If you are staying static within the world of rail technology then, frankly, you’re going to miss the train and get left way behind. Technological advances wait for no one, plus the market is getting shaped by new innovations as you study this. Get much more info about Railway Technology


Eurasia Rail is here to show you five railway technologies which might be helping alter the way we operate, manufacturer and travel on trains. Let’s take a look.


5 fascinating railway technologies to watch


Hydrogen trains

Though diesel engines are going the way with the dinosaur, and electric the worldwide regular, some suppliers and rail operators are exploring a lot more exotic fuel options.


Hydrocarbons significantly less eye-catching in a world exactly where worldwide warming is pretty actually heating up, so what about hydrogen? Fuel cells in automobiles are one option in the automation world, and could soon see wide-scale adoption in rail. Alstom is searching to transform the game with its Coradia iLint hydrogen-powered multiple-units.


In September 2018, two units started operating the world’s 1st hydrogen-fuelled income service in Germany. Eisenbahen is operating the pair of trains around the 100km Elbe-Wesser network, connecting the towns of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude.


Every unit includes a roof-mounted hydrogen tank, offering a range of 1,000km - adequate to get a full day’s operation. At the moment, mobile fuelling is getting deployed to maintain the trains operating, but a permanent facility is being constructed at Bremervörde, and will be completely completed by 2021. That is a strong endorsement for the future of hydrogen rail.


So why hydrogen? The identical logic which has been applied to vehicles and automobiles applies here: fewer emissions, higher fuel efficiency. Hydrogen may be the most abundant element inside the universe, and its by-product is not greenhouse gas - it’s just pure water. From that water, further hydrogen could be extracted to create much more fuel.


Away from Germany, further nations are hunting into hydrogen. The UK might be trialling a hydrogen-fuelled unit in 2019, though there's considerable interest from freight operators in North America.


Facial recognition software at train stations

The days of paper train tickets are coming to an end. Contactless payment at turnstiles is in operation across the world, but a brand new revolution is coming: facial recognition.


China is pioneering this technology. At Wuhan train station within the Central HuBei Province, passengers can spend with “face swapping”. They simply stroll up, and if their face is scanned correctly, barriers are opened for boarding. More than 30 machines have already been installed at Wuhan considering that 2017, leaving just 10 manned ticketing stations.


There is one main caveat for the Chinese experience. The software draws information in the state ID database. Not all countries have such a system, so the technologies will have to become adapted to local market place specifications and practices to really take off globally.


On the other hand, the system does permit for seamless passenger flow from station concourses to platforms. Convenience is king inside the modern world, and also the results of tap-in-tap-out systems within the UK and Singapore, alongside the enhanced passenger atmosphere at Wuhan, only reinforces that.


Facial recognition has other applications too. Take security. If we head back to Germany, at Suedkreuz station, Berlin, automatic face capturing CCTV systems happen to be installed. After a 6-month trial run, featuring 200 volunteers, authorities noted a high-success rate, that will now let them track dilemma people and assist security forces do their jobs. Russian have also installed equivalent systems in terminals in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and also other big cities inside the run up the 2018 World Cup.


Artificial Intelligence

Machines are obtaining smarter, and with their improved intelligence comes enhanced maintenance and efficiency for rail operators.


Condition based maintenance (CBM) and predictive maintenance (PM) are two major advantages when using smart, adaptive digital systems. As an illustration, diagnostic software can predict when wheels, axles, and elements will need to have replacing. The identical concept applies to non-rolling stock infrastructure, like signalling, or sensible problems like route planning and scheduling.


Japan’s Fujitsu has teamed up with SRI International and Jourdan Co. to create a prediction engine aimed at cutting down delays. Their system functions by analysing preceding delay data, following this up with real-time updates to operator Jourdan to avoid future delays.


Elsewhere, remote monitoring of signalling systems is coming to India. According to systems at the moment in use inside the UK, Indian Railways plans to install sensors along key routes to maintain signal health and machinery status, and alert authorities before problems happen. In 2016, India suffered 106 accidents, 60% of which have been derailments, from signalling errors so it hopes to prevent such problems inside the future.


Elsewhere, in Hong Kong, the MTR Corporation of uses an automated AI system to schedule quarterly and weekly engineering functions. This permits for essentially the most efficient use of resources, as well making sure all safety and maintenance regulations are followed to the letter. MTR reports 50% expense and time saving using such a system.


With digital assist, railways around the world are seeing their operational efficiency bloom.


Automated trains

From urban metro to full on freight trains, self-driving units are enjoying a worldwide rise in reputation.


You will discover varying degrees of automation presently employed, though this mainly applies to metro trains. The grading systems are:


• Grade 4 - Fully automated, capable of operating devoid of a physical employees member, featuring smart obstacle detection, emergency systems, and door closing. No human is necessary for train operation.

• Grade 3 - Trains run automatically in between stations, a staff member is on every train in case of emergencies. Grade 3 trains cannot operate without the need of a human presence.

• Grade 2 - A driver is in the cab, responsible for key operations, like door opening, obstacle detection and emergency system handling.


More than 20 countries across the globe run grade 4 urban rail and metro operations. Singapore has the world’s oldest, which entered operation in 2003.


However, such technologies is getting implemented in remote places to assist ferry freight from mining and mineral extraction sites. Rio Tinto, one on the world’s largest miners, launched the largest, longest robotic train in the Australian outback in July 2018.


Automated rolling stock lets the miner carry more than 28,000 tons per load along 170-mile stretch to processing plants from more than 1,000 miles away at a control centre in Perth, Western Australia. For context, salaries have been as higher as $230,000 Australian dollars, giving insight into why Rio Tinto is establishing self-driving freight trains.


Apart from the apparent expense savings, even though Rio Tinto spent an estimated $390m on its robot train, remote monitoring and automation suggests huge health and safety benefits. Australia’s desert has a harsh climate, so drivers are at danger of thirst or mental strain in the substantial, barren distances. Remove the driver, you take away those troubles.


Rail passenger-focussed apps

Comfort and convenience in the railway world is acquiring a big boost by a wide array of passenger-centric mobile apps. Allowing customers to check instances, acquire tickets, and even deliver in-transit entertainment, all the things is being created easier in the comfort of your smartphone.


Inside the UK, Transreport enables users to report problems affecting their journey to the relevant authorities, such as problems like broken toilets, poor carriage atmosphere, graffiti or litter. It also has a passenger assistance function for disabled people to request any assist they could require.


But how about dining? Travelkhana, an Indian app covering 300 cities and 6,000 train services, is building a mid-journey dining revolution. Passengers merely enter their train number and pick a dish from a huge selection of Travelkhana’s restaurant partners. The app tracks trains, soon after the user areas their order and confirms their carriage before food is delivered directly to the passenger’s seat.

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