Browsing Tag: infrastructure

    Progress Update (January 2020)
    Articles, Blog

    Progress Update (January 2020)

    January 17, 2020

    Hi everybody. Mark Wild, CEO Crossrail
    here. I’m here to give you an update on Crossrail and the opening of the
    Elizabeth line. It’s certainly our expectation to get this railway open in
    the summer of 2021. To do that means that we need to get into something we call
    ‘trial running’ in the autumn of this year. We’re confident about that and I’d just
    like to explain what it will take to get there. We actually had a very
    productive 2019. Where we are today, well all of our electrical systems are
    energised. The platform screen doors are installed, the train control software is
    at a maturity that we’ve never really seen before and it’s stations like
    Farringdon that I’m here today, you can see for once I’m not wearing a hard hat
    or a high-visibility jacket. That’s because we are what we call PPE free and
    a lot of our stations are at this point of completion now. So all in all we’ve
    had a very productive 2019 and now it is the task of integrating all of these
    systems and getting the Elizabeth line open. So we look forward to 2020. What’s
    to do? Well we are committed to commencing what we call ‘trial running’ in
    the autumn of this year. That is a pivotal moment because from that point
    on the trains run at their full capability of 24 trains an hour and we
    shake out all of the bugs and get the system with the highest possible
    reliability. To get to the start of trial running in the autumn there’s still a
    lot to do. The assurance regime on Crossrail of course is complex, challenging
    and a lot of it is the integration of assets such as public address systems,
    smoke alarms, fire suppression, everything actually that a modern digital railway
    has and of course Crossrail and the Elizabeth line is at a scale that’s
    certainly never been seen before in Europe and is the biggest thing to
    happen in the UK railways for many generations. We of course will try to do
    that as soon as possible. A lot of it will depend on how trial
    running goes but we’re feeling very confident about the signalling and train control
    systems, a really very good job done by the Crossrail team, Siemens and
    Bombardier has put us in a very good position but for the first time we have
    signalling train control software that we know will do the job and we’re very
    confident about getting to trial running in the autumn of this year. So lots to do
    in 2020 but certainly an exciting prospect
    to look forward to as we get the Elizabeth line open. Thanks for bearing
    with us. We know that everybody needs this railway and rest assured, we’re
    doing our very best to do that. Thanks for watching and I look forward to
    keeping you up to date in the future. Thank you.

    Handover assurance for the Elizabeth Line
    Articles, Blog

    Handover assurance for the Elizabeth Line

    January 12, 2020

    Crossrail is a complex programme and to hand it
    over successfully we need to break it down into component parts. There will be
    a number of elements we hand over. There will be shafts, there’ll be portals, there’ll
    be stations and they’ll be routeway systems and these will be individually
    handed over. Within each of these elements there’ll will be signalling,
    telecoms, civils, mechanical, electrical components that make up
    that element that we will hand over to the operator and maintainer. Delivery
    assurance is all about making sure that what we deliver is safe, reliable,
    performs and is operable and maintainable. The railway industry is
    actually assured similar to how the nuclear industry or the aviation
    industry is so to much higher standards than would a normal construction project.
    We have to comply with London Underground and Network Rail standards
    we also have to comply with the railway and other guided transport systems
    regulations and also we have to convince the ORR (the Office of Rail & Road)
    regulator that we are ready to safely operate and maintain this railway. To
    assure that railway you’ve got millions of documents at the bottom that flow up
    and feed into that one document that unlocks it that we use to justify every
    step of the way that the railway is safe, reliable and operable and maintainable
    to the operator and maintainer. One of the examples of how the assurance
    evidence can be as problematic as the actual design and installation of the
    works would be in our LED lighting within some of our stations. We made a
    decision early, very early on in the Crossrail design phase that we would be
    using LED lighting throughout and not using what was rapidly becoming obsolete
    fluorescent fittings. The problem posed by that was there was very little
    testing or assurance or life cycle information available about LED fittings
    because they were all very new. To get them approved for use on the station
    involved subjecting them to very rigorous electrical testing, EMC testing, fire
    survival testing, smoke emissions, toxicity testing and producing
    all of the various certificates, videos, reports that substantiate the results of
    those tests. That in itself can take quite a long time, meanwhile the light
    fitting is already manufactured, maybe ready to be installed and therefore we
    have the situation where the thing that’s actually stopping completion of
    that piece of work is the assurance activity not the installation activity.
    Part of that process is producing operations and maintenance manuals which
    takes time. It’s all well and good installing all these assets but you’ve
    got to be able to safely operate and maintain them and we’ve got to be able
    to train and communicate the operations and maintenance processes to the
    maintainer and the operator so they know how to use it, not just now but in
    10, 20, 30 years time. So all the hard work we are doing right now in terms of
    assurance and handover will go on to help future railways in their delivery.
    So we are breaking new ground here. This will be the first wholly digital railway
    in the UK

