Dec 11, 2011, 9:20:25 AM12/11/11
My interest with railways is mostly in high speed rail, and the different strategies developed by Britain and France in the last forty years and how they have shaped our railway networks. France's high speed train ("TGV") system is particularly interesting, as many of the innovative features that allow it to achieve its high speeds are systemic innovations. Britain, in contrast, has a history of focusing development on locomotives and trains, rather than its railway network - with mixed success.
I feel that high speed rail systems are very interesting as the influence of its features can not only be seen so easily in the performance of their trains, but also in their safety records. Also interesting to look at are the ways in which the systems are run and the way they are built. Britain's network has largely remained the same in the last forty years; France's high speed system has expanded into southern Britain, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. TGV technology has also been exported to networks in Spain, the United States, South Korea and Great Britain.
I'd be very interested in both attending and contributing to a presentation - I think it's an extremely interesting subject if the effects of small characteristics can be demonstrated.