Friday, January 19, 2007

High Speed Rail Conference - June 28, 2007

One of my projects at the ETH IVT is helping to coordinate a day-long conference on the future of high speed rail transport in Switzerland and Europe that will be held in Zurich on June 28, 2007. The conference should be quite interesting, as we plan to approach the issue from a multi-disciplinary point of view.

Session 1 consists of three academic papers about the need for traveling at high speeds (sociology), the economics of high speed rail systems, and urban development planning impacts of high speed rail. Session 2 will present history of high speed rail and Switzerland's decision to adopt the Taktfahrplan approach rather than build a new high speed rail line. Session 3 will compare various technology options for high speed travel: Maglev, Swissmetro, Traditional High Speed Rail and Air travel. Session 4 will be a round table discussion by political, business and social leaders on how they see the future for high speed (rail) transport.

The conference will be in German, but we plan to translate the PowerPoint presentations into English. For more information see our conference website.

TRB Annual Meeting 2007

I will be attending the US Transportation Research Board's Annual Meeting next week. I am a co-author of four papers: Assessing the Feasibility of Transport Mega-Projects: Swissmetro European Market Study (07-1499); Applying Low Cost Airline Pricing Strategies on European Railroads (07-1399); Passenger Arrival Rates at Public Transport Stations (07-0635); and, A Proposed Infrastructure Pricing Methodology for Mixed-Use Rail Networks (07-1599). More information about these presentations can be found on my homepage.

ISB Workshop Vienna

I just returned from the Innovative Rail Systems workshop in Vienna. There were many interesting presentations (in German) available at the ISB project website. I was especially interested in a presentation by Claus Seibt from ARC systems research GmbH on factors that inhibit innovation in the railway industry (pdf, German). Many of these factors sounded similar to those impacting adoption of innovation in the USA and in other industies.