On The Right Track?

the future of European rail travel
Zeleros rail concept

Paris to Berlin in an hour! Welcome to the future of high-speed rail travel in Europe.

We take a quick look at three groundbreaking ideas for the future of high-speed rail travel in Europe, which could transform rail mobility on the continent.

Hyperloop, Maglev trains and a single European railway area have been suggested as climate-friendly options to transform mobility on the continent in years to come.


European rail

Spanish company Zeleros want to build a scalable hyperloop system capable of connecting cities in a matter of minutes, achieving speeds of 1,000km/h with zero emissions. It hopes to connect European cities in a matter of minutes. Juan Vicén, Co-founder of Zeleros, explains:

Hyperloop is a new way of transport that reduces friction, which is the main source of inefficiency in transportation. The two main frictions are the aerodynamics and the ground friction that happens when a wheel touches the ground surface. Zeleros are proposing to put the train inside a tube, where they can eliminate most of the air. On the other side, we make the vehicle levitate so in that case we reduce the main friction and we can work very efficiently.

The Hyperloop systems achieve five to ten time more energy efficiency than an aeroplane, inside the tube and on the ground.


Novomo rail system

Maglev trains have been suggested by Polish company, Nevomo. Magnetic levitation reduces the friction by lifting the train off the tracks with magnets. Another set of magnets pushes the train along the track. Nevomo is developing the Magrail system by combining maglev with traditional rail. Business Development Director, Milan Chromik, comments:

We are, of course, aiming at implementing the Hyperloop. But in the meantime we understand very much that the current infrastructure needs to be modernised. That’s how we introduced our Magrail system, which is basically building on existing infrastructure by introducing these magnetic components, linear motion and also some guidance systems and guidance rails in order not to get derailed. We’re using the current infrastructure because it’s vastly more expensive if you have too exchange it.

Nevomo suggest that the Magrail system should be ready for commercial operation by the end of 2025, with the aim of implementing Hyperloop once the technology is ready.


European rail

Rail in Europe is a patchwork of different national systems. Shift2Rail, an EU body, aims to unify the networks in a Single European Railway Area. Carlo Borghini, Executive Director, explains:

The Single European Railway Area has the key objective to ensure that we have in Europe on single European network, in order to ensure that any train operator or any railway undertaking can operate trains in each part of Europe without the need to make changes to their locomotives, to the wagons, to the power and to the signalling systems.

To illustrate the inefficiencies of the current system, let’s look at one simple example. A high speed train from London to Amsterdam, the train has seven different digital systems. Shift2Rail is working to reduce this to one. They’re working to develop a train which is capable to run everywhere around the network.

Only via a European network can the performance of the rail system be maximised, creating growth for passengers and for the logistics value chain, as exists within road transportation or single sky provisions.

To help you navigate the changes of business travel, we’ve created the brand-new Traveller Toolkit. This invaluable online resource is packed full of easy-to-use guides and checklists for every stage of every journey. We detail exactly what you need to know and do before, during and after your trip.

You’ll also find innovative and interactive virtual trips, which walk you through each step of  being at the airport, on the train and in the hotel. You can even check the travel restrictions and health status of your destination with our comprehensive COVID-19 Country Tracker, updated five times daily to ensure you have the very latest information to help keep you and your travellers safe.

Travel is changing. But with common sense and a good TMC behind you, travellers should have the confidence to once again take to the skies. It’ll soon be business as (un)usual.