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About this book

This book offers a timely collection of articles on innovative research and developments in the vast field of rail transport, including rail operations, management, economics, vehicles interior design and sustainable infrastructure. It addresses academics and professionals specializing in railway transport analysis, innovation, systems design and new technology. Continuing on the tradition of the previous volumes, the book reports on innovative solutions for energy saving, noise reduction and baggage handling. It elaborates on the implementation of digital technologies and discusses sustainable rail operations along transport corridors. The concept of hyperloop is also discussed as a possible transport mode of the future. All the contributions were selected through an internal competition and a double-blinded peer review process organized by the RailUniNet members

Table of Contents


Energy and Emissions Saving in Urban Guided Transport Systems: Effectiveness and Assessment of Hydrogen-Based Solutions

Global warming and climate change are indisputable facts. Since the Industrial Revolution, the mean temperature of the planet has increased by 1 °C. Now, temperatures are approaching a higher stage of +1.5 °C, and the attention is on both CO2 emissions and energy consumption. Transportation is a significant component of the environmental impact, accounting for approximately 30% of air pollution and energy consumption. Due to the rapid urbanization in the EU, with an estimated 74.3% of the population living in cities, which is forecasted to rise to 80% by 2050, urban mobility is dramatically increasing its relevance. Therefore, a reduction in energy consumption and pollutant emissions is a crucial factor to consider in the development of urban transportation and particularly rail-based systems to provide energy-saving transport services by improving the urban environment. Several methods and techniques are under development to improve the energy performance of Light Rail Transport (LRT), which spread from different typologies of power supply to improve energy efficiency. This paper aims to start with the latest developments and innovative energy sources for LRT systems. The focus is on two parts: (a) trams running on hydrogen in parallel with onboard batteries with energy-saving control techniques, (b) potential renewable energy sources to meet the demand power. The comparison is with traditional power sources and equipment (e.g., catenary-based). The development of the methods, based on selected indicators, is ongoing, and the paper describes results of calculations and simulations for a relevant case study: the new tramline in the city of Brescia (Italy).
Matt Davoudizavareh, Stefano Ricci

Rail Station Boarding Systems for Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRMs)

In modern times, trains have become one of the most popular modes of transportation. However, there are still many problems to be solved, one of which is the gap issues between the platform and vehicle. Since the construction of the railway, the gap between the platform and the vehicle has been regarded as the main cause of fatality and weighted injury risk in the railway station. This project firstly investigates different solutions used all over the world that enable persons with reduced mobility (PRMs) to board independently. It applies mechanical engineering design principles, with strong input from primary and secondary data collected about the needs and preferences of PRMs. Finally, it then develops solutions of gap issues to reduce train dwell time, improve crowd flow and overall safety. An evaluation is conducted to select the most appropriate solution.
Emmanuel Matsika, Ning Guo

Measuring the Impacts on the Economic Growth of Various Countries Using Key Performance Indictors—A Quantitative Approach Including Logistics Performance, Infrastructure, Rail Network and Volume of Goods Carried

This paper discusses the impacts of logistics development on logistics efficiency and economic growth of pre-selected countries. These impacts were analyzed in terms of: logistics infrastructure, rail network/1000km2 and volume of goods carried by rail. Subsequently, the impact of ‘Logistics Performance Indicator’ on economic growth measured by current GDP was analyzed. For the analysis, a sample of eight countries (four developed and four developing) was used for a period of 10 years, 2007–2017. The research presentes theoretical framework that includes literature review, and analysis of Logistics Performance Indicator issues and economic growth, rail transport, and logistics performance of countries through indicators. The methodology, in general, includes both an explanatory and quantitative research. The data used were collected from the World Bank website. More specifically, multivariate statistical methodological approach was used with simple and multiple linear regression econometric models in panel data for this study. Based on this discussion, the results suggest that the quality of the infrastructure and the rail network/1000 km2 have a positive impact on the logistics efficiency of the countries under study. Whereas Logistics Performance Indicators (like infrastructure quality and TKU/railways) indicate a positive impact on the countries’ growth in terms of current GDP.
Charles Lopes Ribeiro, João Paulo Albuquerque Kalil, Philipe Augusto de Paula Pacheco, Débora Magalhães Kirchmair, Marin Marinov

Safety and Delays at Level Crossings in the United States: Addressing the Need for Multi-Objective Resource Allocation

