Commuters & regional

By Frédéric de Kemmeter, Railway policy observer – Freelance railway contributing writer – Suscribe my blog
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Why is cross-border tariffication so difficult?
15/12/2022 – Cross-border rail traffic is a recurring topic and receives a lot of attention. Or not enough, as the case may be. Good intentions to simplify things often come up against very heavy legal regulations for cross-border rail operations. On top of that, each operator develops its own IT system, which makes a…

UK – Coventry Very Light Rail system could spark transport revolution
13/11/2022 – The Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR) project could be a game changer for UK transport given its potential to be more affordable than other light rail schemes, a report from the cross-party House of Lords Built Environment Committee suggests. The Public transport in towns and cities report, published today…

Germany – After the decision on the 49-Euro-Ticket, industry between euphoria and scepticism
07/11/2022 – The German’s transport industry is vacillating between enthusiasm and disappointment after the decision on the 49-Euro-Ticket. On Wednesday evening, the Minister Presidents of the federal states had agreed on the successor solution to the 9-Euro-Ticket – and also found a compromise in the dispute over…

Alstom unveils its Coradia Stream ICNG trainset in the Netherlands
05/07/2022 – French rolling stock manufacturer Alstom and Netherlands-based national railway operator NS have unveiled the Coradia Stream Intercity Next Generation (ICNG) trains at Rotterdam Central Station. Earlier, Alstom received a contract from NS for the delivery of 79 Coradia Stream trains…

Trenord has ambitions for the future
20/06/2022 – Italian-style regionalisation. Trenord is a railway company operating in regional and local passenger transport north of Milan. It is owned equally by Trenitalia and Ferrovie Nord Milano (FNM), a company listed on the Milan stock exchange. Trenord operates more than 2,170 weekday journeys…

UK – Elizabeth line officially receives final approvals from ORR
13/05/2022 – London’s Elizabeth line has officially received its final authorisations of its trains, stations, and infrastructure from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) rail regulator ahead of its opening on 24 May 2022. ORR has issued approvals for all the Elizabeth line stations, with the exception of…

UK – ScotRail transfers to public ownership
03/04/2022 – It was in the air. The takeover by public entities of traffic formerly handled by independent operators in Britain becomes reality. ScotRail has just taken over all of Abellio’s trains. For passengers, nothing will immediately change when ownership of the rail service changes hands. In an email sent to customers in March, ScotRail stated: « There are no immediate changes…

ETCS Level 3 regional: experiences in Italy
04/10/2021 – ETCS and its implementation have been discussed for a long time. So far, installation on the ground and on-board trains has been limited to ETCS level 2. But for regional lines, ETCS level 3 could be a solution.xxxx

The transport decarbonisation plan: by rail but not only
26/09/2021 – The railways will never make a modal shift alone, simply by virtue of their existence. Other assets are needed, which are the responsibility of the State. For example, regional planning and the configuration of living areasxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

Digital-RailwaysMoving from product to customer: can rail learn from Gafam?
20/06/2021 – Moving from a « product » policy to a « customer » policy is a real challenge for rail. The weight of assets (trains-infrastructure) and cultural habits still largely shape rail policy, but there are, however, some reasons for hope.

Rail-freight-corridorEnd of franchises and a new era for British railways
05/24/2021 – A new public sector body named Great British Railways as part of railway reforms will own and manage rail infrastructure, issue contracts to private firms to run trains, set most fares and timetables, and sell tickets. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx

DeutschlandtaktD-Takt: the great challenge of the clockface timetable 1/2
05/09/2021 – A train every half hour from city to city and from village to village. Convenient transfers without long waiting times, even in the countryside. Riding a train anywhere in the country would be as easy as riding the S-Bahn in the cities today. This second part will detail the impact of the clockface timetable service on journey times between the major German cities and the place reserved for new entrants.

