Welcome to the latest issue of Future Rail.

Railway stations can be magnificent. Many of the historic termini in city centres around the world were built to evoke a sense of wonder and awe, grand exhibitions showing the scale of our engineering capabilities. But in the current day and age, are we more focused on the cost of building and the function than the form? 

At the launch of the Elizabeth Line last year, London Mayor Sadiq Khan did not seem to think so, saying the new stations "are like cathedrals". But as the budgets involved in major rail projects come under increasing scrutiny, in this issue we look at the future of station design and the new priorities that architects and project managers are facing.

Elsewhere, we speak to Intramotev about the company's new electric autonomous rail freight solution, consider night trains as the future of European transport, and look at the international policies shaping freight networks around the globe.

For all this and the latest rail industry news, comment, and analysis from GlobalData, read on. You can also follow us @FutureRail_Mag

Peter Nilson, editor