Alstom Focuses on Public Private Partnership

Oct. 4, 2011
A combination of PPP and light rail could be the key to success for rail in mid-sized metro areas, Alstom predicts.

Alstom Transportation Inc. came to APTA Expo with a strong focus on public private partnerships (PPP) during its session, "Don't Forget the Public in Public-Private Partnerships." Stephanie Brun-Brunet, Alstom's vice president for infrastructure, turnkey and PPP projects discussed best practices and insights from the company's involvement in successful global rail transportation PPP initiatives.

"We clearly see a shift in North America and going to that kind of partnership," said Bill Mehlman, Alstom Transportation president, North America. Mehlman said that a combination of public-private partnerships and light rail will be essential to successfully providing rail systems in more mid-sized metropolitan areas.

"There are all these metropolitan areas that have 1 million people without rail systems and don't have the money to finance a system. These sorts of areas will start to see a mix of light rail and PPP solution. That combination is key to making it successful," Mehlman commented.

A PPP allows for more innovation, innovation that isn't possible when a project prescribed piece-by-piece, Mehlman said.

In addition to its focus on PPP, Alstom featured cantenaryless technology in its booth. Cantenaryless light rail raises the question of how you manage the ground power source, while making it safe, said Mehlman. "You need to make sure its safe for people to cross and not get fried," he said.

The Appitrack is also a focus at the Alstom booth. Appitrack uses two machines in tandem. The first machine (Slipform), pours a continuous concrete slab along a preferred track line. Then, the second machine, trailing a few meters behind, lays the rail fastening system in the freshly poured concrete and ensures perfect rail laying tolerance. According to Mehlman, this system cuts down the track laying time by one third.

Visit Alstom at Booth 5819.