Features & Analysis

  • ke-madaraka-express-viaduct-krc
    In depth

    Comment: The politics of infrastructure


    Rising geopolitical complexity around the world raises a challenge that policymakers and railway planners will have to overcome if ambitions for modal shift to rail are to be realised in the years ahead, argues our Managing Editor Nick Kingsley.

  • nightjet Wien - Paris C OEBB Marek Knopp 002
    In depth

    Europe: Night train renaissance gathers pace


    A slew of new overnight passenger services and significant investment in rolling stock is on the agenda for the next couple of years as both state-owned and independent operators revive sleeping car and couchette services across Europe. Toma Bačić investigates.

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    In depth

    Japan: road-rail midi-buses on a rural railway


    This month is expected to see the launch of commercial passenger services with ‘dual-mode’ road-rail midi-buses on a rural railway in southern Shikoku. Mike Bent reports.

  • Young climate activists exchange ideas on the Eurostar climate train to COP26 3
    In depth

    Comment: The COP26 cop-out


    Despite unambiguous evidence that global emissions from transport are heading in the wrong direction, there was a notable lack of emphasis on the role sustainable mobility including rail could play in mitigating climate change at the recent COP26 summit in Glasgow.

  • 202003èºå¥çÇâÀã¥Åi202108ÅjMatsubara Viaduct
    In depth

    Japan: Nishi-Kyushu Shinkansen nears completion


    Due to open in autumn 2022, the 66 km Nishi-Kyushu Shinkansen is isolated from the rest of Japan’s high speed network. Mike Bent investigates.

  • ARA-Rail-Freight-Action-Plan 4
    In depth

    Australia: ARA targets modal shift


    The Australasian Railway Association has launched a new strategy that it hopes will bring a greater share of Australia’s expanding freight market on to the country’s railway network.

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    In depth

    Smart maintenance: Locomotives find a new lease of life


    The delicate economics of rail freight and rapidly changing regulatory conditions have seen the emergence of a healthy market across a swathe of eastern Europe focused on the overhaul, modernisation and life-extension of Soviet-era locomotives. Vladimir Waldin provides an overview.

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    In depth

    Europe: Harmonising rail capacity strategies


    Development of a single European railway area is being hampered by nationally led approaches to the development of route utilisation strategies. Now a pan-European programme is underway to harmonise the planning and management of network capacity.

  • Depot Logo TMHG2
    In depth

    Smart Maintenance: Digital depot takes shape


    Due to accept its first trains in December, a depot now under construction near Augsburg is where TMH International will initially maintain two EMU fleets for operator Go-Ahead Bayern. Managing Director for Germany Klaus Hock explains the vision to Nick Kingsley.

  • nz-kiwirail-1-DL-log-train2
    In depth

    New Zealand: Funding boost drives rail revitalisation


    Climate change concerns and a desire to encourage modal shift have unlocked government funding for rail, enabling KiwiRail to address a legacy of under-investment and build a stronger future.

  • de-hamburg-sbahn-train-bergedorf
    In depth

    Comment: Automated reality


    Automation of main line trains is slowly becoming a commercial reality, having been long established in the urban rail sector. However, mass adoption of driverless technology on mixed traffic railways still seems a long way off, with interim technology such as C-DAS offering many benefits in the meantime. 

  • de-keolis_eurobahn-talent-altenbeken
    In depth

    Germany: Regional rail model called into question


    Problems at Keolis and Abellio suggest that Germany’s long-standing model for contracting out the operation of regional and local rail services may no longer be fit for purpose. Murray Hughes investigates.

  • in-NRTI-first-students-graduating
    In depth

    India: Railway university bears fruit


    Although developed by Indian Railways, the National Rail & Transportation Institute is intended to provide a university-level education and research facility for the country’s wider transport sector. Raghu Dayal explains.

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    In depth

    Europe: Mont Cenis base tunnel takes shape


    The award of civil works contracts earlier this summer to build the 57 km base tunnel across the Franco-Italian border has given new impetus to plans to complete a high-capacity corridor between Lyon and Torino. Toma Bačić reports.

  • VRTranspoint_raakapuukuljetukset_pohjoinen_kuvaaja_Juho_Kuva
    In depth

    Finland: a positive shock in the far north


    As the Finnish rail market opens further to competition, national railway VR Group remains committed to growing its passenger and freight business despite the impact of the pandemic as its Senior Vice-President for Strategy & Corporate Development Ilkka Heiskanen explains to Nick Kingsley.

  • dk DSB Alstom Coradia Stream EMU impression
    In depth

    Denmark: Getting the passengers back


    With a substantial investment strategy in place and negotiations for a new operating contract underway, Denmark’s state passenger operator is positioning itself to drive modal shift in a post-Covid recovery, DSB Chief Executive Flemming Jensen tells Chris Jackson.

  • Zaragoza Tram Installation Spain Pandrol QTrack
    In depth

    Track Technology: On track to a greener future


    Looking to reduce the environmental impact of railway infrastructure, Pandrol has been working to develop more sustainable track components, manufacturing processes and maintenance techniques.

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    In depth

    Track Technology: Mobile milling saves rail replacement


    A compact milling machine can be used for quick interventions to remove rail defects before the damage becomes too severe.

  • gb-HS2 panel image-Interchange Station tracks
    In depth

    Track Technology: Designing slab track for a 360 km/h railway


    A version of the Porr modular slab track laid on sections of the Berlin – München high speed line has been chosen for the initial phases of the UK’s HS2 project between London, Birmingham and Crewe.

  • es-Connecting Europe Express in Madrid-2-Mariano Alvaro Navarro
    In depth

    Comment: Look forward not back


    As the Connecting Europe Express completes its tour of the continent in Paris on October 7, the rail industry must use the momentum generated by the EU’s Year of Rail to develop a competitive sector which is able to attract a new generation of users and staff, argues our Editor-in-Chief Chris Jackson.