Infrastructure & Stations

By Frédéric de Kemmeter, Railway policy observer – Freelance railway contributing writer – Suscribe my blog
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The Mediterranean corridor is becoming a reality in Spain
16/11/2022 – The Mediterranean Corridor is under construction in Spain. On the agenda: €4.4 billion in the development to finance 300 actions along more than 1,000 kjilometres, from Barcelone to Algeciras. A corridor expected in the long term with 1.435mm gauge


The European rail network? A real patchwork of technologies…
02/11/2022 – If you think that railways are just about politics and finance, then you’re in for a real treat. Because railway infrastructure is above all national technology, which is an obstacle to standardisation and the European dream of trains without borders. We will explain all this to you very briefly.


How Genoa will ease congestion on its cramped rail network
19/06/2022 -The Terzo Valico project is a new high-speed line that strengthens the connections of the Genoese port complex with the main railway lines of northern Italy and Europe. It is complemented within the city of Genoa by a reconfiguration of the railway network.


Different track gauges in Europe: what are we talking about?
05/05/2022 – The difference in gauges of Europe’s railways is one of the reasons why it is often misunderstood to mean that there are major differences between all European countries. This is obviously not the case, and this is an opportunity to put things into perspective.


Interporto, a tool to create the conditions for modal shift
05/12/2021 – It is misleading to think that the mere construction of a railway infrastructure in a economic area can generate a process of economic growth. There are a need for more complete facilities and industries around them. This is what the Italian example shows us with his ‘Interpoto‘ concept.


No intelligent train without infrastructures
07/11/2021 – It is sometimes believed that the intelligent train would be enough to solve some of the problems of railway operations. However, this train will have no impact without the infrastructure that accompanies it.



Rail-freight-corridorRail freight corridors: what has been achieved so far?
16/05/2021 – For almost 30 years, the European Commission has launched various initiatives to boost rail freight transport, which has been lagging behind forever. These include the establishment of European corridors where investment and digitalisation are concentrated . What lessons can be learned so far?


DeutschlandtaktD-Takt: the great challenge of the clockface timetable 2/2
09/05/2021 – 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.


logisticsSustainable railways mean infrastructure works !
16/11/2020 – 2021 has been designated European Year of Rail. This means not only modern trains but also good railway infrastructures. Some people believe that this is not always necessary. Really? In 2017, 27 % of total EU-28 greenhouse gas emissions came from the transport sector (22 % if international aviation and maritime emissions are excluded).


InfrastructureInfrastructure managers should made themselves the railway timetable
16/10/2020 – 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? Since the 90’s, with the EU regulations, the track management and train operating companies (TOC) have to be separated subjects.


Real_estateHow real estate can financing railways?
28/09/2020 – The railway is a sector that brings very little return. Other adjacent areas could bring in additional income, but not by selling frenetically. The real estate assets of the railways are the subject of debate in political circles. Some criticize the dark and capitalist side, contrary to the « railway spirit »…


Alp_TransitCrossing the Alps: for Switzerland, the job is done!
31/08/2020 – The opening of the Ceneri Tunnel on Friday, 4 September marks the end of the major works of Alpine crossings in Switzerland. Mission accomplished for this country, which is not a member of the European Union, while the other two neighboring countries are still busy with major works. The Ceneri Tunnel is the last major engineering structure of the NRLA infrastructure programme that Switzerland started in 1998. The New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA) is a Swiss construction project for faster north-south rail links across the Swiss Alps.


SNCB_siege_2How satellites and artificial intelligence monitor vegetation near tracks
24/08/2020 – The technology to understand vegetation may seem incongruous, but it can help to save costs on a railway network. This makes it possible to anticipate problems that could disrupt the network. Our environment is a complex structure. Often the processes acting within it are individually understood…


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.


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…


0001New homes should only be built near train stations
15/04/2020 – Many people are often accused of preferring the car to the train. With an average share of 10%, it can be estimated that around 90% of Europeans never use the train. Many of us do not live close to a railway station, and getting from point A to destination B by train can often be a big distance and a waste of time. But there is a solution: bringing homes much closer to railway stations.


Texas Central High Speed Train_02The Texan high speed railway project is progressing well
02/25/2020 – It gets little publicity , but it seems to be moving forward. The Texan TGV is an issue that attracs our attention because European companies are involved in it. It is also fundamentally different from the Californian dossier, which is getting bogged down. Why?


Chamartin_reconstruccion_DCN-5Chamartín station, an essential element for the future of Madrid
02/14/2020 – The existing Chamartín train station is called to become one of the most modern in Europe and a cornerstone for the future of Madrid, under the impetus of the ‘Madrid Nuevo Norte’ urban development project.


HS2_Curzon_Birmingham_stationBoris Johnson gives green light to the high-speed rail line HS2
02/12/2020 – With its cost of almost €118 billion, the HS2 high-speed line will be built to improve railway service between London and the center of England. HS2 will be the second high speed railway in the United Kingdom, following HS1 build in 2007.


EstonieRail Baltica : geopolitics and complexity of the EU’s flagship railway project
02/10/2020 – Rail Baltica is a big railway infrastructure project in Europe intended to link Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with a European UIC standard gauge rail line. An opportunity to discover a railway project whom we talk so little.