    Signalling training for the Elizabeth line
    Articles, Blog

    Signalling training for the Elizabeth line

    January 9, 2020

    Signalling is important on any railway
    line. We have to move trains that’ve got people on so it has to be done in a safe
    manner, it has to be done in an efficient manner, so if we can do it as efficiently
    as possible then we can get more trains into the system. I’m helping the
    operations readiness department and that is ensuring that we
    have the train staff that we have ready to operate the railway when we’re able
    to do so. We have a simulator for the signalling system, the power system, the
    tunnel vent system and we are running simulations and exercises trying to make
    them as realistic as possible and we do those on a weekly basis at the moment.
    There are seven or eight service and infrastructure managers, there’s eight of
    me. Each of us has three or four traffic managers who are the signallers and power
    operators and then there are a team of incident response managers. These are
    people who are outside on the ground responding to incidents and reporting
    back in to the service and infrastructure manager wherever they go
    to and where they’re deployed to. We’re doing whole range of scenarios. We’re
    doing scenarios about broken rails, we’re doing scenarios about power lines being
    dragged down, we’ve been doing simulations about organising evacuations
    from trains, a person ill on the train. We will be developing them further and
    we’ll be making them more interactive. We’re going to be using our training
    facility in Ilford and we’ll be using that to send our incident response
    managers to, our maintenance response teams and they’ll be going to that
    facility so they’ll be doing more hands-on work. The network operations
    team which I’m a part of, the people on it come from all sorts of different
    backgrounds. We have some railway people of course and quite rightly so but we
    have people from the ambulance service, we have people from the police service, we’ve got people from all over the place. Probably
    all traffic managers have been itching to get our hands on the system and
    actually deal with how it would be day to day. You can see that it can be a role
    that can be quiet at times and it can be quite busy at times depending on how
    the incidents really go on the day on a day to day basis. So for me although I
    thought I knew a lot about the railway I never realised
    how much there was to learn so yeah, definitely the knowledge I’m learning is
    great. Not having a railway background, it’s put me in a much better position to
    be able to do my job properly and I now understand a lot more about railways.
    This just seemed a really interesting project to be part of. The fact that it
    was Crossrail and it’s starting a railway. Really nice to be in on the start of it
    and watch it grow and set something into place where I can look back and went “I did that”.

