In this issue

Issue 87 • November 2020

The rail industry is facing new challenges in 2021, but also some potential windfalls. Will rail travel pick up in a post-pandemic world? And what will the prospect of incoming vaccines mean for rail as a prospective distributor?

If anything’s certain, its that things will never be the same again. At Future Rail, we want to ask how railways fit into a dynamically changing world. For example, we find out more about the experiences of the first riders of Virgin Hyperloop, and speak to German infrastructure specialists Transport System Bogl about how it is attempting to revolutionise urban environments with maglev trains.

Safety will continue to be a key issue on the railways next year; a devastating reminder of this came with the derailment of a train near Stonehaven, Scotland earlier in 2020. We ask what lessons can be learnt from this event.

Focusing on the environment, we ask about how the UK’s Birmingham Curzon station – being built to support the country’s HS2 project - could become the poster child for green stations, and find out more about the environmental record of high-speed railways worldwide.

We also kickstart a discussion on the future of rail finances, with two of our writers going head to head on the benefits of increasing railway taxes, and look at why Indian Railways has been leaning towards privatisation in recent months. Finally, we ask whether US-based startup Brightline has what it takes to revolutionise high-speed rail in the States.

Joe Baker, editor