In one of our recent issues, we looked behind the scenes of Spain’s high-speed railway, the longest in Europe. Now, we go back on the issue to unpick why recent reports found the network to be operating at a loss and trailing behind many of its counterparts in terms of popularity.

We also analyse what exactly happens to an area once urban rail disappears, as is the case for the New York neighbourhood of Williamsburg, where young people are moving out en masse ahead of the L train shutdown.

Next, we turn our attention to train stations: their role is rapidly changing, along with passengers’ needs. We investigate how stations are becoming places of leisure, shopping, business and everything in between.

The role of train guards is also under review. Future Rail hears from both sides of the debate to find out if the benefits provided by train guards outweigh the cost of keeping them on increasingly digitised rail networks.

Lastly, we investigate the grey areas of managing carriage temperatures and take an in-depth look at the Joint Rail Data Action Plan, which aims to bring the power of open data to the railways.

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In this issue

Is Spain’s high-speed railway a case of ‘too much, too soon’?
Spain’s major high-speed rail routes are seen as a shining example of the country’s industrial prowess, but analysts have increasingly criticised the AVE network as being a waste of money. Where does this criticism come from? Joe Baker finds out.
Read the article here.

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The economic drain: when urban rail disappears
New Yorkers are bracing themselves for the upcoming shutdown of a vital train link in April 2019. Joe Baker asks, what will be the impact be on commuters and local communities?
Read the article here.

From meetings to grocery collection: the changing role of stations
Train stations are no longer just a point of connection between two places; they are in many cases becoming the beating heart of a city. With thousands of people using the train to go to work every day, Adele Berti finds out how stations are evolving, shaped by our consumption habits and our hunger for convenience.
Read the article here.

Building the world’s first Hyperloop passenger capsule
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT), the company that promises to bring airplane speeds to ground level, has recently revealed the construction process behind its first passenger capsule.
Watch the video here.

Are train guards surplus to requirements?
Strikes are still ongoing in the UK over the role and place of on-board train guards, who operators are increasingly considering surplus to requirements. With the necessity of train guards still being debated, Adele Berti hears from both sides and asks if the benefits guards provide outweigh the cost of keeping them on rail networks that are becoming increasingly digitised.
Read the article here.

Too hot, too cold: is managing carriage temperature more important than ever?
The UK suffered an incredibly hot summer this year, resulting in dozens of cases of complaints over sweltering train carriages, some hot enough to pose a real danger to passengers. So what are the risks posed by hotter summers, and indeed colder winters, and how should train companies be dealing with it? Elliot Gardner investigates.
Read the article here.

Rail apps: unlocking the power of open data
The Joint Rail Data Action Plan aims to remove barriers to information-sharing between train operating companies and tech companies, allowing app developers to provide better mobile services for passengers. Julian Turner reports.
Read the article here.

Next issue preview

Dubbed the “Train of Hope”, South Africa’s Phelophepa travels across the continent’s railways to provide care and education to people in remote rural areas. In our next issue, we profile this outstanding service,

We also turn our attention to a pilot project initiated by the Belgian Government, which intends to collect and process data from Eurostar travellers as part of the Passenger Name Record regulation that applies to international flights.

In Japan, we look at how Tokyo is preparing to welcome the world for the 2020 Olympics and also review the history of Moscow’s metro to better understand how the operator has been designing its legendary stations.

Finally, we ask how VR can help design passenger friendly rail stations and investigate the latest hold-backs that have contributed to Crossrail’s lengthy delay.