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November 20, 2018updated 22 Nov 2018 1:42pm

Future Rail – Issue 68

In this issue: South Africa’s Phelophepa train, passenger data collection, getting ready for the Tokyo Olympics, and more.

By Eva Grey

Opening this issue is one of the world’s most outstanding services: the award-winning Phelophepa train has been operating since 1994 in South Africa’s remote rural areas, bringing healthcare to millions of underprivileged communities.

Our cover article explores some of the ethical and logistical challenges behind the proposal to start gathering personal data from Eurostar passengers, under the infamous PNR directive currently enforced on international flights.

We also catch up with Tokyo’s valiant efforts to bring its railways up to scratch ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games, during which millions of people will descend on its doorstep.

In design, we look back at Moscow’s history of building arguably the world’s most striking railway stations, and profile a brand new technology called Evidentia that uses VR to allow architects to design better public amenities from the very early stages of construction.

Finally, we find out what were the engineering and signalling complications that have stopped the much-lauded Crossrail project in its tracks and delayed its opening.

In this issue

The Train of Hope: South Africa’s Phelophepa Dubbed the “Train of Hope”, the Phelophepa travels across South Africa’s railways to provide care to people in remote rural areas, including treating patients and enrolling people in education. Adele Berti traces the history of this award-winning service, from its modest beginnings to the global success it is today. Read the article here.

Security on the railway: does collecting personal data have a place? The Belgian Government has approved a pilot project to collect data on Eurostar travellers, part of the Passenger Name Record regulation that applies to international flights. Should the rail industry bear similar responsibility to airlines when it comes to security issues? Julian Turner reports. Read the article here.

Tokyo 2020: are Japan’s railways prepared to take the baton? A new report has illustrated the impact of millions of visitors on Tokyo’s already overcrowded railways during the Olympic Games. Joe Baker profiles how the city’s transit operators are preparing for the event and find out how the city is planning to combat congestion. Read the article here.

Wayfinding: designing passenger-friendly rail stations with virtual reality CCD Design and Ergonomics have launched an eye-tracking virtual reality tool called Evidentia which allows architects and designers to test human behaviour at the very early stages of design. Elliot Gardner spoke to the company to hear more about how this technology works. Read the article here.

The people’s palace: exploring Moscow Metro’s evolving designs The recently revealed designs for two new Moscow Metro stations reflect a shift towards global transport design practices, but many stations on the network exist in a world of their own. Chris Lo looks back to the Metro’s original launch in 1935, and finds out how has the philosophy for station design shifted over the decades. Read the article here.

Crossrail: what’s the hold-up with London’s long-awaited line? At the end of August, Crossrail executives warned that the central section of London’s upcoming Elizabeth Line would be delayed until autumn 2019. Why is this project so complex from an engineering and signalling perspective, and what is the potential impact of the delay on Londoners and Transport for London? Joe Baker investigates. Read the article here.

Next issue | January 2019

For our first edition in the new year, we take a look at Egypt’s National Railways and its record-braking order for 1,300 train carriages, to find out what the future holds for the country’s sector after this momentous deal.

In the UK, there are fears that a no-deal Brexit could make Eurostar one of its casualties, with serious disruptions and cancelled services.

We also talk to c2c, recently named the best train operator in the UK at the 2018 National Transport Awards. We profile its award-winning service and find out what others could learn from its way of doing business.

Finally, we round up every method used to clear leaves and debris from the tracks, and take a look at Russia’s Moscow-Kazan project, which will soon become the only railway line to handle speeds of 200km/h in the country.

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