CoMET and Nova News: Nova welcomes Rapid KL, Kuala Lumpur

With the Nova group expanding to 17 members in 2013, the group is pleased to welcome Rapid KL from Kuala Lumpur.

RapidKL operates two metro lines in Kuala Lumpur – the Ampang line, and the Kelana Jaya Line. Together, the two lines provide a 55km network that is integrated with both the suburban rail lines and the monorail in Kuala Lumpur. The image below shows their network at the time of joining.

Rapid KL's network on joining Nova
Rapid KL’s network on joining Nova

The Kelana Jaya line uses Unattended Train Operation, adding to the Nova and CoMET groups’ experience in this area.

CoMET and Nova News: CoMET Metro Executives meet President of Chile

CoMET and President Pinera

President Piñera with CoMET executives at La Moneda Palace, Santiago

For three days in October 2013, senior executives of eleven of the world’s largest metros met to discuss good practice in metro operations. The meeting was hosted by Metro de Santiago, and participants were able to learn from site visits, including details of the construction of two new automated lines, and how Metro de Santiago is using new train driving simulators to increase staff competence.

The metro CEOs and COOs were also honoured to visit the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera and the Chilean Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Pedro Pablo Errazuriz at La Moneda Palace. The meeting with the president included productive discussions about worldwide practices in metro investment.

CoMET and Nova News: Nova welcomes Nanjing Metro

With the Nova group expanding to 17 members in 2013, the group is pleased to welcome Nanjing Metro. The Metro is expanding rapidly, with a current network length of 80km and further lines under construction. The city of Nanjing will be hosting the Youth Olympic Games in 2014, and this is driving significant metro expansion. Nanjing Metro will be the first member of Nova in mainland China, and the group very much welcomes the diversity they will add.

nanjing for 2014 games

 Nanjing’s future network map, illustrating expansion driven by their hosing of the Youth Olympics in 2014

Research: Train Driver Productivity

A Nova research study on train driver productivity aimed to identify the most important factors that influence driver efficiency, understand what methods operators have successfully used to modernise restrictions to working arrangements and identify the scope for metros to modify the most important constraints, rules and parameters that have a negative effect on both driver productivity and costs.

The study found that metros need to have sufficiently flexible labour rules to achieve higher levels of driver productivity. Correlating the level of working time flexibility with driver productivity showed that less restricted metros were more productive than metros that face stricter constraints. Organisations with part time drivers and / or the ability to utilise split shifts were associated with higher levels of driver productivity and increased effectiveness of driver time at work (better able to cover ‘peaks and troughs’ in service). Moreover, it was found that variable shift lengths were arguably more effective than split shifts for metros with a flatter service profile, allowing metro managers to adjust shift schedules as necessary and to avoid the build up (unproductive time) of staff during less busy and off peak periods. In the long term, savings from increased flexibility could more than offset the higher driver wages associated with greater flexibility. Increasing automation of train services through automatic train turnaround, remote booking-on for drivers and driverless trains can positively influence driver productivity and allow driver roles to be deployed more effectively through more customer facing roles.

It is hoped that the information contained within this study can be used to support negotiations with labour unions, government and other key stakeholders by showing evidence of how “imposed” restrictions may impact an organisation’s ability to improve and manage productivity.

Metro News: Guangzhou Metro develops new CBTC system

In cooperation with the China Railway Academy of Science and Technology, Guangzhou Metro has successfully developed a new CBTC signaling system which has now passed the scientific and technological achievement appraisal by Guangdong Province, China. This is an important achievement because the number of CBTC systems on offer is currently very limited.

The technical design of the MTC-I CBTC program was finished in 2008, experimental testing was finished in 2009, and field trials were conducted in 2010. Meanwhile, the CBTC system has received third party safety certification by Lloyds, and safety certification of related subsystems including computer-based interlocking system platform, trackside controller subsystem, on-board ATP subsystem, FIMI fail-safe intelligent input and output modules, axle counter (Safety Integrity Level 4) and ATS system(Safety Integrity Level 2). The system uses wireless communication based moving block technology. The achievement of scientific and technological identification and third-party safety certification has enabled the MTC-I CBTC signaling system to move into the engineering application stage.

News Blog

This page is the news blog for CoMET and Nova, the world’s metro benchmarking groups. The blog will cover the news from the groups, including latest research, meetings and expert workshops, and news from member metros.