Developments in rail technology are reviewed. With increasing emphasis on the environment and transfer of traffic to rail, many technological advances are emerging. France, Germany and Japan are developing faster high speed trains. With the widespread availability of gto thyristors, asynchronous three phase traction drives are set to become standard (except in France). With the adoption of open rather than closed loop control, tilting trains are becoming a commercial possibility. Partial compensation has been found to be most comfortable for passengers and examples are given from Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Challenges presented by the Channel Tunnel are outlined including modelling of air flows, temperature build-up and fire hazard. Multimodal transport is dominating railfreight technology and details are given of French, Italian and Spanish systems. The decision by British Rail to choose an Automatic Train Protection system and the experience of other countries in this field is described. The advanced track design required by high speed running is outlined. The increased use of computers for ticket issuing, access control, accounting and management is noted. The development of low floor vehicles is a key feature of the urban transit schemes fashionable in Britain. Details are given of low floor programmes in France, Switzerland and Germany.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:


    London,   United Kingdom 
  • Authors:
    • FORD, R
  • Publication Date: 1990-6


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00606991
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1991 12:00AM