Urban Rail: 5 Metro Project Updates

July 1, 2020
Stay updated on 5 global metro projects in Raildiary's latest report. From Malaysia to Indonesia, explore progress, challenges, and future plans.

Urban, or metro rail refers to high-capacity public transport like the London Underground. It has a number of benefits such as:

Reducing congestion in highly populated areas – Metro rail provides a high-capacity, fast alternative to driving reduces congestion in peak times.

High-speed commuting – Metro lines have an exclusive right of way and are often built underground or elevated. This bypasses any other traffic congestion and provides a faster way to enter the city.

Cost effective construction – Metro can have a high fixed cost to build and maintain but it is more effective than acquiring land above ground, or building extensive road transport systems.

We're following 5 metro project updates from around the globe. Here's the latest.

Project 1: Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit, Malaysia

The KVMRT project in Malaysia began in 2011. The plan consists of a 3-line system: two Northwest – Southeast radial lines and a circle line around Kuala Lumpur. It will integrate with the existing rail network and alleviate severe traffic congestion in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

To date the first phase, the Sungai Buloh Kajang (SBK) line has been completed with seven underground stations and green technology facilitating fast travel throughout the region. The second line, the 52km Sungai Buloh Serdang Putrajaya (SSP) line, was 59% complete as of August 2019. This puts it on track for completion by 2022.

The problems begin with MRT3, the proposed circle line looping around Kuala Lumpur itself. In 2018 there were rumours of cancellation but, transport minister Anthony Loke has since assured the public that the third phase is simply postponed while the government reviews ways to bring down costs from the estimated figure of over RM50 billion. There is no set date for the project to resume.

Mass Rapit Transport (MRT), Source: 123rf.com

Project 2: Shatin – Central link, China

The Shatin to Central link is an expansion of Hong Kong’s existing metro network. Work started in 2012 and was scheduled to end in 2019 at a cost of US$12.4billion. It is Hong Kong’s costliest rail project and has been mired by scandals. Allegations of unsafe work, missing documents and other mispractice have lead to considerable delays.

In June 2019 MTR Corporation resumed testing following a train crash during an overnight trial in March. It is believed that a partial opening may take place in 2020 to cover 3 new stations and open the line to the public as soon as possible.

Construction of Diamond Hill station, Shatin to Central link Credit: ProsperityHorizons

Project 3: Delhi Metro phase 4, India

The complete Delhi network was planned to be built across a 20 year period. Phases 1 and 2 were completed in 2006 and 2011 respectively, whilst phase 3 finished 3 years behind schedule in 2019.

Phase 4 was expected to begin construction in 2019, but approval from the government has only recently been obtained following a feasibility study by the finance department. Three of the six corridors have now been approved with a target completion date of 2021.

The full six lines should expand the network by 110km and add an expected 1-5million daily passengers from outlying regions. The current cost estimate is US$8.3billion.

Project 4: Sydney Metro, Australia

Sydney metro is Australia’s biggest public transport project and first city rapid transit system. Decades of proposals and planning will culminate in a state of the art, 66km network costing AUD$12billion.

The Northwest line opened in 2019, allowing 40,000 people per hour to commute between residential and commercial areas. It boasts continuous phone coverage and 4km of sky train.

The City and Southwest line covering the Central Business District is scheduled for completion by 2024, including tunnels underneath Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Metro Corporate, Source: Sydney Metro

Project 5: Jakarta MRT, Indonesia

Jakarta is one of the most overpopulated and difficult to get around cities in the world. Its 10 million inhabitants travel on anything from motorbikes to minibuses, causing record amounts of congestion.

The Jakarta MRT project is the city's first subway system. Phase 1 of the project opened in March 2019, with phase 2 scheduled for completion in 2024 and phase 3 for 2027. The network is expected to carry a massive 193,000 passengers per day along 21 stations. It is estimated to cost IDR$22.6 trillion (£1.8billion).

The most unique aspect of this project is the construction method used to combat earthquakes. The tunnels are floated in clay to reduce stress and safely stabilise the network.

In conclusion, metro rail projects have been a game-changer in the transportation industry across the globe. These projects have come up as a solution to mitigate traffic congestion, reduce pollution, and enhance connectivity in urban areas. The efficiency, reliability, and comfort of metro rail services have made it a popular choice for commuters.

The success of metro rail projects can be attributed to the holistic approach taken by the stakeholders involved. From conceptualization to the execution phase, metro rail projects require cooperation and coordination between various government bodies, private entities, and the public.

Moreover, the incorporation of technology in the design and operation of metro rail services has further enhanced its efficiency and effectiveness. Advanced signaling systems, automated ticketing, and the use of renewable energy sources are some of the innovations being adopted in the industry.

While the benefits of metro rail projects are immense, their implementation does come with challenges. Land acquisition, funding, and political hurdles are some of the issues that have hindered the progress of some projects.

The success stories of metro rail projects such as the Delhi Metro, Shanghai Metro, and the Tokyo Metro prove that with proper planning, execution, and collaboration, these challenges can be overcome.

Metro rail projects are crucial for the development and growth of urban areas. Their efficiency, reliability, and eco-friendliness make them an ideal choice for commuters. It is essential for governments and private entities to continue investing in these projects to ensure sustainable and efficient transportation for generations to come.

Urban Rail: 5 Metro Project Updates

Emilia Oates

Marketing Lead

Marketing Lead

Raildiary LinkedIn
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