And the winner is...21 October 2013
Welcome to the inaugural Urban Transport Agenda Awards. In this issue, we announce the winners in various categories that illustrate the growing trends, innovations and priorities within the urban transport industry. Select editorial board members and a panel of industry experts made the final decisions, which underscore how competition and possibilities are growing in equal measure.
EXPANSION PROJECT OF THE YEAR
Winner: Network Rail
Network Rail is delivering the above-ground work on Crossrail, the biggest overhaul of London's transport system for over 50 years.
Demand for public transport already outstrips capacity, with extensive crowding on national rail services and on London Underground, particularly for routes toward the City, the Isle of Dogs, and key rail interchanges like Victoria and King's Cross. Demand is likely to increase further, with over 850,000 people commuting to Greater London every day by 2025.
When the first phase of Crossrail services opens in late 2018, it will mark a new era for rail travel to and through the capital. Dramatically cutting journey times, it will bring an extra 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of London's business districts and is essential to support cross-London public transport links for the next century.
SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
Large construction projects always have to tick the sustainability box, but the people behind Crossrail have shown that it's possible to do much more than that by helping to create a new nature reserve at Wallasea Island in Essex.
The excavation work from the tunnels will bring up around six million tons of material, and, from the beginning, the project's managers were keen for it to be used in a sustainable manner.
Since 2008, Crossrail has been working with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) on the design of a new nature reserve at Wallasea Island in Essex, the destination for the excavated material. Once completed, the site will become Europe's largest man-made nature reserve.
HEALTH AND SAFETY INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Transport for London
Fire safety standards in the rail sector continue to change in light of technological advances and unprecedented collaboration between train operators.
New challenges and lessons learned from past experiences are collectively driving the evolution of safety standards. The ongoing process of modernisation means that ensuring passengers' safety is all about tracking a moving target without letting standards slip.
TfL, the local government body responsible for most aspects of London's transport system, was created in 2000 and took over control of the London Underground in 2003. Since then it has worked to improve the track record of fire safety on the Tube network. And at the European level, the introduction last year of the European fire safety standard EN 45545-2 for interoperability (TSI) is the most significant step forward.
EN 45545-2 has had various components over the years, including TSIs covering safety in railway tunnels (SRT TSI), high-speed rolling stock (HS RS TSI) and conventional rolling stock (CR TSI), all of which are intended to promote the interoperability of rolling stock across the EU. The process has not been without its difficulties, especially as each major European state had its own unique testing methods and local specifications, all of which were superseded by EN45545.
Progress has been driven by an understanding that common standards are in everyone's best interest. Fire safety in the London Underground network centres on the three components: fuel, a source of ignition and the nature of the surrounding atmosphere.
By focusing on these, the industry can lay claim to an impressive safety record. Last year, London Underground moved 1.1 billion customers; more than the UK's overground rail networks combined, and the number of fires decreased yet again year on year, despite Victorian infrastructure.
REVITALISATION PROJECT OF THE YEAR
New projects led by the Singapore Land Transport Authority are improving the city-state's rapid transit system by incorporating advanced technology and an enhanced passenger experience.
A three-stage project to develop the Downtown line (DTL) within Singapore's mass rapid transit (MRT) system is currently on schedule. When complete, the entire line will run 42km through 34 stations, making it the longest underground and driverless MRT line in Singapore.
The first of the three stages of the Downtown line, the DTL1, will comprise six stations along 4.3km, serving commuters in the Marina Bay area. Four interchange stations will provide connectivity to the rest of the rail network.
PASSENGER SERVICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV), Italy's first private operator on the country's high-speed rail network, selected Quintiq to provide supply-chain planning and optimisation (SCP&O) software to hone all operational resources, everything from long-term strategic planning to real-time rescheduling and disruption management.
Typically, rail fleet and workforce planning involves having the right amount of resources to meet forecasted demand. Plans must also take into account employment regulations, maintenance requirements and capacity constraints.
The first phase of the project involved modelling NTV's operations, including the number of crew and station staff that would be required for operations in 2012.
Quintiq's inherent flexibility ensured a fully accurate model. NTV and Quintiq then worked together to implement the solution, which went live in October 2012.
SIGNALLING AND COMMUNICATIONS INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Paris Métro
In November 2011, Pierre Mongin, chairman and CEO of RATP, France's state-owned public transport operator, inaugurated the first batch of driverless trains on the Paris Métro's Line 1. And as part of RATP's overall modernisation programme, the ultimate goal was to have 49 trains in operation by the end of 2012.
Line 1 serves approximately 725,000 passengers every day. By automating the line, and increasing the number of trains in circulation, RATP is hoping to better serve this swell of passenger traffic.
The project has seen the line's existing MP89 rolling stock range replaced with new, specially designed MP05 driverless trains.