High-speed rail
Overview
 
High-speed rail is a type of passenger
Passenger
A passenger is a term broadly used to describe any person who travels in a vehicle, but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination....

 rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 include 200 km/h (124 mph) for upgraded track and 250 km/h (155 mph) or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S. Department of Transportation defines it as "reasonably expected to reach sustained speeds of more than 125 mph (201 km/h), " although the Federal Railroad Administration
Federal Railroad Administration
The Federal Railroad Administration is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation. The agency was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966...

 uses a definition of above 110 mph (177 km/h).

Actual maximum commercial speed is about 300 km/h (186 mph) for majority of national high speed railways (Japan, China, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, UK), and about 400 km/h (249 mph) for Maglev trains.

High speed trains travels at their maximum speed on specific tracks, generally using standard gauge (except Russia), with no at-grade crossings, and few curves.

The world record for conventional high-speed rail is held by the V150, a specially configured and heavily modified version of Alstom
Alstom
Alstom is a large multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets. According to the company website, in the years 2010-2011 Alstom had annual sales of over €20.9 billion, and employed more than 85,000 people in 70 countries. Alstom's headquarters are...

's TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 which clocked 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on a test run.
Encyclopedia
High-speed rail is a type of passenger
Passenger
A passenger is a term broadly used to describe any person who travels in a vehicle, but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination....

 rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 include 200 km/h (124 mph) for upgraded track and 250 km/h (155 mph) or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S. Department of Transportation defines it as "reasonably expected to reach sustained speeds of more than 125 mph (201 km/h), " although the Federal Railroad Administration
Federal Railroad Administration
The Federal Railroad Administration is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation. The agency was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966...

 uses a definition of above 110 mph (177 km/h).

Actual maximum commercial speed is about 300 km/h (186 mph) for majority of national high speed railways (Japan, China, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, UK), and about 400 km/h (249 mph) for Maglev trains.

High speed trains travels at their maximum speed on specific tracks, generally using standard gauge (except Russia), with no at-grade crossings, and few curves.

The world record for conventional high-speed rail is held by the V150, a specially configured and heavily modified version of Alstom
Alstom
Alstom is a large multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets. According to the company website, in the years 2010-2011 Alstom had annual sales of over €20.9 billion, and employed more than 85,000 people in 70 countries. Alstom's headquarters are...

's TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 which clocked 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on a test run. The world speed record for Maglev
Maglev
Maglev is a form of rail transport using magnetic levitation.Maglev may also refer to:* Magnetic levitation, a method by which an object is suspended using magnetic fields* MagLev , a virtual machine for the Ruby programming language...

 is held by the Japanese experimental MLX01: 581 km/h (361 mph).

While high-speed rail is usually designed for passenger travel, some high-speed systems also carry some kind of freight service. For instance, the French mail service La Poste
La Poste (France)
La Poste is the mail service of France, which also operates postal services in the French Overseas Departments of Réunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana, and the territorial collectivities of Saint Pierre and Miquelon and Mayotte...

owns a few special TGV trains
SNCF TGV La Poste
The SNCF TGV La Poste trains were built by Alstom between 1978–1986. These TGV units are essentially TGV Sud-Est trainsets that are modified for transporting mail for the French postal carrier La Poste. The top speed is , making them the fastest freight trains in the world.5 half-trainsets were...

 for carrying postal freight.

For a list of High Speed Trains in the World, see List of high speed trains.

For rail speed records, see Land speed record for rail vehicles.

Definition of high-speed rail

There are a number of different definitions for high-speed rail in use worldwide and there is no single standard; however, there are certain parameters that are unique to high-speed rail. UIC (International Union of Railways) and EC Directive 96/58 define high-speed rail as systems of rolling stock and infrastructure which regularly operate at or above 250 km/h (155 mph) on new tracks, or 200 km/h (124 mph) on existing tracks. However lower speeds can be required by local constraints. A definitive aspect of high speed rail is the use of continuous welded rail which reduces track vibrations and discrepancies between rail segments enough to allow trains to pass at speeds in excess of 200 km/h (124 mph). Depending on design speed, banking and the forces deemed acceptable to the passengers, curves radius is above 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi), and for lines capable for 350 km/h (217 mph) running, typically at 7 to 9 km (4.3 to 5.6 ). There are also a number of characteristics common to most high-speed rail systems but not required: almost all are electrically driven via overhead lines and have in-cab signalling as well as no level crossings. Advanced switches using very low entry and frog angles are also often used. Magnetic levitation
Magnetic levitation
Magnetic levitation, maglev, or magnetic suspension is a method by which an object is suspended with no support other than magnetic fields...

 trains fall under the category of high-speed rail due to their association with track oriented vehicles; however their inability to operate on conventional 'rails' often leads to their classification in a separate category.

In the United States, high-speed rail is defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation as reasonably expected to reach sustained speeds of more than 125 mph (201 km/h), and having a speed above 110 mph (177 km/h) by the United States Federal Railroad Administration
Federal Railroad Administration
The Federal Railroad Administration is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation. The agency was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966...

.

In Japan, high speed Shinkansen lines use standard gauge track rather than narrow gauge track used on most other Japanese lines. These travel at speeds in excess of 260 km/h (162 mph) without level crossings.

In China, there are two grades of high speed lines: Firstly, slower lines running at speeds of between 200 and 250 km/h (124.3 and 155.3 mph) which may comprise either freight or passenger trains. Secondly, passenger dedicated high speed rail lines
High-speed rail in China
High-speed rail in China refers to any commercial train service in the China with an average speed of or higher. By that measure, China has the world's longest high-speed rail network with about of routes in service as of June 2011 including of rail lines with top speeds of...

 operating at top speeds of up to 350 km/h (217 mph).

History

Railways were the first form of mass transportation on land and, until the development of the motorcar in the early 20th century, had an effective monopoly on land transport. Both streamlined steam locomotives and high-speed EMU
Electric multiple unit
An electric multiple unit or EMU is a multiple unit train consisting of self-propelled carriages, using electricity as the motive power. An EMU requires no separate locomotive, as electric traction motors are incorporated within one or a number of the carriages...

s were used for high speed services.

Early research

The modern high-speed rail era started 6 October 1903. An electrical railcar from Siemens & Halske
Siemens & Halske
Siemens & Halske AG was a German electrical engineering company that later became part of Siemens AG.It was founded on 12 October 1847 as Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske by Ernst Werner von Siemens and Johann Georg Halske...

 sped away at 203 km/h (126.1 mph) on the military railway track between Marienfeld and Zossen in Germany. It showed that high-speed rail was possible, and that the future was electrical. For scheduled trains, however, such a speed still was more than 60 years away.

In 1945 a Spanish inventor, Alejandoro Goicechen, invented a streamline diesel powered high speed train that while slightly slower than previous high-speed passenger trains, could move on regular rails already in existences and do curves at a very high speed of 80 mph vs 30 mph for most passenger trains of that era. He achieved this by designing both the locomotive and passenger cars designed with a unique axle system where there was only one axle set of wheels per car, connected by a Y-bar coupler, and where the center of gravity was only half as high as usual.

Rationale

In both Japan and France the initial impetus for the introduction of high speed rail was the need for additional capacity to meet increasing demand for passenger rail travel. By the mid-1950s, the Tōkaidō Main Line
Tokaido Main Line
The is the busiest trunk line of the Japan Railways Group , connecting Tōkyō and Kōbe stations. It is long, not counting its many freight feeder lines around the major cities...

 in Japan was operating at full capacity, and construction of the first segment of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

 started in 1959. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen opened on 1 October 1964, in time for the Tokyo Olympics
1964 Summer Olympics
The 1964 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Tokyo, Japan in 1964. Tokyo had been awarded with the organization of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but this honor was subsequently passed to Helsinki because of Japan's...

