By Frédéric de Kemmeter, Railway policy observer – Freelance railway contributing writer – Suscribe my blog
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Space-age laser and plasma train trials zap autumn leaves off the line
03/11/2022 – Space-age technology using lasers and plasma jets are being trialled as a more sustainable way to vaporise autumn leaves from railway lines and minimise passenger delays in the future. Throughout October, Network Rail has been carrying out comprehensive testing using its multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) on heritage lines at the East Lancashire Railway.
German railways tests DB solar panel sleepers
23/10/2022 – Photovoltaic projects developed along railways to feed electricity directly into the traction current network are not new. German solar project developer Enerparc has built the first photovoltaic power plants in Northern Germany for this purpose. However, such projects are by no means a sure-fire success, as some technical and legal peculiarities have to be observed…
Competitive Freight Wagon, a wagon for the future of rail freight
05/10/2022 – Within the framework of the FR8RAIL European programme, an initiative is underway to seek the most competitive intermodal wagon possible. Some elements of this project were presented at InnoTrans 2022 and we give you some details here.
Ex SpaceX engineers want to build autonomous rail cars
24/01/2022 – After the US company Intramotev Autonomous Rail, now three ex SpaceX engineers are teaming up to build autonomous, battery-powered freight train cars. The trio consists of CEO Matt Soule and co-founders Ben Stabler and John Howard. They have named their new Los Angeles-based startup Parallel Systems and it has raised $50 million in a Series A funding round. In an…
Railways: more technologie and less proceedings
28/11/2021 – Beyond technology, rail however must make a qualitative leap by eliminating the tendency to stifle progress with a mountain of procedure, sometimes jeopardising the progress expected from an innovation.
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.
Train, hydrogen and the Gartner’s Hype Cycle
04/11/2021 – Since 2018, hydrogen trains are in commercial operation in Germany and are being tested in the Netherlands, France and the UK. They are marketed as ‘green’ because the only emission they produce in operation is steam. No dirty pollution in our cities and in stations. This is exactly what our politicians were looking for to respond to the great climate movement of the moment.
Which 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
Rebirth of Maglev for urban transports
11/30/2020 – 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.
How the modular freight wagon is the future of rail freight
10/19/2020 – Freight wagons have the particularity of responding to a specific industrial sector, such as chemicals or wheat. But the negative side of this specialization is that it leads to mono-use which causes empty returns. The modular wagon avoids this.
Is automatic coupling on freight wagon will become reality?
09/07/2020 – Europe is finally testing an automatic coupling for its freight trains. But now with digital attributes. This coupling will make it possible to operate « intelligent trains »
DB produces 3D printing heavy spare components
01/29/2020 – 3D printing isn’t new to Deutsche Bahn. The German railway company started indeed to use a 3D printer in 2015. Since then, it has printed more than 7,000 spare parts.
Optimistic debate about Hyperloop at Hypermotion fair in Frankfurt – 12/02/2019 – A dominant topic at the fair was Elon Musk’s first innovative heartbeat, hyperloop, which still spurs visionary thinking.
Are futuristic maglev trains could revolutionize railways ?
06/17/2019 – While the world looks at Hyperloop projects with caution, it is useful to look at another railway technology: magnetic levitation, which Europe seems to have definitively cancelled …
Asia takes leadership of trains at 600km / h, and itsn’t good news for Europe and America
05/30/2019 – The Chinese manufacturer CRRC, which is so scary to European manufacturers, unveils a magnetic levitation train project that could circulate at 600km / h.
Autonomous trains: a brief review
09/23/2018 – Innotrans is off. The next edition will take place in 2020, in Berlin. At this date, will we talk more about the autonomous train that is announced everywhere? We are going to peruse the latest innovations on this theme.
The ecological train: everyone does it
09/16/2018 – Is this the Innotrans effect? In recent months, hybrid Emu/Dmu have made a sudden appearance on the market. All the builders build their solution to attract the new market : the lines without catenaries. We are going to peruse the latest innovations on this theme.
Japan : the Maglev reaches 603km/hr and a new line of 286 kilometers is building
01/28/2016 – Last week, it has been announced by Japan Railways’ Operator JR that Maglev, the train which works with the technology of magnetic elevation, has reached 603 km/hr, according to the test results conducted. A plan was decided to build the first commercial line of such trains with a length of 286 km between Tokyo and Nagoya.
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