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July 19, 2017

Future Rail: Issue 52

In this issue: Displacing communities with modern rail, driverless trains in Germany, reopening a disused London station, the Great Lakes Basin project, a Siemens-Bombardier merger, a look in the lost and found, and more

By Ceri Jones

Property values are increasingly determined by their proximity to public transportation and, despite the advantages, new railways tend to contribute to the rapid gentrification of communities, often displacing lower income families from the area. This is a well-known phenomenon with a lasting impact for poorer social groups, so what can be done? We look into the concept of Equitable Transit-Oriented Development and ask what administrators and developers can do to avoid completely changing an area’s identity. 

Also, we profile Chicago’s proposed $8bn line intended to bypass the city and save $799bn yearly losses due to freight jams, speak to the German Aerospace Centre about the so-called automated freight trains of the future, look into the challenges and implications of a Siemens-Bombardier merger, find out what the Reopen Camberwell Station campaign tells us about London’s network, and take a look at the wonderful world of railway lost and found to learn about a new online service helping connect people with their items.

You can read Future Rail on your iPad via our app or in using the web viewer. It's free to read and you can join the conversation on Twitter.

In this issue

Rumour has it: Siemens-Bombardier venture ahead   Siemens and Bombardier are reportedly in talks to merge their rail operations and compete more effectively with Chinese state-backed rail giant CRRC. The merged company would have combined sales of $16bn, but there are a number of issues that could trip up the deal. We explore the implications that such a merger that could have upon the rail industry. Read the article

Driverless freight, as imagined in Germany   Researchers from the German Aerospace Centre have developed concepts for what they are calling the freight trains of the future. According to the company, the trains will have high levels of automation and travel at high speeds. We speak to the team behind the work to find out more. Read the article

An ‘audacious’ way around Chicago’s gridlock    A private group of investors has proposed a new $8bn freight rail line that bypasses Chicago as a solution to the city’s longstanding rail gridlock, which brings up to $799bn yearly losses to the US economy. Critics fear a significant environmental impact, while the industry strongly needs action. We assess the proposal. Read the article

Fighting for Camberwell     Just a few miles south of London’s centre lies a railway station disused since World War II. Now a resident-led campaign is seeking reopen Camberwell station to relieve the pressure on the overworked local public transport network. What does this project reveal about London’s transport network? Read the article

Continental rift     New railway networks often contribute to rapid gentrification, causing the displacement of lower income families. These community divisions tend to have a negative impact on poorer social groups, so what can be done? We look into the concept of Equitable Transit-Oriented Development and ask what can be done to avoid completely changing an area’s identity.  Read the article

The lost and found network   The amount of lost valuables found on trains across the country must be staggering, but what is being done to reconnect passengers with their belongings? We take a look at some of the weird and wonderful items left behind and profile initiatives taking the service online. Read the article

In the next issue

Riders of the New York subway – the world’s largest and busiest subway network – have had to cope with increasingly frequent breakdowns and unreliable service as they pack on to crowded trains. In response, the MTA has launched a comprehensive plan to modernise the system. We look at the problems and ask what can be done.

Meanwhile, a study of railway infrastructure suppliers has suggested that Chinese manufacturers are catching up with their European counterparts. We assess the fierce competition. Also, we ask if there’s a case for cutting Europe’s night train services, speak to ALLRAIL about the barriers preventing rail start-ups and the implications for the industry, hear about pioneering third-generation rolling stock from Siemens, and ask why the public still runs the risk at level crossings.

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