Future Rail is back for another issue packed with industry news and analysis. In this issue, we take a look at the proposed Houston-Dallas high-speed line, explore the key points from the EU’s new report on rail digitalisation, explore the benefits of automation in infrastructure design, and more.

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The US is gearing up to welcome its first ever ‘true’ high-speed rail network in Texas. We profile the project and explore how Japanese technology is being used to power the line’s trains, which is set to shift passengers between Dallas and Houston at 200mph.

On the other end of the spectrum, we explore whether the Turin-Lyon high speed railway project could be dead in the water, with populist party the Five Star Movement and a negative report commissioned by the Italian Government posing severe hurdles.

Metro railway systems receive a double dose of analysis in this edition; we identify the London Underground’s most stressful tube stations, and explore what the world’s major metros look like when they are projected onto above-ground photos of their corresponding cities. Plus, we analyse whether driver-only trains could pose a public safety risk after protests called on the UK’s Department for Transport to keep train guards on-board.

Finally, we examine the biggest takeaways from the EU’s most recent report on digitalisation on the railways, and explore the ambition and technologies behind the world’s longest undersea train tunnel project.

In this issue

A guide to London’s most stressful tube stations

New research from PowWowNow has ranked the most stressful tube stations in London using data from network operator Transport for London and social media comments. Adele Berti finds out more.

Check them out on our map.

Houston, we have a project: Texas’ high-speed railway

Texas’ ongoing high-speed project has recently been named among the top infrastructure projects in a Strategic 100 Global Infrastructure Report. Patrick Kingsland profiles the project and finds out how it is bidding to become America’s first high-speed rail network.

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Is the Turin-Lyon high-speed railway still viable?

The construction of the European Union’s €25bn high-speed railway line between Turin and Lyon has recently been hit by major delays that, if not addressed, could jeopardise the project. Adele Berti explores the political and economic challenges facing the controversial TAV line and asks whether they can be overcome.

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A bold shift, but how to fund it? Five takeaways from the EU’s rail digitalisation report

According to a recent paper from the European Parliament, embracing digitalisation could create a more competitive rail sector on the continent. While this shift appears to have the backing of the EU, it will require a great deal of funding. Ross Davies explores some of the key findings from the report.

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Forward thinking: The benefits of automating UK rail infrastructure design

Network Rail and Innovate UK have announced the four winners of a competition geared towards the automation of the rail infrastructure design process. Could new generative design tools be the solution Britain’s railways have been crying out for? Ross Davies reports.

Read the article.

Driver-only trains: does removing guards put passengers at risk?

The debate over driver-only operation rumbles on in the UK, with its proponents noting it has been used for decades and is proven safe. But without a guard on the train, are there risks for passengers that haven’t been considered? Chris Lo investigates.

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Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel: checking in with the world’s most ambitious rail link

Finnish entrepreneur Peter Vesterbacka’s vision for the Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel is an ambitious one, and he thinks he can get it built by 2024. Given that public feasibility studies have estimated completing the project in 2040, can this privately backed development secure approval from the Finnish and Estonian governments? Chris Lo investigates.

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In pictures: tracing metros from above

A new project commissioned by QuickQuid has (literally) brought to light some of the world’s oldest metro systems to show how they unfold across their cities. The team behind it, who worked to “peel the earth’s surface”, aimed to represent subway networks from an unconventional point of view. Adele Berti looks at what they revealed.

Take a look at our gallery.

Next issue preview

In our July issue, we analyse a new proposal, backed by the Trump Administration, under which liquefied natural gas could be carried on US freight trains like other cryogenic liquids. Could this prove beneficial, or could it lead to a network of death traps on wheels?

Staying in the US, we speak to the Commuter Rail Coalition, the self-ascribed ‘voice of US commuter railroads’, to find out more about its long-term goals, and explore a new generation of AI and IoT-powered technologies for predictive maintenance.

Across the pond, we explore whether a transfer of rail ownership from Network Rail to TfL will lead to a ‘metro-style’ service in South London, UK, and ask why more and more Swedish people are opting for long-distance rail in the midst of an emerging ‘Flight-shame’ trend.

Rounding things up, we take a peek at the New Caledonian Sleeper carriages trundling between London and Glasgow, explore whether the introduction of 5G could create cybersecurity issues in Shanghai, and ask what freight wagons might look like in the future.

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