. The situation for the first line in Japan was different from the subsequent lines. The route was already so densely populated and rail oriented that highway development would be extremely costly and one single line between Tokyo and Osaka could bring service to over half the nation's population. In 1959 that was nearly 45 million people; today it is well over 65 million. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen line is the most heavily traveled high speed line in the world, carrying 138 million people in 2009, and the entire Shinkansen network, carrying 322 million, still transports more passengers than all other high speed rail lines in the world combined.

In France the main line between Paris and Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

 was projected to run out of capacity by 1970. In both cases the choice to build a completely separate passenger-only line allowed for the much straighter higher speed lines. The dramatically reduced travel times on both lines, bringing cities within three hours of one another, caused explosions in ridership. It was the commercial success of both lines that inspired those countries and their economies to expand or start high speed rail networks.

In post-World War II United States, improvements in automobiles and aircraft made those means practical for a greater portion of the population than previously. In Europe and Japan, emphasis was given to rebuilding the railways after the war. In the United States, emphasis was given to airports and an extensive national interstate highway system
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, , is a network of limited-access roads including freeways, highways, and expressways forming part of the National Highway System of the United States of America...

. U.S. passenger trains were unable to compete with the postwar growth in airline and highway travel. The lower population density in North America allowed easier construction of a national highway network, but mass highway construction would not have been as easy in the high population densities of the European nations and Japan. However, despite modest gains in the first decade of the 21st century, Amtrak ridership per capita remains far below that of most European nations.

In China, the plans for the largest high-speed railway network in history were driven by a combination of capacity constraints on existing lines and a desire to shorten journey times across the nation, whilst promoting development along the route. The construction schedule was significantly accelerated due to additional funding in the 4 trillion CNY stimulus package of 2008 and a number of lines are due to be completed by 2013.

Travel by rail becomes more competitive in areas of higher population density or where gasoline is expensive, because conventional trains are more fuel efficient than cars when ridership is high, similar to other forms of mass transit. Very few high-speed trains consume diesel or other fossil fuel
Fossil fuel
Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years...

s but the power stations that provide electric trains with power can consume fossil fuels. In Japan and France, with very extensive high speed rail networks, a large proportion of electricity comes from nuclear power
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

. Even using electricity generated from coal or oil, high speed trains are significantly more fuel efficient per passenger per kilometer traveled than the typical automobile because of economies of scale
Economies of scale
Economies of scale, in microeconomics, refers to the cost advantages that an enterprise obtains due to expansion. There are factors that cause a producer’s average cost per unit to fall as the scale of output is increased. "Economies of scale" is a long run concept and refers to reductions in unit...

 in generator technology. For example, on the Eurostar, emissions from travelling by train from London to Paris are 90% lower than by flying. Rail networks, like highways, require large fixed capital investments and thus require a blend of high density and government investment to be competitive against existing capital infrastructure for aircraft and automobiles. Urban density and mass transit have been key factors in the success of European and Japanese railway transport, especially in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and France.

Technology

Much of the technology behind high-speed rail is an improved application of mature standard gauge rail technology using overhead electrification. By building a new rail infrastructure with 20th century engineering, including elimination of constrictions such as roadway at-grade (level) crossings, frequent stops, a succession of curves and reverse curves, and not sharing the right-of-way with freight or slower passenger trains, higher speeds (250–320 km/h (155.3–198.8 )) are maintained. Total cost of ownership of HSR systems is generally lower than the total costs of competing alternatives (new highway or air capacity). Japanese systems are often more expensive than their counterparts but more comprehensive because they have their own dedicated elevated guideway, no traffic crossings, and disaster monitoring systems. Despite this the largest of the Japanese system's cost is related to the boring of tunnels through mountains, as was in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. Recent advances in wheeled trains in the last few decades have pushed the speed limits past 400 km/h (248.5 mph), among the advances being tilting trainsets, aerodynamic designs (to reduce drag, lift, and noise), air brakes, regenerative braking, stronger engines, dynamic weight shifting, etc. Some of the advances were to fix problems, like the Eschede
Eschede train disaster
The Eschede train disaster was the world's deadliest high-speed train accident. It occurred on 3 June 1998, near the village of Eschede in the Celle district of Lower Saxony, Germany. The toll of 101 people dead and 88 injured surpassed the 1971 Dahlerau train disaster as the deadliest accident in...

 disaster. European high-speed routes typically combine segments on new track, where the train runs at full commercial speed, with some sections of older track on the extremities of the route, near cities.

In France, the cost of construction (which was €10 million/km (US$15.1 million/km) for LGV Est
LGV Est
The LGV Est européenne is an extension to the French high-speed rail network, connecting currently Vaires-sur-Marne and Baudrecourt , and later Vaires-sur-Marne and Vendenheim . , it is the newest high-speed line in France and still under construction, with of a planned in service...

) is minimised by adopting steeper grades rather than building tunnels and viaducts. However, in mountainous Switzerland, tunnels are inevitable. Because the lines are dedicated to passengers, gradients of 3.5%, rather than the previous maximum of 1–1.5% for mixed traffic, are used. Possibly more expensive land is acquired in order to build straighter lines which minimize line construction as well as operating and maintenance costs. In other countries high-speed rail was built without those economies so that the railway can also support other traffic, such as freight. Experience has shown however, that trains of significantly different speeds cause massive decreases of line capacity. As a result, mixed-traffic lines are usually reserved for high-speed passenger trains during the daytime, while freight trains go at night. In some cases, night-time high-speed trains are even diverted to lower speed lines in favour of freight traffic.

High-speed railways in the World

The following table shows all high speed dedicated lines (speed over 250 km/h (155 mph)) in service and under construction, listed by country. Based on UIC figures (International Union of Railways), it has been updated with other sources (see discussion). Since the purpose is to convey updated information with unified criteria, planned lines are not included. Not all rail lines are dedicated, that is, some high speed rail lines, such as Moscow-St. Petersburg, share lines with local and/or freight trains.

High-speed rail in Japan : The Shinkansen

The true HSR breakthrough started in Japan. In this densely populated country, especially the 45-million-people area between Tokyo and Osaka, the traffic during the 1950s congested to reach maximum capacity. Both the roads and the narrow-gauge railways were jammed. Japan in the 1950s was a crowded resource-limited nation that for security reasons did not want to import petroleum, and desperately needed a way to transport its millions of people in and between cities. So in 1957, the engineers at local private Odakyu Electric Railway
Odakyu Electric Railway
, or OER, is a major railway company based in Tokyo, Japan best known for its Romancecar series of limited express trains from Tokyo to Odawara, Enoshima, Tama New Town, and Hakone....

 in Greater Tokyo area
Greater Tokyo Area
The Greater Tokyo Area is a large metropolitan area in Kantō region, Japan, consisting of most of the prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Tokyo . In Japanese, it is referred to by various terms, including the , , and others....

 had launched its Romancecar
Romancecar
The is Odakyu Electric Railway's name for its limited express luxury tourist services south-west of Tokyo, to mountain resorts such as Gotenba and Hakone, and beaches such as Numazu and Enoshima. Service started in 1957 with the 3000 series SE trainset, it broke the world speed record for a...

 3000 SE. This Romancecar set a world record for narrow gauge trains at 145 km/h (90 mph), giving the Odakyu engineers confidence they could safely and reliably build even faster trains at standard gauge. Some of those engineers under government supervision started planning of the first intercity dedicated high-speed line. After initial feasibility tests, the plan was fast tracked and construction started in 20 April 1959, and test runs in 1963 hit top speeds at 256 km/h (159 mph). And in October 1964, just in time for the Olympics, they opened the first modern high speed rail, the Shinkansen, Tōkaidō Shinkansen, between the two cities.

The first Shinkansen trains, the 0 Series Shinkansen
0 Series Shinkansen
The trains were the first Shinkansen trainsets built to run on Japan's new Tōkaidō Shinkansen high-speed line which opened in 1964. The last remaining trainsets were withdrawn in 2008.-History:...

, built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Kawasaki Heavy Industries
is an international corporation based in Japan. It has headquarters in both Chūō-ku, Kobe and Minato, Tokyo.The company is named after its founder Shōzō Kawasaki and has no connection with the city of Kawasaki, Kanagawa....

