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Issue 1 2007



Belgian high-speed: project completion in sight

6 February 2007 | By Jean Marie Raviart, Director General of Infrastructure, Infrabel

Belgium, at the heart of Europe’s railway network, is a key link in what is to become a vast interoperable network of high-speed lines covering Europe. Infrabel intends to take every advantage of the opportunities this will offer. The high-speed line between Brussels and the Dutch border will be put…


On track for greater mobility

6 February 2007 | By Luc Lallemand, Chief Executive Officer, Infrabel

Every day, approximately 360,000 commuters travel into and out of Brussels and a further 50,000 or so are forecast to join their ranks by 2008. Against this background of increasing commuter numbers, and as road networks become increasingly congested, the Réseau Express Régional is undoubtedly the best solution for ensuring…


Attack is the best form of defence

6 February 2007 | By Alex Kremer, Director General, CFL

Operating a small rail network has its moments. Instead of being forced to go after huge parts of the European market to maintain competitiveness and thus being expected to operate a fleet of thousands of locomotives and coaches, a comparatively small railway company, such as CFL, enjoys the luxury of…


HSL-Zuid: ready, steady, go!

6 February 2007 | By Jaap Geluk, Project Director, Rijkswaterstaat High-Speed Line Zuid

In 2007, the High-Speed Line South will connect The Netherlands with the European high-speed railway network. By then, high-speed train connections will have been established, not only to Brussels and Paris, but also within The Netherlands itself.


Connected by NS – the future is accessible

6 February 2007 | By Bert Meerstadt, Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Board Member, Netherlands Railways

Netherlands Railways (NS) has a strong ambition – to provide seamless travel at any time, without giving it a second thought. The company wants to provide attractive packages, not only for train journeys, but combining various modes of transport: bicycle, car, bus, tram, metro and airplane. Customers will get new,…


Concentrating on providing quality

6 February 2007 | By Albert Counet, General Manager, B-Cargo

B-Cargo is a division within the SNCB and is responsible for commercialising rail freight transport. In cooperation with the other companies of the SNCB Group, we provide our customers with global logistics solutions that are at once competitive and attractive. With 3,454km of track, Belgium’s rail infrastructure is among one…


The rail freight situation in Serbia

6 February 2007 | By Vasilije Krstic, Director of Freight Transport Department, Serbian Railways

After a long period of time characterised by the lack of major investments in railway infrastructure, particularly in rolling stock, Serbian Railways has made serious steps towards the creation of a solid basis for working conditions. This was an important precondition for the fulfillment of permanently growing requests for freight…


Continual efforts to achieve results

6 February 2007 | By Davorin Kobak, Chairman of the Management Board, Croatian Railways

The history of Croatian Railways dates back to 1860 when the Kotoriba-Cvakovec-Pragersko line was built in the scope of the Budapest-Vienna line. Croatian Railways were established on 5 October 1991, upon the proclamation of the independence of the Republic of Croatia. The railways became a member of the UIC in…


Restructuring: the Bulgarian key for success

6 February 2007 | By Oleg Petkov, Executive Director, Bulgarian State Railways EAD

Historically, the state railways in Bulgaria have always been the most significant part of the national railway system, which embraces industrial lines, factories and mine railways too. The split-up between the railway operator and the infrastructure manager in 2002, was a major change and a process which continues today.


In safe hands

6 February 2007 | By Mal McGreevy, General Manager for Rail Services, NI Railways

Translink is the brand name for the company that provides integrated public transport services in Northern Ireland: NI Railways, Ulsterbus and Metro. As a top brand in Northern Ireland, Translink is implementing a significant programme of change, which will enhance the future development and growth of public transport in the…


Reaching 100 kilometres and beyond

6 February 2007 | By Peter Zbinden, CEO and Ambros Zgraggen, Head of Communications, AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd

The Gotthard Base Tunnel construction work is progressing well. In the last year, almost 18 of the total 153 kilometres of shafts, passages and tunnels were excavated. At the end of 2006, more than 100 kilometres, or approximately two-thirds, of the tunnel system under the Gotthard had already been cut.…


Rail grinding operations in Sweden

6 February 2007 | By Anders Frick, Track Engineer and Per-Olof Larsson-Kråik, Research and Development Coordinator, Banverket

Over the last few years, rail grinding operations at Banverket in Sweden has become a natural and important part of the total maintenance track work. The number of track metres that were ground during 2006 was almost 1 million (exactly 997272 track metres) and almost 400 switches. The way of…


Trends in design and fabrication of rolling stock

6 February 2007 | By Stephan W. Kallee, Sector Manager and John Davenport, Programme Manager, TWI Ltd

Whether rail vehicles are made from steel, stainless steel or aluminium, the search for lower cost, robust designs is never ending. For the case of aluminium, complete trains are being assembled from hollow aluminium extrusions and prefabricated panels. Recent investigations into the crashworthiness of aluminium railcars have clearly demonstrated the…


A new link in the European chain

6 February 2007 | By Marc Svetchine, Regional Project Manager, RFF

In the last quarter of a century, high-speed rail links have revolutionised domestic and international traffic. On 3 July 2006, almost exactly 25 years after the first high-speed train was placed in service between Paris and Lyons, work began on the Eastern branch of the Rhine-Rhone high-speed line between Dijon…