened to the public will enable the city’s 4.65 million inhabitants to travel 11 kilometres between the Jiaxing South high-speed railway station and the city centre. By the end of 2021, the catenaryfree Jiaxing tram network, with its fully dematerialised ticketing system, will include two lines totalling 15.6 km-long. This launch consolidates Keolis’ position as the world leader in tram operations and maintenance, with 27 networks worldwide, and strengthens its position in China, where the group has been present since 2014. Launch of the first tram line in the province of Zhejiang On 25 June 2021, Shanghai Keolis’ joint venture, Shenjia, welcomed the first passengers onboard the first tram line in Rail Professional

An innovative and digitalised tram network The 100 per cent catenary-free Jiaxing network is equipped with 5G technology that enables permanent communication between the vehicles and the ground. The 20 trams made by the manufacturer CRRC can carry 368 passengers and are fitted with batteries capable of storing up to 48 kWh of energy after a 30-second rapid charge in every station. The network is also equipped with laser radars and infrared cameras to detect obstacles, a system to count passenger flows and a system that analyses the behaviour of the drivers. Passengers are able to buy tickets using a QR code on their smartphones. the city of Jiaxing, in the coastal province of Zhejiang south of Shanghai. The launch followed the award of a fiveyear operations and maintenance contract by the Jiaxing Public Transport Authority on 15 October 2020. This is the first tram network in the province of Zhejiang, which is home to 57 million people, who will now be able to enjoy safe, smart and sustainable travel in the city of Jiaxing, thanks to this new mobility solution. With its eleven stations, the city’s first 11-kilometre line carries more than 20,000 passengers per day and brings the Jiaxing South high-speed railway station to within 35 minutes of the city centre. The mobility offer will be further developed by the end of 2021 with the opening of a second line, forming a network covering 15.6 kilometres in total with 26 stations. A third line is planned for 2023, creating a 35.7-kilometre network with 55 stations. Between April and June 2021, Shanghai Keolis conducted a successful threemonth trial phase in order to prepare the commissioning of the network and achieve operational excellence right from the start. In Jiaxing, Shanghai Keolis fulfilled its commitment to developing local talent by recruiting 200 employees, including drivers, maintenance technicians and customer service

Keolis reinforces its presence in China Shanghai Keolis was created in June 2014 and currently has 400 employees. In addition to the Jiaxing tram network, this JV also operates: • The automated metro at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, since September 2019. This 7.8-kilometre line services all four of the airport’s terminals and operates 24x7. • The Songjiang tram network in the suburbs of Shanghai since December 2018. Completed at the end of 2019, this network now totals 31 km and 46 stations. • The automated metro in Shanghai, since March 2018. Shanghai’s first driverless, 6.7-kilometre metro line connects six overhead stations in the Pujiang district in the south of the city. The network in figures • Five-year contract • Eleven kilometres open, 15.6 kilometres-long in total by the end of 2021 • Eleven stations open, 26 stations in total by the end of 2021 • 20 trams made by CRRC • 20,000 passengers expected per day • 200 employees


BUSINESS PROFILE |

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Create a greener rail environment with Marmoleum FR² & Striato FR floor coverings Floor coverings associated with sustainability, durability, high quality and innovative design

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esigning rail vehicles to be greener is not just about using more conscious engine parts and electrical components, it also means using environmentally friendly products in the interior of the train. Marmoleum FR² is a linoleum floor covering made from natural materials. Forbo’s Marmoleum FR² and Striato FR have been independently confirmed as CO₂ neutral floor coverings in the cradle to gate phase of the product’s life cycle, without the need for offsetting. In simple terms, the CO₂ produced in the extraction, transportation and manufacturing process of Marmoleum FR² / Striato FR is balanced by the removal of CO₂ through the growing of its natural ingredients such as flax, jute and rosin. In addition to its sustainability credentials, independent testing by the University of Glasgow (UK), has proven that Marmoleum has a unique suitability for a diverse range of environments where hygiene and the control of bacteria are important. Marmoleum FR2’s ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria stems from the natural raw materials that go into its production, namely linseed oil. The bacteriostatic qualities of Marmoleum FR2 are an inherent property of the product and won't diminish over time. Marmoleum FR2 provides peace of mind and constant protection from the moment it is installed. To ensure long lasting appearance retention and ease of maintenance, all Marmoleum FR2/ Striato FR floor coverings include Topshield 2, a double layer, UVcured finish that is scratch and scuff resistant. With its natural bacteriostatic properties and resistance to chemicals, it is the ideal solution for heavy traffic rail vehicles. A floor covering solution that is easy to clean and maintain as well as durable, safe and comfortable for both wheeled and foot traffic. Awarded the prestigious Allergy UK Seal of Approval as, with the correct cleaning Rail Professional


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| BUSINESS PROFILE

and maintenance regime, it won't harbour dust mites, contributing to a better indoor environment for all. Because it lasts for so long and is so easy to clean, Marmoleum FR2 has a low cost of ownership. • • • • • • • • •

Homogeneous durable construction. A truly sustainable floor covering. Low life cycle costs. Naturally bacteriostatic. Easy to clean. Lightweight at 2.9kg/m2. Wide range of designs and colourways. Aquajet cutting service available. Suitable for use with underfloor hearing.

