Book review

By Dr Bernhard Lichtberger

Intended as a complete guide to current principles and understanding of track design, this 537-page German-language book by the Head of Research & Development at Plasser & Theurer is intended for use by both engineers and others who need a good technical understanding of the rail industry.

The book starts with an overview showing how the track structure is an integral element of a larger mechanical system. Subsequent chapters consider in more detail the different aspects of the subject, including rails, sleepers, fastenings, ballast, formation, and switch and crossing work. There are also sections looking at construction methods, non-ballasted track forms, and wheel-rail interface issues. Other chapters cover rail fault mechanisms, life-cycle costs and modern maintenance techniques.

Each section is well illustrated with diagrams, graphs and tables, and there are nearly 500 references in the 20-page bibliography.

ISBN 3-87814-803-8, €54 plus postage.

Tetzlaff Verlag GmbH & Co KG, Postfach 10 16 09, D-20010 Hamburg, Germany.

Talkin' bout a revolution: The Italian Transport System

This analysis of the state of Italy's transport network has been compiled by the research department of the MCC banking group, which finances infrastructure projects and sees considerable potential in the transport sector as the result of recent regulatory changes and infrastructure policies related to the liberalisation of the market.

The report highlights recent developments in terms of the demand for mobility, the competitive structure and the evolution of each of the principal modes: road, rail, air and maritime. The modes are also considered in terms of structural, competitive and managerial issues, with an analysis of the structural positioning of the principal operators.

Antonella Baldino, Head of Research, MCC SpA, Capitalia Gruppo Bancario, Vie Piemonte 51, I-00187 Roma, Italy.