Future Rail: Issue 15 | June 2014

HS2, the UK’s proposed high speed rail project, has dominated discussion in the industry for years as well as sparking controversy with the British public. As both support and opposition remain strong, we round up opinions from both ends of the spectrum, including politicians, stakeholders and interest groups.

Also in this issue, we take a look at the new streetcar network under construction in the US capital, and find out which long-term solutions the UK rail operators and government are considering to reduce the impact of severe weather on the network. Moreover we investigate why some US operators remain reluctant to implement positive train control, which will become mandatory in the country by 2015, and explore the most innovative design concepts giving disused rail stations a new purpose.

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In this issue

A Streetcar for DC
Washington, DC is set to reap the benefits of a new streetcar network under construction in the city. Matthew Burgess finds out more about the project.
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HS2: Yay or Nay?
The UK’s proposed High Speed 2 rail line has split opinions both in the industry and in the wider community. Lucy Ingham hears a range of arguments from various stakeholders, interest groups and operators.
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Busting Myths
The strength of feeling amongst the British public about HS2 is palpable but Texane managing director Arnab Dutt believes people are missing key information about the project.
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Changing with the Weather
This year extreme weather ground the UK’s rail network to a halt for the second winter in a row. Matthew Burgess asks how operators and the government are working on a long-term solution.
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Positive Developments?
A number of train operators are doing their utmost to push back the deadline for the mandatory installation of positive train control. Ross Davies investigates whether this move could jeopardise the future safety of US rail passengers.
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When the Trains are Gone
What happens to stations once they are decommissioned? As conversions of old stations become increasingly ambitious, Lucy Ingham profiles some of the best uses for old stations.
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Getting on Board with Wireless
Samuel Buttarelli of CommScope discusses the challenges of achieving ubiquitous wireless coverage on Europe’s rail networks.
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Next issue preview

The Israeli Government has fast-tracked the development of a 300km rail freight link between Ashdod Port on the Mediterranean coast and Eilat on the Red Sea, hoping to offer a viable alternative to the Suez Canal for shipping goods between Europe and Asia. We take a look at the development and potential impact of the $2bn ‘Red-Med’ project.

We also explore the proposed re-opening of hundreds of miles of disused railway lines in the UK and speak to Hitachi Rail about the motivation behind moving its headquarters to London. Moreover, we find out what the world’s first interactive rail travel guide has to offer to passengers on Europe’s railways and examine which new technologies could help improve customer service on trains in the UK.

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