Planned high-speed rail by country

Planned high-speed rail by country

This article provides of planned or proposed High-speed rail projects, listed by country. High-speed rail is public transport by rail at speeds in excess of 200 km/h (125 mph). [ [ General definitions of highspeed.] "" November 28, 2006. Retrieved on January 3, 2007.] For details of proposed or planned extensions or upgrades to existing high-speed rail networks, or details of current high-speed rail networks, see high-speed rail by country.


Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK already have high-speed rail networks. Many others are building or are considering high-speed links.

North America


High-speed rail in Canada is more a case of hope than reality. Canada placed some early hopes with the United Aircraft Turbo train, in the 1960s. The train sets achieved speeds as high as 200 km/h (125 mph) in regular service, but for most of its service life (marred with lengthy interruptions to address design problems), it ran at a more realistic 160 km/h (100 mph).

Beginning in the 1970s, a consortium of several companies started to study the Bombardier LRC, which was a more conventional approach to high-speed rail, in having separate cars rather than being an articulated train. Pulled by heavy conventional-technology diesel-electric locomotives designed for 200 km/h (125 mph) normal operating speed, it entered full-scale service in 1981 for VIA Rail, linking cities in the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor, but at speeds never exceeding the 170 km/h (106 mph) limit mandated by line signalling.

In 1998, the "Lynx" consortium, including Bombardier and SNC-Lavalin proposed a 300 km/h (186 mph) high-speed train named the Jet-Train from Toronto to Quebec City via Montreal based on the TGV and the French Turbo-Train technology. Recently, Bombardier and VIA have proposed high-speed services along the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor using Bombardier's experimental JetTrain tilting trains, which are similar to Bombardier's Acela Express, but powered by a gas turbine engine rather than overhead electric wires. These trains resemble the first TGV prototype (TGV001) powered by a gas turbine that were tested on the Strasbourg-Mulhouse line. As yet, no government support for this plan has been forthcoming, and Bombardier continues promoting the JetTrain especially for Texas and Florida routes.

Bombardier has also recently promoted high-speed rail in the province of Alberta between Edmonton and Calgary. On September 22 2006, it was announced the Provincial government was deploying video cameras along a stretch of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway as to help determine the merits of building the Calgary/Red Deer/Edmonton link. Further driver surveys will better help understand the nature of the 50,000 car trips between the 3 cities [] .

United States

The United States placed some early hopes in high-speed trains with the Acela, Acela runs at between 75 mph (120 km/h) and 150 mph (241 km/h), "Acela Express" (often called simply "Acela", leading to early confusion with the "Acela Regional" and "Acela Commuter") is the name used by Amtrak for the high-speed tilting train service operating between Washington, D.C. and Boston via New York City and Philadelphia along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in the Northeast United States. The tilting design allows the train to travel at higher speeds on the sharply curved NEC without disturbing passengers by lowering lateral G-forces. Acela Express trains are the only true high-speed trainsets in the United States. This has made the trains very popular, and by some reckoning, Amtrak has captured over half of the market share of travelers between Washington and New York. [cite journal| author=Goldberg, Bruce| title=Metroliner's Amazing Rave| journal=Trains| year=2006 |month=June| pages=53 ] Outside of stations, Acela runs at between 75 mph (120 km/h) and 150 mph (241 km/h), depending on track conditions.

It is possible to trace the development of high-speed railways back to the streamliners that criss-crossed the U.S. in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s which, in turn, can be traced further back to the competing companies operating different routes between London and Scotland, and to railways in Germany and France. There has been a resurgence of interest in recent decades, with many plans being examined for high-speed rail across the country, relegated to Amtrak's Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C. (the service covers New York City and Philadelphia).

In 2002, the Texas High Speed Rail & Transportation Corporation [] (THSRTC), a grass roots organization dedicated to bringing high speed rail to Texas was established. In 2006, American Airlines and Continental Airlines formally joined THSRTC, in an effort to bring high speed rail to Texas as a passenger collector system for the airlines. Lastly, a Chicago to the NEC/Philadelphia via the Keystone Corridor HSR system, is under study also.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority was created in 1996 by the state to implement an extensive 800 mile (1287 km) rail system that is estimated to be about $40 billion. Once built, the system is hoped to not require operating subsidies and is expected to generate $1 billion in annual profits. Construction is pending approval of the voters during the November 2008 general election, in which a $9.95 billion general obligation bond would have to be approved. If built, the system would provide a TGV-style high-speed link between the state's four major cities (Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego), and would allow travel between Los Angeles' Union Station and San Francisco's Transbay Terminal in two and a half hours.