    Why Public Transportation Sucks in the US
    Articles, Blog

    Why Public Transportation Sucks in the US

    January 7, 2020

    This video was made possible by Skillshare. Learn anything, including how I make these
    videos, for free for two months by going to This is Indiana, and this is Scotland. Both have a similar number of inhabitants,
    a similar size, and a similar population density. But here’s Indiana’s public transportation
    system, and here’s Scotland’s. You want to get to Cupar, a town of 9,000
    30 miles from the capital? That’ll take you 55 minutes on a train that
    leaves every 30 minutes or an hour and 40 minutes on a bus that leaves every 40. You want to get to Anderson, a town of 50,000
    30 miles from Indiana’s capital? Well, you’re out of luck. The only option is the car. Antiquated technology, safety concerns, crumbling
    infrastructure, and nonexistence—it’s not hard to argue that the US public transportation
    network is just not good. Vast swaths of the US have no option but to
    drive because the alternative just is not there. This has consequences on the environment,
    on economic mobility, on where people live, the consequences of America’s lack of solid
    public transportation almost defines American culture. But it wasn’t always like this. The United States once had the best public
    transportation system in the world. It was a the admiration of countries worldwide
    and an essential factor allowing for the successful western expansion of the country. It all started with this—the horsecar. Now, there were urban transportation systems
    before these horse drawn trams came along, but they weren’t cheap and they weren’t
    fast. Roads generally weren’t paved and there
    just wasn’t the economic demand for high frequency service because these carriages
    were rarely faster than walking. But on rails, these horsecars were fast and
    one horse could pull a full load of passengers thanks to the rails. In its heyday, there were over 6,000 miles
    of horsecar lines in the US. In comparison, the combined mileage of every
    tram, subway, light rail, and commuter rail system in the US nowadays is 5,416. In 1880, 50 million people lived in the US. Today, over 320 million. Around the turn of the century, many of those
    horsecar systems were electrified. There were then 11,000 miles of streetcar
    track nationwide. The systems were absolutely everywhere. Even tiny towns like Bangor, Maine and Berlin,
    New Hampshire had streetcars. So what happened? How did the US go from having 11,000 miles
    of streetcar to 200? How did the US go from having solid public
    transportation in towns big and small across the country to how it is today? The decline of the streetcar began just after
    the turn of the century. That was when the automobile came around. By 1920, the car was starting to get to an
    attainable price-point for the everyday individual. That was the real threat for the streetcar—not
    cars, but economical cars. The streetcar received another blow in 1929—the
    great depression. There were fewer people with jobs which meant
    fewer people who needed to commute and fewer people who had the money to pay for transport
    so many lines were just not profitable anymore and closed. But then the streetcar received a stay of
    execution—World War Two. You see, during World War Two, the US had
    the lowest unemployment rate in history—as low as 1.2%. There were tons of factory jobs to support
    the war so practically everyone who wanted a job had a job. That meant there were tons more people now
    going to and from work, and, even better for the streetcar, there were rations going on
    on rubber and gas which diminished the popularity of the car. But something else was going on through all
    of that. Something more sinister. Sometime in the 1920s, automobile technology
    became advanced enough that the bus became cheaper to operate than the streetcar. Streetcars cost very little to power, but
    they do require a lot of infrastructure from overhead lines to track. Buses were more flexible and required almost
    no infrastructure. And the bus had some powerful friends, the
    automobile companies, or more specifically, General Motors. General Motors went and bought dozens of small
    streetcar companies across the nation and turned them into bus companies. They removed hundreds of miles of track across
    the US and supported other companies doing the same, but its not like they didn’t have
    a good reason to do this. These streetcars were not economically advantageous. Buses were faster, cheaper, and at the time,
    they were the modern and fresh transportation method that the public wanted. Nearly every streetcar system nationwide was
    replaced with a bus system. In addition, the streetcar companies were
    almost all commercial so if and when they failed, many local governments set up public,
    subsidized bus companies. So that’s how transportation got bad, but
    why did it stay bad? Well, mostly because of the car. America is the country of the car. It grew up as the car grew up and so its cities
    were built for cars. Think Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles—you can’t
    survive in these cities without a car. Remember, the United States is centered around
    the idea of personal freedom. With a car, you can go anywhere at anytime,
