All articles by Benjámin Zelki

  • 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.

  • Line-1-(2)
    In depth

    Interview: Investing to create an inclusive metro


    One of few metros around the world which does not receive a subsidy for day-to-day operations, Metro de Santiago can still allocate around 30% of its farebox revenues for future investment. General Manager Felipe Bravo tells Benjámin Zelki about its expansion plans, signalling upgrades, rolling stock renewal and achieving social inclusion goals.

  • Limache---Puerto
    In depth

    Chile: EFE invests to triple ridership by 2030


    The Chilean government is investing US$8bn in the country’s railways with the aim of increasing passenger numbers threefold and boosting regional development outside the Santiago conurbation. Chief Executive of national operator EFE José Solorza Estévez explains the strategy to Benjámin Zelki.

  • 220289985_6750774111630130_2715141346873196045_n
    In depth

    Competition and co-operation in the spotlight as high speed rail sector recovers from Covid


    With many railways seeing a rapid return in traffic post-Covid, the latest UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail in Marrakech on March 8-11 focused on questions of on-rail competition and co-operation with aviation. Benjámin Zelki reports from Morocco.

  • airport-livery-@Foster-+-Partners
    In depth

    Poland: Airport scheme catalyses high speed network plan


    Government plans to build a central airport and make it the hub of a revamped passenger network for Poland will require the construction of 1 981 km of new lines, almost half of which will be dedicated high speed corridors. Work on the Warszawa – Łódź route is due to start next year. Benjámin Zelki  reports.

  • Flirt-Zachodnia
    In depth

    Eastern Europe: Adding capacity in Poland’s capital


    Modernisation of the busy east-west cross-city route and construction of a second cross-city tunnel in the Polish capital during 2023-27 will generate much-needed capacity. Elsewhere in the Mazowieckie voivodship surrounding Warszawa, there are plans to build new lines and reopen old ones. Benjámin Zelki  reports.

  • Natal-suburban-rail-@George-Antony
    In depth

    Brazil: making more use of urban railways


    Better utilisation of under-used main line railways is seen as key to developing cost-effective urban and suburban rail networks that can relieve road congestion in Brazil’s fast-growing cities. Benjámin Zelki investigates.

  • Gautrain-at-O-R-Tambo-3
    In depth

    Interview: Gautrain sees a stable path to growth


    Having made a positive socio-economic impact since opening a decade ago, the 1 435 mm gauge Gautrain network serving Johannesburg and Tshwane is seeing passengers return gradually after the pandemic. Benjámin Zelki  asks William Dachs, CEO of the province’s organising authority Gautrain Management Agency, how he sees the future.

  • Cape-Town-Central-Line-conditions-2
    In depth

    South Africa: PRASA revival hangs by a thread


    Infrastructure theft and vandalism brought South Africa’s passenger railways to their knees during the pandemic lockdown of spring 2020. Restoration of PRASA’s Western Cape suburban services is now offering hope for the future, but in populous Gauteng the outlook seems bleak, with many routes rendered inoperable. Benjámin Zelki visited in early 2022.

  • Asan-Bridge-constr-East-Coast-Line
    In depth

    South Korea: Medium speed network takes shape


    Development of a ‘medium high speed network’ is now in full swing in South Korea, along with the upgrading of other corridors for both high speed and suburban traffic. Benjámin Zelki investigates.

  • KTX-Sancheon-Seoul-station-1-@Benjamin-Zelki
    In depth

    High speed: Completing South Korea’s core network


    Construction teams are at work on the final stages of South Korea’s core high speed network. Quadrupling of the busiest section of the Gyeongbu line between Pyeongtaek and Osong began earlier this year and work on the last section of the Honam line to Mokpo is due to be finished by 2025, explains Benjámin Zelki.

  • 767f8dbde85c0c5bf6bb73de378f4d94_THUMB_3
    In depth

    Interview: Korail goes in search of market share


    Better on-board services and improved post-pandemic hygiene rank high among passengers’ demands, Korail President & CEO Na Hee-Seung tells Benjámin Zelki.

  • Southern Railway Bridge @Dávid Nyitrai (BFK)
    In depth

    Interview: Turning Budapest into a European rail hub


    A 20-year strategy for expanding Budapest’s regional and long-distance rail connections envisages the construction of new and upgraded cross-city links to alleviate the bottlenecks caused by the River Danube and the capital’s three termini, explains Budapest Development Agency CEO Dávid Vitézy.

  • IMG_0147
    In depth

    Stations & Terminals: Solving the problem of Budapest Nyugati


    As the busiest station in the Hungarian capital, Nyugati pályaudvar has reached capacity. The favoured solution is to convert the existing terminus into a through station at the heart of a reshaped regional rail network. Benjámin Zelki reports.

  • São Paulo Monorail Line 15 was to reach Jardim Colonial in December @Benjámin Zelki
    In depth

    Brazil: Private participation keeps metro momentum building


    Led by São Paulo, Brazilian cities are making use of private sector funding and operating models to accelerate urban rail development across the country. Benjámin Zelki  reports.

  • 20200807_Campione
    In depth

    Italy: Building a Roman node


    The imminent reopening of a moribund railway in the northern suburbs of the Italian capital and start of construction of a multimodal hub at Pigneto are signs that a multi-year programme of investment in the Roma suburban network is making headway. Benjámin Zelki provides an update.

  • test track north
    In depth

    South Korea: KRRI eyes smart trains from 2030


    Korea Railroad Research Institute has started testing 5G-based autonomous train control technology at the New Transport Science Technopolis in Osong, with a view to introducing ‘smart trains’ on key routes from 2030. KRRI Chief Researcher Dr Jeong Rag-gyo outlines the project objectives and key findings to Benjámin Zelki.