Chris Barkan, Professor and Executive Director of RailTEC, and T.C. Kao, Research Professor in RailTEC, are inaugural members of the International Union of Railway’s (UIC) Alliance of Universities for High Speed Rail, which held its first official meeting in Hangzhou, China last November. The Alliance has attracted 26 higher education institutions from 11 countries, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Among the objectives of this alliance are to promote railway education and the attractiveness of careers in rail, recruiting outstanding talent to the high speed rail sector, while also helping academic institutions improve the quality of their teaching in specialist disciplines. The alliance intends to address a number of research fields, including assessing the economics of high speed rail compared to other modes; studying marginal costs and the value of time; and examining possible future innovations including automation and alternative traction options. Click here to read a recently published article in the May 2019 issue of Railway Gazette International discussing this new group.