In this issue: Indian Railways’ solar drive, Australia’s national rail framework, the Crossrail legacy, signalling problems, ticket price predicting tools, the threat of taxi apps, and more.

The sun is set to be the driver of Indian Railways, as the network intends to meet a massive 25% of its power needs with renewable energies, particularly solar, by 2025. A combination of in-station and on-train measures will be required to make this ambitious goal a reality. We find out what Indian Railways is doing to reach this target.

In other major projects, we hear Australia’s plans for a nation-wide, joined up framework for a unified rail service, learn about the trials and tribulations of optimising and maintaining large signalling systems such as that at London Waterloo, and assess the claims in Crossrail’s environmental legacy report.

Plus, we examine Trainline’s new tool which can predict when cheap tickets are going to increase in price, and examine whether low-cost taxi apps are threatening urban rail services.

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In this issue

Crossrail’s Environmental Legacy
Crossrail’s recently released 2017 Environment Report highlights improved air quality, reduced energy consumption, reuse and recycling of construction waste, and stunning archaeological discoveries as examples of an excellent environmental legacy. Has this mage project really managed to avoid all concerns over spoil, noise and environmental damage?
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Inside Australia’s New Rail Plan
In September, an Australasian Railway Association delegation visited Australia’s Parliament to promote its new framework for supporting the country’s railway industry. The plan hopes to harmonise standards, foster capabilities and encourage R&D for an improved national standard. We check out the plan and its potential to optimise rail’s contribution to Australia’s economy.
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Indian Railways’ Blazing a Trail to Renewable Trains
Indian Railways is planning a deployment of energy tech for its enormous network, aiming to meet 25% of its power demand with renewables, primarily solar, by 2025, including a project recently contracted to ABB India to build solar inverters for 750 stations. Is Indian Railways likely to this ambitious goal and how is the company working towards its 2025 deadline?
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Righting Wrong Signals
Signalling problems at London’s Waterloo station have caused major railway disruptions to be extended, even after a month-long upgrade programme on lines leading into this station – one of London’s main railway hubs. Signalling failures have been a common problem at the station, so what are the challenges of optimising systems at such a large station as Waterloo?
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Price Prophet Saving Commuters Cash
Advance train tickets in the UK are generally touted as a means to help passengers save money, but how do customers really know they’re getting the best deal? A new feature on the Trainline app uses data to predict when tickets will increase in price. We speak to Trainline to find out how it’s done and assess the industry-wide impact of such a money-saving tool.
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Are Taxi Apps Threatening Urban Rail?
App-based taxi and ridesharing apps, such as Uber and Lyft, are transforming personal transport in cities worldwide. While they may be driving down car ownership rates among urban residents, do they also pose a threat to urban public rail systems? Are low-cost car services undercutting the value proposition of trains and subways, and what effect could that process have?
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In the next issue

Cape Town’s commuter rail has been declared as “on the brink of collapse”. With dwindling passenger numbers and sub-par frequency, the network is failing to relieve road congestion. As a result, the city has announced a rail rescue plan. We take a look. While in the US, we assess the key investments in Amtrak’s Ready to Build campaign to revitalise passenger rail and run a special photo feature on the new Hyperloop capsule designs.

Elsewhere, we hear how the emerging night time economy is making a strong case for extending public transport services, find out how exploring passengers’ use of onboard WiFi is helping to improve signposting and journey efficiency, speak to passenger advocacy group Transport Focus about holding the industry to account and giving commuters a voice.

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