Future Rail: Issue 16

For nearly 150 years the Suez Canal has been an unrivalled freight artery between Europe and Asia, but this could soon change if Israel goes ahead with its proposed £2bn Red-Med rail link. We take a look at the project which aims to connect Eilat on the Red Sea and Ashdod on the Mediterranean and could break ground within the year.

We also find out how increasing passenger numbers and the need for more rail links in Britain could help revive lines that were scrapped by the Beeching Axe half a century ago, talk to Hitachi Rail’s new global CEO about the company’s move from Japan to London and its future strategy and profile the ten countries with the biggest rail networks in the world.

Moreover, we learn how new technologies could help operators improve passenger services and speak to the developers of a new mobile app which aims to offer a real-time interactive travel guide to landmarks along Europe’s most popular rail routes.

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In this issue

The Suez Alternative
Scheduled to break ground within the year, Israel’s Red Med project – a 186 mile rail link – aims to provide a freight transport alternative to the Suez Canal. Dr Gareth Evans learns more.
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Taking back the Tracks
Half a century on from the Beeching Axe, which scrapped a third of Britain’s railways, communities across the country are bidding to reopen a number of disused lines and stations. Ross Davies takes a look at the rail revival.
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Global Vision
As Hitachi Rail moves its headquarters from Japan to the UK, Frances Cook talks to new global CEO of the rail systems business Alistair Dormer about the company’s future strategy
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Look Up and Explore
A German film production company is developing a mobile app that guides rail passengers through cultural landmarks along their route. Chris Lo learns more about the project which is lauded by the EU and due to launch in 2015
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Smooth Service
As more passengers voice their dissatisfaction with customer services on the rail network, ECR Retail Systems CEO Simon Pont explains how technology can help operators keep their customers happy
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Top 10: The Biggest Rail Networks
It comes as no surprise that some of the world’s biggest countries also boast the longest rail networks, but among them, two European nations also stand out with an impressive number of tracks
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Next issue preview

Commitment to build a high speed rail project in Australia, which would link twelve transport hubs and cost $12bn, is gaining momentum but many barriers still exist. We explore the viability of the plans and ask, is such a network really needed in the country?

We also take a look at Siemens‘ new Class 700 Desiro City trains for the UK’s upgraded Thameslink service and speak to the organisers of the ‘Tomorrow’s train design today’ competition which looks for innovative rolling stock designs that meet the UK network’s operational and environmental objectives for the future.

Moreover, we find out how Spain’s Catalunya Railways is using artificial intelligence to help combat fare dodging, and explore the challenges of designing a comprehensive and easy-to-understand public transport map.

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