The Secretariat of Communications and Transport of Mexico at one time was planning a high-speed rail link that would transport its passengers from Mexico City to Guadalajara, Jalisco, with stops in the cities of Querétaro, Leon and Irapuato. The train would have allowed passengers to travel from Mexico City to Guadalajara in just 3 hours at an affordable price (the same trip by road would last 5 hours). IThe whole project was projected to cost 120 billion pesos, or about 12 billion dollars. Some Mexican politicians such as Andrés Manuel López Obrador suggested a whole national network of such lines, however there were objections from others who believed that Mexico's limited resources would be better spent on shorter rail segments serving more passengers, such as the Tren Suburbano in Mexico City. Expansion of low-cost airlines such as Volaris, Interjet, Click Mexicana in Mexico has also tended to dampen enthusiasism for this proposal.

outh America


Argentina (see TAVe) is projected to build the first dedicated high-speed rail line in the Americas [ [ Argentina confirms high speed rail consortium] "Railway Gazette International" 17 January 2008.] operating at speeds of 320 km/h (200 mph), construction is scheduled to begin in 2008, work is expected to take around four years. The project will join the cities of Buenos Aires and Rosario at a distance of 286 km (178 miles) and Córdoba at a distance of 710 km (441 mi) [ 'Cobra' offers high speed future] "Railway Gazette International" August 2007.] .

Other projected high speed rail lines include:

*Buenos Aires-Mar del Plata (400 km [250mi] ): A new line to the seaside beach resort city and major fishing port of Mar del Plata [cite web | year=2008| title=El Tren bala hacia Mar del Plata | work=Clarín | url= | accessdate=2008-02-21 es icon] , 400 Km (250 miles) south of Buenos Aires city is in the planning stages.

*Buenos Aires-Mendoza (1200 km [750mi] ) ("Planned") [ [ New prospects for very high speed rail travel] 28 April 2008] .


Plans for the (280 km/h) line linking Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Campinas are still being mulled over. The line would be more than 400 km long, and designed to cover the distance in 1.5 hrs. The price for an individual ticket is estimated at 130 reais (around 66 U.S. dollars). According to Italplan, the project will demand an investment of 9 billion dollars. If the public bidding process takes place in 2008, the railway is expected to start operating in 2015. [ [ People's Daily Online - Brazilian states sign agreement to boost bullet train project ] ]


Australia has no high-speed trains. Queensland Rail's electric Tilt Train between Brisbane, Rockhampton and Cairns holds the current Australian rail speed record of 210 km/h, [cite web
title=QR History
] but is limited in service to 160 km/h. Other trains in New South Wales, Victoria anbd Western Australia also operate at this speed.

Plans to establish a very fast train like a TGV service between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane have been contemplated [ [ Sydney to Canberra in 80 Minutes–by High-Speed Train - International Herald Tribune ] ] [ [ The VHST Project ] ] , but not implemented by both government and private enterprise, as various proposals have not been deemed economically viable. [ [ High Speed Rail News Archive ] ] [ [ PM - Govt considers rail link between eastern cities ] ] [ [ Australian Very Fast Trains-A Chronology (Background Paper 16 1997-98) ] ]



China is building a new high-speed rail line between Beijing and Shanghai, scheduled to be completed in 2013. The first leg, Beijing-Tianjin, was opened before the [2008 Summer Olympics] on August 1 2008, for 350 km/h traffic. The ministry expects trains on the full line to operate at up to convert|380|km/h|abbr=on [cite web
title=Nation sets sights on rail record
author=Xin Dingding
work=China Daily
publisher=China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
language=English, translated from Chinese
quote=Zhang Shuguang, deputy chief engineer with the Ministry of Railways, said the domestically developed train will run at 380 kph.
] .

