All articles by Benjámin Zelki

  • use-depou-Alstom-Bucuresti-photo-ARF
    In depth

    Romania: New rolling stock to support rail market reforms


    Romania’s Railway Reform Authority is procuring new multiple-units to operate regional and inter-regional services under competitively tendered PSO contracts, but this is only part of a wider market opening strategy, ARF President Ștefan Roșeanu explains to Benjámin Zelki.

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    In depth

    Interview: Arenaways rides again


    More than a decade after an abortive attempt to enter the Italian inter-city passenger market, private operator Arenaways is back, with approval to launch seven open access services and PSO contracts to revive operations on two local railways in Piemonte. Chief Executive Matteo Arena explains the company’s renaissance to Benjámin Zelki.

  • DSC02699_bearb-photo-Cargounit
    In depth

    Interview: Full service and multi-system in demand


    Polish leasing company Cargounit is seeing growing demand for multi-system electric locomotives and bi-modes with a last mile capability, and CEO Łukasz Boroń tells Benjámin Zelki that customers are increasingly looking for full-service packages.

  • 1-PRASA-train-Cape-Town-Fish-Hoek-Line-image-Benjámin-Zelki
    In depth

    Interview: ‘The commuter experience will be back to its best’


    South Africa’s Railway Safety Regulator is tasked with overseeing safe and secure rail services on a network ravaged by vandalism and asset theft over recent years. RSR is also implementing the government’s plan to open up the Transnet network to new entrants. Acting CEO Mmuso Selaledi explains the scale of the challenge to Benjámin Zelki.

  • 1 Prague East_Terminal photo SŽ 2
    In depth

    Czech Republic: Ostrava link leads revised core network plan


    With limited progress being made on the planned new line between Praha and Dresden, Czech infrastructure manager Správa Železnic is taking forward an initial section of high speed line in the east as part of plans to develop a 400 route-km high-performance backbone. SŽ’s Deputy Director for High Speed Lines Jiří Merta explains the state of progress to Benjámin Zelki.

  • Anneli-R
    In depth

    Asia-Pacific: ‘We need 20 000 new staff in the next five years’


    The Philippine Railways Institute in the Manila area is training staff to support the expansion of the city’s rail network. But as PRI Managing Director Anneli Lontoc explains to Benjámin Zelki, there are wider ambitions for the centre to become a training hub for the Asia Pacific region.

  • NSCR-construction-(1)
    In depth

    Interview: ‘We focus on intermodality and resilience’


    The Asian Development Bank is focusing on better integration of the many projects it supports, in order to drive intermodality. Meanwhile, any infrastructure ADB finances needs to be climate resilient, its Transport Director Markus Roesner explains to Benjámin Zelki at the bank’s headquarters in the Manila metropolitan area.

  • LRT1-(4)
    In depth

    Philippines: New lines programme puts the metro in Manila


    After years of stagnation, major investment in and expansion of the urban rail network in Manila is now on the horizon, with three new lines and one metro extension due to open by the end of the decade. Benjámin Zelki reports from the Filipino capital.

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    In depth

    Interview: Korail grows its international footprint


    The South Korean national operator is seeking to enhance the visibility of its overseas business activities, with a recent visit by Korail officials to Kyiv acting as a catalyst. Korail President & CEO Han Moon-Hee explains the company’s international strategy to Benjámin Zelki.

  • Bhopal-metro-photo-MPMRCL
    In depth

    India: Maintaining the metro momentum


    By February 2026, Mumbai hopes to have more than doubled its metro network, while Indore, Bhopal and Patna are set to open their first lines. A landmark of India’s ongoing metro boom is the imminent opening of the Agra metro, the first tranche of which will serve the Taj Mahal. Benjámin Zelki looks ahead.

  • R211-Cars-Unveiled-on-Staten-Island-Railway-photo-MTA-(2)
    In depth

    USA: Manhattan congestion charge is key to New York investment


    New York MTA hopes its congestion charging scheme will go live in mid-2024, which could provide a revenue stream to kick-start investment in renewal and expansion of the Subway network, as Benjámin Zelki and Nick Kingsley explain.

  • photos NHSRCL (1)
    In depth

    Track Design: Introducing J-slab to India


     Work has started on the installation of ballastless track on the Mumbai – Ahmedabad high speed line, marking the first application of J-slab technology in India. Two local production plants have been developed with support from Japanese consultants. Benjámin Zelki investigates.

  • Sao-Paulo-Line-17-construction-photo-Metro-SP(2)
    In depth

    Brazil: São Paulo stands out in uneven picture


    Metro, monorail and suburban rail extensions totalling 39km are now being built in São Paulo, but several of the other fastest-growing Brazilian cities, including Rio de Janeiro, have no major projects currently under way, despite optimism among suppliers. Benjámin Zelki reports.

  • Line 8-9 train in production photo Alstom
    Metro Report International

    Alstom invests in Brazil amid strong outlook for South American metro sector


    BRAZIL: Alstom is about to start producing metro trainsets for São Paulo Line 6 at its Taubaté factory as the company invests to support growing rail markets in South America.

  • photos-NextML-(2)
    In depth

    Resilient Infrastructure: Using machine learning to inspect overhead wires


    Swedish infrastructure manager Trafikverket and maintenance contractor Infranord are using machine learning technology to monitor the condition of electrification equipment across the country.

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    In depth

    Comment: Rail safety credentials matter


    Politicians contines to raise doubts with rail safety, despite railways being one of the safest forms of land transport. Benjámin Zelki considers that while continuous improvement is welcome, sweeping claims about rail safety may not always align with the evidence.

  • Salerno
    In depth

    Italy: Bringing rail and air closer together


    Infrastructure manager RFI is embarking on a programme to complete rail links to airports in Venezia, Bergamo, Brindisi, Olbia and Alghero by the end of 2026, while a major reconfiguration of the rail network around Milano Malpensa is also in hand. Benjámin Zelki reports.

  • Brescia---Verona
    In depth

    Italy: Deadline catalyses enhancement programme


    No less than €24·7bn has been allocated to rail investment from the EU’s Recovery & Resilience Fund, giving RFI the opportunity to accelerate a vast programme of enhancements across the network. However, the RRF funding comes with a strict 2026 deadline for project completion. Benjámin Zelki investigates the largest elements of the plans.

  • EMU-320
    In depth

    South Korea: Next-generation high speed trains on test


    Korail is now testing the first two of 19 eight-car EMU-320 trainsets that will presage an expansion of services on South Korea’s main north-south main line. Benjámin Zelki reports.

  • Corddoba-suburban-service-1
    In depth

    Argentina: Passenger restoration drive continues


    Trenes Argentinos has restarted long-distance passenger trains on two key routes, while work is underway to expand suburban services in Córdoba, but much-needed rolling stock procurements are still being delayed. Benjámin Zelki investigates.