High-speed Europe, a sustainable link between citizens
By European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, 2010

High-speed lines (HSLs) offer European citizens a safe, fast, comfortable and ecological mode of transport. A high-speed train is a train capable of reaching speeds of over 200 km/h on upgraded conventional lines and of over 250 km/h on new lines designed specifically for high speeds. Today, trains running on the most recently installed lines can reach speeds of 360 km/h, while trains running on upgraded conventional lines can reach speeds of up to 250 km/h

HSLs have truly revolutionised sustainable mobility, by allowing a significant increase in the speed and frequency of journeys between the major European cities. This cuttingedge infrastructure illustrates the Union’s immense capacity for technological innovation and the vitality of European industry, which is constantly developing new systems, especially in terms of rolling stock. The reduced travelling times, higher levels of passenger comfort and low environmental impact enable HSLs to compete with and complement road and air travel, thereby helping to implement viable mobility at European level.

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Suburban and Regional Railways Landscape in Europe
By European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC), 2006

The ambition of this publication is to provide a reliable overview of what the sector represents. Who are the actors, what is their contribution to economy, mobility and urban and regional development. UITP, in the frame of the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC) conducted an investigation in 29 European countries. This publication sheds new light on the whole sector that represents:

  • 220 companies
  • 360 000 staff members
  • 21,7 billion turnover per year
  • More than 6,8 billion passengers a year
This study illustrates that far from being anecdotic, regional and suburban railway transport are at the heart of the railway industry. So far, the European Union institutions have focussed their legislation on transportation which has resulted in the adoption of technical specifications that, if extended in scope, might hamper regional and local traffic with very limited benefits or possibly negative impact for them. This study radically changes the perspective on the whole sector and on the most efficient way to implement future legislation.

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Tramtrain: 2nd generation - New criteria for the ideal tramtrain city
By Axel Kuehn and Rob van der Bijl

Tram-Train systems link urban tramway infrastructure with the regional heavy rail network around cities. After the first generation of those systems in Germany (Karlsruhe and Saarbruecken) new systems evolve now.

The mid-nineties have been a real boom period regarding TramTrain feasibility studies. Many cities and regions with a regional railway network, with or without an urban tramway and of similar size as Karlsruhe have been asking if the concept is transferable to their situation. Most of these projects have not proceeded or at least been heavily delayed and not given high priority. The reasons differ, but we question whether asking the right basic questions early enough would have avoided big studies which went straight into the archives.

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The VAL - The most successful fully automated metro system
By Siemens, 2002

Conceived, designed and developed by Siemens Transportation Systems, the VAL (Véhicule Automatique Léger) is the first fully automated light metro, without driver or attendant on board the vehicle. Since its introduction during the eighties, the VAL system has regularly benefited from the latest technology, constantly improving its capacity, reliability and safety. Today, a fully proven new generation of VAL (VAL 208 and VAL 258) brings to the cities and the airports the appropriate solution to resolve their transportation needs.

Inaugurated in Lille (North of France) in 1983, the VAL is also in operation in the cities of Taipei (Taiwan), Toulouse (France), Rennes (France) and soon in Turin (Italy). The VAL system is as well suitable for airport people mover: applications in Paris-Orly and Chicago-O'Hare and soon in Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

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Advanced Rapid Transit - Moving in the Right Direction
By Bombardier, 2002

Advanced Rapid Transit (ART) is an alternative way to move people. Blending into any urban setting, ART systems attract riders, protect the environment, and give community leaders new options to meet transit mobility challenges.

Fully automated and driverless, ART medium capacity systems have a proven track record of safe operation, service dependability, and low operating costs. Around the world, ART systems move 150 million people every year in major metropolitan cities.

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Light Rail Atlas

By Rob van der Bijl

Light rail is a rail-bound mode of public transport for cities and urban regions. Contrary to train (heavy rail) and metro (subway, underground) light rail principally is able to be integrated within public realm, sharing public space with other traffic to some extend.

