Features & Analysis

  • UP 6558 East Chapman NE 2009-12-26 Steve Glischinski
    In depth

    USA: Living with extreme weather


    Building on many years of experience, US railroads large and small have developed cost-effective approaches to dealing with the impact of extreme weather incidents and other natural disasters, but continue to evolve their response strategies. Dave Lustig investigates.

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    In depth

    Infrastructure: Getting to grips with climate change


    As part of a broader weather resilience and climate change adaptation strategy, Network Rail has been reviewing its management of earthworks and structures. It has also put in place environmental initiatives aimed at mitigating its own impact.

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    In depth

    Comment: Sending the wrong signal


    Policymakers need to learn lessons from the apparent collapse of the agreement to build a high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, suggests Managing Editor Nick Kingsley.

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    In depth

    Signalling: ADIF opens ‘pioneering’ multi-network control centre


    ADIF has opened an integrated control centre in the northern city of León which is intended to centralise the management of traffic on a disparate set of routes of different gauges and power supplies. Mike Bent reports.

  • Tous les trains sont à l'arrêt
    In depth

    Algeria: Recovery elusive as expansion plans await funding


    With no passenger trains operating in the 10 months from March 2020 to January 2021, the future for Algeria’s national operator SNTF looks uncertain. Christian Scasso contrasts political aspirations with a bleak outlook on the ground.

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    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.

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    In depth

    Norway: Onboard testing drives ETCS rollout


    The completion of hardware durability testing and start of trial running with a new generation of onboard equipment in October mark key steps in Norway’s national ERTMS programme.

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    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.

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    In depth

    Comment: A zeal to electrify


    The scale and pace of delivery of India’s vast national electrification programme could serve as an inspiration for other countries, argues Managing Editor Nick Kingsley.

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    In depth

    Catering: Making the customers smile again


    Roger Williams, Chairman of International Rail Catering Group, shares his view on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on rail catering and strategies to recover customer confidence.

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    In depth

    Policy: Passenger rail in the age of coronavirus


    The rail sector continues to grapple with the implications of a drastic drop in ridership and the need to deploy extensive Covid-19 mitigation measures. However, the passenger experience is not uniform around the world: Mike Bent presents a snapshot of reports from Japan, Spain and Poland.

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    In depth

    Interview: Stabilising CP to face the future


    With new rolling stock on order and proposals for a national investment programme taking shape, Portuguese national operator CP has been taking steps to revitalise its business, as President Nuno Freitas explains to André Pires.

    In depth

    France: Government acts to lift freight from last year’s nadir


    A promise by Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djébbari to help turn round France’s rail freight business was warmly welcomed, but it still falls short of what is needed to meet Europe’s climate change objectives. Murray Hughes reports from the 10th OFP freight seminar.

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    In depth

    France: Confort 200 to trim trip times on two routes


    Along with a programme of track upgrades, a fleet of 10-car articulated EMUs is set to transform travel on the inter-city routes from Paris to Toulouse and Clermont-Ferrand in the second half of this decade. Murray Hughes investigates.

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    In depth

    Russia: Driverless shunter completes autopilot trials


    By combining vision systems developed for obstacle detection with satellite location and artificial intelligence, Cognitive Pilot has successfully modified a Russian Railways shunting locomotive for automated operation.

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    In depth

    Switzerland: Ceneri Base Tunnel opening completes NEAT jigsaw


    The December timetable change marked the start of regular commercial services through the Ceneri Base Tunnel at the southern end of Switzerland’s busy Gotthard corridor. Toma Bačić reports.

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    In depth

    Interview: ‘We have to win back our customers’


    Just when the French national operator’s passenger sector is coming to terms with Covid-19 and the collapse of business travel, it faces the arrival of competition in both the regional and long-distance markets. Chris Jackson asked Christophe Fanichet, President-Directeur Général of SNCF Voyageurs, about his strategy at a time of unprecedented challenges.

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    In depth

    Traction technology: Harnessing the potential of lithium powerpacks


    The rail sector is on the cusp of widespread adoption of battery technology in rolling stock, both for self-powered vehicles and to support hydrogen fuel cells. Pierre Prenleloup outlines the factors that fleet owners need to consider as uptake gathers pace.

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    In depth

    Traction: Rail can lead the way with hydrogen deployment


    The rail sector is at the forefront of the commercialisation of hydrogen technology, with trains running in Germany attracting interest from around the world, says Amy Adams, Vice-President of Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Technologies at Cummins

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    In depth

    Comment: Time to seize the moment


    An unprecedented year is drawing to a close. Time and again, that adjective has been rolled out to describe the tumultuous challenges that 2020 has brought to the global economy and wider society as the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.