Also in construction is the 968 km long Wuhan-Guangzhou section of the Beijing-Hong Kong line, expected to open for 350 km/h traffic in 2010 [cite web
title=Transport: Wuhan-Guangzhou express rail
publisher=China Daily
language=English, translated from Chinese
] .

These lines will be part of a planned Chinese express rail network consisting of four East-West and four North-South corridors, with a total length of 7,000 km. Part of that network is for top speeds of only 200-250 km/h though, including the already opened Qinshen Passenger Railway and several in-construction sections along the Yangze River between Nanjing and Chongqing.


Some projects have been developed within medium and long-term time frames. They include lines radiating from New Delhi to Amritsar, Jaipur, Agra, Lucknow and Kanpur; Mumbai to Ahmedabad; Calcutta to Dhanbad; Chennai to Bangalore and Mysore; and Chennai to Hyderabad, Vijayawada, and Visakhapatnam. These 'Shatabdi'-class trains are usually non-stop and can reach a maximum speed of 140 km/h (88 mph), thus higher speed but not "high speed rail".

Japan's trade minister has pledged Japan's cooperation with India to create a high speed link in India between New Delhi and Mumbai. [ [ BBC NEWS | South Asia | India seeks nuclear help in Japan ] ] This was agreed during the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Japan in December, 2006.

India has also invited global bidding for construction of bullet trains on Amritsar to Delhi via Chandigarh/Mohali, Ambala, Ludhiana and Jalandhar. Besides Delhi-Amritsar route, the Railways have decided to conduct pre-feasibility studies for four more high speed passenger routes. They are Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai, Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam and Howrah-Haldia.


There is one high-speed rail line project in Iran, between Tehran and Isfahan, as well as Gorgan to Mashhad, and from Qom to Tehran.On April 16, 2007, Iran signed a 6.7 billion Euro MOU with Germany for construction of a maglev line from Tehran to Mashad.


Israel has no high-speed trains. A new rail line between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, cutting travel time between the two cities to 28 minutes (currently about 75 minutes), is under construction by Israel Railways and expected to begin service in 2012. In addition, the entire railway system is currently undergoing extensive upgrades and electrification, so that by early in the next decade, all three major metropolitan areas (Haifa, Jerusalem, and Beer Sheva) which are located outside the center of the country will be reachable within about thirty to forty minutes of Tel Aviv.


A Japanese consortium led by the Central Japan Railway Company have been researching new high-speed rail systems based on magnetic levitation since the 1970s. Although the trains and guideways are technologically ready and over 100,000 people have ridden them, high costs remains as barriers. Test trains JR-Maglev MLX01 on the Yamanashi Test Line have reached speeds of 581 km/h (361 mph) (crewed), making them the fastest trains in the world. These new maglev trains are intended to be deployed on new Tokyo – Osaka Shinkansen maglev route, called the Chuo Shinkansen.2025 has been selected as a deadline for Nagoya - Tokyo maglev operation.

Conventional steel-wheeled Shinkansen trains running at speeds of up to 320 km/h (200 mph) will be introduced around 2011 by JR East when the Tohoku Shinkansen extension is opened to Shin-Aomori. These trains will be based on the experimental Fastech 360 trains currently undergoing testing at speeds up to 405 km/h (251 mph). The Fastech trains are speed ready (360 km/h or 223 mph) already, but problems with noise pollution (tunnel boom) and excessive overhead line wear, rail wear, etc places limits to future speed increases. The end of railed Shinkansen in Japan is already foreseen by operational limitations.

Extensions to the current network expansions, notably from Hakodate to Sapporo, are planned but subject to funding constraints.


There is a bullet train project at 300 km/h (186 mph) proposed to link Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, proposed by current operator KLIA Express YTL Corporation, which links Kuala Lumpur with the KLIA. It would be the first transborder high speed line outside of Europe if built. Travel time would be 90 minutes, compared with 4 hours of highway drive, 7 hours currently by standard rail, 2 hours of flight including commuting to and from airport, check in and boarding. Talks of a Bangkok Singapore line spanning the 3 nations have been suggested previously, though no action has been taken.

Plans for project was shelved due to high cost that the government has to bear. The project also faces opposition from rivals suchs as Keretapi Tanah Melayu.