 – in English often called ‘’Bullet’’ Trains, after the original Japanese name Dangan Ressha(弾丸列車) – outclassed the earlier fast trains in commercial service. They ran the 515 km (320 mi) distance with a top speed at 210 km/h (130 mph) and an average speed at 162.8 km/h (101.2 mph) with stops at Nagoya and Kyoto. But the speed was only a part of the Shinkansen revolution. The earlier high-speed or proto-high-speed trains and railcars were few and far between (ten Red Devils, 15 Brill Bullets, a few Zephyrs with different forenames, two Elelectroliners, one Morning Hiawatha, one Fliegender Hamburger, etc., each with 150 seats at best). While these services were initially limited, Shinkansen offered HSR for the masses. The first Bullet trains had 12 cars; later versions have up to 16, and there are double-deck trains too, to increase the capacity.

After three years, more than 100 million passengers had used the trains, and the first billion was passed in 1976. Later, the Shinkansen system has grown to a 2459 km (1,528 mi) network, and the Tōkaidō Shinkansen still is the world's busiest high-speed rail line. Up to ten trains per hour with 16 cars each (1,300 seats capacity) run in each direction with a minimum of 3 minutes between trains. Though largely a long-distance transport system, the Shinkansen also serves commuters who travel to work in metropolitan areas from outlying cities.

In March 2011, a Hayabusa
Hayabusa (train)
The is a new high-speed Shinkansen service operated by East Japan Railway Company between Tokyo and in Japan since 5 March 2011. The name was formerly used for a limited express sleeping car service operated by JR Kyushu, which ran from Tokyo to , and was discontinued in March 2009.-Service...

 or Falcon train started operating from Tokyo to northern Japan with carriages outfitted to airline business class standard. Capable of travelling at 300 km/h (186.4 mph) it can make the 675 km (419.4 mi) trip to Aomori
Aomori, Aomori
is the capital city of Aomori Prefecture, in the northern Tōhoku region of Japan. As of 2009, the city had an estimated population of 302,068 and a density of 366 persons per km². Its total area was 824.52 km².- History :...

 in just over 3 hours.

The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, or the Great East Japan Earthquake, was a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March 2011, with the epicenter approximately east...

, which devastated Sendai, a city northeast of Tokyo, made all Shinkansen trains automatically stop. No Shinkansen passengers suffered, and the Tōkaidō Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka resumed operation several hours after the disasters, while the Tōhoku Shinkansen remained out of service for several days.

High-speed rail in Europe

Japan’s Shinkansen success contributed to a revival for the HSR idea in Europe – together with rising oil prices, a growing environmental interest, and rising traffic congestion on the roads.

In Europe, high-speed rail started during the International Transport Fair in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 in June 1965, when DB Class 103
DB Class 103
The Baureihe 103 is a class of electric locomotives in Germany, originally operated by Deutsche Bundesbahn. For a long period, they were perceived as flagships of the DB rolling stock.- Development :...

 hauled a total of 347 demonstration trains at 200 km/h (124 mph) between Munich and Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

. The first regular service at this speed was the TEE "Le Capitole" between Paris and Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

 with specially adapted SNCF Class BB 9200
SNCF Class BB 9200
The SNCF Class BB 9200 1500 V DC electric locomotives were built by Schneider-Jeumont/CEM between 1958-1964. 92 of them were built and 20 remain.- History :...

 locomotives (May 1967).

Great Britain introduced Europe’s first regular above-200 km/h (124 mph)-service, albeit with a small margin, and without building new lines. In the years 1976–82 they made 95 diesel-electric
Diesel-electric
Diesel-electric transmission or diesel-electric powertrain is used by a number of vehicle and ship types for providing locomotion.A diesel-electric transmission system includes a diesel engine connected to an electrical generator, creating electricity that powers electric traction motors...

 train sets of the type InterCity 125
InterCity 125
The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

 – called so because of their maximum speed at 125 mph (56 m/s), compared to 100 mph (45 m/s) for their forerunners. Their acceleration was better, too. Thus journey times were reduced, e.g. by an hour on the East Coast Main Line
East Coast Main Line
The East Coast Main Line is a long electrified high-speed railway link between London, Peterborough, Doncaster, Wakefield, Leeds, York, Darlington, Newcastle and Edinburgh...

, and the passenger numbers soared. The IC 125 was planned to be followed by a tilting train, APT, to maximize the speed on twisted lines from the Victorian times – but the tilting mechanism brought on nausea in some of the passengers, and the APT project was shelved. This prolonged the IC 125’s lifetime, and even today they serve the nonelectrified mainlines.

In the Continental Europe, several countries started to build new high-speed lines during the 1970s – Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

’s ‘’Direttissima’’ between Rome and Florence, Western Germany’s Hannover–Würzburg and Stuttgart–Mannheim lines, and France’s Paris–Lyon TGV line (LGV Sud-Est
LGV Sud-Est
The LGV Sud-Est is a high-speed rail line, which links Paris' and Lyon's suburbs, in France. The inauguration of the first section between Saint-Florentin and Sathonay on 22 September 1981 marked the beginning of the re-invigoration of French passenger rail service.This line, subsequently...

). The latter was the world’s fastest when it was completed in 1983 (the Paris–Dijon partition was opened in 1981), with a maximum speed at 260 km/h (162 mph) and average at 214 km/h (133 mph). Fares were affordable and the line became very popular; the air routes between these cities were practically eliminated when the train trips shrunk from about 3½ to two hours. France went on building an extensive high-speed network. In combination with the Belgian and British lines, the Paris-Lille-Calais line allowed the opening of the first HSR international services: Paris-London (1994), London-Brussels (1994), both via the Channel Tunnel
Channel Tunnel
The Channel Tunnel is a undersea rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent in the United Kingdom with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais near Calais in northern France beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At its lowest point, it is deep...

, and Brussels-Paris (1995). Germany followed up with its own high-speed network, and after Germany was re-united in 1990, the Hamburg–Berlin line again became a mainline.

Spain’s first high speed line opened in 1992 between Madrid and Seville. In 2005, the Spanish Government announced an ambitious plan, (PEIT 2005–2020) envisioning that by 2020, 90 percent of the population will live within 50 km (31.1 mi) of a station served by AVE
AVE
Alta Velocidad Española is a service of high-speed rail in Spain operated by Renfe, the Spanish national railway company, at speeds of up to . The name is literally translated from Spanish as "Spanish High Speed", but also a play on the word , meaning "bird".AVE trains run on a network of...

. Spain began building the largest HSR network in Europe: five new lines have been opened (Madrid-Zaragoza-Lleida-Tarragona-Barcelona, Córdoba- Malaga, Madrid-Toledo, Madrid-Segovia-Valladolid, Madrid-Cuenca-Valencia) and another 2219 km (1,379 mi) are currently under construction. As of December 2010, the Spanish AVE system is the longest HSR network in Europe and the second in the world, after China.

High-speed rail in China

In the middle of the 1990s, China's trains used to travel at a top speed of around 60 km/h (37 mph). To increase railway transportation speed and capacity, the Ministry of Railways (MOR)
Ministry of Railways of the People's Republic of China
The Ministry of Railways of the People's Republic of China is a member of the State Council of the People's Republic of China...

 has continuously increased the speed of its commercial train service on existing lines. From 1997 to 2007, the speed of China's railways increased six times, boosting passenger train speed on 22000 km (13,670.2 mi) of tracks to 120 km/h (74.6 mph), on 14000 km (8,699.2 mi) of tracks to 160 km/h (99 mph), on 2876 km (1,787 mi) of tracks to 200 km/h (124 mph) and on 846 km (526 mi) of tracks to 250 km/h (155 mph).