    so politically, cars have historically been associated with the idea of personal freedom. Just like the Republican party votes to have
    strong national defense, allow gun ownership, and preserve small government in order to
    promote personal freedom, they have always worked to promote the usage and ownership
    of cars. This means they often voted in favor of subsidies
    helping the auto industry, most often in the form of indirect subsidies lowering the cost
    of gas. Now, that was fine when cities were small,
    highways were new, gas was cheap, and climate change wasn’t even a concept, but that’s
    not the case anymore. Cities are just of a size where they literally
    cannot support their entire population driving. You can’t fit more road infrastructure in
    many cites, but you can fit more public transportation. Cars were available to the common American
    much earlier than the common European, so the US set road policies early that allowed
    for large, smooth, well-functioning roads. While the US was building its magnificent
    roads, Europe was building their public transportation systems. The high car usage in the US even has to do
    with zoning. You see, European cities tend to have less
    strict zoning laws which allow for businesses and housing to intermingle. The US zones its cities much more strictly. Houses are next to houses and businesses are
    next to businesses which means that the distances between houses and shops in the US is much
    greater. Therefore, Americans have to go further more
    often. The most demonstrative fact is how the two
    places approach parking. In the US, zoning laws specify a minimum number
    of parking spaces per building. In Europe, the laws specify a maximum number
    of parking spaces. The three cities with the three lowest car-ownership
    rates in the US all have something in common. Boston, New York, and DC, are all old, rather
    compact cities with decent public transportation systems. Since they were cities before the car, they’re
    built much more like the European cities that have such good public transportation systems
    today. Simplified, public transportation gets worse
    as you go further west since western cities are newer. But here’s the most important sentence of
    this entire video: access to transportation is the single most important factor in an
    individual’s ability to escape poverty. That is not a subjective claim, that is a
    fact that emerged from a Harvard study. Someone who lives right by a subway stop is
    astronomically more likely to find a high-paying job than someone who doesn’t have a way
    to get around. Individuals in poverty generally live in poor
    neighborhoods with few job opportunities, but with reliable, accessible, and inexpensive
    public transportation these individuals can get all across their city to where the jobs
    are. So, a good way to evaluate the effectiveness
    of a public transportation system is by how well it serves the poor. DC, for example, does a good job of this. The poorest neighborhoods have the greatest
    proportion of their residents within a 10-minute walk of a metro station while the richest
    neighborhoods have the smallest proportion. Hand-in-hand with their move back into the
    cities, millennials are shunning cars. Car ownership among young people is at historic
    lows and the urban youth is relying more and more on public transport. Some cities like, Portland, Kansas City, Detroit,
    and DC are turning back to streetcars. Done right, streetcars can drive huge increases
    in economic development. They’re more of a symbol of modernization
    that entices residents, developers, and businesses to areas. Portland, for example, has had an estimated
    $5 billion in extra economic development thanks to its streetcar. New streetcar systems are being built all
    across the US in cities like Milwaukee and Oklahoma city since they’re finally making
    money again—not from their fares, but from the jobs brought by their existence. People didn’t want them a century ago, but
    streetcars finally make sense again. Public transportation is instrumentally important
    to the success of cities. You can almost be sure that a good city will
    have good public transportation and a bad city will have bad public transportation. Public transportation increases economic mobility,
    decreases carbon footprints, and increases economic development so the only question
    is, why not build more of it? One of the most common requests I receive
    is for a behind-the-scenes video and I’ve finally made one. I’ve partnered up with Skillshare to post
    it on their platform. The course is mainly geared to people who
    already do or want to create their own videos but it should be interesting for anyone. If you’re not interested in that in particular,
    Skillshare has over 16,000 classes about pretty much anything and everything which you can
    watch from anywhere including when you’re offline by using their IOS or Android apps. An annual membership gives you unlimited access
    to their classes for less than $10/month, but the first 500 people to sign up over at can learn whatever they want on Skillshare for free for their first two
    months including my behind-the-scenes course which is also linked in the description.


