The development of a new transport system can offer many challenges, not least the time it takes to move from planning to completion. It can prove a frustrating period for operators, suppliers and passengers alike. The much delayed Edinburgh tram begun in 2008 was only completed in 2014 and amidst the spiralling costs, the delays in construction were criticised by businesses, who claimed their income was damaged by long-term road closures in the centre of the city, and by residents whom were inconvenienced. In response to the transport demands of growing cities, Alstom launched this week, Attractis, an innovative integrated new tramway system that is designed to be simpler to operate, more cost-effective and thanks to optimised project management and construction methods, promises to be available in the record time of 30 months from the design phase.
Designed with the aim of optimising acquisition costs and the total cost of ownership, Attractis claims to offer up to 20% savings in investment compared to a traditional tramway system. Speaking at the launch at UITP World Congress and Expo in Milan, Eric Marie, Vice President for systems at Alstom Transport declared: “Attractis allows cities, especially those experiencing rapid growth, to acquire a tramway system enabling them to rapidly reduce congestion and pollution, while offering city-dwellers a clean, safe and comfortable mode of transport.”
Able to carry from 4,000 to up to 14,000 passengers per hour and per direction, Attractis can be easily adjusted to the level of ridership. The footprint of a two-way Attractis line is comparable to that of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and aimed to promote choosing a tramway over bus networks when cities are given the choice between the two. Should ridership increase, the capacity of Attractis can easily be adapted using the same dedicated lane, whereas the footprint of a BRT lane needs to be doubled.
To ensure the availability of Attractis in this 30 month record time, Alstom has developed construction methodology involving intelligent section-by-section scheduling of civil and electromechanical works to minimise construction time, disturbance and costs. The Attractis package also includes a 3D driving simulator, enabling drivers to practice during the construction period, further optimising the timing of the project.
Attractis is also the first rail system to adopt ITxPT (Information Technology for Public Transport), an open IT architecture designed to improve interoperability between IT systems and decrease costs related to multiple equipment. With this new norm, the integration of multimodal urban transport systems (tram, bus, electric car sharing services etc.) is synchronised, allowing transport authorities to offer passengers innovative information solutions, journey planners and e-ticketing systems.
Alstom masters every stage of the tramway system, from design to complete validation and commissioning in its urban environment, and is a leader in the maintenance of the complete system. Besides, the company can provide project financing support to customers, including Public Private Partnership schemes. The company is currently managing the construction of 8 tramway systems including Cuenca (Ecuador), Rio (Brazil), Sydney (Australia), Nottingham (UK), Lusail (Qatar) and further projects in Algeria.
Alstom are a Lead Sponsor of SmartMetro, incorporating the 6th annual CBTC World Congress, in Copenhagen, 3-5th November 2015. In an increasingly urbanised world, evolving IT and the digital revolution gives metro systems an opportunity to improve service and meet growing passenger demands. SmartMetro, allows transport leaders, innovators and specialists to share best practice, uncover new solutions and put CBTC at the heart of SmartMetro systems.