It's been a busy couple of months for the UK rail sector. Highlights include new route launches and station openings, a standoff between unions and government amid staff strikes (and now confirmation of future strikes by train drivers to come), and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps even launched a bid to become the leader of the Conservative Party, and thus also Prime Minister. The campaign lasted a Herculean four days.

London's long-awaited new Elizabeth Line (née Crossrail) opened on 24 March to much fanfare. It was a great day for rail enthusiasts (and non-rail enthusiasts!) and the culmination of years of hard work across many disciplines.

In this issue, we offer some thoughts from the launch day and look at what the new line will mean for the future of mobility in London. We also profile the bumpy journey of the Crossrail project, highlighting the notable delays the project has faced. And to round off our coverage, we look at the art on display at the new Elizabeth Line stations while learning how these artworks give the stations an identity reflecting the areas they serve.

Outside of London, we look into Tokyu Railway's sustainability success as it sets the standard for operators in the Japanese capital. We also find out how Deutsche Bahn is creating seamless multimodal ticketing with Worldticket. Finally, we learn what the new report from the UK's High-Speed Rail Group can teach us about the potential for high-speed rail in Britain to make travellers switch from air to rail.

For this, and more, read on. You can also follow us @FutureRail_Mag

Peter Nilson, editor