High-speed rail - Articles and news items
Issue 6 2012 / 27 November 2012 /
InnoTrans 2012 has set an impressive new record, exceeding figures of the previous event, and thus clearly cementing its position as the world’s leading trade fair for the global rail transport industry.
Between 18 and 21 September 2012, the Messe Berlin opened its doors to welcome over 126,000 trade visitors from 140 countries who attended InnoTrans to find out about the latest industry products and services from over 2,500 exhibiting companies. The theme of InnoTrans 2012 was ‘the future of mobility’ and alongside the opportunity to watch live-demonstrations of innovative products available on the market, there was also a number of interesting and informative conferences, seminars and onbooth discussions amongst the industry’s toplevel management and experts.
At the Opening Ceremony of InnoTrans 2012, Siim Kallas, the Vice President and Commissioner for Transport at the European Commission called for fair conditions for rail service providers in all member states. “It is important to have a mix of public invitations to tender and open access,” he said. (more…)
Issue 5 2012 / 20 September 2012 /
In the 1980s, air travel captured the market share from rail travel. This is no longer the case as since the 1990s, rail travel has gradually taken back the market share. Between 2000 and 2010, passenger kilometres in Sweden grew by more than 50%, with a particularly robust increase after 2005 – a trend that is partly related to SJ’s transition from a state-run service to a commercial enterprise.
We all remember when SJ received a SEK 1.8 billion government grant to avert bankruptcy. Following this, the incorporated SJ has been profitable and the entire railway sector has completed a turnaround – a 150-year-old industry was reborn. Modern business practices have increased travel by approximately 5% per year. (more…)
Issue 5 2012 / 19 September 2012 /
Since my appointment as CEO of Adif, one of my main strategic priorities has been to drive forward the internationalisation of Spanish railway technology and its companies, and to reinforce the ‘Spanish Brand’ on an international basis. By doing so, the international activity of Adif must be, and is, an important pillar of the company’s strategy because it consolidates our presence in the global arena and also paves the way to achieve new markets and, therefore, new economic resources.
In this sense, Adif, as infrastructure manager, works actively with Spanish companies to support them in their internationalisation strategies to help contribute to the projection of the railway sector abroad.
In my opinion, Spain’s experience of railway development would serve as a good example for numerous countries, especially in the technological field of construction and management of high-speed lines. We are proud of the support that we can give for the creation of Spanish consortiums for the design and construction of infrastructure projects abroad. (more…)
Issue 4 2012 / 1 August 2012 /
The European railway industry has radically changed over recent years following the introduction of high speed networks which have revolutionised society. Italy was the first country in Europe to launch the railway market liberalisation process by opening up to competitors. In just a few years, the economy of the sector was transformed, offering new economic and competitive opportunities to key operators. More recently, Italy opened up high-speed services to private competitors, despite the current economic crisis.
This was a historical change, one which Trenitalia prepared for with great care, working hard to address the situation and to offer its customers the best solutions.
The Freccia system (Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianco)
The current competitive situation presents a strong challenge for improvement. Competition for Trenitalia is a positive factor for both customers and the market in general. In the high-speed sector, for example, the Frecciarossa fleet has recently been renewed with the introduction of four new service levels (L4) which have completely revolutionised the traditional two-class system. Comfort and customised services are now part of the winning formula. Travel safety, frequency and an articulated range of constant flexible and affordable prices must certainly not be underestimated. (more…)
Issue 3 2012 / 8 June 2012 /
Since the beginning of 2012, three important reports on Norwegian railways have been issued in quick succession. First was the major high-speed study, followed by Jernbaneverket’s concept study for expansion of the InterCity network in eastern Norway. Subsequently, the central government agencies for sea, air, road and rail transport tabled their proposals for a new National Transport Plan (NTP) covering the period 2014-23.
The high-speed study examines options for the future of the rail network and recommends long-term strategies for developing longdistance passenger rail services on the main routes in the southern part of Norway: Oslo-Trondheim, Oslo-Bergen, Oslo-Stavanger and Bergen-Haugesund-Stavanger, plus the Oslo-Gothenburg and Oslo-Stockholm cross-border routes. The InterCity study is intended to establish a timeline and a cost estimate for comprehensive expansion of the InterCity network. The report proposes construction of double-track lines for speeds of up to 250km/h on the Oslo-Halden, Oslo-Larvik and Oslo-Lillehammer routes. In this way, the InterCity routes will be upgraded for future high-speed trains. (more…)
Issue 3 2012 / 8 June 2012 /
The new Copenhagen-Ringsted railway is the largest civil engineering project in Denmark for well over 100 years. Not since the Vestvolden fortifications around Copenhagen were built between 1882 and 1892 as part of the city’s defences has Denmark been the setting for such an extensive building project: a new 60km double-track high-speed railway will be built close to the motorway from Copenhagen via Køge to Ringsted.
