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Articles on Railways

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New African economic history is challenging earlier wisdom by showing, for example, that railways have had profound effects, both positive and negative on African societies. Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

The renaissance in understanding Africa’s economic past

African economic history has had a renaissance and its most valuable contribution has been to show that Africans have not always been poor, nor are current poverty levels an inevitable destiny.
This derailed oil-carrying train in Ontario in March was the third from a single freight company in a month. Reuters

Despite disasters, oil-by-rail transport is getting safer

Derailed train cars carrying oil have more communities concerned about spills. What's behind the oil-by-rail boom and a federal agency's 'urgent' call last week for better safety?
Then treasurer and now New South Wales Premier Mike Baird (centre) at Newcastle’s Wickham train station in 2013. AAP/Michael Sin

Will it be the end of the line for Newcastle’s train, or for Baird?

If you're looking for key battles to watch in the New South Wales election, which could help decide who forms the next state government, then you need to know the story of the Newcastle railway line.
Same service, higher prices. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Rail fare rises show once again the pitfalls of privatisation

The announcement that rail fares will increase by up to 5.5% is yet another indictment of the failure of the country’s privatised railway industry. Railway privatisation was sold to the public on the basis…
Faster than a plane? Alex Needham

Can magnetically levitating trains run at 3,000km/h?

Trains that use magnets to levitate above the tracks might sound like something from Back to the Future, but the concept of magnetic levitation has been around for many years. Maglev trains, which use…
Manchester, could be part of a new megacity in the north. Daniel Nisbet

Building a second supercity starts with better transport

The UK’s economy is highly unbalanced; we have the worst regional disparities in the developed world and London’s property prices are also the world’s most expensive – second only to Monaco. Rebalancing…
Small, but not for long. University of Birmingham

Hydrogen could save regional railways

There is increasing talk of electrification of the UK’s railway network. But electrification is an expensive business, requiring much new hardware including masts, wiring, substations and so on. Such an…

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