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October 22, 2014

Future Rail: Issue 20

In this issue: A new Tube for London, Arup’s vision for rail transport in 2050, Samsung’s tech offering to rail operators, what rail operators can learn from airport security, China’s push for international high-speed projects and more

By Berenice Baker

Future Rail: Issue 20 | November 2014

This month London Underground revealed designs for a new generation of driverless trains which will be introduced to the network from the mid-2020s and could potentially operate autonomously in the future. We take a look at the designs to find out what Tube travel will look like for the decades to come. Staying with ambitious plans for the UK capital, we also find out more about Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans for a new orbital railway and how viable they are.

Meanwhile, Arup has also cast its eyes to the future with a new report detailing its vision for rail in 2050. We explore the engineering firm’s proposal of weird and wonderful solutions to the potential challenges awaiting rail operators in the future.

We also speak to Honeywell about how tried and tested airport security technology could be applied to rail stations to reduce high crime rates, find out which benefits Samsung’s data-driven B2B tech could bring to rail operators, and catch up with China’s ambitious plans to take on the international high-speed market.

Click here to read this issue.

In this issue

A Lesson in Security
Four out of ten of the UK’s top crime hot spots belong to major railway stations while airports claim just one. Abi Millar asks James Somerville-Smith of Honeywell Security Group how rail operators
can learn from airports when it comes to security.
Read the full article.

Wishful Thinking
One of the cornerstones of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s London Infrastructure 2050 plan is a new orbital railway. Ross Davies asks whether the expensive scheme can be justified so soon after Crossrail.
Read the full article.

A New Era for London
The public has been offered its first glimpses of London’s next generation of driverless underground trains. Margot Knight takes a look at the designs for London Underground’s new Tube.
Read the full article.

Visions for 2050
A new report by engineering firm Arup proposes innovative and occasionally off-the-wall solutions to the challenges that the rail industry is likely to face in the future. Rod James finds out more.
Read the full article.

The Frictionless Experience
Samsung’s push into the B2B market could be big news for rail operators looking for data-driven tech that improves the customer experience. Chris Lo discusses the potential for smart technology to create a ‘frictionless’ experience for travellers.
Read the full article.

China on the Fast Track
In little over a decade China has progressed from a high-speed rail novice to the host of the world’s largest network, and is now turning its attention to foreign markets. Chris Lo asks whether Chinese companies are a match for established specialists in Europe and Japan.
Read the full article.

Rainy with a Chance of Change
Train delays in the UK are caused by a variety of factors, but one of the most significant, and often the costliest, is the weather. Dr Gareth Evans learns how a new data analysis model from Cranfield University could help with flood risk management on Britain’s railways
Read the full article.

Next issue preview

SNCF reported a 74% drop in net profit for the first half of 2014 due to domestic strike action but attributed its profit to international operations. We ask how these results could affect the company’s future investment strategy.

As services to and from London get ever more overcrowded, with some trains carrying nearly double their intended capacity, we explore potential solutions for the capital’s struggling commuter network.

Looking to the US, we find out more about the country’s first fully automated rail system – a $45bn project being built on the island of Honolulu, and take a look at the new railcars for San Francisco’s BART system, which will represent the first rolling stock overhaul since the network was launched 42 years ago.

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