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The future of rail: part 2

Event organised by ICE

13 August 2024
16:00 - 17:15 SAST
Add to Calendar 13-08-2024 16:00 13-08-2024 17:15 false Africa/Johannesburg The future of rail: part 2 Online,


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High-Speed Railway: Revolutionising Transportation

The increased movement of both people and goods, resulting in congestion in the air and ground transportation systems, is one of the largest developments brought about by globalization and the revolution in the field of communications.

Thus, there was a need for transport systems that can adapt to changing requirements: For distances that are both long enough for car travel and short enough for air travel, a medium-distance transport system was needed; high-speed rail meets this need.

The subject of this webinar is high-speed rail (HSR) and how it transformed the transportation industry.
We will start presenting the evolution of HSR and then we will present key features of HSR (HSR vs conventional rail, engineering and technological innovations for HSR, specific rolling stock technologies es like Maglev, Hyperloop). We will continue comparing HSR with other modes of transport and discuss shortly the environmental impact of HSR. Global examples will show the success of the development of HSR. We will present some aspects of the future of HSR, discuss shortly options for upgrading existing infrastructure for high-speed rail and finally we will present some initial thoughts about possibilities of HSR in South Africa.


Konstantinos Tzanakakis

Konstantinos Tzanakakis

Rail Baltica

operation and maintenance team leader

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Konstantinos Tzanakakis

Konstantinos Tzanakakis received a civil engineering master’s degree from the University of Hannover, Germany, and a master executive MBA from the Athens University of Economics & Business, Greece. Out of his almost 40-year experience in the railway sector, he served as the director of the Greek Railways Organization for eight years. He has also worked in Serbia, being involved in the restructuring of the Serbian Railways between 2011 and 2013. Between 2015 and 2019, he served as a senior railway expert at the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Oman taking care of various railway institutional issues.

Between 2013 and 2014, he made a major contribution to the development of the Oman National Railway Network, while working for the Oman Rail Company. In 2020 and 2021 he was the Project Manager for two railway projects in both Albania and Egypt. Currently, he is working as the operation & maintenance team leader at Rail Baltica, one of the biggest greenfield railway projects in Europe. 

With a strong professional focus on the efficiency of the railway system, he is also the author of the book “The Railway Track and its Long-Term Behaviour” and the book “Managing Risks In The Railway System (A practice oriented guide)” both published by Springer in 2013 and 2021. In recent years, he has been invited as a speaker to several railway congresses; he held various workshops about best practices in track maintenance, and strategies for keeping a high-performance railway track.