Murray Hughes

Murray Hughes

Murray Hughes was Editor of Railway Gazette International from 1991 to 2006, since when he has been Consultant Editor. He has reported from six continents on topics ranging from high speed trains to heavy haul projects, interviewing senior engineers and managers and witnessing at first hand key events in the global railway business.

Murray’s specialist knowledge of high speed railways led to publication in 1988 of his first book, Rail 300 – The World High Speed Train Race. Updated editions were later published in Spanish, Swedish, German and Japanese. His second book on the topic, The Second Age of Rail – A History of High Speed Trains, was published by The History Press in 2015, and a second edition followed in paperback in 2020.

As part of his training Murray spent a year with Swiss Federal Railways before a spell with the International Union of Railways in Paris. He holds a degree in Applied Language Studies.

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    In depth

    Africa: Reviving Sénégal’s run-down network


    Dakar’s TER suburban service kickstarted a rail revival in Sénégal, but further progress hinges on the direction of transport policy chosen following the presidential election in March. Murray Hughes reports.

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    In depth

    Comment: High speed rail’s global appeal


    Momentum in the global high speed rail market is tilting towards emerging economies as the established networks in China, Europe and Japan reach maturity. Our Consultant Editor Murray Hughes reflects on the latest technical and developmental trends in the sector.

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    In depth

    Brazil: National Railway Plan will reset project agenda


    Government efforts to inject fresh impetus into the rail business and increase its share of the freight market continue, but reliance is being placed on the private sector to fund new projects. Murray Hughes reports.

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    In depth

    Research: Integrating AI in the rail sector


    A European research project led by Italy’s National Interuniversity Consortium for Informatics suggests that adoption of AI technologies will have a transformative impact on railway business and operations.

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    In depth

    China: High speed fleet production peaks


    In an analysis of the world market for high speed rail, SCI Verkehr finds that construction of high speed trains for China’s huge network has now peaked but after-sales activity is growing in importance as the fleet starts to age.

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    In depth

    Passenger trains: OECD study highlights distortion in the world rolling stock market


    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development has found that governments across the globe intervene in the rolling stock market in numerous ways to support their own industries.

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    In depth

    Switzerland: Second Albula tunnel to open in 2024


    Tracklaying will begin in June in the replacement Albula tunnel on the Rhätische Bahn main line from Chur to St Moritz. Murray Hughes reports.

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    In depth

    Fleet Management: DB invests to keep ICE fleet in trim


    By 2030 Deutsche Bahn plans to spend around €2bn on new and expanded maintenance workshops to keep pace with its steadily expanding fleet of ICE trainsets. Murray Hughes investigates.

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    MOB to launch gauge-changing Montreux – Interlaken GoldenPass Express


    SWITZERLAND: December 11 will mark the start of a long-awaited through service by luxury train between Interlaken and Montreux. Operated by Montreux-Oberland Bahn and BLS Lötschbergbahn, the gauge-changing GoldenPass Express service is expected to become a major attraction between the two lakeside resorts.

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    In depth

    Germany: Two-stage tender to choose DB’s next high speed fleet


    After updating its current high speed fleet, Deutsche Bahn is planning a fifth generation InterCity Express design for the 2030s and beyond. Murray Hughes reports.

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    In depth

    Germany: Government tightens control over national operator


    This summer’s eye-catching €9 ticket deal in Germany focused the spotlight on rail travel, but it also served to highlight the national railway’s failings. Plummeting performance levels are one reason the government is intervening in an attempt to restore punctuality and reliability. Murray Hughes reports.

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    In depth

    Comment: Cheap fares alone are not enough


    Many more rail trips were made in Germany this summer than in 2019 thanks to the much-publicised €9 ticket allowing unlimited travel on local and regional trains and other public transport. But our Consultant Editor Murray Hughes suggests that cheap fares alone will not be enough to deliver policymakers’ modal shift ambitions.

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    In depth

    Africa: SNCC restores passenger services in DR Congo


    Passenger services have been reinstated on the 1 067 mm gauge line from Lubumbashi to Kananga following the arrival of modern rolling stock from China. Murray Hughes reports.

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    Comment: Brazil’s rail revolution


    A series of regulatory changes has triggered what may turn out to be a vast expansion of Brazil’s rail network. 

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    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.

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    Comment: Climate goals to trump profits


    What does the future hold for Germany’s railways and for incumbent national railway holding group Deutsche Bahn in particular? Rail policy will be a critical item on the agenda of the next government, but significant challenges remain if ambitious targets for rail growth are to be met, argues our Consultant Editor Murray Hughes.

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    In depth

    High Speed: Competition enlivens the European market


    Instead of our regular World Speed Survey, we offer a snapshot of high speed rail developments at a time when the world is still grappling with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Murray Hughes investigates.

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    In depth

    Switzerland: GoldenPass Express launch postponed to 2022


    After repeated delays, Montreux-Oberland Bahn has chosen to further postpone the start date for its gauge-changing GoldenPass Express panoramic trains between Montreux and Interlaken until the end of 2022. Murray Hughes reports.

    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.

More by Murray Hughes