    Tunnel Mont-Royal – Des travaux majeurs pour construire le REM

    December 20, 2019

    The tunnel under Mount Royal is a century-old infrastructure which was completed in 1918. It was a true technical feat for its time. The tunnel stretches over 5 km and descends to nearly 180 meters underground. Initially, this tunnel was used to transport passengers and goods to Toronto and Ottawa. It is used today by the Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche commuter train lines to get to Central Station. And now that the REM has arrived, this infrastructure will become the heart of a new transportation network that crosses Mount Royal. An extensive upgrading work is underway, and the tunnel will be closed as of January 2020. Upgrading the tunnel under Mount Royal. Once up and running, the REM will completely replace the Deux-Montagnes line. This major project will transform the line into an automated light rail system, double its capacity, improve transportation time, increase the frequency of departures, create new connections and improve security. Up until now, numerous projects have been carried out on the rail side of things. Especially, the conversion to electrical power and excavation of foundations for stations in Canora and Mont-Royal. Starting in January 2020, even more significant work will begin in the tunnel, including restoring the inside surfaces to renovate and rewaterproof the structure, excavating to build new ventilation systems, overhauling all the electrical systems and replacing the rails. As for the Édouard-Montpetit and McGill stations, work is already well underway. Given the scope of the work and the fact that work will take place on an electrified railway, closure of the Deux-Montagnes line is necessary to ensure the safety of all the workers. As of January 2020 and for 2 years, the section between Central Station and Bois-Franc will be shut down. The goal of this phase is to allow completion of the excavation and work on the underground stations at McGill and Édouard-Montpetit, to build the new stations, to renovate the tunnel and existing viaducts and to change the rails and electrical supply over 10 km. In a second phase, the section between Bois-Franc and Deux-Montagnes will also be interrupted. The same types of sites will be repeated: building stations, renewing bridges, changing the rails and electrical supply over 20 km, but also building a new maintenance facility. This sequence of work will make it possible to make the REM service operational in parts. The first light rail trains will circulate through the tunnel in 2022. REM is a gigantic construction project. It will be the equivalent of a true subway line going across Greater Montreal, for all the future generations.

    Breaking Ground: Acoustic Shed construction at City Square
    Articles, Blog

    Breaking Ground: Acoustic Shed construction at City Square

    December 19, 2019

    So we’re here at City Square. This is one of the three sites that make up
    the Town Hall Station. The other two sites are Federation Square
    and Flinders Quarter. So we’ve just finished constructing our acoustic
    shed. It enables us to contain all of our construction
    activities, so all light, the dust, the noise that we generate doesn’t go into the local community,
    and it allows us to work day and night shift. So the shed itself is a steel frame with precast
    concrete panels and they perform really well to attenuate the noise. So it’s 90 metres long, 23 metres wide and 18
    metres high. It’s a temporary structure, it’ll be up for
    approximately three years while we complete all the excavation activities and then it’ll
    be removed after that. Within the shed we have a temporary deck that
    we’ve constructed. That’s really important for us to get our
    vehicles in through Collins Street, into the shed to get loaded, and then out through Swanston
    Street. So the gantry cranes are mostly used to remove
    the material from the shaft and we also use it to get all of our excavators in and out
    and all our materials needed for construction. So on top of the deck we have all the material
    movements coming in and out, but really it’s underneath the deck that we’re doing all the excavation
    and the main works happen. Now that we’ve completed the deck and the shed
    we can focus on the excavation activities. We’re making really good progress with the
    shaft excavation, we’ve excavated approximately eight metres down. We have another six metres to go before we
    can start to tunnel under Swanston Street. The main bit of equipment for tunnelling will
    be a roadheader so quite a large piece of equipment that weighs approximately 70
    tonne when fully mobilised and that will enable us to do the tunnelling works for the Town Hall Station.

    John Holland safety fails on Melbourne Metro
    Articles, Blog

    John Holland safety fails on Melbourne Metro

    December 17, 2019

    Chinese-owned John Holland at again
    putting profit before workers safety on Melbourne Metro. Non-compliant scaffold Inadequate access and egress Crane lift outside of loading bay. inadequate protection for workers on
    live road No hard barriers No spotter and lack of dust suppression
    in a confined space Smoko I shed being used as a first-aid
    room: no stretcher, no bed No stands for leads Damaged leads Exposed wires John Holland at it again


