Future Rail: Issue 48

In this issue: Onboard Japan’s luxury sleeper, China’s high-speed rail transfer policy and direct rail freight for the UK, the unlikely success of monorails, GE’s trainsets for India, Stuttgart’s new station, and more.


Speed gives way to style as Japan’s new luxury cruise train prepares to offer mini breaks at major prices. Designed by Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama, the exclusive sleeper will host just 34 passengers on a trip dedicated to the journey, not the destination. We step onboard.

Also, with China a world leader in high-speed rail infrastructure, we find out how important technology transfer agreements have been to this progress. And after launching the first China to London direct rail freight service, we look at the future of global rail freight.

Plus, we profile stand-out monorail systems, catch up with GE’s expansion into India, look into Stuttgart station’s 20-year redevelopment, and hear solutions to the industry’s skills gap.

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In this issue

China’s high-speed tech transfer
Today China is the world leader in high-speed rail infrastructure, following extensive technology transfer deals with foreign companies. We speak to the experts to profile the role of tech transfer in China’s high-speed revolution.
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Monorail: pie in the sky?
Monorails have turned from amusement park fixtures to reliable urban transport modes in a number of big cities across the world. We look at some of the most successful monorail systems, as well as pending projects, and see what advantages they can offer compared to traditional trains.
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An east wind blows
China has launched a direct rail freight service to London, as part of its drive to develop trade and investment ties with Europe through the new Silk Road. What could this means for rail freight transport between the UK and Asia’s superpower?
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GE’s trains driving India’s economy
General Electric recently passed the first year milestone in its monumental project to supply 1,000 diesel locomotives to India in a deal worth $17bn. With ground broken on the manufacturing facility and the product design complete, we catch up with GE to find out the challenges ahead.
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Japan’s trip into super-luxury
A new luxury cruise train will begin excursions between Tokyo’s Ueno Station and northern Japan in May this year. This exclusive sleeper will welcome only 34 passengers at a time, in exchange for a hefty ticket price. Here we look inside one of the world’s most luxurious cruise trains.
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Stuttgart 21: Germany’s most divisive rail project
Radical redevelopment of Stuttgart’s central rail station was first announced in 1995, but the project is still under construction, with completion not expected until 2021 at the earliest. We track the project’s issues causing setbacks, and explore the benefits, once it’s finished.
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The importance of getting upskilled
The rail industry is preparing to execute many major infrastructure projects while facing a widening skills gap. What can be done to fix the problem?
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In the next issue

Hong Kong MTR’s new South Island Line started operating in December 2016. The build had to overcome huge challenges when criss-crossing one of the most densely populated cities in the world, and we speak to project manager Atkins to find out how this feat was achieved.

Also, we take a look at the scope of the Rail Baltica project which aims to connect Northern European states, speak to urban designer Luca Giaramidaro about what California can learn from Europe’s high-speed hubs, and assess the future of the Texan bullet train, which gained Presidential support but may still be stalled by local opposition.

Plus, we ask what’s the argument over driver-only trains and investigate the UK’s train ticket overhaul which has the potential to transform the fares system.

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