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August 19, 2014

Future Rail: Issue 18

In this issue: The EU’s efforts to form a free trade agreement with Japan’s rail industry, new safety regulation for crude oil transport in the US, a super-luxury train, a futuristic concept for vertical rail hubs, the booming market for rail passenger apps and more.

By Berenice Baker

Future Rail: Issue 18 | September 2014 

The Japanese passenger rail market is larger than all 27 EU markets combined, so it comes as little surprise that many European companies are keen to gain business in the country. While current Japanese non-tariff barriers, particularly for rolling stock, have so far hampered these efforts, negotiations are now underway to establish a free-trade agreement between the EU and Japan. We find out how negotiations are progressing and why the structure of the Japanese rail market is making it difficult to open up to foreign companies.

We also take a look at JR East’s new Ferrari-designed luxury sleeper train which is expected to start service in 2017, explore a futuristic concept for vertical train stations that aims to solve space issues in future cities and find out what’s new in the rapidly growing market for rail passenger apps.

Moreover, we ask whether the new safety regulations for the transport of Brakken crude oil in the US go far enough to prevent further disasters and look at technological solutions that are helping operators deal with snow and ice during the winter months.

Click here to read this issue.

In this issue

Finding Common Ground
Japan’s unwillingness to open railway project tenders up to foreign competition is one of the major obstacles to negotiating an EU-Japan free trade agreement. Rod James takes a closer look at the debate.
Read the full article.

Danger on Board
The US is tightening up regulations for the rail transport of Bakken crude oil in the wake of several disasters. Frances Marcellin finds out what can be done to improve the safety of this dangerous freight.
Read the full article.

Unparalleled Luxury
Japanese railway company JR East has unveiled a new $50m Ferrari-designed luxury sleeper train. Margot Knight takes a look at the features that make it stand out from current competitors.
Read the full article.

Stations in the Sky
The Hyper Speed Vertical Train Hub concept aims to resolve the dual challenges of space and connectivity that tomorrow’s cities will face. Ross Davies finds out more from designer Christopher Christophi.
Read the full article.

Travel Smart
As web giants such as Google rub shoulders with start-ups and rail authorities to bring transport apps to passengers, Chris Lo investigates the key trends in this innovative market.
Read the full article.

Ready for Winter
Ice and snow can impact aspects of rail operations. Kilfrost chief executive Gary Lydiate discusses the challenges faced by operators during the winter and provides best practice tips for the de-icing of tracks and trains.
Read the full article.

Next issue preview

The road to high-speed rail in California has been anything but smooth. With costs, public apathy and lawsuits holding up the project, we find out how much chance it has of completion. Meanwhile, progress looks more realistic in India, where rail improvements are on the top of the government’s infrastructure agenda.

And following China’s success in domestic high-speed rail, the government is setting its sights on international projects. We explore the plans and ask if the country can foster cooperation on a global scale.

We also take a look at Bombardier’s new OMNEO electric multiple unit double-deck train and find out more about a new tool by SINTEF researchers in Norway that could prioritise trains in real time and help reduce delays on busy routes.

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