The state plan to develop high speed railways in China first began in the early 1990s. The Ministry of Railways
Ministry of Railways of the People's Republic of China
The Ministry of Railways of the People's Republic of China is a member of the State Council of the People's Republic of China...

 submitted a proposal to build the Beijing–Shanghai high speed railway to the National People's Congress
National People's Congress
The National People's Congress , abbreviated NPC , is the highest state body and the only legislative house in the People's Republic of China. The National People's Congress is held in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, capital of the People's Republic of China; with 2,987 members, it is the...

 in December 1990. In 1995, Premier Li Peng announced that preparatory work on the Beijing Shanghai HSR would begin in the 9th Five Year Plan (1996–2000). The MOR's initial design for the Jinghu high-speed line was completed and led to a suggestion report for state approval in June 1998. The construction plan finally been determined at 2004 beginning after five years' debate on whether to use rail track or the maglev technology.

On 7 January 2004, at a regular meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, the nation’s “medium-and-long term plan of railway network” was discussed and passed in principle. The plan comprised a high-speed railway network consisting of four north-south lines and four west-east lines, with the Beijing-Shanghai railway placed at the top.

When China first decided to develop high speed rail, the original idea was to research and develop domestic technology to reach a world standard. In 1998, China started the construction of its first high speed rail, the Qinhuangdao–Shenyang Passenger Dedicated Line, which was opened in 2003, with a designed speed of 200 km/h (124 mph), and several prototypes meant to reach 300 km/h (186 mph) were tested here, including “China Star”, “Pioneer” and latterly “Changbai Mountain”. However, the fastest operating speed achieved by “Changbai Mountain” was only 180 km/h (112 mph). “China Star” reached 321 km/h (199 mph) in 2003 during a test run but performed poor in daily services.

By 2007, the top speed of Qinshen PDL was increased to 250 km/h (155 mph). On 19 April 2008, Hefei–Nanjing PDL opened, with a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). On 1 August 2008, the Beijing–Tianjin Intercity Line was opened, and its top speed reached 350 km/h (217 mph). New trainsets, CRH2C and CRH3C, with designed top operating speed 350 km/h (217 mph), were first put into commercial service. Currently the fastest CRH Service is on the Wuhan–Guangzhou line, opened on 26 December 2009. It travels 968 kilometres (601 mi) in 3 hours reaching top speeds of 350 kilometres per hour (217 mph) and averaging 310 kilometres per hour (192.6 mph).

On 26 October 2010, China opened its 15th high speed rail, the Shanghai–Hangzhou
Shanghai–Hangzhou High-Speed Railway
The Shanghai–Hangzhou High-Speed Railway , also known as the Huhang High-Speed Railway or Huhang Passenger Railway is a high-speed rail line in China between Shanghai and Hangzhou. The line is in length and designed for commercial train service at . It was built in 20 months and opened on October...

 line, and the CRH380A trainset manufactured by CSR Sifang started regular service. the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway opened to the public in June 2011, The railway line is the first one in the world with designed top speed of 380 km/h (236 mph) in commercial service and uses the new CRH380 trainsets.

China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network with about 8358 km (5,193 mi) of routes capable for at least 200 km/h (124 mph) running in service as of January 2011, including 2197 km (1,365 mi) of rail lines with top speeds of 350 km/h (217 mph). According to the MOR's “Mid-to-Long Term Railway Network Plan (revised in 2008)”, the National High-Speed Rail Grid is composed of 8 high-speed rail corridors, 4 north-south corridors and 4 east-west corridors; together with some less important lines the total length will be about 12000 km (7,456 mi).

In the last year of 2010, China committed investment of CN¥709.1 billion (US$107.9 billion) in railway construction. In the coming year of 2011, China is planning to invest some CN¥700 billion (US$106 billion) in railway construction, start construction of 70 railway projects, including 15 high-speed rail projects. 4715 kilometres (2,930 mi) of new high-speed railways will be opened, and by the end of this year, China will have 13073 kilometres (8,123 mi) of railways capable for 200+ km/h running, one year ahead of the original schedule.

According to China Securities Journal
China Securities Journal
The China Securities Journal is a national securities newspaper, sponsored by Xinhua News Agency. It is based in Beijing, and has two offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen...

, China plans to invest $451 to $602 billion in its high-speed rail network between 2011 to 2015.

In April 2011, the Railway Minister Sheng Guangzu announced that, due to costs concern and increasing the margin of safety, the top speeds of all types of wheeled trains will be reduced to 300 km/h (186 mph), starting from 1 July 2011. However, an exception applies for some lines, including Beijing–Tianjin and Shanghai–Hangzhou, which will still run at up to 350 km/h (217 mph), according to China Railway Ministry.

On 23 July 2011, around 40 people died and 191 were injured in a train accident on a China’s high-speed line raising doubts about China’s high speed system safety. The accident occurred when a train traveling near Wenzhou lost power after it was struck by lightning. Signals also malfunctioned, causing another train to rear-end the stationary train.

Following the deadly crash, China plans to suspend new railway project approvals and launch safety checks on existing equipment.

High-speed rail in the United States

High-speed rail in the United States currently consists of one high-speed rail service: Amtrak's
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 Acela Express
Acela Express
The Acela Express is Amtrak's high-speed rail service along the Northeast Corridor in the Northeast United States between Washington, D.C., and Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York...

runs on the Northeast Corridor
Northeast Corridor
The Northeast Corridor is a fully electrified railway line owned primarily by Amtrak serving the Northeast megalopolis of the United States from Boston in the north, via New York to Washington, D.C. in the south, with branches serving other cities...

 from Boston to Washington, D.C. Unlike Asian or European
High-speed rail in Europe
High-speed rail is emerging in Europe as an increasingly popular and efficient means of transport. The first high-speed rail lines in Europe, built in the 1980s and 1990s, improved travel times on intra-national corridors. Since then, several countries have built extensive high-speed networks,...

 systems, the Acela shares its tracks with conventional rail, and thus is limited to an average speed of 68 mph (109 km/h) for the entire distance with brief segments up to 150 mph (240 km/h). A federal allocation of $8 billion for high-speed rail projects as a part of the 2009 stimulus package
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, abbreviated ARRA and commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama.To...

 has prompted U.S. federal and state planners to coordinate the expansion of high-speed service to ten other major rail corridors.

America's first dedicated high-speed rail infrastructure plans are most advanced in California, consisting of a high speed line between Anaheim and San Francisco via Los Angeles and San Jose
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

. The line is scheduled to begin construction by September 2012 (however, delays are expected due to political infighting) in the Central Valley. Although more recent indications are that California's High Speed Rail Project is still on track for 2012. The California High Speed Rail Authority submitted its formal draft business plan to the state legislature on 1 November 2011. The new line planned for construction in California would have a top speed in excess of 200 mi/h and is classified as a High-Speed Rail–Express corridor.

High-speed rail in Russia

  • The Moscow – Saint Petersburg Railway is Russia's highest speed railway with a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). The first upgraded 250 km/h service using Siemens Velaro RUS
    Siemens Velaro
    Siemens Velaro is a family of high-speed EMU trains used in Europe and China. The Velaro is based on Deutsche Bahn's ICE 3 high-speed trains, but is a full Siemens product unlike the ICE 3 which involved other manufacturers....

     (Sapsan
    Sapsan
    Sapsan is a gauge high speed train in Russia. The design is part of the Siemens Velaro family....

