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Detection of wheel-rail contact conditions for improved train control

6 February 2012 | By Professor T X Mei, School of Computing Science and Engineering, Salford University, UK

The contact between wheels and track is fundamental to railway operations, but the contact conditions are affected by often unpredictable external sources of contamination such as fallen tree leaves, snow and rain which can substantially reduce the level of adhesion of the track that is essential to the delivery of…

Adjusted rail profile makes Dutch rail virtually free from Head Checks

6 February 2012 | By Dr Rolf Dollevoet, System Expert Track, ProRail

Since 2006, infra-manager ProRail has been keeping the Dutch rail free from Head Checks by grinding the rails in an Anti Head Check profile. Head Checks (HC) are rail defects that are created by wheel-rail contact. These can be serious safety threats. I obtained my doctorate in 2010 with the…

Creating a fair and open rail market to compete with road and aviation is key

6 December 2011 | By Nicolas Petrovic, CEO, Eurostar

Over the coming weeks and months, EU policy-makers will lock horns in earnest over new rules to ensure fair and open competition in the European rail market, both freight and passenger. On economic grounds alone it is critical that the right rules are in place but it is equally important…

Partnership key to London Overground transformation

6 December 2011 | By Steve Murphy, Managing Director, London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL)

In the four years since the launch of London Overground the team behind the unique operator-client partnership has transformed the network into a modern, reliable metro railway that London can be proud of as it prepares to host the 2012 Olympics. Significant investment by Transport for London (TfL), the transport…

The vital need for the rail industry to get it right

6 December 2011 | By Richard Price, Chief Executive, Office of Rail Regulation (ORR)

A recently published figure by the Association of Train Operating Companies provides, I think, one of the best and most revealing snapshots of the railways today. Between 26 June and 17 September 2011, 314.3 million passenger journeys took place on Great Britain’s railways – up 5.3% from the same period…

FML’s continuous expansion to achieve positive results

6 December 2011 | By Dave Curtis, General Manager at Freightliner Maintenance Ltd (FML)

Freightliner Maintenance Ltd (FML) is Freightliner Group’s dedicated in-house maintenance operation. As it continues on its course of expansion, FML has reinstated an out-of-use and run-down engineering facility in York. Maintenance of locomotives and rolling stock is a core necessity to any successful rail operator. A high level of availability…

London 2012 – Will better public transport lure people out of their cars?

6 December 2011 | By Shaun McCarthy. Chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012

In July 2005, London was confirmed as the host city for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The bid promised “the most sustainable Games ever”. Cynics may say that a global event such as the Olympics is an inherently unsustainable thing to do; others believe it is a unique opportunity…

Enhancing investments for a quality network

6 December 2011 | By Pavel Habarta, Executive Director, Czech Railway Infrastructure Administration, SŽDC

The Railway Infrastructure Administration, state organisation (SŽDC) is the infrastructure manager in the Czech Republic and, in addition to other duties is responsible for the modernisation and development of the railway network. It launched its operations on 1 January 2003 as one of two successors of the former Czech Railways…

Rhine-Rhône HSL: sustainable development in a rail sector environment

6 December 2011 | By Xavier Gruz, Project Director for the eastern branch of the Rhine- Rhône HSL, Réseau Ferré de France (RFF)

On 8 September 2011, Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) inaugurated the first part of the eastern branch of the Rhine-Rhône high-speed line. Included in the design and construction of this line, with its major socio-economic challenges, was a series of innovative environmental measures to ensure its long-term sustainability.

The FIF at the heart of discussions on the future of French railways

6 December 2011 | By Jean-Pierre Audoux, Director General, the French Railway Industry Association (FIF)

Since 2010, there has been no end to the discussions and questions about the future of the French rail system and about the future of the French rail industry in particular. The collapse in rail cargo, the constant increase in the system’s debt, the ageing of the railway network, the…

SAFERAIL – improving inspection to keep rolling stock on track

6 December 2011 | By Mayorkinos Papaelias, Scientific Coordinator, SAFERAIL and Ian Nicholson Project Coordinator, SAFERAIL

Today’s European rail networks are getting busier with trains travelling at higher speeds, and carrying more passengers and heavier axle loads, than ever before. This combination of factors is putting considerable pressure on the existing infrastructure, leading to increased demands in inspection and maintenance of rail assets.

CETEST: Test services for commuter, long distance and high-speed railway vehicles

6 December 2011 | By Igor Alonso-Portillo, Director for Strategy and Business Development, CETEST

CETEST Test and Analysis Centre is an independent accredited laboratory focusing on the testing of railway vehicles. With headquarters in the North of Spain, we are a global company serving a diversity of customers ranging from railway undertakings (operators), system integrators (vehicle manufacturers) to equipment sub suppliers. The tests we…

Sweden’s plans to increase efficiency and reliability of transport systems

22 September 2011 | By Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd, Minister of Infrastructure, Ministry of Enterprise, Energy & Communications, Sweden

Sweden is a vast country. The distance from Ystad in the south to Kiruna in the north is approximately 1,800km, yet Sweden only has 9.3 million inhabitants. The majority of Swedes live in the southern half of the country and the population has, for a long time, become increasingly concentrated…

The ambition to operate 250km/h trains on existing infrastructure

22 September 2011 | By Björn Westerberg, Director of High-Speed Train Project, SJ AB

When the tilting train X2000 was introduced 21 years ago, it dramatically changed the way of travel in Sweden. Travelling by rail took substantial market shares from airlines and road traffic. The key success factors were higher speed (200km/h on existing infrastructure), point-to-point travel, significantly reduced travel time, better comfort…

Growth in member numbers helps strengthen the work of ASTOC

22 September 2011 | By Gunnar Alexandersson, Senior Policy Advisor, The Association of Swedish Train Operating Companies (ASTOC)

The Association of Swedish Train Operating Companies (ASTOC) acts on behalf of Sweden’s train operators. It seeks to represent the interests of commercial rail traffic in its dealing with the Government and Parliament, authorities, business principals, the media and other bodies. ASTOC also assists in increasing the rail industry’s know-how…