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Rail and Metro Innovation Guide 2018www.SmartRailWorld.com41SECTION 6: ENGINEERING, PROCUREMENT AND CONSTRUCTION"Our driverless INNOVIA Monorail 300 system is able to handle sharp curves and complex environments, it is well suited to the high-capacity requirements of the Thai capital."Bangkok's introduction of its first-ever commuter monorail have moved one step closer following a deal with Bombardier to supply systems for the first two of four planned lines, with new rail networks planned in the city over the next 12 years. Designed to cut vehicular traffic making its way into the capital, Bombardier will supply 72, four-car INNOVIA Monorail 300 trains, comprising 288 cars equipped with the manufacturer's CITYFLO 650 automatic train control technology that will enable driverless operation.Serving the city's northern and eastern areas, the trains will be fully integrated with the city's existing network and will, according to Bombardier, improve the daily journeys of around 400,000 people.Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company (BTSC) formulated a 20-year mass transit system in response to the growing sizes of the city with an action plan that will run from 2010-2029 for Bangkok and its outskirts, with the network initially divided into 12 inter-connecting lines.Part of the action plan is Bangkok's Red Line commuter line designed for passengers from the capital's metropolitan areas that are home to more than 10 million people. When complete in 2019 it will connect the Bangkok region with north, east, south and west suburban areas, serving 131,000 commuters a day.Speaking on Bombardier's latest contract win, its president of rail control solutions, Richard Hunter, said the single-track trains were ideal for the city's hard-to-manoeuvre streets. "Our driverless INNOVIA Monorail 300 system are able to handle sharp curves and complex environments, it is well suited to the high-capacity requirements of the Thai capital."The Bombardier Monorail 300 news comes just months after BTSC placed an order with a consortium of Siemens and the Turkish public transportation vehicle manufacturer Bozankaya for the delivery of 22 four-unit metro trains to run on Bangkok's BTS (Skytrain) system. Signed in May, the deal will see the units enter operation in 2018.Siemens already supplies rolling stock to BTSC, with the last deal between the two taking place in 2010 in the form of a €42m agreement to run 22 trains on Bangkok's Skytrain. The 35-station network began operating in 2009 and was first of its kind in the capital, transporting commuters to the city around 30 metres above street level.Further afield from the capital, work is also taking place to reduce dependency on buses, cars and bikes. Thailand's fourth largest city, Nakhon Ratchasima, will start the construction of its first mass transit line by 2020 if it receives cabinet approval. The £325m project will have two lines, Green and Orange, with a combined length of 21km.Bangkok to improve 400,000 commuter journeys with Bombardier monorailEditorial credit: / Shutterstock.com

42www.SmartRailWorld.comRail and Metro Innovation Guide 2018SECTION 6: ENGINEERING, PROCUREMENT AND CONSTRUCTION"With the agreement of the Russian bank to provide finance, the project will soon be put into the implementation phase and become operational within three years."Rail in Iran is receiving billions of dollars of worldwide investment from investors around the world after the lifting of trade embargoes, as the Gulf country looks to electrify its rail network. The huge levels of investment come after The World Bank issued a statement that it was not considering investment in Iran, despite reports from the international financial institution that it would make available a £1bn package of funding for the Gulf country. A spokesman for the bank said: "The media reports were based on incorrect information. The World Bank currently has no projects under implementation in Iran and is not currently preparing any project."Iran's push for electrification concerns the upgrading of the 575-mile main line from Tehran to Mashhad – work that has been on the table in the country since 2012. However, the most recent financial assistance, including some from German company Siemens, has materialised after the lifting of ten years of trade sanctions against the Islamic republic that began in 2006 after it refused to halt its uranium enrichment programme.China and Russia became two of the first investors to throw their hats into the ring and help Iran realise its ambition of slashing the journey time in half between Tehran and Mashhad to six hours and help move a projected 10m tonnes of freight a year by 2032. China unveiled a finance package funded by a consortium of companies, China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC), for overhead equipment and rolling stock in June 2014, while Russian Railways began a $1bn electrification, track and signalling deal in November 2015 the electrification of the line between the cities of Garmsar and Gorgan.Speaking about the Russia deal, which was made official in March 2017, the Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, Yusef Gheranpasha, said: "With the agreement of the Russian bank to provide finance, the project will soon be put into the implementation phase and become operational within three years."Work on the China deal was officially launched by President Hassan Rouhani a month after the lifting of sanctions, in February 2016. Following the signing of the $1.5bn China-Iran deal, which will be bolstered by $200m of investment from Iran, the country's Bank of Industry and Mine, Managing Director, Ali Ashraf Afkhami, said the agreement had been signed after "16 months of continuous negotiations" with Chinese bank, Export-Import Bank of China, as reported in the Tehran Times.Work is also underway on another high speed electrified rail link between the cities of Tehran, Qom and Isfahan, for which Siemens will provide a number of trains, signalling equipment and communication signs for MAPNA, a group of Iranian companies involved in development and execution of rail. "Through financing a number of construction projects, Siemens plans to enter into a joint venture with Iran's MAPNA company both in the power plant and locomotive manufacturing sector in order to boost domestic production," said the Deputy Minister of Road and Urban Development for International Affairs, Asghar Fakhriyeh-Kashan.Iran set for rail revolution with funding from China and Russia.Editorial credit: / Shutterstock.com