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James Abbott

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Introduction: Is the 4th Railway Package in trouble?

Railway liberalisation in the European Union took a big step…

11 April 2014 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor, Global Railway Review

Railway liberalisation in the European Union took a big step backwards in February when the European Parliament threw out the Governance Section of the 4th Railway Package – built on earlier EU legislation requiring state railways to be split into infrastructure and operating units. The new section looked for total…

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DB investment boosts manufacturers

Capital expenditure by Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) is rising by…

11 April 2014 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor, Global Railway Review

Capital expenditure by Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) is rising by over 5% annually, but certification problems are giving suppliers pause for thought. In late-February 2014, DB put on hold its proposed high-speed Frankfurt–London rail service – news that came as little surprise. The project has been dogged by delays ever…

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Turkish rail network prepares for the future

Turkey is a country on the move. It has a…

2 April 2013 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor, Global Railway Review

Turkey is a country on the move. It has a younger and faster growing population than anywhere in Europe. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts Turkey will be the second fastest-growing country in the world by 2018, and by 2025 the Turkish economy is expected to outstrip…

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Central role for NoBos in European competition policy

Encouraging competition is at the heart of the European Commission’s…

18 February 2013 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor

Encouraging competition is at the heart of the European Commission’s vision for the continent’s railways. The theory goes that competition between operators will improve customer service, lead to better financial outcomes and result in modal shift to the railways, bringing about benefits such as reduced road congestion and reductions in…

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Rail wins gold

The railway industry comes in for more than its fair…

26 September 2012 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor, Global Railway Review

The railway industry comes in for more than its fair share of criticism. Complaints about punctuality, ticket prices and passenger service are common. Some of it is deserved, but a lot of it is not. Often, it seems our industry is judged by different criteria from others. For example, why…

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Electrification to prompt surge in demand for cables

Cables have applications all across the railway industry. Increasing interest…

15 February 2011 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor

Cables have applications all across the railway industry. Increasing interest in electrification implies extra demand for cables. Electrified railways are the way forward for the future, as they are cleaner and cheaper to operate than diesel. Another key point is that they are able to draw their power from any…

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Application of technology improves wheelset performance

The wheel/rail interface is one of the most critical parts…

31 May 2010 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor

The wheel/rail interface is one of the most critical parts of an entire railway operation. Through a contact patch the size of a small coin, all the forces between the moving element (the train) and the static element (the track) are transmitted. These forces are immense, and if not properly…

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Crossrail work gets underway

One of the biggest public transport projects in the world…

12 December 2009 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor

One of the biggest public transport projects in the world has started in London. Crossrail will provide welcome work at a time when other parts of the construction sector are experiencing a downturn. London is the poor relation amongst European cities when it comes to cross-city suburban rail links. While…

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In praise of electrification

In July the British government announced a major programme of…

26 September 2009 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor

In July the British government announced a major programme of railway electrification, taking in the Great Western main line from London to Bristol and Swansea. To many Continental European readers, it must seem astonishing that such an important artery on the British rail network is still diesel worked.

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SNCB restructures its freight operations

In an interview for Global Railway Review, Mr. Geert Pauwels,…

23 January 2009 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor, Global Railway Review

In an interview for Global Railway Review, Mr. Geert Pauwels, Coordinator of SNCB’s Freight Group, discusses how operations are being split from commercial responsibilities.

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Grinding and milling are essential to rail quality

Rail grinding helps to prevent the dangerous build-up of rolling…

23 January 2009 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor, Global Railway Review

Rail grinding helps to prevent the dangerous build-up of rolling contact fatigue, and also reduces running noise for line side communities. James Abbott, Technical Editor for Global Railway Review, assesses some developments and significant aspects of this important area of our industry.

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Consultancies help out on major projects

Consultancies are providing expertise that is helping to realise important…

28 December 2008 | By James Abbott, Technical Editor, Global Railway Review

Consultancies are providing expertise that is helping to realise important railway projects in Europe and around the world. Britain’s first high-speed railway line – High Speed 1 – was opened by Queen Elizabeth II with much fanfare on 6 November 2007. High speed Eurostar trains now whisk passengers from the…