Future Rail is back for another issue packed with industry news and expert analysis. In this issue, we find out more about the projects making up the European Commission’s ‘European Year of Rail’, analyse the impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s heritage railways, find out why the sector has been struggling in Australia and much more.

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In this issue

Railway trends in 2021: what’s next for the industry?

We attempt to predict the big moves the global rail sector could make in 2021.

How UK railway contractors are becoming more user centric

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Network Rail is prioritising outcomes for passengers and freight during its next Control Period, which concludes in 2024. More efficient collaboration between rail contractors can help achieve this goal, says Eva MacInnes, UK VP at international rail consultancy COWIJulian Turner found out more.

Data express: using remote telemetry units to enhance rail operations

Here, Ovarro channel sales director Philippe Aretz looks at how rail companies can use remote telemetry units to access the benefits of big data.

How the railways can help domestic abuse survivors

To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in late 2020, Ilaria Grasso Macola spoke to Rail Delivery Group COO Jacqueline Starr about the extension of the Rail to Refuge scheme, which offers a lifeline to domestic abuse survivors.

Rail innovation: is Australia falling behind?

A report from the Australasian Railway Association is calling for rail innovation to be named a national priority to prevent the country from slipping behind its competitors. ARA CEO Caroline Wilkie speaks to Adele Berti about the reasons behind the sector’s struggles and what can be done to get Australian rail back on its feet.

Is Germany creating a level playing field for rail operators?

Members of the German rail freight sector are protesting against the federal government for failing to support them during the Covid-19 crisis in favour of Deutsche Bahn, which they claim has been receiving preferential treatment. Do these claims hold water, and what role can the EU play in ensuring fair competition in Germany? Adele Berti finds out.

Welcoming the European Year of Rail

After a challenging 2020, 2021 has been declared the European Year of Rail by the European Parliament and Council. Ilaria Grasso Macola finds out what the initiative is all about and what it means for the European railway sector.

Different tracks: inside the UK’s new Rail Technical Strategy 

The UK rail industry has published its first new Rail Technical Strategy document since 2012 in an effort to refresh the industry’s vision for the future and address challenges in the wake of Covid-19. Julian Turner reports.

Keeping heritage railways alive during Covid-19

Many UK-based heritage railway operators have found themselves in financial peril due to Covid-19, with some of them tapping into the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Could the pandemic lead to the end of these historically significant railroads? Ilaria Grasso Macola finds out.

Is the ‘death of the commute’ forcing a ticketing rethink?

Traditional rail tickets are generally structured around the average workday, with peak or off-peak prices shaped around rush hour and weekly season tickets. Yet with many now working from home, should fares and tickets change to reflect new commuter patterns? Adele Berti finds out.

Next issue

Next time, we map out rail projects set for completion in 2021 and assess their status. Will new practical and financial struggles emerge as a result of the continuing Covid-19 crisis?

We find out more about the Hop On For Our Planet campaign, which is aiming to recruit more Gen Z applicants for the rail sector by showing off its sustainability credentials. We also evaluate the historically ambitious environmental targets of UK rail infrastructure owner Network Rail.

Continuing to explore the world of rail tech, we present a timeline of Hyperloop technology and try to predict where it will go in the coming years, and find out about an innovative European Space Agency project to build a hospital train made with space technology.

Finally, we speak to the COO of Govia Thameslink Railway about how it has responded to the pandemic, and explore why the Portuguese Government has committed to the revival of a high-speed rail link between Lisbon and Porto.

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