The level crossings in the United States experience a significant number of accidents every year. The accidents can be reduced with the application of various countermeasures (e.g., traffic signal preemption, flashing lights, barrier cubs, gates). However, the application of countermeasures for all the level crossings in the United States is not feasible due to monetary limitations. Moreover, each countermeasure has a unique level of effectiveness and installation cost (e.g., the most effective countermeasures are typically more expensive than the least effective ones). Hence, selection of potent and cost-effective countermeasures at the riskiest level crossings is imperative to improve safety. While improving safety at level crossings with the application of countermeasures, there is a significant risk of waning highway vehicle flows, increasing delays, and negatively affecting the continuity of passenger and freight flows. In such a scenario, multi-objective resource allocation models could be instrumental, since such models can analyze the tradeoffs between conflicting objectives (e.g., minimizing the number of accidents vs. minimizing the total delay). Hence, this chapter presents a framework for multi-objective resource allocation to minimize the number of accidents and to minimize the total delay at level crossings. Furthermore, various methods for quantifying the number of accidents as well as delays due to the application of countermeasures at level crossings are reviewed. Solution methods for multi-objective resource allocation models, including exact and approximate optimization approaches, are also discussed. Finally, future research avenues for multi-objective resource allocation among level crossings are outlined.
Junayed Pasha, Maxim A. Dulebenets, Prashant Singh, Ren Moses, John Sobanjo, Eren E. Ozguven

Study of Sustainable Transport Enhancements Through Analysing Utilisation Levels of Rail Lines with Enhanced Passenger and Freight Services: A Case Study on a Local Rail Line Through Simulation Modelling and Scenarios

Due to climate change, more sustainable passenger and freight transport is in need. Rail is considered a more sustainable mode of transport compared to others such as road transport. Usage of rail lines that are currently under-utilised could help increase the sustainability of transport through enhanced utilisation of them. This study looks at the Marston Vale Line, identifying it as under-utilised, and through the use of event-based simulation modelling, observes the current utilisation level and develops ways in which the spare capacity can be utilised, with more passenger services, as well as local rail freight, which is identified as a potential use of spare capacity on the Marston Vale Line. Possible local freight that can be transported by rail is investigated and combined with current and possible additional passenger services in varying levels, in five different scenarios, which are evaluated to propose the best workable option for the Marston Vale Line, with journey time and reliability also considered. Particular theoretical attention is proposed to create a more environmentally friendly mode for the transportation of passengers and freight, and not just shifting more from road to rail using the idea that rail transport is more sustainable than road transport.
Joel Crannis, Jeremy Lee, Marin Marinov

Analysis and Characterization of Noise Generated in Heavy-Haul Railways in Brazil

The noise generated by transportation systems is one of the most important causes of noise-induced annoyance, since exposure to high level noises for long periods of time can be detrimental to health. Amongst the different types of noise that originate from railroads, the squeal noise generated at curves, the impact noise generated at rail joints and the rolling noise stand out. To propose mitigation measures to this problem, noise generation must be understood as well as by which parameters it is influenced. To that end, analytical models have been developed to predict the generated Sound Pressure Level (SPL) and to verify which factors are related to noise generation. This paper aims to validate analytical models for impact noise, squeal noise and rolling noise, which were originally designed for urban railways, used for passenger transportation. In this work, the validation is made using SPL measurements taken at a Brazilian heavy-haul railway, and a railway which carries bulk cargo in general. The models are implemented on a numerical computation software considering vehicle and track characteristics, train speed and a reference SPL. The results obtained from the models were compared with SPL measurements performed at the railroad during regular operation for the three cases (rolling, squeal and impact), which, despite the measurement limitations imposed by practical constraints during regular traffic operation, showed good agreement.
Thiago Antonio Fiorentin, Yesid Asaff, Laura Dacoreggio Volpato Braz

Solving Some of the Issues of Luggage Storing on Passenger Trains

The aim of this research is to elaborate, describe and propose solutions for some of the issues of luggage storage on passenger trains, using a systematic approach. Specifically, the paper discusses and works out different technical solutions for better baggage handling, which include alternative transformed luggage racks (oven, trench and adjustable table). Pet compartment is also designed to solve the inconvenience of traveling with pets on passenger trains. These solutions are evaluated from different perspectives, taking different views into account. To obtain the optimal result when applying a particular solution, the characteristics, interior design and specific equipment of different types of passenger trains should be considered.
Zhiyuan Zeng, Marin Marinov, Bernhard Rüger

