The following questions probe essential issues in positioning a railway for competitiveness and sustainablility:

What understanding do stakeholders need to gauge how the tangible assets and intellectual property of an individual railway align with a compelling trend toward global consistency?

By what intervention package should stakeholders position that railway effectively?

In a world where global railway consistency is still maturing toward a format that one could capture in industry best practices, what will be the ultimate format of that consistency?

The answers to both questions are embedded in the systemic drivers of the global railway industry.
Railway Corporate Strategy Close Corporation is rooted in its Managing Director's passion to research, to understand, and to exploit fundamental competitiveness drivers in the global railway industry, to promote sustainability of the railway transport mode.

One can discern conspicuous differences among the world's railways, even in comparable business sectors. Intuitively, and also by comparison with other transport modes, such differences appear greater than they need be. Although individual cases may seem to build on sound premises, they do not aggregate to an industry that gives the appearance of a global, consistent, whole.

Around the world, a multitude of diverse economies, societies, and territories, accommodate railways. They have all exerted due influence on intangible issues such as ethos, business models, organizational structures, and so on. In addition, over time technological advances have rendered old equipment obsolete, and advanced assets have become commercially available. Nevertheless, at systemic level, the tangible residue of previous strategic decisions includes an amazing assortment of configurations in the fields of infrastructure layout, track gauge, permissible axle load, vehicle gauge, coupling arrangements, brake systems, motive power types, energy sources, authorization systems, and so on, not to mention an even greater assortment of configurations in the service execution and customer relations fields.

Analytical railway industry stakeholders question the negative impact of unwarranted diversity, first on the ability of railways to relate meaningfully to global logistics and mobility opportunities, second on economies of scale in the railway equipment marketplace, and third on global railway business interoperability. Founded in 2003, Railway Corporate Strategy CC has addressed such issues through original research.

Archetypes of global railways
Long heavy axle load bulk mineral train needs easy gradients, tolerates tight curves Diesel traction double stack intermodal container train for hauling time sensitive merchandise over continental distances Electric high speed low axle load intercity passenger train needs wide curves, tolerates steep gradients

These pictures show heavy haul, heavy intermodal(or double stack)-, and high-speed passenger trains.
They are the archetypes of emerging global line-haul railways.
Why are they archetypes?
What fundamental variables underlie their relations to each other?
Why are there only three archetypes?
How do urban railways in various forms (heavy rail, light rail, and trams) relate to the three archetypes?
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