Future Rail: Issue 17 | August 2014

The possibility of a high-speed rail link along Australia’s eastern corridor has been under consideration for more than 30 years, yet little progress has been made. We take a look at a new report making the case for such a network and ask what it could do for the country.

We also take a look at the new Riyadh metro system under construction as part of a massive public transport project in Saudi Arabia’s capital, find out how operators in Barcelona are tackling fare dodgers with an innovative artificial intelligence system and speak to a design veteran about the challenges and best practice in designing public transit maps.

Moreover, take a look at Siemens‘ new Class 700 Desiro electric train for the London Thameslink network and speak to the sponsors of a design competition which seeks the next generation of rolling stock.

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In this issue

Slow Progress for High-Speed
Despite remaining an immutable point of debate in the Parliament of Australia for over 30 years, the implementation of high-speed rail on the country’s eastern corridor remains elusive. Ross Davies asks whether a new report will make any difference.
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Profile: Riyadh Metro, Saudi Arabia
The Riyadh metro rapid transit system is under construction in Saudi Arabia’s capital as part of a massive public transport project and expected to be completed by 2018.
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Thameslink’s New Trophy
Siemens’ new Class 700 Desiro electric train is more reliable, energy-efficient and passenger-friendly than any of its rail rivals. Daniel Garrun takes a closer look at the ultra-light train designed for London’s ambitious Thameslink infrastructure programme.
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Future Design Challenges
The Rail Operator Challenge seeks the next generation of rolling stock design. Rodrigo Delgado gets the details from the sponsors; the UK Department of Transport, the Royal Institute of Architects and FutureRailway
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AI Is Watching You
The Detector system by AWAAIT employs artificial intelligence algorithms to identify fare dodgers and track trends. Founder Xavier Arrufat tells Julian Turner about partnering with FGC, black swan events and teaching computers the difference between right and wrong
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Easy as A to B?
Public transport maps are surprisingly difficult to master. Chris Lo asks veteran graphic designer and transit map enthusiast Cameron Booth what makes maps effective, clear and easy to use
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A Call for Open Access
CLECAT, the European association of freight forwarders and logistics services providers, calls for an open rail freight sector that can efficiently respond to Europe’s economic and environmental challenges
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Next issue preview

A recent EU-Japan summit on free trade has stressed the havoc non-tariff barriers are causing when it comes to better integration of Japanese railway technology in European markets, especially with regard to rolling stock. We explore the industry’s concerns over the lack of a level playing field.

We also review US regulations aiming to improve safety in the transport of crude oil, take a look at challenges and best practice in winter operations and find out how operators can strike the best balance between automation and human interaction at stations.

Moreover, we speak to the designers of a futuristic concept for vertical rail hubs and ask whether it could be a viable alternative for tomorrow’s crowded cities, and take a tour of the Ferrari-designed luxury sleeper train for Japan’s JR East.

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