The longest railways in Europe
Europe has some of the longest railways which have allowed cities to strengthen their infrastructures and satify an increased tourist focus. We take a look at several areas which have enabled this growth and enabled them to become popular places to visit and enjoy.
Built in 1998 and fully completed in 2007 at a cost of $1.47 billion, the Copenhagen metro incorporates 34 trains and runs through 21km of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg.
Designed in conjunction with the Giugiaro Design team, the metro links 22 stations with a 300-person capacity, in addition to nine underground stations.
The metro is now being expanded to include a 15.5km city line, Cityringen, which will add an extra 17 underground stations, which is expected to complete in 2019.
Milan – Bologna High Speed Rail
The Milan – Bologna High Speed Rail is an essential transport link within Italy. Linking Milan and Bologna, it was built to provide stronger infrastructures and reduce congestion within the region.
In total, the line is 214km long, with 67 trains running per day, providing an efficidnt service to locals and tourists within the area.
Lötschberg Base Tunnel, Switzerland
Running through the Bernese Alps below the Lötschberg Tunnel, the 34.6km Lötschberg Base Tunnel (LBT) was constructed in order to provide alternate routes for lorries and reduce congestion within the region, becoming popular with both locals and tourists.
It has become the longest rail tunnel in Switzerland and the third longest in the world currently at 34.57km.
The tunnel has successfully allowed increased transport to reach Germany and Italy, with over 100 trains which utilise the LBT per day since completion.
Budapest Metro Line
Commencing in 1896, the Budapest Metro is the third oldest railway in the world and oldest remaining electrified underground railway in Europe, after the 1890 City & South London Railway became part of the London Underground.
The metro has since been developed in accordance with Budapest’s growing infrastructure and tourist economy to include four lines, totalling up to 38.6km.
The lines run from the main centre; Vörösmarty tér and Mexikói út, through the city and also across the north-south divide. The newly fourth line will allow commuters to travel south-west, leading to Kelenföld vasútállomás, providing an efficient service throughout the city.
Barcelona Metro Line 9
The Barcelona Metro Line 9 is currently under construction and is expected to complete in 2020. The line incorporates two sections, L9 South and L9 North, which are waiting to be linked.
Run by Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, the line will be 47.8km and will become a central transport link in Barcelona upon completion, crossing all major areas within the region.
Crossrail, United Kingdom
The ongoing construction of the Crossrail railway within London will become a central transport link within London, strengthening existing links and connecting with nearby counties to reduce increasing pressures on existing transport systems and the London Underground. It is one of Europe’s biggest construction projects to date.
Connecting central and south-East London with Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex, it will be frequently used by commuters with over 20 trains which will run per hour and is expected to fully complete in 2020.
Read the August 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
Apprenticeships can bridge skills gap says Autodesk director
The UK construction industry needs 216,800 new workers by 2025 to meet rising demand, according to the Construction Skills Network published by CITB.
Even before Covid-19, it was estimated it needs to attract 400,000 new recruits each year to meet the UK’s infrastructure needs.
But given one in three current construction employees are over 50 there is predicted to be a 20-25% decline in the available workforce over the next decade. And with end of the free movement of people from the EU, it has further limited access to skilled talent.
Mike Pettinella, Director, Autodesk Construction Solutions EMEA, believes the solution may be one that is hardly new, but might have taken a back seat during the pandemic.
"Apprenticeships could help us bridge the construction skills gap and meet this rapidly rising demand, and attract a new crop of younger talent to the industry," he said.
"Apprenticeships benefit everyone. For candidates, it’s an opportunity to learn valuable skills without incurring thousands of pounds of student debts. For employers, it’s a chance to train up employees in the competencies that are really needed – combining technical knowledge with collaboration and team work, which are equally important as you enter a new industry. And if you’re a larger company and already required to pay the apprenticeship levy, it makes sense to ensure you’re benefitting from the scheme too."
Marshall Construction recently took on nine new apprenticeships covering various roles. "Some of our previous apprentices have left and started their own businesses, which sets them up for life," said Chairman Robert Marshall. "Most of our current managers came from organic growth within the business whom we have trained to our own standards." Firms such as Barnwood Construction and Keepmoat Homes are also advertising and supporting apprenticeships.
According to the CSN, most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers by 2025, with East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%) forecast to lead demand. Scotland (1.4%) and Wales (0.7%) are also predicted to fare well. The only region forecast to see a slight decline in workforce is the North East (-0.1%).
Major projects such as HS2 are driving growth in some regions and infrastructure (5.2%) and private housing (6.7%) should see the healthiest pace of expansion by 2025.
The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the future shape of work will be profound. Modelling by the McKinsey Global Institute on the effects of technology adoption on the UK workforce shows that up to 10 million people, or around 30 percent of all UK workers, may need to transition between occupations or skill levels by 2030.