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AirRail Link

birmingham airport air rail link, bangkok air rail link
The AirRail Link is a people mover linking Birmingham Airport with Birmingham International railway station and the National Exhibition Centre NEC, in the United Kingdom The current system, originally known as SkyRail, replaced the earlier Birmingham Maglev system in 2003

The Birmingham Maglev was opened in 1984 and was the first commercial Maglev transport system in the world The system was fully automated and used an elevated concrete guideway, much of which has been reused for the current AirRail Link system

The current system is a fully automated cable-hauled system that takes passengers from the high-level railway station concourse, over a dual carriageway and into the terminal buildings It has a length of 585 metres 1,919 ft, is free to use, and handles three million passengers per year1 During the day, the trains run every few minutes each way At off-peak times, trains operate on demand, and to facilitate this, a button labelled "DEMAND" must be pressed by the prospective passenger

Contents

  • 1 Maglev
  • 2 Replacement
  • 3 Incidents
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Maglevedit

Further information: Maglev § Birmingham, United Kingdom, 1984–95 The Birmingham International maglev shuttle

Initial feasibility studies for a link from the airport to the railway station and exhibition centre were started in 1979 by the owners of the airport at that time, West Midlands County Council The selected solution was based on experimental work commissioned by the British government at the British Rail Research Division laboratory at Derby

Contracts were awarded in 1981 to a consortium involving GEC, Balfour Beatty, Brush Electrical Machines and Metropolitan Cammell under the name "People Mover Group", along with John Laing plc The carriages were manufactured by MetroCammell at their Washwood Heath plant in Birmingham2 The system was opened on 16 August 19843

As built, the length of the track was 600 metres 2,000 ft, and trains "flew" at an altitude of 15 millimetres 059 in The line operated successfully for nearly eleven years, but obsolescence problems with the electronic systems, and a lack of spare parts, made it unreliable in its later years The system closed in July 1995 when an investigation concluding the cost of reinstating and maintaining the Maglev to be too high Initially the cars for the Maglev were stored by the airport owners, Birmingham International Airport Ltd, on the airport site34

After closure, the original guideway lay dormant and a temporary shuttle bus service was operated until development of a suitable replacement was found The guideway was reused in 2003 when the replacement cable-hauled SkyRail people mover was opened5

One of the Maglev carriages, as well as a model of the system, Carriage Three can be found in the National Railway Museum in York Another carriage was put up for sale in an auction on eBay in late 2010 after lying unused at the airport since the system's closure Carriage No 2 was sold for £25,100 with the proceeds going to two charities6789 and now resides with a private buyer in Warwickshire10 Carriage One resides at Railworld

Replacementedit

The new system was installed on top of the existing 1980s concrete Maglev guideway structure

The replacement project was started on 30 March 2001 and completed on 7 March 2003 with the first day of public operation The project contract cost £11 million11

The current AirRail Link is a cable-propelled double shuttle system It is built on top of the previous Maglev guideway, slightly shortened by an extension of the railway station concourse to accommodate a low-level bus station It uses the Cable Liner technology from DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car DCC, and has two independent rope-hauled parallel tracks and a two-car passenger unit operating on each track

The Birmingham Airport Link was DCC's first airport system and replaced the temporary bus service that had been operating since 1995 The new system has motivated passengers travelling to the airport to leave their cars at home and use public transportation15

The 585 m-long 1,921 ft AirRail Link takes travellers from the public transportation interchange to the airport check-in in 90 seconds It is a dual track shuttle with two stations, that consists of two trains, each of two cars, operating independently at a speed of 36 kilometres per hour 22 mph The trains operate at a minimum headway of 120 seconds, consisting of a dwell time at each station of 30 seconds and a journey time of 90 seconds The individual cars carry 27 passengers at 033 square metres 36 sq ft per person, thus giving a capacity of 54 passengers per train12

Incidentsedit

  • On the 24th October 2016 a malfunction with the cables failed to move the Birmingham Airport bound service so the other arrived firstcitation needed

See alsoedit

  • LINK Train, a 7 car long airport system using the same technology in Toronto, Canada
  • Airport Shuttle Mexico, airport system using the same technology in Mexico
  • Free public transport

Referencesedit

  1. ^ a b "References: AirRail Shuttle Birmingham International Airport Birmingham, UK" DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car Retrieved 16 July 2008 
  2. ^ "Birmingham Airport's old Maglev carriage to be sold" BBC News Online 17 November 2010 Archived from the original on 18 November 2010 Retrieved 28 November 2010 
  3. ^ a b Hansard, House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 26 May 1999 pt 8: Passenger Transit System, 1999-05-26
  4. ^ Birmingham Mail, New plan aims to bring the Maglev back Archived 22 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 2006-09-01
  5. ^ a b "Birmingham International Airport People Mover" Arup Archived from the original on 29 November 2007 Retrieved 11 July 2008 
  6. ^ "Maglev up for sale on ebay" Birmingham Mail 18 November 2010 Retrieved 18 November 2010 
  7. ^ "Carriage from Birmingham Airport's gliding Maglev train sells for £25,100" Birmingham Mail 27 November 2010 Retrieved 27 November 2010 
  8. ^ "£25k deal for Maglev" Express & Star 27 November 2010 Retrieved 27 November 2010 
  9. ^ "Birmingham Airport's old Maglev carriage sold on eBay" BBC News Online 28 November 2010 Retrieved 28 November 2010 
  10. ^ http://wwwobsessionistascouk/news/currentPage=12
  11. ^ "BHX 2000 - Today" BHX Archived from the original on 7 July 2009 
  12. ^ References DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car GmbH 2008 p 5 

External linksedit

  • Air-Rail Link, Birmingham Airport
  • DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car, designer's website
  • Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, parent company of DCC
  • Photograph of a Birmingham Maglev car on Flickr

Coordinates: 52°27′08″N 1°43′46″W / 524522°N 17294°W / 524522; -17294

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