In this special Yearbook edition of Future Rail, we take a look back at some of the highlights from another year of industry news and expert analysis, including an in-depth look at the route to freight expansion in the US and Europe, rail’s contributions to Covid-19 relief efforts, the progress of maglev in Asia and more.

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In this issue

Timeline: the Eurostar turns 25

Over the last quarter-century, Eurostar has expanded its range of destinations, broken several records and transited royals, footballers, celebrities and politicians to the other side of the English Channel. Adele Berti takes a look at the iconic high-speed railway’s history as it marks 25 years since its inauguration.

Pulling together: can us railways collaborate to meet the demand for freight?

A recent report by the Michigan state university and global supply chain and operations consultancy Maine Pointe outlines the most salient rail challenges facing North American carriers, shippers and investors. Julian Turner gets the inside track from Maine Pointe executive VP logistics Michael Notarangeli.

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Chile on rails: inside Santiago’s $5bn infrastructure programme

The Chilean Government is investing over $5bn in one of the largest railway development plans in its history, with the aim of tripling ridership and boosting rail freight. Adele Berti takes a look at the plan and the benefits it hopes to bring to the country.

How is augmented reality changing rail operations?

From wayfinding solutions in stations to maintenance, augmented reality (AR) technology is making waves in the rail industry as a key tool to simplify operations and improve the passenger experience. Adele Berti identifies five ways AR is revolutionising the railways.

Could an EU agreement boost female employment in rail?

In late 2019, the community of European railway & infrastructure companies and the European Transport Workers’ Federation started negotiations for an EU-level agreement to promote the employment of women in the rail industry. Frances Marcellin speaks to Community of European Railways (CER) executive director Libor Lochman and senior policy adviser of social and public affairs Ester Caldana about why the agreement is necessary.

Will the Bi-Oceanic Railway ever see light at the end of the tunnel?

The Bi-Oceanic Railway Integration Corridor set to link Peru and Brazil has been on the cards for a while, yet very little progress has been made so far. As political and economic uncertainty continues to affect Latin America, what are the chances of this project ever coming to fruition? Adele Berti takes a closer look.

Q&A: growing rail freight in Europe

The European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) is lobbying European institutions to improve market conditions for the development of rail freight, in particular by reforming the 2010 Rail Freight Corridors regulation. Julian Turner gets the inside track from ERFA secretary-general Conor Feighan.

Safety on high-speed rail: preventing disaster at hundreds of miles per hour

Accidents on high-speed lines are much rarer compared to traditional networks, though two recent derailments in Europe show they’re not infallible. What can be learned from these derailments and how are global operators working to always be ahead of the curve when it comes to safety? Adele Berti reports.

How the railway industry went the extra mile during Covid-19

The Covid-19 crisis is posing serious challenges to the rail industry, but amongst the bad news are also positive stories where the industry has rallied to help communities in need. Adele Berti takes a closer look at how the sector has helped out during the pandemic.

Magnetic pull: China and Japan battle it out for maglev train supremacy

Notwithstanding the coronavirus crisis, Japan has revealed it will conduct tests of a new prototype train as part of its ambitious maglev line, while China looks set to double down on further floating projects. Elsewhere though, the maglev concept shows little sign of ever taking off, as Ross Davies reports.

Q&A: unlocking the potential of hydrogen on the UK’s railways

As the world contends with coronavirus, there is hope the current climate may prove the catalyst for a refocus of energy towards green innovation. Andrew Tunnicliffe speaks to the University of Birmingham’s Dr Stuart Hillmansen about the Hydroflex project and what it might mean for the rail network of the future.

How China’s new silk road became a ‘life channel’ during Covid-19

With many airlines grounded due to travel restrictions, the China-Europe freight train service experienced a record peak in demand during the coronavirus pandemic. With a new route now expected between Xi’an and Barcelona, Adele Berti asks: how has the line evolved over the years, and what does its future look like post-pandemic?

Calendar 2021

Here are the topics to look out for in next year’s editions of Future Rail.

January: Safety

We find out how the industry is aiming to improve safety in railway operations, such as the implementation of positive train control systems.

March: Environmental initiatives

In this issue, we how railways are attempting to reduce their carbon footprint through the use of eco-friendly energy sources on the track and at the station.

May: Technology

From contactless tech at stations to AI-powered software built to drive efficiency, we explore the role of technology for the railways.

July: Rolling stock

Inside the latest rolling stock news as expectations and demands for the industry fluctuate.

September: High-speed rail

Exploring the financial, environmental and regional impact of the world’s fastest train networks

November: Stations

We find out more about the latest train station innovations, from unique design elements to new technologies.

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