DeutschlandtaktD-Takt: the great challenge of the clockface timetable 1/2
05/02/2021 – A train every half hour from city to city and from village to village. Convenient transfers without long waiting times, even in the countryside. Riding a train anywhere in the country would be as easy as riding the S-Bahn in the cities today. It is the Deutschlandtakt, the german’s clockface timetable.

Hydrogen-railwaysWhich future for hydrogen-propelled trains?
02/08/2021 – Can hydrogen trains make it possible to avoid railway electrification? It all depends, and many questions remain to be answered. A brief overview

logisticsJapan: integrated railways but a contrasting railway policy
12/07/2020 – We know little about Japan and its railway policy, which is often the subject of various fantasies. Contrary to European countries, there is not a single national railway but dozens of integrated railways at local and regional level. Some make many money while others suffer from the depopulation of rural areas and an ageing population.

logisticsRebirth of Maglev for urban transports
30/11/2020 – It was thought that Europe was no longer interested in this technology, but one entrepreneur still believes in it. The German company Max Bögl has designed a Maglev for urban use in Asia.

local_economyWant to save the environment? Then you should stop traveling !
02/11/2020 – Why a climate lockdown and the local economy can put the train at risk? If there is no more travel, there are no more trains. If the economy is local, there are no more freight trains

Automatic_couplingInfrastructure managers should made themselves the railway timetable
10/16/2020 – The timetable, which is part of the very base of the railway, has become a crucial marketing issue for operators. But isn’t it rather the task of infrastructure managers?

Automatic_couplingRailways: making progress with the existence of other transports
10/12/2020 – The modal shift to rail will not be promoted by prohibiting other transport modes from progressing, but by meeting the demands of users, whether citizens or industrialists.

regional_trafficReconnecting cross-border railway services
10/05/2020 – Cross-border services sometimes present operational difficulties, but this actually depends on many factors.

OBB_WorkshopMore operators are needed to contribute to more modal shift
08/16/2020 – The railway is not able to cover a maximum of our mobility needs. Not really because there are other modes of transport, but because there are not enough operators and innovation.

BW_01How to reconnect three million Germans to the train
07/09/2020 – According to Allianz Pro Schiene and the Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV), the reactivation of 238 lines with a total length of 4,016 km would reconnect almost 291 municipalities totalling three million German citizens to rail.

SNCF_Nort-sur-ErdreThe importance of railway stations, large or small
06/07/2020 – Railway stations are a part of Europe’s railway infrastructure and history. They provide a core element of all national railway networks. Some are icons of the past and embody stories of the everyday lives of thousands of people. They are the mandatory interface between passengers and boarding trains.

Public transport must have a central place in the world
06/05/2020 – Public transport must have a central place in the world. This is what the world’s major public transport associations are calling for. But there are many obstacles…

VLR_1VLR, the comeback of little Railbuses
05/27/2020 – How can we respond to traffic on short lines where the criteria of conventional railways are too cumbersome and uneconomic? By returning to an old idea: the very-light railcar, close to the automobile world.

STO_3_Holger-Ellgaard_wikiTransdev: contracts in Sweden and electric buses in the Netherlands
05/26/2020 – The French company Transdev with trains in Sweden and hydrogen-powered buses in the Netherlands. How Northern Europe manages its public transport.

Thurbo_1_Bahnfrend_wikiJoint tendering in Switzerland to renew regional trains
05/18/2020 – How to lead significant savings? By joint tendering. This is what SBB and its subsidiaries Thurbo and RegionAlps do. Incidentally, we can measure how Switzerland operates its regional train services by involving its cantons.

