Our weekly “New Starts” roundup of new and newsworthy transportation projects worldwide.
Amsterdam’s Second Metro Line To Open At Long Last
Fifteen years after work on it began, and more than ten after it should have wrapped up, Amsterdam’s second metro line is finally complete and will enter service on July 22, the International Railway Journal reports.
Work on the 11 kilometer, €3.2 billion (6.84 mile, $3.94 billion) north-south line began in January 2003, but tunneling on the 6-km (3.73-mile) underground section did not begin until March 2010. Some of the factors that contributed to the delays in construction included poor ground conditions, the city’s many waterways, the need to protect buildings in historic central Amsterdam and a requirement that no buildings be demolished for the project. Four of the six kilometers (2.49 miles) of subway tunnel lie 40 meters (66 feet) below the ground.
The line has seven stations with provision for an eighth to open at a later date. Connections with the existing metro line, trams and mainline railroad services can be made at Central station, and there’s an additional tram and mainline transfer point at the southern terminal station, Amsterdam South. Trial operation with passengers on board will begin soon; so far, 16,000 test riders have volunteered and another 8,000 are needed.
The municipality of Amsterdam still needs to authorize the line’s operation before revenue service can begin. When it does, trains will run at six-minute intervals due to capacity constraints at Amsterdam South.
Shanghai Starts Test Runs on Its First Driverless Metro Line
The first automated, driverless metro line in Shanghai is almost ready for its closeup. Global Rail News reports that operator Shanghai Keolis has begun trial operations on the Pujiang line, a 6.7 kilometer (4.16 mile) elevated route serving a southern suburb of the city. The six-station line, originally known as line 8.3, begins at an interchange station with Line 8 at Shendu Highway and runs to Huizhen Road in Pujiang.
Technically speaking, the route is a people mover, as it uses automated people mover vehicles developed by a 50-50 joint venture between Chinese car manufacturer CRRC Nanjing Puzhen and Bombardier Transportation Systems of Canada. The two companies supplied 11 four-car trainsets with a capacity of 566 passengers under a turnkey agreement with Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, which itself formed a 51-49 partnership with Keolis to operate the line for five years. According to a news report in Metro Report International, the line should carry 73,000 passengers a day with trains operating at four-minute headways.
Autonomous Shuttle Bus Begins Operation in Switzerland
Elsewhere on the driverless-vehicle front, a driverless autonomous shuttle bus has begun carrying passengers in mixed traffic in the Swiss city of Neuhausen am Rheinfall. An article in Metro Report International states that the service began March 27. The Swiss Federal Office of Road Traffic certified the Navya autonomous vehicle for street operation. Its route connects Industrieplatz with the town center. It can hold 11 passengers, and there is an attendant on board.
This service is part of a project called Line 12 being run by the Swiss Transit Lab, in partnership with Trapeze and AMoTech. The route will be extended to Rhine Falls Basin later this year.
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Next City contributor Sandy Smith is the home and real estate editor at Philadelphia magazine. Over the years, his work has appeared in Hidden City Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer and other local and regional publications. His interest in cities stretches back to his youth in Kansas City, and his career in journalism and media relations extends back that far as well.