Available in an extensive number of designs

and colourways Marmoleum FR2 creates a bright, fresh and modern look, enhancing any passenger experience. What’s more is Marmoleum FR² & Striato FR are both fully certified to meet rail industry standards (EN45545-2: HL3). Marmoleum FR2/ Striato FR is the best flooring choice for every sustainable interior. By using durable materials in your rail projects, you can also contribute to a better environment. It is also important to consider that 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 FR (Classic FR/ Brush FR/ Duo FR/ Welcome FR) is a collection of textile clean off products for entrances with heavy traffic. • Stops up to 95 per cent of dirt and moisture. • Excellent dirt storage/soil hiding. • Available with Pro-Fit backing for quicker installation. • Reaction to fire EN45545-2: HL2/ HL3 (depending on design). To find out more about the full range of Forbo Flooring Systems’ floor and wall covering solutions available to the rail industry please visit www.forbo-flooring.com/rail.

Marmoleum Striato FR in Welsh Moor

Rail Professional


EVENTS |

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RAIL Asia 2021 gears up as the region prepares for growth The Eastern Economic Corridor will be the main theme at RAIL Asia 2021 scheduled for 25-26 November in Thailand

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uilding on its success as Asia’s only international rail exhibition and conference in 2020, RAIL Asia maintained its position as the region’s most important trade event in one of the world’s most important and expansive markets. Thailand accounts for 40 per cent of all rail investment in Southeast Asia. The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), Thailand’s flagship economic zone, has attracted investment applications totalling more than US$39 billion, 59 per cent of all investment projects received by the BOI were

from projects in the EEC. Thailand’s gateway to Asia ranges across three eastern provinces, Chachoengsao, Chonburi and Rayong. The EEC Development Plan is designed to help transform Thailand into a valuebased economy with extensive and efficient transport links to Asia through its US$32.93 billion infrastructure upgrade plan headlined by the High-Speed Rail Ribbon Sprawl (EECh) linking three main airports to include the new Eastern Airport City ‘Aerotropolis’ (EECa). RAIL Asia was hailed a great success in its previous edition by the government, hosts and supporting organsations as it defied global

challenges and staged the only international exhibition and conference for the rail industry in 2020. Hosted by the State Railway of Thailand and opened by the Ministry of Transport, RAIL Asia 2020 highlighted its importance and strength in the region with a successful eighth edition in Bangkok as the industry ‘reconnects’ and business rebounds. ‘For Talgo this is our first time at RAIL Expo and we’ve met a lot of new clients from the industry including top executives and government. This is the exhibition that gathers people from the rail sector, not only from Thailand but from throughout Southeast


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| EVENTS

Asia. Talgo will definitely exhibit again next year’ explained Mr. Surawut Sakulhiranrak, Managing Director, Talgo Country Representative. Opened by Mr.Pisak Jitviriyavasin, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport and hosted by the State Railway of Thailand, the RAIL Asia 2020 international conference and exhibition welcomed a global line up of world class technology, solution providers

and 1,276 of the region’s stakeholders and other related industry professionals to meet, network, see the latest technologies, learn about the latest developments and trends and re-connect with the rail and metro industry in this new business environment we embrace. RAIL Asia attracts a diverse attendance of industry, last year rail and metro operators made up 13 per cent of the visitors, government five per cent, contractors 15 per

cent, consultants 17 per cent, professional and academic organisations nine per cent, suppliers 24 per cent and investors three per cent. Visitors to the event represented projects and budgets reported to be worth over US$2.426 billion in Thailand and the region. According to the audited onsite survey the main product areas of interest to the trade visitors to RAIL Asia are rolling stock and maintenance (35 per cent), signalling (29 per cent), civil engineering (24 per cent), passenger experience for PIS, ticketing, station management (19 per cent), information technology (18 per cent) and other related sectors to include tunneling, OCS, trackwork, multi-modal integration, investment, tooling and consultancy (five per cent). ‘RAIL Asia is very important for us as it gives a very good chance to catch up with all our customers at the same time to introduce new products and to discuss new projects, it is also a very good chance to meet new potential customers from the rail authorities and operators. Overall it is very beneficial to us and we very much appreciate the exhibition’ explained Mr. Hannes Saurug, Chief Commercial Officer of Voestalpine Railway Systems. RAIL Asia 2021 will be staged from 25-26 November for its ninth edition with continued full support and collaboration of government and industry, find out more by contacting the team directly at rail@aes-exhibitions.com


Profile for Rail Professional Magazine

Rail Professional Asia Pacific September Issue  

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