Banedanmark, the national rail network operator, is in full swing with this unique construction project, which is also a worthy symbol of the significant investment in the railway that the Danish state will make over the coming decade. Among other things, several existing sections of line will be upgraded to double track, a fast connection will be established for rail traffic between Sweden and central Europe by means of the future Femern tunnel between Denmark and Germany, and Denmark will be the first country in the world to have a new, single signalling system covering the entire public rail network. #
These projects will be realised on an ongoing basis over the next 10 years and, in combination, will enable the Danish rail system to provide the framework for the government’s target of doubling all public passenger transport by 2030 – an ambitious goal given that there are already 170 million journeys made by train each year in Denmark. (more…)
Issue 2 2012 / 11 April 2012 /
The history of railways in Turkey can be analysed in four periods. First was the Ottoman Period between 1856 and 1922 when foreigners were granted concessions and 4,136km of railway lines were constructed. Second was the Republic Period between 1923 and 1950 when developments were fast and bright and 3,764km of railway lines were constructed (approximately 134km annually) and the railway transportation share was 68% for passenger and 42% for freight. Third was the Negligence Period between 1950 and 2003 when only 945km of railway lines were constructed in total over the 52 years. The fourth period is from 2003 onwards when the railways were re-granted a well-earned prominence. The main focus of this article shall be the period after 2003.
An assessment of the 2003-2011 period
After 52 years of negligence, railway con – struction in Turkey has considerably increased since 2003. After railway construction was made a state policy, the following four activity points were set: (more…)
Issue 6, 2011 / 6 December 2011 /
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 from an environmental standpoint.
The EU is pursuing ambitious reductions in CO2 and the right conditions for growth in international rail travel could encourage many more people to choose the train over less carbon efficient options such as the car or plane.
Transport accounts for almost a quarter of total EU greenhouse gas emissions, yet it is the only sector where emissions continue to rise – an increase of 36% since 1990. If Europe is serious about reversing this trend and meeting its global environmental commitments, it needs to get its transport pricing and infrastructure investment policy right. (more…)
Issue 6, 2011 / 6 December 2011 /
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.
Rhine-Rhône HSL: the project
A European dimension
The Rhine-Rhône HSL will further strengthen France’s position in a Europe that is gradually expanding towards the East. Financial support from Switzerland and EU ‘priority link’ status, under the Trans-European Transport Network programme, both underline its recognised importance at community level.
Looking at the map of the present and future European network of high-speed lines, the strategic position of the Rhine-Rhône line is immediately apparent, as a major feeder at the core of mainland Europe and as a link between the different European territories. (more…)
Issue 6, 2011 / 6 December 2011 /
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 perform cover the full spectrum of rail vehicles including urban transport (tramways and light-rail vehicles), commuter rail (both electrical and diesel multiple units), long distance and high-speed as well as locomotives and freight wagons. These tests are performed in specialised test benches at our facilities as well as while running on track depending on the nature of the need.
Our growth in recent years has followed the tendency on the railway sector for more testing in all projects worldwide. The increase in complexity and quantity of testing required grows as service level demands increase: more reliable systems and vehicles, higher speeds, better comfort, improved energy efficiency, increased safety levels etc. Also, testing needs grow as we move into the implementation of the common European regulations and all projects are required to undergo tests to check for compliance with common norms and limits. (more…)
Issue 5 2011 / 22 September 2011 /
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 and a higher service level with a focus on the business traveller. Travelling with the X2000 became associated with a high ‘coolness’ factor and a certain status.
The total market for rail traffic in Sweden and Scandinavia continues to increase whilst it is also moving into a new competitive context due to deregulation. Since October 2010, there is full open access for any operator to the Swedish market.
Now SJ’s ambition is to respond to market demands and future competition to find a successor to the X2000. A new high-speed train capable of travelling at 250km/h on existing tracks is needed. SJ’s vision is that the new trains should change the way of travelling in the same way that made the X2000 concept so successful when it was introduced in the 1990s. (more…)
Issue 5 2011 / 22 September 2011 /
In 2010, the Infrastructure Extraordinary Plan (Plan Extraordinario de Infraestructuras (PEI)) of the Ministry of Public Works began, with expected tenders in the region of €17,000 million – the equivalent to 1.7% of Spanish GDP – which meant a turning point in the model used up until then in Spain to construct and maintain new public infrastructures.
The PEI envisages the application of Public Private Collaboration (PPC) to promote cooperation between public administrations and the private sector for the development and modernisation of infrastructures and public services of strategic interest. In this sense it is noteworthy that approximately 70% of investments will be allocated to railways to enhance suburban railway networks as well as freight transportation. (more…)