Light Rail Atlas enhances discussion on light rail and related issues. The site acts as a forum for urban planners and designers, landscape architects, traffic planners, authorities and other parties involved in light rail systems.

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Bus Rapid Transit Planning Guide

By Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), 2007

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is increasingly recognised as amongst the most effective solutions to providing high-quality transit services on a cost-effective basis to urban areas, both in the developed and developing world. The growing popularity of BRT as a viable solution to urban mobility underscores the success of initial efforts in cities such as Curitiba, Bogotá, and Brisbane. By allowing cities to provide a functional network of public transport corridors, BRT permits even low-income cities to develop a high-quality mass transit system that serves the public’s daily travel needs.

This Planning Guide first provides an overview of the BRT concept, including its definition and historical development. The Planning Guide then proceeds to give a step-by-step description of the BRT planning process

 Download the Bus Rapid Transit Planning Guide (introduction)
 Go to the Bus Rapid Transit Planning Guide website 

Bus Rapid Transit: User-Friendly, City-Friendly
By EMBARQ - World Resources Institute

Bus rapid transit is the name given to sophisticated bus systems that have their own lanes on city streets. These systems use bus stations instead of bus stops, a design feature that allows passengers to pay before boarding the bus. This allows for faster, more orderly boardings, similar to those of metro or light rail systems. Stations also have elevated boarding platforms level with the bus floors so passengers don't need to climb steps to get on the bus. For the passengers convenience, electronic signage tells users when the next bus is arriving.

Many cities are now choosing bus rapid transit for two important reasons: cost and convenience. The cost of building a heavy rail system like a subway reach as much as 10 times that of bus rapid transit. Light rail, common throughout Europe, is cheaper than heavy rail, but still runs more than 4 times the cost of bus rapid transit. What’s more, cities that opt for bus rapid transit can see the results of their work immediately; installing a system can take just two years. By contrast, building a below ground metro can drag on for a decade.

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Guidelines for implementers of Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)
By Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is a state-of-the-art form of public transport (PT) that uses small automated electric ‘podcars’ to:
  • provide a taxi-like service for individuals or small groups of travellers;
  • provide demand responsive feeder and shuttle services connecting facilities such as parking lots with major transport terminals and other facilities such as shopping or exhibition centres. 

The podcars run on a segregated guideway in order to ensure unhindered direct trips between origin and destination. They provide clean, green, effi cient and sustainable transportation. With high vehicle speeds and very small headways, PRT provides fast, individual, on-demand and point-to-point PT with very short waiting times.

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Financing Transit Usage with Podcars in 59 Swedish Cities
By Göran Tegnér, WSP Group Sweden AB. Paper to presented at 12th International Conference on Automated People Movers, Atlanta, 31 May – 3 June, 2009

This paper summarizes a Swedish research project financed by Vinnova, the Swedish Agency for Innovations and by the Swedish Road and Rail Administrations. It deals with several analytical comparisons between bus, LRT and podcars, based on a city data base with 59 Swedish cities, and four more in-depth case studies, the cities of Kiruna, Södertälje, Linköping and the Commercial Area of Kungens Kurva in Stockholm and Huddinge cities.

The analyses show that it would be possible to double the transit ridership in cities with bus or LRT traffic when shifting to podcars. The cost per trip is showed to be lower by podcar than with LRT and - in some cases - than with bus.

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Into the future – with eHighway
By Siemens, 2012

Siemens is developing an economical and environmentally sustainable solution for road freight traffic. This is how electric trucks will become a reality in the future: Based on proven technologies, Siemens has developed a solution – eHighway – that, with a reasonable investment, can establish the foundation for environmentally friendly, sustainable, and cost-effective road freight traffic.

One concept – three core components

  • Hybrid drive technology as well as strengthening the drive train for continuous supply with electrical energy
  • Continuous power supply of hybrid vehicles through overhead contact lines, based on proven technologies from the field of railway technology, including regenerative braking to feed electrical energy back into the energy grid
  • Intelligent pantographs to transmit the electrical energy from the overhead contact lines to the vehicle

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