The digital railway debate must widen its horizons
ISSUE NUMBER: TT139

Over the past few years the idea of a digital railway has become voguish in the upper echelons of the British rail industry. Senior managers at Network Rail, among others, have spent a lot of time enthusing about a world in which trains, tracks, signals and stations are transformed in a better digital future.

There have been several critiques of this development. The least persuasive is that it is a distraction, and that Mark Carne and others should focus instead on running the railway of today. This is rather like urging the senior management of Kodak a few years back to focus on film because digital cameras wouldn't add up to much.

A more interesting criticism is the opposite: that railway executives and policymakers should just get on with it.
The best criticism of all is that we are not thinking big enough: that proponents of a digital railway are not paying sufficient heed to what is happening across the transport sector, and the dramatic impact that developments elsewhere might have on rail.

Full article available in the current issue of Transport Times

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