The Potential of Kazakh Rail Transport Mode as a Competitive Transit Route Between Europe and China

The purpose of this research paper is to explore the potential of the railway network of the Republic of Kazakhstan as an effective and competitive transit transport route between China and Europe, as well as ensuring the accrued economic benefit to the Kazakh economy from the transit flows potentially generated. Kazakh territory was a major part of the old Silk Road, especially the southern regions of the current Republic. This was disrupted during the Soviet period, with borders closed and any transit forbidden. From her independence, Kazakhstan has intended to be an open and transparent state in terms of world trade and business. This desire has led the country to make use of her transit potential between China and Europe. To explore this, the research work applied multiple research methods: Multiple Regression analysis, Correlation analysis, PEST and SWOT analysis. The findings of the research allow us to suggest that Republic of Kazakhstan is on the way to reaping the economic benefits of being a transit state. To achieve the full potential of transit services, the research recommends a number of actions including strengthening the scientific support for the industry; formation of intersectoral coordination with focus on marketing of transport services and logistics; construction and organization of an international transit corridor “Western Europe—Western China”; formation of a flexible tariff policy; the elimination of physical barriers to the organization and operations of domestic transit traffic; and the streamlining of customs procedures; all to facilitate smooth border crossings.
Dewan Md. Zahurul Islam, Alima Bissenbayeva, Thomas H. Zunder

Evaluating Russia’s Railway Infrastructure—Geography, Demography and Kremlinology

This paper unpacks the sustainability of Russia’s railway infrastructure, whose development faces innumerable challenges including its geography, demographic density and specific political considerations. The monopoly of companies such as Russian Railways (RZhD) over railway infrastructure, many of its freight carriers, and construction tenders have reduced business competition in this sector, and have made the railways a restrictive environment for foreign investors. Russia’s demographic challenges, which include a much denser population distribution in the western part of the country, have meant that many regions in the central and eastern parts of the country remain remote, under-populated and inaccessible, despite the wealth of natural resources located there. Government plans to improve rail access to these disconnected areas are often unfeasible and unsustainable, and few foreign investors are willing to offer their financial support to projects that likely have low yields and high risks. Poor diplomatic relations with the West have restricted Russia access to western capital markets and alternative sources of loan financing, particularly for large infrastructure projects such as rail, and many western funders have withdrawn from Russia’s rail market. Without a significant injection of foreign investment from Asian partners such as China, Japan or South Korea, improvements to Russia’s railway network are likely to remain relatively piecemeal. For Russia’s railway system to be sustainable in the long term, RZhD’s monopoly must be broken up, international partnerships with countries that have similar geographic considerations could be brokered, and Russia must re-evaluate its demographic priorities. Climate change and new geographical conditions are likely to pose an additional challenge for Russia in the coming years, but without accumulating proper engineering expertise to mitigate these issues, the country’s rail transport network is likely to lag behind those of its international counterparts.
Emily Ferris

Development of Sustainable Transport Corridors the Scandria-Case

The paper describes the status quo of freight flows in the Scandria Corridor (compare SCANDRIA-Alliance), based on a number of surveys and studies, conducted throughout the Scandria2Act project (2016–2019). Specifically this paper describes the freight flows in detail, by combining surveys conducted within the project, with statistical data from different sources, creating a comprehensive picture of freight flows between continental Europe a Scandinavia. A multifactor-decision model for freight forwarders is implemented, to calculate the boundary condition that need to be met in order to facilitate an actual shift from road to rail. These conditions are described in terms of transport costs and time, which enable the analysis of effects of different political measures, and of different market conditions on the transport flows. In conclusion this paper discusses the political boundary conditions and the administrative and spatial framework, in which such shifts are being fostered.
Lisa Hartmann, Martin Jung, Philip Michalk, Sorin Sima

The Effects of Sustainability-Driven Policies on Transport CO2 Production: High-Speed Rail Transportation as an Alternative to Passenger Air Transport

