With a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Southampton in the UK and an Executive MBA from Helsinki School of Economics, Steve is a UK Chartered Engineer and has specialised in metro, light rail, heavy rail and roads projects.
I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on a number of significant urban rail projects in Europe and in Asia Pacific.
Singapore pioneered fully underground, automated and driverless mass rail transit systems with the North East MRT line more than 10 years ago.
There are currently very few such driverless mass rail transit systems in the world. I was involved in the development of the Singapore North East MRT line, in particular on its safety certification to enable operation readiness of the whole line.
It was challenging and exciting work, as there were no comparable systems for reference. I also enjoyed the collaborative efforts of the team which was comprised of some very smart people.
In Asia, because of increasing building and population density in cities, urban rails are being built underground. Ease of connectivity with other modes of transport and accessibility of stations for the population are key factors in driving the growth of urban rail.
Advances in signalling systems allow increased frequency of trains and increased capacity of the rail lines. This is exciting for operators seeking to improve the reliability and capacity of services.
Social networking tools (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) are increasingly being used by operators to convey quick and meaningful messages to the public and to passengers when situations deviate from normal, e.g. in cases of emergency.
Rapid urbanisation and growing wealth in Asia will increase the demand for urban transport (roads and rails). It is expected that in the developing cities of Asia, rail will help promote developments along the alignment as was the case in Hong Kong and Singapore in the past 20-plus years. I see a great future for professional offerings in this sector in Asia.
The Mauritius LRT project is just one of our urban rail projects that has significantly benefited from Aurecon’s diverse expertise in rail, traffic planning, advisory and project management.
The success of the project, to date, is the result of collaboration among a number of Aurecon offices in Asia, Africa and Australia.