Picture the railway of tomorrow and dozens of ideas and innovations come to mind: driverless trains, digital tickets, predictive maintenance, passenger crowd control technology and railways that not only operate at higher speeds but at a higher capacity. But try and...

Age of the smart fleet

Whether you’re looking forward to sitting behind the controls of a driverless car or you’re less optimistic about the prospect, it seems certain that it is only a matter of time until they start to appear on Britain’s road...
Network Rail's structures asset management team on the London North Eastern and East Midlands route is trialling the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to inspect large structures. Use of UAVs - also known as drones - is safer and...
The UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) - a collaboration between the rail industry and eight universities - has been formally launched. Working in partnership, the universities will create four new Centres of Excellence encompassing rolling stock, infrastructure, digital systems...
Pizza boxes piled in a corner, eyes fixed to laptop screens and sugary foods scattered around the room. It might sound like a student’s typical night in but this is actually the setting for innovation. Techies, coders, strategists, designers. These...
Blue flashing lights have been installed on one of the platforms at London Paddington station to reduce the number of accidents caused by passengers tripping  between the train and platform. The lights on Platform 6 flash when the doors of...
Transport for London (TfL) is to launch a tender for a service provider to deliver 4G mobile coverage on the Tube from 2019 next year. A summer trial in tunnels on the Waterloo and City lines showed the potential to...
Greater Anglia will launch a pilot for the new railcard for 26-30 year-olds next week. Chancellor Philip Hammond recently confirmed the introduction of the new discount card in the Autumn Budget, adding to railcards for disabled persons, seniors, families and youngsters. The...
Online train ticket retailer Trainline has launched a new mobile application that uses voice recognition technology. Built using the Google Assistant platform, the app allows users to 'Talk to Trainline' and ask everyday travel questions with real-time updates. Prompted by such...
The railways were considered a sunset industry by the late 20th century due to the rapid development of the automobile and airplane. How things have changed: The great success of the Japanese Tokaido Shinkansen line, as well as the development...
Amey’s innovation manager, Simon Grundy, explains how the company is using virtual reality to make its workforce safer In 2015-16, there were zero workforce fatalities for the first time since the ORR Rail Safety Statistics series began. There were, however,...
Transport secretary Chris Grayling has said that passengers will be able to use smart ticketing across "almost all" of the network in England and Wales by the end of 2018. A planned £80 million will be spent on the programme...
The first of 50 electric car chargers have gone live at stations in Scotland. Electric vehicle registration is up 62 per cent on this time last year, and owners will now benefit from free fast-charging facilities at ScotRail Alliance stations...
Just Eat, Brew Dog and Bridgeway Consulting. It’s not often you get to group a takeaway delivery service, a craft brewery and a diverse rail industry contractor but that’s what the London Stock Exchange has done in its publication...
Four innovations that will improve the maintenance of rolling stock are ready for development. Funded by the RSSB, the innovations will help to deliver greater capacity, improve safety and reduce the time and cost of maintenance during inspections, according to the trade...
Passengers across Scotland will benefit from new digital customer information screens (DCIS) which are being rolled out across 28 stations. In total ScotRail Alliance has already installed - or will soon be installing - 94 DCISs at stations across the...
The railway’s slow rate of change and innovation is a popular topic of conversation at conferences and over networking drinks. A lack of free Wi-Fi and the limited rollout of things like automatic delay repay and ticketless travel lags behind...
The 2017 Digital Rail Summit examined the visible and invisible aspects of digitising the railway and took place at Bird & Bird's offices in London on April 26. The following is an excerpt of a full report from the summit, which will...
Millions of pounds could be saved and dozens of service delays reduced thanks to the launch of a new tree census database, Network Rail has said. Using data compiled from aerial surveying, Network Rail will be able to identify and...
The term DOO (Driver Only Operation) has created mayhem in railway circles recently, with much publicised industrial action taking place that has caused misery to thousands of rail travellers. Widespread comment has appeared in the national and local press,...

A lesson in virtual reality

While augmented reality is finding its place in the construction of new railways, virtual reality is becoming an important tool in the training of new staff. In fact, teachers and trainers have been looking for ways to introduce virtual reality...
‘It’s a bit like RoboCop or Minority Report’ said Rav Kugananthan, a project engineer working at Crossrail’s Liverpool Street station, as he squeezed his head into one of the project’s most radical innovations. Although still at the development stage, the...
Chief executive of Keolis, and chairman of the Rail Delivery Group’s technology and operations working group, Alistair Gordon said the business case exists to accelerate the rollout of digital signalling in the UK. Speaking during the Future of Rail conference,...

Rise of the machines

Is it surprising that the mention of robotics and automation is often met with concern and unease, even fear. An entire brand of cinema has been built around unrelenting, murderous cyborgs. But it isn’t a fear of machines developing conscious...

RailStaff December: Railway royalty

https://issuu.com/railmedia/docs/railstaff-december-19

West Coast appointments

Christmas work