It’s been a busy couple of months for the UK rail sector. Highlights include new route launches and station openings, a standoff between unions and government amid staff strikes (and now confirmation of future strikes by train drivers to come), and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps even launched a bid to become the leader of the Conservative Party, and thus also Prime Minister. The campaign lasted a Herculean four days.

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London’s long-awaited new Elizabeth Line (née Crossrail) opened on 24 March to much fanfare. It was a great day for rail enthusiasts (and non-rail enthusiasts!) and the culmination of years of hard work across many disciplines.

In this issue, we offer some thoughts from the launch day and look at what the new line will mean for the future of mobility in London. We also profile the bumpy journey of the Crossrail project, highlighting the notable delays the project has faced. And to round off our coverage, we look at the art on display at the new Elizabeth Line stations while learning how these artworks give the stations an identity reflecting the areas they serve.

Outside of London, we look into Tokyu Railway’s sustainability success as it sets the standard for operators in the Japanese capital. We also find out how Deutsche Bahn is creating seamless multimodal ticketing with Worldticket. Finally, we learn what the new report from the UK’s High-Speed Rail Group can teach us about the potential for high-speed rail in Britain to make travellers switch from air to rail.

For this, and more, read on. You can also follow us @FutureRail_Mag

Peter Nilson, editor

In this issue

HSRG hopes that passengers will switch from air to rail travel

A new report offers an explanation of how expanding the national high-speed rail network will encourage the transfer of passengers from air to rail, as Jasleen Mann explains.

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Tokyu Railways goes full steam ahead on its sustainability journey

As much of Japan lags behind in its transition to green energy, the Tokyo-based operator continues to push on with its efforts to decarbonise its rail network. Luke Christou investigates.

Seamless bookings and multimodal itineraries with WorldTicket and Deutsche Bahn

The partnership combines ticketing solutions, hoping to encourage passengers to choose rail instead of domestic feeder flights and bypass road traffic. Jasleen Mann profiles the operation.

Crossrail’s journey: a timeline of delays

Besieged with problems, London’s Crossrail is hugely over budget and even more considerably late. Andrew Tunnicliffe walks through the timeline of construction delays and considers what other, indirect, difficulties had on the overall project delivery.

The Elizabeth Line has the capacity to give London breathing room

The Elizabeth Line will help Londoners’ mobility around the city – even those who don’t use it. Peter Nilson offers some thoughts from the launch day.

The art of the Elizabeth Line gives stations an identity

The Crossrail project created a unique opportunity for public art on the Elizabeth Line, as Peter Nilson finds out.

Next issue preview

Rail Baltica is one of the most ambitious rail projects currently under construction in Europe. The Trans-European rail project will connect Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, while also improving connections to West Europe.

In our next issue, we look into the technicalities of the project, as well as the economic and social boost that it will bring to the region. We also consider the importance of the Baltic States moving away from Russian gauge railways to European standards of rail infrastructure, given the current geopolitical climate.

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