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April 20, 2016

Future Rail: Issue 37

In this issue: Improving infrastructure in Ethiopia, boosting US rail to tackle climate change, the future of London's commuter lines under TfL, tram trouble in Lisbon, account based ticketing, and more

By Eloise Mclennan


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

A new rail link between Addis Ababa and Djibouti is expected to bring relief to drought-stricken Ethiopia and provide better access to trade routes. We take a look at the project and its potential for the country’s development.

In the wake of Amtrak signing up to the International Union of Railways’ Climate Responsibility Pledge, we find out how the US can achieve a modal shift to rail to help reduce emissions from road and air transport. Also in this issue, we explore Transport for London’s plan to take control of the capital’s entire suburban rail network, take a look at the potential of account-based ticketing and NFC payments on-board trains, and find out how rail operators are improving safety and efficiency on commuter networks by influencing passenger behaviour.

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

Access for EthiopiaSoon after unveiling the first urban light railway in sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia accelerated the progress of a 700km railway linking Addis Ababa to the port of Djibouti. Eva Grey explores the country’s flagship project. Read the article.

Rediscovering Rail In the US, where long distances and poor rail infrastructure made road and air traffic the first choice of transportation for many, a modal shift to rail poses a difficult challenge. Eva Grey finds out more.Read the article.

An Uncertain Journey The trams that rattle along the streets of Lisbon in Portugal have become the defining image of the city. Now, with a rise in the number of tourists visiting the city, the future of the service is debatable. Rod James reports.Read the article.

Keeping London MovingIn a bid to replicate London Overground’s success, Transport for London is planning to take over the capital’s suburban rail network, including a number of under-performing franchises. Gary Peters finds out more.Read the article.

Wheels to RailsThe rail freight industry has a number of challenges to overcome in increasing its offering for the automotive sector, as Rail Freight Group executive director Maggie Simpson explains.Read the article.

From the Card to the Back OfficeAt the 2016 Transport Ticketing & Passenger Information expo, much of the focus was on account-based ticketing. Gary Peters asks if this system could soon see the end of smartcards holding all passenger information.Read the article.

A Nudge in the Right DirectionInfluencing passenger behaviour is a common strategy to ensure the smooth running of services, but operators are getting increasingly creative in their approach. Eva Grey takes a look at the latest initiatives underway across London.Read the article.

New Ways to PayAs consumers begin to expect contactless payments as a standard service, ECR Retail Systems CEO Simon Pont tells us how operators can prepare to adopt the technology on-board their trains.Read the article.

Drones Take OffAs drone technology progresses rapidly, Cyberhawk commercial director Philip Buchan tells us about the growing use of aerial inspection in the rail industry.Read the article.

Next issue preview

London’s Crossrail, the largest construction project in Europe, has launched an initiative to allow the wider UK infrastructure industry to share in the lessons learned and innovations introduced over the course of the project. We find out how future projects are set to benefit.

Also in the next issue, we find out which opportunities the lifting of sanctions on Iran will create for rail business, take a look at the proposed Brooklyn to Queens light rail system in New York and find out what the transport sector is doing to improve accessibility. Plus, we take a look at a project using drones for track maintenance in the US, and investigate how Brazilian authorities are tackling allegations of corruption in two major railway projects.

Plus, we find out why the future is uncertain for Lisbon’s much-loved trams, hear from Rail Freight Group about the challenges faced by the UK’s rail freight sector, and look at the potential of drone-based aerial inspection for rail network maintenance.

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