All Policy articles

  • Transport ministers from the three Baltic States met in Tallinn to discuss co-operation to improve passenger and freight links.

    Baltic States discuss Vilnius – Riga – Tallinn passenger service and gauge conversion


    EUROPE: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are to explore options to launch a passenger service between their capitals using existing 1 520 mm gauge railways, ahead of the completion of the future Rail Baltica 1 435 mm gauge line. The lack of through services between the Baltic ...

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    In depth

    Portugal: National plan to boost rail’s market share


    Ambitious plans to connect Portugal’s 10 largest cities by high speed rail form the centrepiece of a comprehensive railway development package unveiled by the Portuguese government late last year. To be completed by 2050, the plan also envisages new suburban corridors and a third bridge over the River Tagus. André Pires reports.

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    In depth

    Europe: Authorising modifications — time to learn from experience


    Practical experience suggests that changes to the vehicle authorisation process introduced in the EU’s Fourth Railway Package have clarified the requirements covering the approval of modifications to existing rolling stock deployed in more than one country.

  • Three Seas high speed rail map

    Three Seas high speed network proposed to link Warszawa with Tallinn, Budapest, Praha and Kyiv


    EUROPE: Memoranda of understanding for co-operation on the development of new and enhanced rail links between capital cities in central and eastern Europe, including Kyiv, were signed at the Railway Direction Days 2023 conference in Warszawa.

  • High speed rail study proposal

    Study proposes massive expansion of Europe’s high speed rail network


    EUROPE: A master plan for massive expansion of the high speed rail network has been proposed by the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking in co-operation with the Community of European Railways, supply industry association UNIFE and the AllRail association of new entrants to the passenger market. Unveiled ...

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    In depth

    Southeast Asia: Rising costs force ASEAN nations to redefine Belt & Road projects


    Ballooning costs and imprecise contract terms have led to significant changes to major projects and in some cases to renegotiation of terms. Toma Bačić  investigates schemes in three ASEAN countries.

  • Fret SNCF train

    European Commission investigates state aid to Fret SNCF


    FRANCE: The European Commission has begun a detailed investigation into measures taken by the French government in 2007-19 to provide financial support to Fret SNCF, the rail freight subsidiary of Rail Logistics Europe, itself a subsidiary of national operator SNCF. The objective is to determine whether ...

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    RENFE starts tests before relaunching cross-border high speed services to France


    EUROPE: Spanish national operator RENFE is preparing to revive international inter-city services between Madrid, Barcelona, Lyon and Marseille, which ceased in December last year. 

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    ‘The future is ours’, Rail Ambassadors tell Dutch minister


    NETHERLANDS: A delegation of young rail ambassadors has presented a report to Environment & Water Management Secretary Vivianne Heijnen outlining their experience of being part of the EU’s European Year of Youth.

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    In depth

    Comment: Productivity not exploitation


    Poor working conditions risk impacting on railways’ ability to recruit the people they need to be competitive for the future, argues Railway Gazette’s Senior Editor Chris Jackson.

  • Railway track

    Remove technical barriers to cut journey times across European borders, urges ERA


    EUROPE: Many cross-border rail routes function like a patchwork of different national systems, and there is an opportunity to reduce journey times by solving technical and operational issues, according to a report from the European Union Agency for Railways. The Cross-border Rail Transport Potential Report looks ...

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    In depth

    Greece: Rail revival struggles to gain momentum


    Despite a macroeconomic recovery and an injection of EU funding for infrastructure, Greece’s rail recovery is still facing headwinds, typified by the low-key launch of Pendolino services between the country’s two principal cities. Toma Bačić reports from Athens.

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    $9bn to fund Northeast Corridor upgrading


    USA: The Department of Transportation is making available nearly $9bn in funding to support infrastructure renewals and expand passenger services along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor

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    In depth

    Australia: Reshaping Brisbane’s rail connections


    With construction of the Cross River Rail link well underway, Queensland’s state government has unveiled a comprehensive strategy for development of Brisbane’s regional rail network to accommodate projected population growth. Chris Jackson  explores the proposals.

  • Seminole Gulf Railway flooding

    Short line natural disaster recovery funding bill introduced


    USA: A bill has been introduced to Congress which would authorise the Department of Transportation to provide emergency funding to assist short line railways with recovery from natural disasters.

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    Rail Business UK

    Rail leaders frustrated as DfT tightens grip and cuts loom


    UK: Rail Business UK has taken soundings from across the train operating companies, Network Rail and from sources close to the Department for Transport, finding a bleak outlook. Industry leaders fear having to implement stark cuts to rail provision, even if the industrial relations issues plaguing the sector can be resolved.

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    Freight future in doubt as energy costs soar


    FRANCE: Rail freight operators are facing a catastrophic future if the government does not offer help with a massive rise in energy costs, according to industry body Fret Ferroviaire Français du Futur

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    In depth

    India: On the way to a sustainable railway


    As well as its traction decarbonisation strategy, Indian Railways has launched a raft of initiatives aimed at improving its wider environmental credentials. Raghu Dayal investigates.

  • Ukraine railway station (Photo EBRD)

    Ukraine withdraws from CIS Railway Council


    UKRAINE: Ukraine has withdrawn from the CIS Railway Council, which was established in 1992 to facilitate continued interoperability between the railways across the former Soviet Union. National railway Ukrzaliznytsia cut all ties with Russia and Belarus following the full-scale invasion on February 24. The military removed ...

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    Aix-Marseille-Provence city region invests in local freight


    FRANCE: The Aix-Marseille-Provence Métropole is to invest significant funds in local rail freight services and terminals over the next four years, as part of a strategy to reduce road congestion and associated pollution across the metropolitan area.