Aerial view of Interchange StationWest Midlands: first railway station in the world to obtain a sustainable label
05/12/2020 – How do you build a station with a sustainable label? Example with this new station in the East of Birmingham, but with a very English label…

NS_Den_Haag_Centraal_NovioSites_wikiNetherlands: NS launches tender for at least 30,000 seats
04/17/2020 – The Dutch railway company NS is preparing a major investment to renew its intercity fleet for 2030. These trainsets will replace NS’s existing DDZ trainsets

0001New homes should only be built near train stations
04/15/2020 – Bringing homes closer to railway stations will help us achieve part of our climate goals. Explanations

Transdev unites three Bavarian companies under a single brand
04/13/2020 – Transdev, which operates regional train services in Germany, will unite three of its subsidiaries under a single brand in Bavaria in order to greater consistency

LEX_05_Switzerland : Léman Express officially inaugurated – 12/13/2019 – The Leman Express (LEX), a cross-border commuters service around Geneva, will be fully operational this December 15, 2019, at 5:05 am.

NQR Line-station-US passengers railways are bad, but Americans don’t care. Why? – 11/22/2019 – The webzine Vox explains that Americans view public transit as a welfare system for those who can’t afford to drive. Public transport is considered as the transport of the poor, of the one who has not succeeded. The same picture is applied to passengers railways.

MARTA_Rail_2Marta signs a big Stadler metro train contract – 11/20/2019 – Stadler and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) signed a legally-binding contract to supply 127 metro trains, with options for up to 50 additional sets, bringing the fleet to 177 units if these options were exercised.

Laview_3This is the new commuter train – 09/22/2019 – Since last March, new Emus with an unusual design have been operating on two railway lines in the Tokyo area. Hitachi is the builder. An inspiration for our trains in Europe?

Middland_2When a region presents a rail program of 3.5 billion investments – 09/13/2019 – Dozens of cities across the UK could benefit from Midlands Engine Rail, a € 3.5 billion improvement program proposed by sub-national Midlands Connect to redevelop the region’s rail network.

PKP_1_Adam Kilian-wikiStill success for Intercity Stadler trains – 08/21/2019 – Stadler, better known on the regional train segment, is also gaining success on the mainline version of its Emu Flirt. Example with Poland.

SE_10-Pågatåg_bei_Kristianstad_kaffeeeinstein-wikiSweden, 30 years of railway liberalisation
05/20/2019 – In 1988, rail infrastructure was vertically and institutionally separated from train operations in Sweden. 30 years have passed since 1988, and some lessons can be drawn from this transformation.

Staff_1Trains with no staff on board: an infinite debate …
04/23/2019 – Train guards on board is a recurring subject within the whole of Europe. With or without a staff on board? A brief overview of experiences and arguments from each.

MaaS_1Mobility as a Service : the battle of data
29/10/2018 – The concept of Mobility As A Service (MaaS) involves pooling traffic data from all companies involved in a digital platform. However, all companies do not intend to provide what is the oil of today: the data.

ODEGBerlin/Brandenburg : six railway enterprises and many projects
09/11/2018 – More space, more comfortable trains, faster and better connections, for passengers, Berlin-Brandenburg’s new transport plan includes many projects that will improve passenger rail transport in the years to come. On 4 October 2017, the Lander of Berlin and Brandenburg signed with Deutsche Bahn AG the framework agreement « i2030 » for the development of rail transport in Berlin and Brandenburg.

Tokyo-commutersDear railway commuters : be glad you’re not japanese !
06/25/2018 – Tired of your commuter life, standing up, squeezed in a bad train to get to the center of London or New York? You hate the Thameslink? Be grateful not to be Japanese! By reading these lines, you will realize that you are finally a privileged person. Diving into another world, far from home.

Singapore_sama093Singapore without cars : between dream and reality
06/11/2018 – The world is looking to Singapore as the city of the future banning cars. This is true, but the solution toward a full public transport policy does not seem to win the favor of all Singaporeans either. Between demographic challenges and technological solutions, Singapore is looking for itself. Analysis.

360ba-img137How the Ruhr region manages his railways ?
02/28/2016 – Each year, the Transport Authority of the Ruhr region publish its barometer on best railways and the worse. This is a good example of rail transport policy governance