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Issue 5 2010



The Spanish rail industry – pioneer in technological advances

20 September 2010 | By Pedro Fortea, Director at MAFEX (the Spanish Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Equipment and Services for the Railway Industry)

Spanish rail companies represent a pioneering industry that has become one of the main reference points in many transport projects worldwide due to their expertise and highly developed technological advances. The Spanish rail industry has experienced significant growth during recent years as a result of the technological advances developed by…


Winter delays and disruption – combating the cold

20 September 2010 | By Gunnar Malm, Director General, Trafikverket – the Swedish Transport Administration

The hard winter of 2009/2010 led to major disruptions to train services in Sweden. In April 2010, the Swedish Transport Administration initiated an inquiry intended to show how great the delays were that affected passenger and goods services, how great a cost to society they entailed, what caused the delays,…


Strengthening Sweden’s development through investments in very high-speed rail

20 September 2010 | By Sören Belin, Coordinator, Future Rail Sweden

Sweden is one of the European countries where railway has played an important role during the last two decades. Increasing railway traffic, more passengers and more freight transport is the result of improved quality and general awareness of the benefits of the railway. With more people commuting and more freight…


SJ – from Public Authority to Limited Liability Company

20 September 2010 | By Elisabeth Lindgren, Vice President Corporate Communications, SJ AB

It is difficult to pinpoint the event that was the most important in SJ’s 150-year history. Was it when the government took over all of the country’s private railways in 1939? Was it when the infrastructure maintenance division was spun off in 1988? Was it the introduction of the X2000…


Successful renovation of Arlanda Express

17 September 2010 | By Per Thorstenson, President, Arlanda Express & CEO, A-Train AB

Arlanda Express, the Swedish airport train between Arlanda Airport and central Stockholm, is rebuilding its trains to meet future requirements for environmentally friendly travel. It has been possible to increase the number of seats onboard by 20%, while at the same time providing even greater comfort than previously using modern…


ASTOC continues to help shape Sweden’s future transport policy

17 September 2010 | By Gunnar Alexandersson, Senior Policy Adviser, 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…


Measuring and modelling safety risk on GB’s mainline railways

17 September 2010 | By Ben Gilmartin, Senior Safety Risk Analyst, Safety Knowledge and Planning, Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB)

The mainline railway in Great Britain has a responsibility to understand and measure safety risk to be able to manage safety of its operations properly. However, the task of quantifying levels of safety meaningfully can be difficult, especially for those rare accidents with potential for serious consequences. RSSB’s Safety Risk…


SMART – the future for Northern California rail

17 September 2010 | By Lillian Hames, General Manager, SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit) and Chris Coursey, Public Information Officer, SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit)

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is a commuter rail and parallel bicycle-pedestrian pathway project located in San Francisco’s North Bay area. SMART will provide a rail service along 70 miles of the historic Northwestern Pacific Railroad alignment. Utilising the publicly owned railroad right of way, the project will serve 14…


Risk-based method to determine inspections and inspection frequency

17 September 2010 | By Johan van der Werf, Senior Consultant, Lloyd’s Register Rail Europe BV

Extending inspection periods can result in a lower level of safety, but based on insight from using a mathematical model it is possible to use improvements to the rolling stock to create more efficient inspection schedules while maintaining the same level of safety.


Tunnelling for and into the future of European railways

17 September 2010 | By Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alfred Haack, Past President of ITA – International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association and former Executive Board Member of STUVA – Research Association for Underground Transportation Facilities

The remarkable volume of tunnelling on a worldwide basis during the last two or three decades (see Figure 1) is not defined by the demands to improve the railway networks in many countries. Stimulation in this direction is especially given by the generally highly ranked socio-political requirement of improved mobility…


Progress on the Madrid–Levante high-speed line

17 September 2010 | By ADIF

The Madrid–Castilla La Mancha–Comunidad Valenciana-Región de Murcia high-speed line is one of the greatest works in Spanish and the world’s civil engineering history, both for its length – 955km – and for the new technologies applied in its construction. This line, in which €12.4 million have been invested, is one…


Portuguese high-speed rail business model: a new way forward on PPP

17 September 2010 | By Isabel Falcão de Campos, Legal Director, RAVE and Pedro Leite Alves, Legal Advisor, Jardim, Sampaio, Magalhães e Silva

1 June 2009 marks the day, exactly 12 months after the international Public-Private Partnership (PPP) tender for the Poceirão–Caia high-speed rail line (HSRL) was launched, when best and final offers were in and the procedure which would lead to a successful financial close on 8 May 2010 was initiated.


Predicting the future for switches and crossings

17 September 2010 | By Ian Coleman & Andrew Cornish, Network Rail PhD Students (Switches and Crossings) at the Future Railway Research Centre, Imperial College London

Maintaining and renewing the thousands of switches and crossings (or ‘S&C’ and also known as railway points and/or turnouts) across Britain’s rail network is an expensive business, costing hundreds of millions of pounds every year. Gaining a better understanding of the dynamic forces that occur when a train passes over…


FLEXXSpeed Bogies for ZEFIRO 380 – the new very high-speed train for China

17 September 2010 | By Heiko Mannsbarth, Chief Engineer & Product Manager for Mainline & Metro Bogies, Bombardier Transportation and Heiko Mannsbarth, Chief Engineer & Product Manager for Mainline & Metro Bogies, Bombardier Transportation.

In the 1950s and 1960s, specific programmes were initiated to increase service speeds on rail. In Europe and Japan especially, these efforts lead to a considerable increase in the attractiveness for long-distance travellers to choose rail instead of air or road transportation through shortening journey times.