Future Rail is back for another issue packed with technology news and industry analysis. In this issue, we discuss the ambition and potential impact of Chile’s $5bn rail renovation project, investigate air quality issues at enclosed railway stations, and find out why rail compensation scammers are still slipping the net in the UK.

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In this issue

Cleaning house: assessing air quality at enclosed rail stations

A study published in April 2019 measured air quality at two major UK stations, finding them in clear breach of EU NO2 limits. King’s College London senior research fellow Dr David Green, who helped lead the study, discusses its findings, the possibility of health risks for passengers, and mitigation strategies for large, enclosed rail stations.

Read the Q&A here.

Chile on Rails: inside Santiago’s $5bn infrastructure programme

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The Chilean Government is investing over $5bn in one of the largest railway development plans in its history, with the aim of tripling ridership and boosting rail freight. Here is a look at the plan and the benefits it hopes to bring to the country.

Read the article here.

Sewage on the train tracks: will the rail industry clean up after itself?

In 2017, the UK Department for Transport and Network Rail’s former chief executive Mark Carne pledged to work with industry to eliminate the dumping of raw sewage on to train tracks by the end of 2019. But with the exemptions that have been provided there are still trains that are likely to run without self-contained toilets until 2023. How difficult is this retrofitting job, and why is it taking so long? Alex Love finds out.

Read the article here.

Clear signals: the digitalisation of Norway’s rail network

Norway has announced a new €3bn programme that will see its entire rail network re-signalled over the next decade. Also including the launch of a new training and testing centre, it marks one of the country’s largest digitalisation projects to date, as Bane NOR head of digitisation and technology Sverre Kjenne tells Ross Davies.

Read the article here.

Horizon 2020: a look at the EU’s flagship rail projects

As it reaches its final year, Horizon 2020 continues to support research and innovation projects across the European Union. How has it helped advance the bloc’s rail infrastructure, what have its successes been and what more can be expected? Andrew Tunnicliffe finds out.

Read the article here.

Tackling rail fraud in the UK

British train operating companies estimate that anywhere between 10%-30% of the compensation claims they pay out are fraudulent, leading to millions of pounds of financial losses. To what extent is this issue impacting the industry and how can technology help to simplify the process of identifying fraudulent activity? Frances Marcellin takes a closer look.

Read the article here.

Q&A: attracting new talent with Young Rail Tours

The UK rail industry is facing a skills shortage as it looks to build the country’s rail network of tomorrow. Now a new learning and development initiative called Young Rail Tours is opening up possibilities to ‘future leaders’ and creating internal networks in tow. Andrew Tunnicliffe speaks with Young Rail Tours’ Paul Case about how this initiative is trying to tackle it.

Read the article here.

How is augmented reality changing rail operations?

From wayfinding solutions in stations to maintenance, augmented reality technology is making waves in the rail industry as a key tool to simplify operations and improve the passenger experience. Adele Berti identifies five ways AR is revolutionising the railways.

Read the article here.

Next issue preview

In our March edition, we examine how MTR Corporation, the operator of Hong Kong’s mass transit network, has been affected by the recent protests. What has the targeting of stations in Hong Kong shown about the interconnection between politics and transport in the region, and has MTR’s reputation suffered?

Also next time, we analyse whether political tensions risk hampering the construction of the Bi-Oceanic Railway Corridor, a new proposed line set to connect Peru to Brazil, and examine the potential benefits of DHL’s new rail freight service between China and Germany.

We also speak to Bombardier about their brand new propulsion and control system; explore the use of remote sensing technologies for railway infrastructure monitoring; and revisit the gender balance of rail employees after the proposal of an EU-level agreement to promote the employment of women in rail.

Finally, we speak to the UK’s Ascension Trust, which have partnered with Network Rail to create a new scheme of trained ‘rail pastors’ to help vulnerable people on the railways.

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