Ground has been broken on the massive $13bn East Coast Rail Link in Malaysia, funded by an 85% loan from China Exim Bank and to be built by China Communications Construction. We take a look at the extent of China’s influence over rail technology in Asia.

Also, we profile Australia’s proposed Melbourne-Brisbane freight rail corridor as it gains a further $8.4bn investment, assess Network Rail’s efforts to entice private sector investors, and examine what’s behind the ongoing plague of copper cable thefts.

While in technology, we get results from facial recognition tech trials in Berlin, and ponder the complications of introducing reliable onboard WiFi to trains.

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In this issue

Australia’s Inland Rail project
The Australian Government announced its commitment to the full delivery of Inland Rail with an additional $8.4bn equity investment in the Australian Rail Track Corporation. We take a look at the proposed Melbourne-Brisbane freight rail corridor.
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Network Rail: opening opportunities
Britain’s Network Rail has announced a series of reforms to help open the organisation up to third-parties contributing to railway infrastructure projects. The reforms include publishing a regular pipeline of third-party project opportunities, but with a history of complicated third-party relationships, how successful could the changes be?
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China Express: Malaysia’s East Coast Rail Link
Ground was broken on the massive $13bn East Coast Rail Link in Malaysia, funded by an 85% loan from China Exim Bank and to be built by China Communications Construction. The 688km east-west rail link is a positive step for the region, but critics have pointed to over reliance on China. We look at China’s strength and influence in Asia.
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Cable theft: still plaguing the rail industry
A new study shows that cable theft is still occurring around five times a week in the UK, causing majors delays and massive costs. We speak to VPS Site Security about how and why cable theft occurs and what can be done.
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Facial recognition to secure Berlin rail station
German authorities have been testing facial recognition software at Berlin’s main rail station in an attempt to increase security. More than 200 citizens volunteered for the testing, and we find out what has been learned and the ethical stance on holding facial identify records.
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Why is introducing onboard WiFi so difficult?
Boston’s MBTA has put a hold on plans to build 320 monopoles along commuter rail lines to bring WiFi service to passengers, citing public concerns over the construction plans. The stuttering project highlights challenges of installing internet infrastructure for railways, and we ask why this is so difficult.
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In the next issue

Indian Railways is planning a massive surge of renewable energy deployment for its enormous network, aiming to meet 25% of its power demand with renewables by 2025, including a project recently contracted to ABB India to build solar inverters for 750 stations in the north of the country. How is Indian Railways going to meet its goals by this tight deadline? We find out.

Also having high hopes, we assess Australia’s new framework for developing its railway industry, examine Crossrail’s self reported environmental legacy and explore the difficulties of maintaining signalling systems at large stations such as London Waterloo.

While in technology, we hone in on apps to find out if a clever new advance ticket app could save commuters money, and if taxi apps are threatening urban rail.

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