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Considered rail solutions can ease transport challenges for today and the future.

For pressured industries and congested, polluted cities, meeting growing transit and freight demands with increasing energy-efficiency is a challenge that looms large.

Rail: safe, reliable and relatively low-carbon

Passengers and businesses see rail as a safe, reliable and relatively low-carbon alternative to road and air travel. We integrate rail into transport solutions that deliver the total door-to-door journey. Arup’s wide experience and independent thinking in rail mean that we see the big picture, and can better integrate rail into seamless transport solutions.

We are respected for state-of-the-art rail engineering and design. In addition, to shape rail systems that meet today’s and tomorrow’s demands we use our skills in building design, economics and planninginfrastructure design and specialist technical services.

Finding the right solution

We meet transport challenges with fresh analysis and tailored solutions. These range from high-speed rail and suburban rail, through to metro and mass transit, monorail and automated people movers (APM), light rail, guided bus and personal rapid transit, and on to heavy-haul freight.

With Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation, we have developed multiple strategies and programmes to improve commuter rail in one of the world’s most densely populated areas – from urban underground extensions (such as the Kwun Tong and Island lines) to interregional connections (such as Shenzhen Metro Line 4 and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link).

Transforming travel and trade

We are helping make rail faster and cheaper, and more reliable, comfortable and sustainable, by incorporating the best in new technology with sustainable infrastructure design.

We have been instrumental in high-speed and rapid rail projects in the UK, Europe, USA, China, Hong Kong, and South Africa. By making intercity and international trains convenient and affordable, projects such as High Speed 1 are helping passengers make the switch from less energy-efficient modes.

We are also helping to improve efficiency in freight across the globe, from Western Australia to the UK. In Botswana, for instance, our freight distribution assessment helped the Ministry of Works and Transport take a strategic look at transport policy to improve freight transport efficiency within and between towns.

Fresh thinking in rail

Arup takes a collaborative approach that allows new ideas to thrive. Where better ways of working or new tools can take projects further, we adopt them for rail.

Arup’s fluid dynamics experts, for example, are helping us deliver economically sized high-speed rail tunnel designs with their advanced modelling techniques. And, in an important boost for the stakeholder acceptance of high-speed rail plans, Arup’s SoundLab – developed by in-house acousticians – lets stakeholders experience the soundscapes created by high-speed trains, in any given location, long before lines are built.

Global contact

Colin Stewart, rail business leader
  • Colin Stewart

    Colin Stewart

    Colin Stewart, rail business leader

    Global Rail Business Leader

    Your best solution to date?

    HS1 (The Channel Tunnel Rail Link) and the M6 Toll Road, UK.

    Why is it significant?

    They both show what can be achieved by the private sector, adding real value and quality, with delivery to time and budget. The routes of both were amended by Arup to provide a better outcome.

    Your particular skill?

    Project and business leadership. Bringing multi-disciplinary teams together.


    Creating solutions that outperform their expectations.

    Why Arup?

    Because it gives space to develop. For example, growing a multi-disciplinary rail business.

    Anything else?

    The importance of people, relationships and vision.

  • Global Rail Business Leader
  • Colin Stewart

    Keith Rudd

    Portrait: Keith Rudd. Copyright Arup.

    Your best solution to date?

    West Coast Main Line – route modifications and journey time improvements.

    Why is it significant?

    It made a real difference to people’s experience of the route from the North to London for business and leisure use.

    Your particular skill?

    Leadership and joining the bits together.


    Every day brings something different.

    Why Arup?

    The culture and the people, together unbeatable.

  • t: +44 (0) 121 213 3000
  • e:
  • Solihull [23:49]

Explore our work

High Speed 2. Image credit HS2 Ltd.

Project: HS2 Ltd route engineering studies

Route engineering design and assessment of route options.

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High Speed 1. Credit Daniel Clements.

Project: High Speed 1

High Speed 1 puts London and Paris in the 'two-hour club' of major cities.

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Visualisation of the new light rail system

Project: Gold Coast Light Rail

Gold Coast Light Rail is Queensland’s first ever contemporary light rail system

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Second Avenue Subway

Project: Second Avenue Subway

A new line for reduced overcrowding, delays and greater accessiblity.

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A model of a station interior planned for phase four of the Copenhagen Metro project.

Project: Cityringen Phase 4

Running entirely in tunnels below Copenhagen, with 19 new stations.

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Campaign: The power of urban rail

How rail projects are helping cities tackle their most pressing problems

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Campaign: Stations in the city

How are transport hubs evolving to meet local needs?

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Campaign: Hearing is believing

How our SoundLab helps to design future infrastructure

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