    ) trains went into service on 26 December 2009.
  • Helsinki
    Helsinki
    Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

     – Saint Petersburg
    Saint Petersburg
    Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

    : 200 km/h high-speed service using Karelian Trains Class Sm6 (Allegro) trains started on 12 December 2010, cutting down travel time from 5.5 hours to 3.5 hours. The trains go 200 km/h on most of the Russian part, and 220 km/h on a short stretch in Finland.
  • Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod
    Nizhny Novgorod
    Nizhny Novgorod , colloquially shortened to Nizhny, is, with the population of 1,250,615, the fifth largest city in Russia, ranking after Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, and Yekaterinburg...

     route. The high-speed traffic in Nizhny Novgorod began in July 2010. Two Sapsan
    Sapsan
    Sapsan is a gauge high speed train in Russia. The design is part of the Siemens Velaro family....

     trains makes shuttle trips between Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow and one between Nizhny Novgorod and Saint Petersburg. The latter route takes 8 hours and 30 minutes, as against previously 14 hours.
  • New Moscow – Saint Petersburg High-Speed Line: In February, 2010, RZD announced that it will unveil proposals in March, 2010, for a new "European standard" high-speed line between Saint Petersburg and Moscow. The new line would be built to normal Russian gauge and would likely be built parallel to the existing line. At an event on 1 April, it was announced that the new Moscow – Saint Petersburg high-speed line would allow trains to run at speeds up to 400 km/h. The total journey time would be cut from 3h 45m to 2h 30m. The new line is expected to make extense use of bridges, tunnels and viaducts. Finance will be provided by a public-private finance vehicle. The line is expected to carry 14 million people in its first year. Representatives from many other high-speed lines will be consulted, in a effort to avoid construction delays and design flaws.

According to RZhD Director Vladimir Yakunin, Russia will have several high-speed railroads by 2012–2014.

Maximum speed

The term "maximum speed" has many meanings here. It can reflect:
  • maximum average speed between two scheduled stops based on the running times in timetables – daily operation.
  • maximum speed at which a train is allowed to run safely as set by law or policy on a straight section in daily service with minimal constraints (MOR)
  • the maximum speed at which an unmodified train is proved to be capable of running
  • the maximum speed a specially modified train is proved to be capable of running.

Speed record

The current speed record for a conventional commercial train is held by a modified TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 POS trainset, reaching 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph). This run was for proof of concept and engineering, not to test normal passenger service.

Speed record for experimental unconventional passenger train was set by the manned "magnetic-levitation" train JR-Maglev MLX01
JR-Maglev
JR-Maglev is a magnetic levitation train system developed by the Central Japan Railway Company and Railway Technical Research Institute . JR-Maglev MLX01 is one of the latest designs of a series of Maglev trains in development in Japan since the 1970s...

 at 581 km/h (361 mph) in 2003.

However, these speeds reached by TGV and Maglev are not necessarily suitable for passenger operations as there are concerns such as noise, costs, deceleration time in an emergency, wear and tear, etc.

The record for railed vehicles is 10325 km/h (6,416 mph) by an unmanned rocket sled
Rocket sled
A rocket sled is a test platform that slides along a set of rails, propelled by rockets.As its name implies, a rocket sled does not use wheels. Instead, it has sliding pads, called "slippers", which are curved around the head of the rails to prevent the sled from flying off the track...

 by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

.
Maximum speed in service

From mid 2011, the fastest operating conventional trains are the French TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 POS and German ICE 3
ICE 3
ICE 3 is a family of high-speed EMUs of Deutsche Bahn. It includes classes 403 and 406, which are known as ICE 3 and ICE 3M respectively...

 with a commercial maximum speed of 320 km/h (199 mph) on the French LGV Est
LGV Est
The LGV Est européenne is an extension to the French high-speed rail network, connecting currently Vaires-sur-Marne and Baudrecourt , and later Vaires-sur-Marne and Vendenheim . , it is the newest high-speed line in France and still under construction, with of a planned in service...

.

The unconventional Shanghai Maglev Train
Shanghai Maglev Train
The Shanghai Maglev Train or Shanghai Transrapid is a magnetic levitation train, or maglev line that operates in Shanghai, China. It is the first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world...

 reaches 431 km/h (268 mph) during its daily service on the 30 km dedicated line, holding the speed record for commercial train services.

The highest commercial operating speed have been held from August 2008 to July 2011 by China Railway High-speed
China Railway High-speed
China Railway High-speed ; ) is the high-speed rail system operated by China Railways.Hexie Hao is the designation for high-speed trains running on this rail system. At the middle of the run, all trains were marked "CRH" on the centre of the head vehicle and the side of the walls of each vehicle...

 trains, reaching 350 km/h (217 mph) on some lines (Beijing–Tianjin Intercity Railway, Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway
Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway
The Wuguang High-Speed Railway , short for Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway, Wuhan–Guangzhou Section, is a high-speed rail line, operated by China Railway High-speed , connecting Wuhan and Guangzhou , in the People's Republic of China...

).

The highest scheduled average speed between two scheduled stops was the China Railway High-speed
China Railway High-speed
China Railway High-speed ; ) is the high-speed rail system operated by China Railways.Hexie Hao is the designation for high-speed trains running on this rail system. At the middle of the run, all trains were marked "CRH" on the centre of the head vehicle and the side of the walls of each vehicle...

 service on Wuhan-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway, from 26 December 2009, until 29 January 2010. Non-stop trains on this line covered the 922 km (573 mi) journey in 2 hours, 57 minutes, at an average speed of 312.5 km/h (194.2 mph) from Wuhan to Guangzhou North
Guangzhou North Railway Station
The Guangzhou North Railway Station is a railway station in Guangdong Province, China, opened in 1908. It is located in Huadu District in far northern suburbs of Guangzhou....

.

Due to high costs and safety concerns the top speeds in China have been reduced to 300 km/h (186 mph) from 1 July 2011.

Records in trial runs

Year Country Train Speed
km/h | mph
Comments
1963 Japan Shinkansen
Shinkansen
The , also known as THE BULLET TRAIN, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the network has expanded to currently consist of of lines with maximum speeds of , of Mini-shinkansen with a...

 
256159 First country to develop HSR technology
1967 France TGV 001
TGV 001
TGV 001 was a high-speed railway train built in France. It was the first TGV prototype and was commissioned in 1969, to begin testing in 1972...

 
318198 Second country to develop HSR technology. Current record for gas-turbine powered train.
1972 Japan Shinkansen 286178
1974 France Aérotrain
Aérotrain
The Aérotrain was a Hovertrain developed in France from 1965 to 1977. The lead engineer was Jean Bertin.The goal of the Aérotrain was similar to that of the magnetic levitation train: to suspend the train above the tracks so the only resistance is that of air resistance...

 
430.2267 High speed monorail hovercraft train
1975 Soviet Union ER200
ER200
The ER200 was a Soviet electric train built in Riga by Rīgas Vagonbūves Rūpnīca. It was the first high-speed Direct Current intercity Electric Multiple Unit with rheostatic brake....

 
210130 High speed EMU
1978 Japan HSST-01 307.8191 Auxiliary rocket propulsion
1978 Japan HSST-02 11068
1979 Japan Shinkansen 319198
1979 Japan ML-500R
JR-Maglev
JR-Maglev is a magnetic levitation train system developed by the Central Japan Railway Company and Railway Technical Research Institute . JR-Maglev MLX01 is one of the latest designs of a series of Maglev trains in development in Japan since the 1970s...

 (unmanned)
504313 Magnetic levitation train
1979 Japan ML-500R
JR-Maglev
JR-Maglev is a magnetic levitation train system developed by the Central Japan Railway Company and Railway Technical Research Institute . JR-Maglev MLX01 is one of the latest designs of a series of Maglev trains in development in Japan since the 1970s...

 (unmanned)
517321 Magnetic levitation train
1981 France TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 
380236
1985 West Germany InterCityExperimental
InterCityExperimental
The Intercity Experimental, later renamed ICE V, was an experimental train for research into high-speed rail. It is the predecessor of all Intercity-Express trains.- History :...

 
324201 Third country to develop HSR technology
1987 Japan MLU001
JR-Maglev
JR-Maglev is a magnetic levitation train system developed by the Central Japan Railway Company and Railway Technical Research Institute . JR-Maglev MLX01 is one of the latest designs of a series of Maglev trains in development in Japan since the 1970s...

 (manned)
400.8249 Magnetic levitation train
1988 West Germany InterCityExperimental 406252
1988 Italy ETR 500-X
ETR 500
ETR 500 is a family of Italian high-speed trains introduced in 1993.Designed under the aegis of the Ferrovie dello Stato , it is now operated by Trenitalia on RFI tracks.-History:...

