One of the problems cited about “heavy” (conventional) rail as a one-stop-shop for rapid and regional public transport, is the limited capacity. One solution is four-tracking (such as our recently completed campaign for Filton Bank) to allow fast trains to overtake slow trains and freight. Another is “moving-block signalling” - a technology where instead of lengths of track being restricted to one train at a time, the trains are equipped with a system more like that for autonomous cars which communicate with other vehicles a given distance in front of or behind them, which permits trains to run a much smaller distance apart. The barrier to the introduction of this new technology on existing rail lines is the huge sunk cost of having built the present conventional wired signalling. Who can help us urge Network Rail to consider this?
Interesting question. We don’t have a huge number of rail experts here but I’m sure there are tonnes of enthusiasts interested. Why not think about pulling some of your network here and we’ll see if we can find more people outside of Better Century to get involved in this discussion!