chapter  1
Prospects for Sustainable Railways
ByBecky P.Y. Loo
Pages 18

This chapter explores the potential impacts of an increasing emphasis on Localism upon railway infrastructural development. A brief exploration of the context for railway infrastructural development and Localism in China, the United States and Western Europe sets the context for a closer exploration of the changing roles and participation of local actors in government, governance and planning in the UK where the idea of Localism has been promoted as a major goal of public policy in recent years. The decentralization of government and the involvement of people and organizations in the delivery of public services are key objectives for what the UK Coalition government has described as the 'Big Society'. Railway infrastructural development today faces many challenges and the complexities of developing modern high-speed railways (HSR) are matched by equal challenges in operating 'classic' railway systems. The modal share of railways for passenger transport in the United States remains insignificant.