    UCL Urban Railways MSc

    December 7, 2019

    Environments for certain railways are rapidly
    changing, and we need new approaches which may be different from the ones for traditional
    railways. We are fully aware that the skills and knowledge
    required today and in the future are quite different from those for the past, so compared
    with traditional knowledge-based teaching, our programme puts more emphasis not only
    on the essential knowledge of our railways, and the transferable skills, but also to help our students develop their
    strengths of, you know, visionary thinking and how to solve real-world problems. London Underground is a very interesting system,
    because it was built 200 years ago. When it was built, nobody thought that it
    would carry so many people as we see today. So recently, we’ve seen a new system upgrade,
    new rolling stock, to run as many trains as possible, so now the Victoria
    Line runs 36 trains per hour. UCL is playing a key part in supporting this
    kind of high-frequency operation. Our modules involve data mining, visualisation,
    data analysis, system integration and business management, so through these modules our students
    can link cutting-edge technology with railways, have a better understanding of railway-related
    engineering, and study the business models of urban railway projects all over the world. We also have a project-based module, to enable
    our students to put their railway-related expertise into practice. During the [programme] we may receive guest
    lectures from railway industry [professionals], Transport for London, London Underground;
    it is really amazing to see what is really going on in the railway industry today. There are a variety of career options for
    our students after Urban Railways MSc, such as urban railway planners, designers and engineers,
    and urban railway operators, infrastructure management, government [roles], software development,
    and consultancy firms. Or academia and universities. London is a very welcoming world city, as
    well, you’ll find people from all cultures and all walks of life here, the Department
    of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering makes everybody feel welcome, and one of its
    greatest strengths is the fact that there is so many people here from different backgrounds,
    they’ve got different views, and it’s wonderful to learn in that kind of environment, amongst
    those people who are your peers, and who become your friends.

    CHINA Wants to Help INDIA to Upgrade its Railway Network
    Articles, Blog

    CHINA Wants to Help INDIA to Upgrade its Railway Network

    December 4, 2019

    Hello Everyone
    This is World Conspiracy Daily WC Daily CHINA Wants to Help INDIA to Upgrade its Railway
    Network India could accelerate its rail upgrading
    process and shorten the investment time if it cooperated with China, which has the world’s
    most extensive rail network and advanced technology, a Chinese daily said today. India’s railway network, often called the
    lifeline of the country, plays a critical role in its economic development, carrying
    more than 23 million passengers and three million tonnes of freight on 19,000 trains
    a day, the state-run Global Times reported. Given China’s advanced technology and experience
    in infrastructure construction, cooperation with China would offer a shortcut for countries
    like India that tend to copy the China model.. In January, at least 36 people were killed
    in a train derailment in southern India, just two months after 150 people died in another
    train derailment in northern India. Dilapidated infrastructure and poor management
    are the main reasons for the accidents, which is why the government has pledged to invest
    USD 137 billion over five years to upgrade the rail network. India has said that it needs to put major
    investment into the rail sector in the coming 30 years to catch up with China, adding that
    rising debt should not be a concern, as it is an inevitable part of revamping infrastructure. Over the past decade, China has developed
    a new high- speed rail network, surpassing western countries in terms of technology and
    standards, the report said. As the only country that has pursued large-scale
    railway construction in recent years, China now has the world’s most extensive rail network. This “unparallelled” advantage makes China
    a “perfect partner” for any country seeking to develop transportation infrastructure to
    propel economic growth, it said. It also makes perfect sense for India to take
    a shortcut to cooperate with China in order to revitalise its rail system and management
    levels. So what do you think of Chinese Daily Article
    ? Does India Really Need to Cooperate with China
    to develop and Upgrade its Railway system ?
    Or India Can do by its own ? Post your Comments below
    And if you like this Video please Give Thumbs Up And follow us on Social Networks And Subscribe to our Channel
    And Thanks for Watching This is WC Daily
    Think Big Think Different Bye

    Breaking Ground: St Kilda Road tram occupation
    Articles, Blog

    Breaking Ground: St Kilda Road tram occupation

    December 4, 2019

    We are here today at Anzac Station undergoing
    a major occupation to realign the new tram tracks. This occupation is necessary to join
    the north and the south station box that is under St Kilda Road. The station box is 300 metres in length, 30
    metres in width and 22 metres deep. We are working 24 hours a day to reduce disruption
    to the road and tram network, demolishing the track, overheads, wires and road. This
    will allow the installation and construction of the new track and road. The construction of the acoustic shed behind
    me is aimed at reducing construction impacts such as noise, light and dust and is ongoing
    throughout the occupation. We built as much of the road and the tram
    alignment as we could before the occupation to minimise disruption to the local community.
    We worked closely with Yarra Trams and VicRoads to ensure a successful occupation.