Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) is delighted to announce that MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) has recently joined COMET becoming the newest member. MARTA, serving the city of Atlanta, Georgia (USA), has been providing public transportation services since 1979. The rapid transit system has 77km of network and 38 stations located on four lines – Red, Gold, Blue and Green Line. The headway at weekday peak hours is currently 15 minutes. Increase of the peak hour frequency to every 12 minutes is planned to launch later this year.
The CoMET group convened in Madrid for the first meeting of the year. The CoMET 2019 Management Meeting welcomed all 17 members of CoMET for the first time since 2016. The group also welcomed metros visiting from Nova – Metropolitano de Lisboa, San Francisco BART, and Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona – and Tokyo Metro as observers to the meeting. Members were welcomed to the meeting by Borja Carabante, Chief Executive Officer at Metro de Madrid, and Rosalía Gonzales López, President of the Board of Directors of Metro de Madrid and the Regional Minister of Transport, Housing and Infrastructure.
The group was particularly honoured to share in Metro de Madrid’s 100th Anniversary celebrations, taking place throughout 2019. During the meeting, members had the opportunity to learn about the history of Metro de Madrid through visits to Chamberi station museum, where a variety of restored trains and artefacts are on display, and Chamartín station, which is a good example of historical station design. Members also learned about Metro de Madrid’s “Estación 4.0” where new innovations for the metro are tested.
Members also exchanged their latest activities, challenges and initiatives during meeting sessions, as well as focusing on preparations and lessons learned from major events. The RTSC presented latest benchmarking results from studies such as Energy Saving Strategies, Escalator Management (Availability, Assets and Safety), and Metro Security, as well as exploring key performance indicators focusing on key areas of metro operations and management.
The annual Management Meeting is where the upcoming CoMET work programme is determined by the members. After voting on 36 potential topics for study in 2019, the group agreed on four studies for 2019 – a large study focusing on station staffing models, real-time travel information, and focused studies on best practices using signage in stations and trains, and digital transformation of metros. The studies will be carried out by the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) at Imperial College London over the next year.
Shenzhen Metro has joined the Community of Metros as part of the Nova consortium. Shenzhen Metro (SZMC) operates Lines 1, 2, 3 and 5 in Shenzhen, which comprises 158km and 107 stations. Line 4 is operated separately by MTR, but is from a customer perspective part of the same metro system. The total system (including Line 4) is already carrying an estimated 600-700m annual passenger journeys.
The system first opened in 2004, and expanded dramatically by over 100km in 2011 (before Shenzhen hosted the 2011 Summer Universiade). The network has been stable since 2011, but there are several new lines under construction, with multiple new lines to open in 2016.
Shenzhen is a city of about 10 million in the south of Guangdong Province, adjacent to Hong Kong and less than 100 miles southeast of Guangzhou. Shenzhen Metro is a key part of what may be the most metro-connected megalopolis in the world – it directly links in two places to Hong Kong’s East Rail Line (the first time two Community of Metros members in different cities interchange!), and there are plans in the not-so-distant future to also connect Shenzhen Metro to the Dongguan Metro, which itself will connect to the Guangzhou Metro at its other end.
Shenzhen Metro is already working on plans to attend the next Nova meeting, which will be hosted by the Docklands Light Railway in London in September 2015.
Metro Rio has recently begun using an innovative system for bogie replacement. In the 1980s, Metro Rio rolling stock’s bogies were replaced using four hydraulic jacks (15 tons capacity each) to lift a 42 tonne metro car and drop the bogie. This equipment was obsolete, unreliable and sometimes unsafe. Furthermore, there was no feature to synchronize the rise/descent of the 4 jacks, thus making it a complex operation. These factors lead Metro Rio to develop a different system to replace bogies using a lifting platform coupled to two hydraulic jacks. This system required the maintenance team to uncouple the specific car from the rest of the train to replace bogies, and this single car could only be moved with a maintenance vehicle (as there is no third rail inside the rolling stock maintenance area).
Recently Metro Rio has acquired a new fleet (19 trains with 6 cars) which uses semi-permanent couplings. The process of uncoupling these is time-consuming, making the current bogie replacement process not very effective. That led Metro Rio to design and construct a new bogie replacement system.
The new bogie replacement system is called “pit stop.” A complete train can get into this system without any maintenance vehicle support as the bogie drop facility is located in a single dedicated track with power supply. The bogie is removed without having to uncouple the cars, reducing the downtime considerably. The “pit stop/bogie drop” is particularly useful when a bogie failure happens during service hours and is necessary to get the train back into revenue operation very quickly.
In 2012 Nova welcomed Istanbul Ulasim to the group. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, with a population of 13 million people making 27 million daily trips of which 13% are made by rail.
The rail-based network in Istanbul comprises 8 rail-based lines which include metro, light rail, and tram. The metro lines, M1 (red), M2 (green), M3 (blue( and M4 (pink), are included in the Nova membership. Line M5 (purple) is currently under construction. With the recent opening of the Marmaray tunnel linking M4 (Asian side) with the European side of Istanbul, this metro becomes the world’s first inter-continental metro network.
- 25 million car km in 2012
- 175 million passenger journeys in 2012
- 77% customer satisfaction
- 62% of journeys made using the Akbil smartcard
Istanbul Ulasim will benefit from Nova and CoMET through the ability to share good practices and learn from other fast-growing metros in large cities in South America and Asia.
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.