The purpose of this study is to evaluate to which extent the rail transport mode can improve the environmental situation in Europe if it were to be at the centre of sustainability-driven policies. In particular, it aims at estimating a relative picture of the CO2 emissions generated by short-distance air passenger transportation in Europe, which could have been transferred to high-speed rail and produce less CO2. This study follows a three-step methodology. Firstly, it calculates the number of passengers travelling on each route between cities and estimates the total CO2 emissions. Subsequently, it leverages the current literature on CO2 consumption from railway passenger transport. Lastly, it estimates the possible scenarios in terms of CO2 emissions that would have followed adequate sustainability-driven policies. The study found that short-range aviation in EU28 produced 9.2 million tons of CO2 in 2017, which represents about 5% of total aviation emission, about 1% of total transport emission and about 0.2% of total CO2emission. Furthermore, the CO2 production on the 175 routes analysed increased until 2019, while precise policies could have allowed saving 582 MT CO2. The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the European transport sector increases the relevance of this study. To avert the “return to normality” vis a vis Greenhouse Gases (hereinafter “GHG”) emissions from the sector, it will be necessary to introduce structural changes. As Austrian Airlines or KLM bailouts show, environmental concerns might finally influence the decision-making process on public transportation. In the context of a green recovery, this study not only lays the foundation for further contributions addressing the CO2 production from EU-wide sectors but also underlines the role the railway can play in environmentally friendly transportation.
Alessio Tardivo, Armando Carrillo Zanuy

Competition on the Domestic Rail Passenger Transport Market Under Public Service Obligation in Some Selected European Countries and Slovak Republic

Sustainable rail transport is an important aim within European transport policy. One way to achieve this is to open-up the rail passenger market to competition. The White paper 2011 of the European Commission (EC) stated that: a competitive and resource efficient transport system presents the need towards opening domestic rail passenger market to competition, including the mandatory award of public service contracts through competitive tendering as a first initiative within the single European transport area. The open access to competition is realised by two different approaches in many European countries; 1) as a public service provision through public tender and 2) on a commercial basis—though open access. Markets for domestic rail passenger services through public tenders have not been opened in many EU countries. The study looks at the rail passenger transport market situation in selected European countries (Austria, Italy, Hungary, Germany, etc.) and places a particular focus on the transport market situation in Slovak Republic. It describes different mechanisms to realise public tenders for the operation of rail passenger transport services under Public Service Obligation (PSO), analysis process of public tenders in the Slovak Republic, quantifies the risk of unsuccessful public tenders and suggest the criteria to achieve successful public tenders for providing rail passenger transport services under PSO.
Anna Dolinayova, Lenka Cerna, Igor Domeny

Challenges of Dangerous Goods Transport by Rail in Thailand

For the transport of dangerous goods (DGs), trucks are more commonly used in Thailand. However, transportation by truck is often prone to accidents and even environmental damages. Rail freight transport is an environmentally friendly mode of transport, which is considered safe and reliable, though it has shown the lowest market share amongst all the freight transport modes in Thailand. This is because of a lack of logistics facilities, infrastructure, locomotive units, supported regulations and efficient operational practice. This situation led to the increase of risks of possible damages on inland logistics in the country. This paper carries out a study of the challenges of DGs transport by rail in Thailand. A comparison of legislations for DGs transport by rail between Europe, Japan and Thailand is organised to provide appropriate guidelines for the development of regulations applicable to the situation in Thailand. Results of the study indicate that DGs transport by rail in Thailand requires regulations, controlled operational procedures, and training provisions covering direct and block train operations, reliable maintenance of trains and shipping. With proper guidelines in place, the market share of DGs transport by rail in the country would increase and thus promote the railway transport mode as the backbone of an environmentally friendly transportation logistics component in the overall development of Thailand.
Mayurachat Watcharejyothin, Koji Nishimura, Marin Marinov

The Hyperloop Concept Development, Possible Applications and Critical Analysis

The Hyperloop was first introduced in 2013 and is a proposed mode of passenger and/or freight transportation. The system consists of a sealed tube through which a pod may travel nearly free of air resistance. Although there are no doubts concerning the technological feasibility, there is criticism regarding the concrete implementation of the Hyperloop. Critics especially question the small system capacity and estimate that the actual costs would be substantially higher than the initial cost assumptions. Numerous companies are currently working on implementing the Hyperloop concept and different Hyperloop-routes are being discussed. An implementation of the Hyperloop only makes sense as a pure ‘point to point’ connection. A possible first Hyperloop route would provide important insights into the actual construction and operating costs. The paper subsequently focuses on the Hyperloop concept and analyses possible applications of this new transport system.
Frank Michelberger, Matthias Plavec, Kevin Pyrek, Philipp Graf
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