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

    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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    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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    In depth

    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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    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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    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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    Rolling stock: Olympic deadline governs TGV M rollout


    The first of 100 next-generation TGV sets is due to enter service with French national operator SNCF in time to carry passengers during the 2024 Olympic Games. Murray Hughes investigates.

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    Germany: Relaying DB’s oldest high speed lines


    After nearly 30 years of use, Germany’s first two high speed lines are being given a complete makeover with new track and replacement components for other hardware. Murray Hughes reports on a programme valued at €825m.

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    Germany: Master Plan confirms state’s commitment to rail


    The German government has assigned rail a fundamental role in its climate change strategy, promising unprecedented levels of financial support for expansion and modernisation of the national network. Murray Hughes investigates.

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    Senegal: TER to transform the Dakar commute


    The first phase of an ambitious scheme to build an electrified suburban railway and airport rail link in Dakar is nearing completion. Murray Hughes reports.

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    Africa: Dakar – Bamako trade artery awaits revival


    Rehabilitating the moribund railway linking Senegal with landlocked Mali is seen as a ‘vector of growth’ in plans to stimulate the economy of the two countries. Murray Hughes investigates.

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    China: Learning lessons from a remarkable programme


    Built in an astonishingly short time, China’s huge high speed network has solved the national railway’s capacity problem and generated benefits beyond the rail sector. A comprehensive report by the World Bank suggests there are valuable lessons for other countries too, finds Murray Hughes.

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    ‘A brilliant future as the backbone of mobility’


    As it approaches its centenary, the International Union of Railways is reasserting itself as the technical platform for the sector. Murray Hughes talks to UIC Director General François Davenne in Paris.

More by Murray Hughes