Future Rail: Issue 22 | February 2015

Undeterred by the furore over HS2, the UK Government unveiled plans in October for a high-speed rail link in the north of England, dubbed HS3, which aims to improve rail links across the Pennines. With critics already questioning the necessity and economic viability of such a project, we investigate the proposal and ask whether it will survive the upcoming general election.

We also take a look at a proposed cross-border link between the US and Mexico which could spark new interest in high-speed rail in the region and explore China’s many investments and contracts for the development of rail infrastructure across Africa.

Moreover, we ask Cisco what it hopes to achieve with its Connected Transport Challenge for SMEs developing systems that could improve the passenger experience at stations, investigate how the UK’s skyrocketing rail fares can be brought down to more reasonable levels and speak to Cranfield University about its world-first MSc in safety and accident investigation and training a future generation of rail accident investigators.

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In this issue

Strategy of Vanity?
HS3 aims to improve east-west rail links in the north of England, but many have voiced their criticism of the project and its purpose. Julian Turner speaks to one such critic, Dr Richard Wellings at the Institute of Economic Affairs.
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Breaking Down Borders
Unlike Europe and Asia, the US has been reluctant to embrace high-speed rail. But could a proposed cross-border track between San Antonio and Monterrey, Mexico, alter perceptions? Ross Davies takes a closer look at the project.
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African Exploits
While aggressive investment seems to have peaked, China still has significant economic and political stakes in railway projects throughout Africa. Daniel Garrun explores the various China-backed projects criss-crossing the continent.
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Rising to the Challenge
Cisco’s Connected Transport Challenge gives start-ups and SMEs the opportunity to develop systems that will improve passenger experience at stations. With the four finalists now revealed, Laura Walkinshaw learns more about the competition and the proposals that stood out
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Fare’s Fair?
With many UK rail fares rising well beyond inflation since privatisation in 1993, Chris Lo investigates the reasons behind high fares and whether nationalisation is a possible solution for a more reasonable fare system.
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A Blueprint for Smart Rail Travel
With rail passenger journeys set to increase and the UK’s national network already at breaking point, Ecebs managing director Russell McCullagh outlines steps that can be taken in an effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations
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Future Prospects
Cranfield University has launched the world’s first full MSc in Safety and Accident Investigation designed for rail accident investigators. Frances Marcellin speaks to Graham Braithwaite of the university to learn more.
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Next issue preview

Home to massive natural gas reserves, Russia is currently testing new LNG locomotives for use in the near future. We find out if the country will be the one to push LNG technology into the rail mainstream.

In technology, we take a trip through history to consider how locomotives have developed over the centuries, and speak to Alstom about its new engine range after its hybrid diesel locomotive turned heads at last year’s Innotrans.

Henning Larsen Architects recently won the bid to design a train station for the new city of Vinge, outside Copenhagen. We investigate their unique vision. We also take a closer look at Eurostar’s new e320 trains.

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