It is Friday and it is time to catch up with this week’s latest International Rail News Roundup! This week brings us plenty of innovation with Dubai announcing that they plan to make their transportation smart and driverless by 2030, in France there are rumours that high-speed rail may be abandoned in favour of Hyperloop and in Shanghai work on their driverless metro gets well underway. In other news, Swedish company, Kiruna Wagon work on designs to improve freight rail and Uber celebrates its fifth anniversary in New York. In this week’s Rail Video of the Week we join Great Western Railways on their journey into the history of their rail line.
Rail Business: Uber Marks 5 Years of Changing Transportation Game (Mass Transit)
Tuesday marked the fifth anniversary of Uber’s launch in New York. In a single click the app was able to change the face of transit forever. Despite the controversy surrounding it, Uber has fit well into a tech savvy world giving people easy access to an alternative to rail, bus and cabs. Sarah Kaufman, the assistant director of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, has attributed the company’s success to the fact that “Uber fits into that [New York] 24 hour economy.”
Rail Projects: Operator chosen for Shanghai’s first driverless metro line (Global Rail News)
Back in January 2015 work began on Shanghai’s metro line 8-3. The line will be the first automated metro line in Shanghai and will only be the second in China. This week it was announced that Shenkai, a joint venture between Keolis and Shanghai Shentong Consulting, were awarded the contract to operate the metro line, which is expected to carry 73,000 people a day. The contract covers the 6.7km of line for five years and will also include pre-operational works.
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Transport Innovation: Ruler aims for 25% of all Dubai transportation being smart and driverless by 2030 (SmartRail World)
Fittingly, via social media this week, Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched a new strategy that hopes to see smart driverless vehicles take over the roads of the Emirate. It is estimated that this will save US$6 billion in annual economic revenues by reducing transportation costs, carbon emissions and accidents, and raising the productivity of individuals as well as saving hundreds of millions of hours wasted in conventional transportation.
Rolling Stock: Kiruna Wagon develops dry-bulk rail freight concept (International Rail Journal)
In Sweden as part of the European Union funded Hermes project, Kiruna Wagon are building a demonstrator dry-bulk freight wagon and unloading station. The wagon is based upon Kiruna’s modular logistic system, which will allow the carrier to be easily changed dependent upon the load it needs to take. The new designs hope to modernise the way freight is carried and also to improve usability.
High-speed Rail: French railways invest in 700mph inter-city 'hyperloop' super-tube train which could make HS2 obsolete (The Independent)
This week it has been reported that French operator, SNCF has invested €80 million in Hyperloop, a conceptual high-speed transportation system. This would make SNCF the first large European operator to take the system seriously. Projected to travel at speeds of 760 mph, Hyperloop would carry passengers at speeds more than three times faster than conventional high speed rail lines and double the speed of most commercial air-liners. When questioned about Hyperloop last September, Guillaume Pepy, SNCF CEO, said: “Hyperloop is a project which is both far-fetched and visionary. We are watching it very closely.”
Rail Video of the Week: GWR | Walk the Line | The journey begins
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