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Observatory of Automated Metros

Call for tenders for Athens automated line 21/04/2017

Archaeological works will be included in the contract. Pictured: display of archeological finds at Syntagma Metro Station, Athens (photo Dario Sušanj/Flickr)

On 6 April Attiko Metro published a call for tenders for the first section of a new metro line in Athens, Line 4, which will be the first automated line in Greece. Section A, running from Alsos Veikou to Goudi, will be approximately 13km long and will have 14 new stations.

The scope of the contract will include among other final design and construction of the line, stations and a new operations control centre, as well as the supply of trains and training of operations and maintenance staff.

Line 4 will complement the city’s existing three lines (line 1 – former ISAP and lines 2 and 3 of Attiko Metro). Its U-shape will include two radial branches (towards Galatsi and towards Maroussi) and one central part connecting the branches with busy and densely populated areas such as Kypseli, Exarchia, Kolonaki, Kaissariani, Ilissia, Zografou and Goudi. It will be connected with Line 2 at Panepistimio Station and with Line 3 at the existing Evangelismos Station.

Signalling and the train control system will be based on CBTC technology. Central control of the trains and stations will be done exlusively from the new OCC, which will also be designed to take over the control of the existing metro lines and tram lines. It will be located in a new building to be constructed in an area within Sepolia Depot.

Stations wil be 110m long and equipped with platform screen doors.

Construction will include a 10km double-track tunnel, as well as a connecting single-track tunnel (approximately 840m long) including start-end turnouts, which will connect Line 4 with the existing connecting tunnel of lines 2 and 3.

Call for tenders on the Attiko Metro website


First phase of Kuala Lumpur SBK Line opens 20/03/2017

© Bombardier Transportation

Phase One of the automated metro Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (SBK Line) in Kuala Lumpur began operations on 16 December 2016.  This first stretch, which runs from Sungai Buloh to Semantan, is part of a line which will be 51km long crossing Kuala Lumpur and connecting the capital city with Kajang, a fast developing town to the south-east.

The recently opened section includes 12 stations on 21km of elevated tracks. When completed, the line will run underground for a distance of 9.5km beneath the centre of Kuala Lumpur while the rest of the alignment is elevated and will have 31 stations of which 7 will be underground while the remaining 24 are elevated stations.

Phase Two, from Semantan Station to Kajang Station is to be operational by July 2017, completing the line.

The SBK Line will be owned by the Government of Malaysia through Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) and operated by RapidKL, a subsidiary of Prasarana. Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD) / Land Public Transport Commission is the supervisory agency for the project.

The daily ridership is estimated to be about 400,000 passengers. Trains travel at frequencies of 3.5 minutes during peak hours. They operate at a speed of 35km/h and will cover the distance between Sungai Buloh and Kajang in 88 minutes.

The SBK Line is the first of three metro lines planned for the Klang Valley. Constriction of the 56 km Sungai Buloh – Serdang – Putrajaya Line began on September 15, and a feasibility study is being carried out for Line 3.

Siemens Inspiro rolling stock
The rolling stock is manufactured by Siemens/CSR Nanjing Puzhen with a partnership with SMH Rail Consortium Sdn Bhd. The Siemens Inspiro rolling stock will be supplied with the same configuration as the trainsets supplied for Warsaw Metro M1. A fleet of 58 four-car trains will run the SBK line with a capacity of 1,200 passengers (300 per car).

Other contracts awarded for the project include:

  • Electric trains, depot equipment and maintenance vehicles (packages one and two) –  consortium of Siemens Malaysia and SMH Rail
  • Signalling and train control system (package three) – Bombardier
  • Power supply & distribution system (package five) – Meidensha Corporation
  • Track works (package six) – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
  • Telecommunications (package seven): consortium of Apex Communication and LG CNS
  • Platform screen door systems: ST Electronics
  • Advanced communication system for the light rail network extension: joint venture of Alcatel-Lucent and CMC Engineering

Inspired by traditionnal architecture
The architecture of the elevated stations along the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line is based on the “wakaf”, a traditional pavilion found in Malaysia built for travellers to stop and rest. Like a traditional wakaf, the elevated MRT stations are open-sided, allowing for natural lighting and ventilation.

Sources: MRT Corp (developer and asset owner of the MRT project), international trade press (Railway Technology, Metro Report), local trade press ( and local general press (The Malay Mail Online).


First driverless car arrives for Shanghai Line 8 17/01/2017

Innovia APM 300 train for Shanghai Metro Line 8 (Bombardier Transportation)

Innovia APM 300 train for Shanghai Metro Line 8 (Bombardier Transportation)

On 12 January Bombardier Transportation delivered the first Innovia APM 300 train to the city of Shanghai, China. The vehicle is part of an order placed in June 2015 by Shanghai Shentong Metro Group Co. Ltd. for a turnkey driverless system including 44 trains. Read more →

New driverless line opens in Hong Kong 05/01/2017

SIL train on viaduct (MTR)

SIL train on viaduct (MTR)

MTR Corporation opened the new South Island Line (SIL) for passenger service on 28 December , extending its railway service to the Southern District of Hong Kong.

SIL becomes MTR’s second and longest fully automatic operation railway line in Hong Kong after the Disneyland Resort Line. Read more →

Vancouver inaugurates Evergreen Extension of Millennium Line 04/01/2017

Coquitlam Central Station (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure/Flickr)

Coquitlam Central Station (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure/Flickr)

On 2 December a 11 kilometre extension was added to the SkyTrain automated metro system in Vancouver, Canada. The Evergreen Extension comprises six new stations and forms part of the Millenium Line, which has been restructured along with other parts of the network. Read more →