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Future Rail: Issue 29 | September 2015

In what has been a particularly bad year for rail accidents in the US, the debate about positive train control has again heated up. We ask what the US rail industry is doing to improve safety and how network-wide implementation of the system could help.

In Australia, we find out why the government is being accused of breaking its promise to kick-start the Inland Rail project. In the UK we look into the challenges London Underground has faced in launching its all-night service, learn how the government can facilitate the future growth expected in freight rail, and look into new technologies being implemented in stations to reduce suicide rates.

We also find out how the allocation of public subsidies can influence efficiency in European networks, and investigate the Dutch network’s plans to run entirely on wind energy by 2018.

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In this issue

Funding Choices
A recent study found that directing public subsidies to infrastructure managers correlates with a better performance of the railway network. Eva Grey explores different funding models across Europe to find out how the distribution of subsidies could influence efficiency.
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Time to Deliver
Leading transport firms have publicly called on the Australian Government to step up its commitment to the Inland Rail project. Eva Grey finds out what the Melbourne-Brisbane line could mean for the country and what’s holding it back.
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Free the Night
Transport for London is set to launch an all-night service on London Underground this autumn, but the move has not been without challenges, as Gary Peters finds out.
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Setting Priorities
The growth of rail freight in the UK is set to continue, and the government has expressed its desire to remove barriers that could inhibit this growth. Freight on Rail Manager Philippa Edmunds explains how it can do so.
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Renewable Revolution
The Dutch rail network will run entirely on wind energy by 2018 under a new contract signed by power company Eneco and energy procurement cooperative VIVENS. Julian Turner gets the inside track on the unique collaboration.
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Taking Control
A number of recent deadly derailments in the US have re-ignited the debate over positive train control. With the US lagging behind many other countries in deploying the technology, Jerome Greer Chandler investigates what the industry is doing to improve its safety track record
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Reducing the Risk
With help from charity partnerships and other support programmes, operators in the UK and elsewhere are testing new technologies with the aim of preventing suicides at rail stations. Eva Grey finds out more.
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Next issue preview

DB’s Infrastructure 4.0 project is calling for start-ups with "outstanding business ideas". We find out how the German operator plans to integrate external innovation into its business model. Meanwhile, the EU-funded project Sustrail aims to develop the next generation of freight rolling stock and cut damage to tracks by as much as 50%. We profile the technology behind this new concept.

In Spain, we ask how an estimated €1.26bn will be used to give the country’s national network a much needed makeover, and we get the latest on California’s high-speed project including a host of recently announced contracts. Moreover, we speak to TfL engineer Tara Parandeh about reducing delays and increasing safety, and take a look at the world’s most magnificent stations to find out how they’ve stood the test of time.

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