What will the future of public transport look like? The major projects being planned today, such as the United Kingdom’s HS2 high-speed rail network, are not fundamentally different to what is been built over the last 30 years.
Maglev trains are largely confined to niche projects in China. Hyperloop remains an unproven glimmer in Elon Musk and Richard Branson’s eyes.
The likes of HS2 can deliver considerable improvements in network capacity but through incremental changes in conventional designs, from tracks to train bogies. Yet while the rail sector is warily slow at introducing new technologies due to the long time it takes to plan and build new lines and vehicles, there are a number of technical innovations in development that, if adopted, could make the trains of tomorrow both faster and safer.