 
319198 Fourth country to develop HSR technology
1988 West Germany TR-06
Transrapid
Transrapid is a German high-speed monorail train using magnetic levitation. Based on a patent from 1934, planning of the Transrapid system started in 1969. The test facility for the system in Emsland, Germany was completed in 1987...

 
412.6256
1989 West Germany TR-07
Transrapid
Transrapid is a German high-speed monorail train using magnetic levitation. Based on a patent from 1934, planning of the Transrapid system started in 1969. The test facility for the system in Emsland, Germany was completed in 1987...

 
436271
1990 France TGV 515.3320
1992 Japan Shinkansen 350217
1993 Japan Shinkansen 425264
1993 Germany TR-07
Transrapid
Transrapid is a German high-speed monorail train using magnetic levitation. Based on a patent from 1934, planning of the Transrapid system started in 1969. The test facility for the system in Emsland, Germany was completed in 1987...

 
450280 Magnetic levitation train
1994 Japan MLU002N
JR-Maglev
JR-Maglev is a magnetic levitation train system developed by the Central Japan Railway Company and Railway Technical Research Institute . JR-Maglev MLX01 is one of the latest designs of a series of Maglev trains in development in Japan since the 1970s...

 
431268 Magnetic levitation train
1996 Japan Shinkansen 446277
1997 Japan MLX01
JR-Maglev
JR-Maglev is a magnetic levitation train system developed by the Central Japan Railway Company and Railway Technical Research Institute . JR-Maglev MLX01 is one of the latest designs of a series of Maglev trains in development in Japan since the 1970s...

 
550342 Magnetic levitation train
1999 Japan MLX01
JR-Maglev
JR-Maglev is a magnetic levitation train system developed by the Central Japan Railway Company and Railway Technical Research Institute . JR-Maglev MLX01 is one of the latest designs of a series of Maglev trains in development in Japan since the 1970s...

 
552343 Magnetic levitation train
2002 Spain AVE S-102
AVE Class 102
The AVE Class 102 or S-102S-102 denotes 'Serie 102 de RENFE', the 1xx series is used for fixed passenger consists, such as electrical multiple units is a class of AVE high-speed trains for the Spanish state-run railway company RENFE...

 (Talgo 350)
362225 Fifth country to develop HSR technology
2002 China China Star
China Star
China Star is an indigenously designed experimental high-speed train manufactured in China. It is a push-pull train developed from the DJJ1 "Blue Arrow" high speed train by Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Works. It consists of 2 locomotives and 9 passenger cars. The prototype rolled out in 2002...

 
321199 Sixth country to develop HSR technology
2003 China Siemens Transrapid
Transrapid
Transrapid is a German high-speed monorail train using magnetic levitation. Based on a patent from 1934, planning of the Transrapid system started in 1969. The test facility for the system in Emsland, Germany was completed in 1987...

 08
501311
2003 Japan MLX01
JR-Maglev
JR-Maglev is a magnetic levitation train system developed by the Central Japan Railway Company and Railway Technical Research Institute . JR-Maglev MLX01 is one of the latest designs of a series of Maglev trains in development in Japan since the 1970s...

 
581361 Current world record holder for unconventional train
2004 South Korea HSR-350x
HSR-350x
HSR-350x, alternatively called G7, KHST or NG-KTX, and later officially re-named Hanvit 350, is a South Korean experimental high-speed train. It was developed and built in a joint project of government research institutes, universities and private companies that started in 1996, which aimed to...

 
352.4219 Seventh country to develop HSR technology
2006 Spain AVE S-103
AVE Class 103
The AVE Class 103 is a series of AVE high speed trains for the Spanish state-run railway company RENFE.Trains have been constructed by Siemens, as the first member of the company's Velaro family.-History:...

 (Siemens Velaro
Siemens Velaro
Siemens Velaro is a family of high-speed EMU trains used in Europe and China. The Velaro is based on Deutsche Bahn's ICE 3 high-speed trains, but is a full Siemens product unlike the ICE 3 which involved other manufacturers....

)
404251 Unmodified commercial trainset
2007 France V150  574.8357 Current world record holder on conventional rails
2007 Taiwan 700T series train  350217
2008 China CRH3  394.3245
2010 China CRH380AL
China Railways CRH380A
The CRH380A is an electric high-speed train designed by China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited and manufactured by CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. A continuation of the CRH2-350 program it both replaces foreign technology in the CRH2 with Chinese...

 
486.1302 Claimed as world record holder for unmodified commercial trainset
2011 China CRH380BL
China Railways CRH3
The CRH3 is a version of the Siemens Velaro high-speed train used in China on the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Rail line, Wuhan-Guangzhou Passenger Dedicated Line, Zhengzhou-Xi'an Passenger Dedicated Line and the Shanghai–Nanjing High-Speed Railway...

 
487.3303 Modified commercial trainset

Target areas for high-speed trains

The early target areas, identified by France, Japan, Spain, and the U.S., were connections between pairs of large cities. In France, this was Paris–Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

, in Japan, Tokyo–Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

, in Spain, Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

 (then Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

), and in the U.S. the proposals are in high-density areas. The only rail service at present in the U.S. using high-speed trains is the Acela Express
Acela Express
The Acela Express is Amtrak's high-speed rail service along the Northeast Corridor in the Northeast United States between Washington, D.C., and Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York...

 in the Northeast Corridor
Northeast Corridor
The Northeast Corridor is a fully electrified railway line owned primarily by Amtrak serving the Northeast megalopolis of the United States from Boston in the north, via New York to Washington, D.C. in the south, with branches serving other cities...

 between Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.; it uses tilting train
Tilting train
A tilting train is a train that has a mechanism enabling increased speed on regular rail tracks. As a train rounds a curve at speed, objects inside the train experience centrifugal force. This can cause packages to slide about or seated passengers to feel squashed by the outboard armrest due to...

s to achieve speeds of up to 240 km/h (150 mph) on existing tracks. Chicago, with its central location and metropolitan population of approximately 10 million people, is envisioned as the hub of a national high-speed rail network in the U.S. The beginning Midwest phases study a Minneapolis-Milwaukee-Chicago-Detroit link; a Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

-St Louis-Chicago link; and a Chicago-Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

-Cincinnati-Columbus, OH link.

In European countries, South Korea, and Japan, dense networks of city subways and railways provide connections with high speed rail lines. Some argue that cities lacking dense intra-city rail infrastructure, like some cities in the USA, would find low ridership for high speed rail. The argument is that it is incompatible with existing automobile infrastructure. (People will want to drive when traveling in city, so they might as well drive the entire trip). However, others contend that this does not square with the high use of rail transport currently in the Northeast Corridor, where many people living in cities outside the rail link, drive to the commuter train and then commute by train the rest of the way, similar to the way many people drive to an airport, park their cars and then fly to their final destination. Car rentals and taxis can also supplement local public transportation. Increased commercial development is also projected near the destination stations.

Since in Japan intra-city rail daily usage per capita is the highest, it follows naturally that ridership of 6 billion passengers exceeds the French TGV of 1 billion (until 2003), the only other system to reach a billion cumulative passengers. For comparison, the world's fleet of 22,685 aircraft carried 2.1 billion passengers in 2006, according to International Civil Aviation Organization.

The California High-Speed Rail
California high-speed rail
The California High-Speed Rail project is a planned future high-speed rail system in the state of California and headed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority . Initial funding for the project was approved by California voters on November 4, 2008, with the passage of Proposition 1A...

 Authority is currently planning lines from the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento to Los Angeles and Anaheim via the Central Valley, as well as a line from Los Angeles to San Diego via the Inland Empire. The Texas High Speed Rail and Transportation Corporation is lobbying for a high-speed rail and multimodal transportation corridor in Texas, dubbed the Texas T-Bone. The T-Bone would link Dallas and San Antonio via the South Central Corridor
South Central Corridor
The South Central Corridor is one of ten federally-designated high-speed rail corridors in the United States. The proposed corridor consists of two segments:* Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Fort Worth, Texas...

