Features & Analysis

  • es-RENFE-Cercanias-MB-5-los-cotos
    In depth

    Spain: Plan de Cercanías promises an end to inaction


    Over the past three decades, much of Spain’s rail investment has been channelled into its expanding high speed network. Government plans now envisage a substantial boost for suburban services which account for 90% of all ridership. Mike Bent investigates.

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    In depth

    Europe: IoT tools help to ensure a rapid response


    German IoT specialist Optimeas is working with infrastructure manager DB InfraGo to enhance the availability of its electrification inspection and repair vehicles as part of efforts to reduce the impact of power supply failures across the network.

  • Capture d’écran 2024-01-12 111930
    In depth

    Europe: Getlink adopts AI and digital twins


    As Channel Tunnel operator Getlink prepares for its future role in providing more and better services between the UK and France it is making a transition to a data-driven company, seizing the opportunities offered by data management and artificial intelligence.

  • se-Vossloh-maintenance-Stockholm-1
    In depth

    Interview: ‘Digital pioneers must prioritise simplicity’


    Swedish start-up Strainlabs is one of the founding participants in the Vossloh Connect digital ecosystem. Vossloh’s Head of Digital Pierre-Henri Bougeant and Strainlabs’ CEO Csaba Madru explain the partnership and why in rail digitalisation, simplicity is key.

  • Portuguese national train impression
    In depth

    Comment: Multilateral initiatives still matter


    Globalisation is facing a challenge in the railway industry as countries prioritise domestic production of trains. Nick Kingsley  explores the drawbacks of this approach and the continued importance of international co-operation.

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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.

  • lu-luxtram-gare-centrale-HH-02
    Metro Report International

    Luxembourg: Luxtram eyes an expanding network


    As Luxembourg City’s first modern light rail line nears completion, work is getting underway on two branches to form a second route. Two more routes are being planned, along with an interurban link to the country’s second city.

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    In depth

    Netherlands: TINA on course to reshape HTM tram fleet


    Dutch operator HTM has unveiled a mock-up of its next-generation trams from Stadler’s expanding modular TINA range. Dr Harry Hondius reports from Den Haag.

  • Gripple_QTS_HI-9953
    In depth

    Decarbonisation: Accelerating the electrification task


    Network Rail is now deploying UK-based Gripple’s SwiftLine Rail Dropper, which the supplier believes will speed up key steps in the installation of overhead electrification equipment.

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    In depth

    Decarbonisation: Schleswig-Holstein pioneers a battery traction network


    An ambitious programme to operate a network of local rail services in north Germany using battery-powered trains is expected to save 10 million litres of diesel fuel a year, as Toma Bačić explains.

  • CEO
    In depth

    Interview: Heavy haul line expands Mongolia’s rail capacity


    Interviewed about the challenges of building a heavy haul freight line through the Gobi Desert, CEO of Bodi International Dolgormaa Bukhbat highlights the harsh Mongolian climate and the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on logistics and construction.

  • RMV-Alstom-iLint-hydrogen-train-(RMV,-Arne-Landwehr)
    In depth

    Traction Technology: The weak case for hydrogen


    Reinhard Christeller  examines the state of the art for using hydrogen in rail traction, and finds that the case for widespread adoption is weak, even if emerging ‘white hydrogen’ fuel holds more potential.

  • Zuun-Bayan to Khangi railway opening in Mongolia (7)
    In depth

    Comment: Rail is resurgent despite turbulent times


    While emerging markets have long held promise, rail investment is now happening in countries where even in the recent past it would have seemed implausible. Nick Kingsley highlights examples from Iraq to Mongolia.

  • Tianjin_Line_11_01
    In depth

    China: Metro networks grow in 14 cities


    More than 300 km of new metro lines and extensions were commissioned in China during December 2023, with the completion of 19 projects in 14 cities. This meant that by the beginning of 2024, Chinese cities accounted for nine of the world’s 10 largest networks. Toma Bačić rounds up the latest additions.

  • Huangshan-Nanchang_04
    In depth

    China: Water Rabbit delivers network growth


    More than 3 500 km of new railway was opened in China during 2023, expanding the national network to almost 160 000 route-km. Toma Bačić reviews recent developments.

  • us-brightline-west-Siemens-rolling-stock
    In depth

    High Speed: FRA grant kick-starts Brightline West


    Construction of a high speed inter-city passenger railway in the congested corridor between Las Vegas and Southern California is expected to get underway this year, following the approval of federal funding for the Brightline West project. Dave Lustig investigates.

  • shutterstock_2244803163
    In depth

    Iran: International connections take shape slowly


    Work is progressing on various cross-border rail links as Iranian Railways seeks to strengthen its role as a Eurasian rail hub. Toma Bačić investigates.

  • SAR-Freight-Train
    In depth

    Middle East: Visions of an inter-continental corridor


    Proposals for the development of an India – Middle East – Europe ‘economic corridor’ were announced at the G20 summit in September 2023, but many questions remain about how the project might be implemented. Raghu Dayal investigates.

  • Delhi-Metro-peter-chirkov-3QKV7osOiVw-unsplash
    In depth

    India: Digital modelling supports Delhi metro extension


    Delhi Metro Rail Corp has used Bentley Systems software to model the design of a complex section of underground alignment being built under the network’s Phase IV expansion.

  • 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.