The cities of Rawalpindi and Lahore will be getting an upgrade to a high speed rail track with trains reaching speeds up to 200 km/h (124 mph). Currently this track is capable of reaching a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). A direct train between Lahore and Karachi will commence operations from July 26 2006 and will reach a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) and will be equipped with VHF walkie-talkies. Pakistan railways have laid all welded new and heavier rails fixed with latest fastenings to upgrade the track. Currently, the government is in negotiations with German companies to start high speed trains for the Lahore-Karachi and Karachi-Islamabad route.

Saudi Arabia

A high-speed rail project is under study from Mecca to Medina through Jeddah. See also Saudi Landbridge Project.


Vietnam Railways are planning a 1,630 km (1,010 miles) high-speed link from its capital Hanoi in the north, and second city Ho Chi Minh City in the south, capable of running at 250 to 300 km/h (155 to 186 mph). The funding of the $33 billion line will mostly come from the Vietnamese government, with the help of Japanese aid. [cite web|title=Vietnam to build high-speed rail with Japan aid|url=|author=Reuters News|date=2006-07-20|accessdate=2006-07-20] The current single track line has journey times from just under thirty hours [cite web|url=|title=Vietnam Railways Website (English) - Check the timetable from Ha Noi to Sai Gon (or vice versa) to see the journey times|work=Vietnam Railways|accessdate=2008-05-10] , and initially (2013) this would be cut to less than nine hours. From there, a speedup to 5 hours (300 km/h or 186 mph max) by 2025 is planned. The Vietnamese prime minister has set a target of completing the line by 2013, just six years, sooner than the previously announced nine year construction time. [cite web|url=|title=Vietnam plans new railway link|author=Bill Hayton|work=BBC News|date=2006-07-20|accessdate=2006-07-20] These new rail lines will be the standard gauge of 1.435 m (the existing line is a narrow gauge of 1.000 m) [cite web|url=|title=Railway plans to build 880 km express line|work=Viet Nam News|date=2006-07-20|accessdate=2006-07-20]



The SNTF has plans for following lines. These new lines will connect Oran to Annaba while passing through Algiers, Setif, and Constantine, and will reach the borders of Morroco and Tunisia. These lines will connect also certain cities of the desert including Ghardaïa, Touggourt, and Hassi Messaoud, with the new trains traveling at a mean velocity of 250 km/h (155 mph).
* Algiers - Skikda - Annaba (620 km)
* Algiers- Oran - Tlemcen (770 km)
* Bordj Bou Arreridj - Khémis Miliana (320 km)
* Boumedfaâ - Djelfa (260 km)
* Touggourt - Hassi Messaoud (160 km), called Line of the desert
* Oued Tlélat - Moroccan Border (220 km)
* Relizane - Tiaret - Tissemsilt (180 km)
* Oued Sly - Yellel (100 km) (startup envisaged between 2009 and 2010)


Egypt has conducted preliminary feasibility studies in conjunction with Spanish and Italian firms to build a high-speed train network extending from Cairo to Alexandria and along the northwest Mediterranean coast. Also, there is a turbo train service between Cairo and Alexandria operated by the Egyptian National Railways ENR using French-built trains that run at a speed of convert|140|km/h|mph|abbr=on.

outh Africa

South Africa's 80 km Gautrain is expected to run 180 km/h (112 mph) in 2010 and could be upgraded later 20 km/h (12 mph) faster to become "high speed".


Work by ONCF could begin in 2007 from Marrakech to Tangier in the north via Marrakesh to Agadir in the south, and from Casablanca on the Atlantic to Oujda on the Algerian border. If the plans are approved, the 1,500 kilometres of track may take until 2030 to complete at a cost of around 25 billion dirhams ($2.87 billion). Casablanca to Marrakesh could be cut to 1 hour and 20 minutes from over three hours, and from the capital Rabat to Tangier to 1 hour and 30 minutes from 4 hours and 30 minutes. [ [ Khaleej Times Online - Morocco plans Arab world’s first high-speed train ] ] In late 2007 a contract was signed with a consortium led by Alstom to build a high-speed railway between Kenitra and Tangier.


All the above high speed lines are 25 kV AC (except for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden which use 15 kV) and use standard gauge, even where the national gauge is different (except in Russia and Finland). This will enhance interoperability should high speed lines in different countries meet.


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