; from roughly the midpoint between these two cities, the Brazos Express corridor would provide a connection to Houston. New York State Senator Caesar Trunzo
Caesar Trunzo
Caesar Trunzo is a United States Republican politician who served in the New York State Senate from 1973 to 2008. He was born May 11, 1926, in Brooklyn. He graduated from Fort Hamilton High School, Brooklyn, and Heffley & Browne Business College. He served in the U.S...

 announced a long-term plan to bring high-speed rail service between Buffalo and New York City, via Albany, to under three hours.

Later high speed rail lines, such as the LGV Atlantique
LGV Atlantique
The LGV Atlantique is a high-speed railway line running from Paris to Western France. It opened in 1989-1990. It divides into two parts at Courtalain, one going westward to Le Mans , the second one going southwestward to Tours .-Route:The line leaves Gare Montparnasse to cross Paris's southern...

, the LGV Est
LGV Est
The LGV Est européenne is an extension to the French high-speed rail network, connecting currently Vaires-sur-Marne and Baudrecourt , and later Vaires-sur-Marne and Vendenheim . , it is the newest high-speed line in France and still under construction, with of a planned in service...

, and most high speed lines in Germany, were designed as feeder routes branching into conventional rail lines, serving a larger number of medium-sized cities.

A side effect of the first high-speed rail lines in France was the opening up of previously isolated regions to fast economic development. Some newer high-speed lines have been planned primarily for this purpose, such as the Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

–Sevilla line and the proposed Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

Groningen line. Cities relatively close to a major city may see an increase in population, but those farther away may actually lose population (except for tourist spots), having a ripple effect on local economies.

Five years after construction began on the line, the first Japanese high-speed rail line opened on the eve of the 1964 Olympics
1964 Summer Olympics
The 1964 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Tokyo, Japan in 1964. Tokyo had been awarded with the organization of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but this honor was subsequently passed to Helsinki because of Japan's...

 in Tokyo, connecting the capital with Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

. The first French high-speed rail line, or Ligne à grande vitesse (LGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

), was opened in 1981 by SNCF
SNCF
The SNCF , is France's national state-owned railway company. SNCF operates the country's national rail services, including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network...

, the French rail agency, planning starting in 1966 and construction in 1976.

'Market segmentation has principally focused on the business travel market. The French original focus on business travelers is reflected by the early design of the TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 trains, including the bar car. Pleasure travel was to be a secondary market; now many of the French extensions connect with vacation beaches on the Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, as well as major amusement park
Amusement park
thumb|Cinderella Castle in [[Magic Kingdom]], [[Disney World]]Amusement and theme parks are terms for a group of entertainment attractions and rides and other events in a location for the enjoyment of large numbers of people...

s and also the very popular Alpine ski resorts in France or Switzerland. Friday evenings are the peak time for TGVs (train à grande vitesse) (Metzler, 1992). The system has lowered prices on long distance travel to compete more effectively with air services, and as a result some cities within an hour of Paris by TGV have become commuter communities, thus increasing the market while restructuring land use
Land use
Land use is the human use of land. Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as fields, pastures, and settlements. It has also been defined as "the arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover...

.' (Levinson, D.)

On the Paris – Lyon service, the number of passengers grew to impressive numbers justifying the introduction of double-decks coaches on the TGV trainsets.

Other target areas include freight lines, such as the Trans-Siberian Railway
Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It is the longest railway in the world...

 in Russia, which would allow 3 day Far East to Europe service for freight as opposed to months by ship (but still slower than air), and allow just in time deliveries. High speed north-south freight lines in Switzerland are under construction, avoiding slow mountainous truck traffic, and lowering labour costs. Most recently the Yucatan
Yucatán
Yucatán officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Yucatán is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 106 municipalities and its capital city is Mérida....

 Peninsula in Mexico has highlighted as one of the most probable areas for the development of high speed rail in Latin America with the Transpeninsular Fast Train for bidding in September 2011.

Road rail parallel layout

Road Rail Parallel Layout uses land beside highways for railway lines. Examples include the HSR line from Paris to Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

 with 15% of its length along highways, and the line between Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 and Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 with 70% of its length along highways.

Comparison with other modes of transport

High speed rail is often viewed as an isolated system and simply as advantageous or disadvantageous as compared to other transport systems, but all transport systems must work together to maximize benefits. A good HSR system has capacity for non-stop and local services and has good connectivity with other transport systems. HSR, like any transport system, is not inherently convenient, fast, clean, nor comfortable. All of this depends on design, implementation, maintenance, operation and funding. Operational smoothness is often more indicative of organizational discipline than technological prowess.

Due to current infrastructure designs in many nations, there are constraints on the growth of the highway and air travel systems. Some key factors promoting HSR are that airports and highways have no room to expand, and are often overloaded. High-speed rail has the potential for high capacity on its fixed corridors (double decked E4 Series Shinkansen
E4 Series Shinkansen
The is a high-speed shinkansen train type operated by East Japan Railway Company in Japan. They were the second series of completely bi-level Shinkansen trainsets to be built in Japan . They operate on the Tōhoku and Jōetsu Shinkansen, and occasionally on the Nagano Shinkansen...

 can carry 1,634 seated passengers, double that of an Airbus A380
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

 in all economy class, and even more if standing passengers are allowed), and has the potential to relieve congestion on the other systems. Well-established high speed rail systems in use today are more environmentally friendly than air or road travel. This is due to:
  • displaced usage from more environmentally damaging modes of transport.
  • lower energy consumption per passenger kilometer
  • reduced land usage for a given capacity compared to motorways

Automobiles

HSR is competitive with cars on shorter distances, 50–150 km (31.1–93.2 mi), for example for commuting, if there is road congestion or expensive parking fees.

High-speed rail has the advantage over automobiles in that it can accommodate more passengers at speeds far faster than those allowed by car in most countries. The lower limit for HSR (200 km/h, 125 mph) is substantially faster than the highest road speed limit in most countries. Ignoring the few countries without a general speed limit, the speed limit is rarely higher than 130 km/h (80 mph). For journeys that connect city centre to city centre, HSR's advantage is increased due to the lower speed limits (and frequent traffic jams) within most urban areas. Generally, the longer the journey, the better the time advantage of rail over road if going to the same destination.

Moreover, railroad tracks permit a far higher throughput of passengers per hour than a road the same width. A high speed rail needs just a double track railway, one track for each direction. A typical capacity is 15 trains per hour and 800 passengers per train (as for the Eurostar sets), which implies a capacity of 12,000 passengers per hour in each direction. By way of contrast, the Highway Capacity Manual
Highway Capacity Manual
The Highway Capacity Manual is a publication of the Transportation Research Board in the United States. It contains concepts, guidelines, and computational procedures for computing the capacity and quality of service of various highway facilities, including freeways, highways, arterial roads,...

 gives a maximum capacity for a single lane of highway of 2,250 passenger cars per hour (excluding trucks or RVs). Assuming an average vehicle occupancy of 1.57 people, a standard twin track railway has a typical capacity 13% greater than a 6-lane highway (3 lanes each way), while requiring only 40% of the land (1.0/3.0 versus 2.5/7.5 hectares per kilometer of direct/indirect land consumption). This means that typical passenger rail carries 2.83 times as many passengers per hour per meter (width) as a road. Some passenger rail systems, such as the Tokaido Shinkansen line in Japan, have much higher ratios (with as many as 20,000 passengers per hour per direction). Congested roadways tend to be commuter – these carry fewer than 1.57 persons per vehicle (Washington State Department of Transportation, for instance, uses 1.2 persons per vehicle) during commute times. Congestion also causes the maximum throughput of a lane to decrease.

Optimal distance

While commercial high-speed trains have maximum speeds slower than jet aircraft, they have advantages over air travel for short distances. They connect city centre rail stations to each other, while air transport connects airports outside city centres. However unless air travel is severely congested, there is often not a financial basis for building an HSR system from scratch.

