Future Rail: Issue 19 | October 2014

California’s high-speed project continues at a rather pedestrian pace, with the most significant hurdle being the legal legitimacy and availability of funding. Between support from the Obama administration and opposition from Republicans, and in the light of rising costs and public apathy, what are the US flagship high-speed line’s chances of success?

The new Indian Government is pushing ahead with a rail reform plan that’s been in the making for decades. We find out whether the country could finally see the much-needed new networks being built. We also investigate the feasibility of China’s – perhaps overly ambitious – plans to build international networks including a China-Russia-Canada-America line, and take a look at Japan’s proposal to end America’s high-speed woes with its maglev technology.

Moreover, we profile Bombardier‘s new Omneo trains which will be rolled out in France as Regio 2N, find out how new traffic control software developed in Scandinavia helps reduce delays by prioritising trains in real time, and round up opinions on the ongoing debate between politicians and London Underground about the closure of all staffed ticket offices on the network.

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In this issue

California Dreamin’?
Cost overruns, public apathy, Republican opposition and lawsuits have turned California’s dream of a high-speed rail line into a nightmare. With ground finally broken on the $98bn project, Julian Turner discusses its chances of success.
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High Time for High Speed
India’s rail industry has suffered from years of low investment and subsidised fares. Dr Gareth Evans asks if the Narendra Modi government could finally see the implementation of the high-speed service that was first mooted decades ago.
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Realistic Ambitions or Impossible Dream?
China has four international rail projects planned and has promised Africa the support of a continent-wide railroad network. But with debt rising and international relations at stake, are China’s high-speed ambitions really on track? Frances Marcellin investigates.
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A Japanese Solution to American Apathy
Japan has said its high-speed maglev technology could connect Washington, D.C. and New York with travel times of less than an hour. Chris Lo asks, could this be the turning point for high-speed apathy in the US?
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Profile: Bombardier Omneo
We take a look at Bombardier’s electric double-deck train which will be rolled out as Regio 2N in France for regional and intercity services.
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Top Priorities
A research organisation in Scandinavia has developed software to prioritise trains in real time which has been successfully trialled in Norway. Ross Davies looks at the benefits the tool could provide for train traffic controllers.
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The Automated Ticket Office
Hearing different views on the UK Government’s plan to close London Underground ticket offices, Rod James discovers that the balance between efficient touch-screen technology and human interaction can be a tricky one.
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Next issue preview

China’s involvement in Turkey’s new high-speed line marks its debut as an exporter of high-speed rail technology. We explore the country’s export strategy and how it compares to that of its European and Japanese competitors.

As the UK embraces new rail technology, we take a look at Cranfield University’s predictive risk model to help Network Rail reduce the impact of flooding on the UK’s rail system, and investigate the feasibility of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans for an orbital railway in the capital.

Moreover, we discover the future of rail according to a report by railway engineers Arup, find out from SAMSUNG how smart technology can create a ‘frictionless’ experience for travellers and learn how rail stations can learn from airport security.

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