TfL plans to follow in the footsteps of metros in New York, Toronto and Hong Kong by enabling phone signal underground from 2019 – a move that will provide increased convenience for passengers. We find out how a cellular network can boost the underground economy and provide a safer environment.

In high-speed rail, we take a tour of Spain’s 3,240km Alta Velocidad Española network, which is equipped with state-of-the-art digital signalling, automation and protection systems, as well as predictive maintenance solutions, and find out how Thailand’s new rail infrastructure projects will benefit the country’s economy, after the government approved a $7.2bn high-speed project linking three airports.

Elsewhere, we investigate Brazil’s abandoned rail networks and consider whether some of the unused infrastructure could be revived, explore untapped retail opportunities for rail stations, and find out how dangerous railways can be secured against trespassers.

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In this issue

Behind the scenes of Spain’s high-speed railway
Currently the longest high-speed rail network in Europe, the 3,240km Alta Velocidad Española rail network is setting an example for other countries to follow. Joe Baker takes a closer look at one section of the line to find out how the railway is run and maintained.
Read the article here.

The high-speed rail projects giving Thailand’s whole economy a boost
In March the Thai cabinet approved a $7.2bn high-speed rail project that will link two airports in the Bangkok area and another in the eastern province of Rayong. Other high-speed lines are in the offing, but will any come to fruition? Patrick Kingsland investigates.
Read the article here.

Brazil’s rail freight network: fast track to nowhere?
Decades of mismanagement and underinvestment have left Brazil’s freight rail network creaking and often disused. Chris Lo finds out what has led to this situation, and asks how the Brazilian Government can dig its way out of an infrastructure crisis.
Read the article here.

The benefits of bringing mobile connectivity to the London Underground
Transport for London plans to follow in the footsteps of metros in New York, Toronto and Hong Kong by enabling phone signal and 4G connectivity on the London Underground from 2019. What are the benefits for the network, and why has it taken so long? Joe Baker investigates.
Read the article here.

Train stations: the new shopping meccas?
While airports have always been used to flog perfumes and sweets to a captive audience, train stations have been much slower to make the most of on-site retail. But with new shopping developments appearing in London stations, Adele Berti takes a closer look at the opportunities and considers how technologies like WiFi can be used to better understand rail passenger shopping habits.
Read the article here.

The fight to deter trespassers on Britain’s railways
According to newly released figures, teenagers in the UK are increasingly risking their lives on the railways. As the British Transport Police launches a new campaign to promote awareness around the dangers of trespassing, Ross Davies takes a closer look at what has become a worrying trend.
Read the article here.

In pictures: a first look at Crossrail’s Elizabeth line
As the countdown continues to the opening of the Elizabeth line, a lot of work still needs to be done. Adele Berti takes a closer look at the new line, which will link major hubs including Paddington, Liverpool Street and Heathrow Airport.
Read the article here.

Preview – Future Rail October

A recent study by the European Court of Auditors has found that high-speed railways across Europe are bringing ‘low added value’, with services failing to meet their potential. Analysis of 5,000km of networks across six EU countries found that trains rarely operated at full speed and ran on average at 45% of their potential velocity. We ask what needs to be done to boost efficiency across the network.

In technology, we speak to Thales about the potential and pitfalls of using drones to inspect railways, take a closer look at MTR Crossrail’s virtual reality train station, and find out more about Siemens’ winning contract to build the next generation of trains for the London Underground’s Deep Tube Upgrade Programme.

Finally, we investigate the potential impact of the recently proposed merger between rail signalling giants Siemens and Alstom, and profile Paris Gare du Nord’s massive expansion project ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games.