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October 29, 2015

Future Rail: Issue 31

In this issue: Indonesia’s high-speed u-turn, a new trans-Caspian transport route, improving passenger security on Europe’s railways, Berlin’s smart station transformation, training a new generation of railway professionals in the UK, and more

By Sonia Sharma

Future Rail is now free for the iPad. Download our app to read the latest issue and browse our back issues for free.

Indonesia’s plan for a high-speed link between Jakarta and Bandung in the West Java province launched a fierce battle between China and Japan battle for the chance to provide their technology and expertise, but the country has since changed track. We find out why Indonesia decided against a high-speed network and what the alternative will look like.

We also explore plans for a new trans-Caspian multimodal transport route connecting China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey with Europe, and find out how it could shift the power dynamics in global freight transport. Moreover, we ask if any progress has been made in the debate about passenger security on Europe’s railways that has flared up again in the wake of the attack on a French train in the summer, take a look at Berlin’s smart station transformation, and find out how the UK plans to plug the railway skills gap with a massive new apprenticeship scheme.

Read the issue for free on the iPad through our app, or if you’re on a desktop computer you can also read it in our web viewer.

In this issue

Route to Revolution
A new multimodal transport route, initiated by the governments of China, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, has the potential to shift the power dynamics in global freight. Eva Grey reports on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.
Read the article.

China Vs Japan
In September, Indonesia dealt a blow to potential suppliers China and Japan by abandoning plans for a high-speed rail link between Jakarta and Bandung. Gary Peters investigates the reasons behind Indonesia’s decision and plans for an alternative.
Read the article.

All Talk, No Action?
The attempted attack on a high-speed passenger train in August prompted an intense debate on railway security in Europe. But, Eva Grey asks, is it likely to result in any long-term security plans?
Read the article.

Learning from Oil and Gas
Safety versus productivity is a constant challenge for the rail industry, but it’s one that the oil and gas sector has started to address. Iain Mackay of Petrotechnics shows how rail operators can learn from the oil and gas sector.
Read the article.

The Future Station
Technologies currently being trialled at Berlin Südkreuz station could become a blueprint for the future. Matt Burgess stopped by to take a look the station’s smart grid and passenger information facilities.
Read the article.

A Win-Win Plan
The UK Government recently announced an ambitious plan to create an additional 30,000 rail and road apprenticeships by the end of the current parliament. Gary Peters finds out how this move could address a widening skills gap.
Read the article.

Next issue preview

Deutsche Bahn has launched a major restructuring of its organisation in the wake of an 18.2% drop in EBIT for the first half of 2015, and a 39% fall in after-tax profit. With strikes, a loss in passenger and freight traffic and a drop in profit spelling trouble for the company, we find out how the German operator can weather this storm.

We also catch up with the Scotland’s newest rail line and Australia’s switch to digital signalling for its freight network. Moreover, we take a look inside Network Rails new mobile maintenance trains, which promise huge safety and efficiency improvements for track works, and speak to Vivarail, a company specialising in the refit of old London Underground trains for use on non-electrified rail routes in the North of England, about its approach to meeting urgent demand for rolling stock.

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