HSR is best suited for journeys of 2 to 3 hours (about 250–900 km or 155.3–559.2 mi), for which the train can beat air and car trip time. When traveling less than about 650 km (403.9 mi), the process of checking in and going through security screening at airports, as well as the journey to the airport, makes the total air journey time no faster than HSR. Authorities in Europe treat HSR for city pairs as competitive with passenger air at 4 to 4½ hours, allowing a 1 hour flight at least 40 minutes at each point for travel to and from the airport, check-in, security, boarding, disembarkation, and baggage retrieval.

Part of HSR's edge may be travel cost. As an example, the 520 km (323.1 mi) flight from Nanjing to Wuhan cost 730 yuan, while the intercity bullet trains beginning service in 2009 have second-class tickets for 180 yuan.

Part of HSR's edge is convenience. These conveniences include the lack of a requirement to check baggage, no repeated queuing for check-in, security and boarding, as well as high on-time reliability as compared to air. HSR has more amenities, such as cell phone support, booth tables, elaborate power outlets (AC mains outlet vs DC 12 V outlet), elaborate food service, no low-altitude electronics ban, self-service baggage storage areas (eliminating needing to checked baggage), and wireless Internet broadband.

There are routes where high-speed trains have beaten air transport, so that there are no longer air connections. Examples are Paris-Brussels and Cologne-Frankfurt in Europe, Nanjing-Wuhan and Chongqing-Chengdu in China, Tokyo-Nagoya, Tokyo-Sendai and Tokyo-Niigata in Japan. If the train stops at a big airport these short distance airplanes lose an advantage for travelers who want to go to the airport for a long-distance journey. Airplane tickets can include a train segment for the journey, with guaranteed rebooking if the connection is missed, as with normal air travel.

China Southern Airlines, China's largest airline, expects the construction of China's high speed railway network to impact 25% of its route network in the coming years.

Market shares

Statistics from Europe indicate that air traffic is more sensitive than road traffic (car and bus) to competition from HSR, at least on journeys of 400 km and more – perhaps because cars and buses are far more flexible than planes (on the shortest HSR journeys, like Augsburg–Munich, which is served by four ICE routes, air travel is no alternative). TGV Sud-Est reduced the travelling time Paris–Lyon from almost four to about two hours. The rail market share rose from 49 to 72 %. For air and road traffic, the market shares shrunk from 31 to 7 % and from 29 to 21 %, respectively. On the Madrid–Sevilla relation, the AVE connection rose the rail market share from 16 to 52 ; air traffic shrunk from 40 to 13 %; road traffic from 44 to 36 %, hence the rail market amounted to 80% of the combined rail and air traffic. This figure increased to 89% in 2009, according to the Spanish rail operator RENFE
RENFE
Renfe Operadora is the state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1668-mm "Iberian gauge" and 1435-mm "European gauge" networks of the Spanish national railway infrastructure company ADIF .- History :The name RENFE is derived from that of the former Spanish National...



According to Peter Jorritsma, the rail market share y, as compared to planes, can be computed approximately as a function of the travelling time in minutes x by the formula


According to this formula, a journey time of three hours yields 65 % market share. However, market shares are also influenced by ticket prices, so some air carriers have regained market shares by price slashing.

In the US Northeast Corridor
Northeast Corridor
The Northeast Corridor is a fully electrified railway line owned primarily by Amtrak serving the Northeast megalopolis of the United States from Boston in the north, via New York to Washington, D.C. in the south, with branches serving other cities...

, the rail market share between New York and Washington is lower than the formula indicates, 47 %, even though the journey time by the Acela Express
Acela Express
The Acela Express is Amtrak's high-speed rail service along the Northeast Corridor in the Northeast United States between Washington, D.C., and Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York...

 is only about 2h 45min.

Other considerations

Although air travel has higher speeds, more time is needed for taxiing, boarding (fewer doors), security check, luggage drop, and ticket check. Also rail stations are usually located nearer to urban centers than airports. These factors often offset the speed advantage of air travel for mid-distance trips.
Weather

Rail travel has less weather dependency than air travel. If the rail system is well-designed and well-operated, severe weather conditions such as heavy snow, heavy fog, and storms do not affect the journeys; whereas flights are generally canceled or delayed under these conditions. Nevertheless, snow and wind can cause some issues and can delay trains.
Comfort

Although comfort over air travel is often believed to be a trait of high speed rail because train seats are larger and it is easy for passengers to move around during the journey, the comfort advantage of rail is not inherent; it depends on the specific implementation. For example, high speed trains which are not subject to compulsory reservation may carry some standing passengers. Airplanes do not allow standing passengers, so excess passengers are denied boarding. Train passengers can have the choice between standing or waiting for a bookable connection.
Larger number of target areas

From the operator's point of view, a single train can call at multiple stations, often far more stops than aircraft, and each stop takes much less down time. One train stopping pattern can allow a multitude of possible journeys, increasing the potential market. This increase in potential market allows the operator to schedule more frequent departures than the aircraft, and hence create another good reason for preference.
Safety

From the point of view of required traffic control systems and infrastructure, high-speed rail has the added advantage of being much simpler to control due to its predictable course, even at very high passenger loads; this issue is becoming more relevant as air traffic reaches its safe limit in busy airspaces over London, New York, and other large centers. High-speed rail systems reduce (but do not eliminate) the possibility of collisions with automobiles or people, while lower speed rail systems used by high speed trains may have level crossings.

Narrow gauge

A number of locations around the world operate comparatively high speed services on narrow-gauge tracks. Japan has services that run at up to 160 km/h on tracks, and Queensland's Tilt Train also runs at 160 km/h on upgraded and realigned routes. The Queensland Rail specifications for new rail construction have minimum curve and ruling grade restrictions intended to permit future speeds of 160 km/h or greater. Tunisia is reputed to have the fastest metre gauge trains, with some services operating between Tunis–Sfax at up to 130 km/h.

See also

  • Aérotrain
    Aérotrain
    The Aérotrain was a Hovertrain developed in France from 1965 to 1977. The lead engineer was Jean Bertin.The goal of the Aérotrain was similar to that of the magnetic levitation train: to suspend the train above the tracks so the only resistance is that of air resistance...

  • Ground effect train
    Ground effect train
    A ground effect train is an alternative to a magnetic levitation train. In both cases the object is to prevent the vehicle from making contact with the ground...

  • High-speed rail by country
    High-speed rail by country
    This article provides of a list of operating High-speed rail networks, listed by country. High-speed rail is public transport by rail at speeds of at least 200 km/h for updated track and or faster for new track . The article also includes any planned expansion of existing high-speed rail...

  • High speed tilting train
  • Land speed record for railed vehicles
    Land speed record for railed vehicles
    Determination of the fastest rail vehicle in the world varies depending on the definition of "rail".Official absolute world record for conventional train is held by the French TGV...

  • Magnetic levitation train
  • Megaproject
    Megaproject
    A megaproject is an extremely large-scale investment project. Megaprojects are typically defined as costing more than US$1 billion and attracting a lot of public attention because of substantial impacts on communities, environment, and budgets. Megaprojects can also be defined as "initiatives that...

  • Transrapid
    Transrapid
    Transrapid is a German high-speed monorail train using magnetic levitation. Based on a patent from 1934, planning of the Transrapid system started in 1969. The test facility for the system in Emsland, Germany was completed in 1987...

  • Planned high-speed rail by country
    Planned high-speed rail by country
    This article lists planned or proposed high-speed rail projects, arranged by country. Although many nations have done preliminary feasibility studies, many lines are eventually shelved or postponed due to high cost, and only a few nations of those proposing are actively building high-speed rail lines...

  • Passenger rail terminology
    Passenger rail terminology
    Various terms are used for passenger rail lines and equipment-the usage of these terms differs substantially between areas:-Rapid transit:A rapid transit system is an electric railway characterized by high speed and rapid acceleration. It uses passenger railcars operating singly or in multiple unit...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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