SOUTH KOREA: The SG Rail special purpose company formed to design, finance and build Line A of the Great Train Express network of commuter lines around Seoul has appointed Ricardo Rail to provide engineering and assessment services during the construction phase running to 2024.

Three GTX fast commuter lines are being built to provide shorter journey times to the capital’s outlying suburbs and new towns, with the aim of reducing pressure on housing closer to the city and relieving overcrowding on the metro.

The 83·1 km Line A will run in tunnel from Unjeong in the northwest of the commuter region to Dongtan in the southeast, with 10 stations and an operating speed of 180 km/h. The end-to-end journey times will be slightly more than 40 min, less than half the journey time on the current metro services.

Ricardo is to provide system engineering and independent safety assessment services covering civil works, track, railway systems and rolling stock. This will include oversight of integration management, as well as providing specialist support on reliability, availability, maintainability and safety, noise and vibration, electromagnetic compatibility and interface management. Ricardo will also assess engineering and maintenance system safety against international standards including IEC 62278/62279/62425.

‘Our experts will put in place the exemplary management procedures that will help support this major investment in Seoul’s transport infrastructure’, said Seok-Kyun Shin, Business Manager for Ricardo Rail Korea, on January 21. ‘With the technical knowledge and assurance processes we have developed in the UK and elsewhere readily available to our team in Seoul, we can help anticipate the engineering challenges ahead for Line A and be ready to support plans for its interfaces with lines B and C.’