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Kyiv Metro rejoins UITP and asks for European help

Kyiv Metro rejoins UITP and asks for European help

An appeal for help from Western European operators was made by the head of the Kyiv Metro, Viktor Braginskyi, at UITP’s IT-Trans conference in Karlsruhe, Germany, on 10 May. Presenting via a translator, Mr Braginskyipraised the support of UITP members to date, but issued pleas for further assistance as the metro seeks modernise its technology and operating practices and reduce its reliance on Russia. “The main task we’re facing is changing the equipment according to European standards, 80% of our equipment is Russian and we need to switch to European,” he said. “We need partners to deliver spare parts to substitute the Russian components and our expertise. It would be a pleasure to get to know you and to set up a collaboration.” The metro’s ‘dual role’ Kyiv was the third city in the former Soviet Union to open a metro. In common with other systems, the 34km (21-mile) three-line network was designed to help with emergency management. Mr Braginskyi elaborated on this ‘dual role’ and its importance since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February. “They come to the metro, not to be transported, but to save their lives,” he said. Arsenalna station is one of the deepest in the world, at 105m below the surface, and like others on the network was equipped from the outset with defensive equipment to enable it to be used as a civil defence shelter. “Year in and year out, our staff were trained to maintain the network as a secure asset for the people of the city”, Mr Braginskyi said, despite the significant costs this has incurred. He went...
Škoda Ekova awarded M31 life extension contract

Škoda Ekova awarded M31 life extension contract

Göteborg public transport operator Västtrafik (Sweden) has awarded Škoda Group an EUR80m contract to overhaul its fleet of 80 Type M31 trams. The refurbishment programme will include replacement of the vehicles’ doors, installing accessibility ramps, maintaining chassis components, renewing braking and electrical systems and adding air-conditioning for the driver’s cab. Internal modifications include new floors, seating and lighting and an overhaul of electrical and heating systems. The work will be carried out at Škoda Ekova’s plant in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and is due to for completion in 2027. Then operated by Ekova Electric, the plant overhauled 79 M31 trams between 2011 and 2017, including modifications to the car bodies and new control equipment. Between 2017 and 2021, the same facility provided upgraded mechanical parts and bodywork repairs for 65 of Göteborg’s AnsaldoBreda-built M32 trams. Founded as a subsidiary of local public transport undertaking Dopravní Podník Ostrava in 2011, Ekova Electric has around 200 employees and was purchased by Škoda in a CZL320m (EUR12.6m) deal in 2021. The M31 fleet are rebuilds of the earlier M21 two-section trams, built in Sweden between 1984 and 1992. An intermediate low-floor section was added in a programme beginning in 1998 and completed in...
HART approves plan to shorten Honolulu light metro

HART approves plan to shorten Honolulu light metro

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Board has endorsed a plan to truncate the island’s long-awaited light metro project, stopping two stations short of the original western Alna Moana terminus The HART approval echoes Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s aim of completing the project as far as Civic Center within the current funding envelope to allow passenger service to begin as soon as possible. This removes the intermediate station of Kaka’ako and the planned Ala Moana Center terminus, shortening the line by more than 1.6km (one mile). Stopping at Civic Center would reduce the number of people who will the system by nearly 30%, according to a recent HART report. The original projected ridership of 119 600 trips/day in 2030 would decline to 84 000 with a shorter line. The city’s transportation committee must now give its final approval, although a bigger hurdle remains with the US Federal Transit Administration. When the city signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement with the FTA in 2012, the project was budgeted at USD5.2bn billion for 21 stations and 32km (20-mile) of elevated line between East Kapolei and Ala Moana. The latest cost projection is that even the line from East Kapolei to Civic Center will cost USD9.93bn, including financing costs. HART Executive Director Lori Kahikina said she believed there was a good chance the FTA would accept the changes, adding that: “We had to do a risk refresh with them and all of the communications on the risk refresh was the truncated scope –everything else that we’ve been discussing with them on our estimate at completion has been the truncated scope. So I’m...
FTA to undertake detailed MBTA safety review

FTA to undertake detailed MBTA safety review

The US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is reviewing the safety practices of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) after a report found that the death of a passenger on a Red line train last month was caused by a faulty safety mechanism. The incident at Broadway station on 10 April saw a Red line train continue to move even though the arm of a 39-year-old man became trapped in the door as he exited the train. He was dragged more than 30m along the platform and fell onto the track below. A preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found the car had a malfunctioning safety feature that should have prevented the train from moving if the door was obstructed. The MBTA subsequently tested other trains in its fleet and found no similar malfunctioning equipment. In a letter to the MBTA, the FTA said it is “extremely concerned with the ongoing safety issues” and will take on an “increased safety oversight role” of the transit system, the Boston Globe reported. In reply, a statement from the MBTA said that the agency has “almost doubled the size of its Safety Department in the past three years, broadening the scope of its activities and training thousands of employees to help foster a culture in which safety is prioritised and integrated into the MBTA’s core mission of delivering safe and dependable services. “Unwavering in its commitment to its riders and employees, the MBTA has strong, well-funded plans for delivering safe, accessible, and reliable services for decades to come.” Officials from the FTA and MBTA held a meeting in April to initiate the...
Berlin Senate presents Spandau – Tegel tramway plans

Berlin Senate presents Spandau – Tegel tramway plans

The Berlin Senate has released more detail of its plans for a tramline between Spandau and the former Tegel Airport. Tegel closed in November 2020 after being replaced by the long-overdue Berlin Brandenburg and is now being redeveloped as the ‘Urban Tech Republic’ (UTR) residential, commercial and educational area. The consultation indicates a route divided into three sections. In Spandau, the line would start at the S-Bahn station and head north via the Altstädter Ring and Neuendorfer Straße. An acknowledged challenge here is Falkenseer Platz, Spandau’s largest and busiest roundabout. In order to cross the River Havel, the planners favour using the Wasserstadtbrücke, completed in 2001, which already has the space to accommodate a tram alignment. The wide Daumstraße likewise offers sufficient space for a segregated route in Wasserstadt, although an alternative route further north is also being considered. New bridges would be required to open up the island of Gartenfeld, where residential redevelopment is also planned. To reach the UTR development site several options have been presented, including a route next to Saatwinkler Damm. A new depot alongside the future terminus is also under consideration. The first tenants are expected to occupy units on the UTR from 2027, with up to 5000 apartments and a new campus for the Berlin University of Applied Sciences planned. At this stage there are no timelines or costs for construction of the tram connection. > TAUT explored Berlin’s tramway expansion plans in issue 996 (December...