Market booms for new high speed trains
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal
speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions include 200kms/h and more rapid, depending on whether the track
is upgraded or new, by the European Union, and above 145 kms/h by the United States. However,
there is no single standard, and lower speeds can be required by local constraints.
The ETR 500 'Frecciarossa' of the Italian Railways takes one hour from downtown Milan to the center of Bologna,
while a plane+taxi takes an hour and a half to do the same distance.
ETR 500 'AV' at Milano Centrale and driver's seat in the ETR 500
High-speed rail in the United Kingdom.
The first dedicated high-speed train was a new standard-gauze line between London and the Channel Tunnel,
opened in November 2007. The Eurostar trains, which run through the Channel Tunnel between
the UK and both France and Belgium, are substantially different versions of the TVG trains, with support
for two voltages, both pantograph and third rail power collection, the ability to adopt to multiple platform
heights, and to cope with seven signaling models. A full loaded train of 750 passengers is roughly
equivalent to Boeing 737s.
The remainder of British railway network is considerably slower. In 2004, a large investment was made
in the West Coast Main Line, with an Italian train model. The trains currently limited to the maximum
speed of 200 kms/h.
(L) High-speed train arriving at the Euston Station, London.
(R) The railway track of West Coast Main Line was fully improved.
Source: NHK BS TV December 15, 2008.
In December 2008, Network Rail completed the $B!r(B9 billion project to improve the West Coast Main Line;
the key route linking London with cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
This major engineering work will bring massive benefits to passengers, with more trains and faster
trains running from December 2008.
Birmingham New Street 1hr 43 $B"*(B1hr 12 $B!a(B31 minutes faster Manchester 2hr 41 $B"*(B1hr 58 $B!a(B43 minutes faster Liverpool 2hr 53 $B"*(B 2hr 01 $B!a(B52 minutes faster Glasgow 5hr 06 $B"*(B4hr 10 $B!a(B56 minutes faster
Alternatives to air travel: The high-speed rail.
St. Pancras International Train Station, the London's terminal of Eurostar.
The number of passengers of Eurostar increased 18% in 2008, with comparison to 2007.
Eurostar at London St Pancras station connects London with Paris and Brussels.
The writer used a Eurostar in May 2000. The train was running with w high speed in the country of France;
however, the train was running very slowly on the old railroad track after it passed the Channel Tunnel.
The terminal station in London was Waterloo station in London City. It was interesting to see a construction
site of a new track line from the train winder of Eurostar, which started its services in 1994.
In 2007, Eurostar services in London transferred from Waterloo to St Pancras International.
Business Premier Class ( London-Paris $B!r(B335-420, one way), with a meal service at a passenger seat.
Standard Class ( London-Paris $B!r(B220-292, one way).
A wide seat and unlimited wireless internet access are available in Eurostar trains.
Source: NHK BS TV December, 2008.
A high speed Eurostar train at the entrance of the Channel Tunnel
Source: Reuters 12 February 2010
The first high-speed domestic trains from London.
(L) Hitach received an order for the high-speed train 'Class 395' from UK.
(R) The head of Hitachi Rail Maintenance, Chiaki Ueda said it was necessary to prove that it really works at the different circumstances.
In December 2009, Britain trumpeted the launch of its first full high-speed domestic rail service,
while unveiling plans for a network of the train across the country in the year to come.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown was on hand at Saint Pancreas station in London for the first
services by the Japanese-built Javelin trains, slashing journey times between the capital and the
county of Kent to the southeast. 'This is a great day for Saint Pancreasand for rail services in
this area and for the UK. This is also a momentous day in the long and glorious history of British
railways.' He said.
(L) A new prototype hybrid electric-diesel train by Hitachi. (R) A test of Class 395 at the speed of 225Kms/h.
Hitachi Class 395 trains will reach speeds of up to 220 kilometers per hour, using sections of
the London-to-Folkestone high-speed rail link built for Eurostar trains through the Channel Tunnel.
The new 508-passengers trains, introduced by the Southeasten rail company, will cut the journey
time from costal Dover to London by 47 minutes to 69 minutes, while Ashford to London comes
down from well over an hour to 37 minutes. By the time of the 2012 London Olympics, they will be
able to transport spectators from Saint Pancras to the main game site in Stratford, east London,
in just seven minutes.
Hitachi has repeated a test run at the Ashford's train depot.
Britain, which has lagged behind its European neighbors in introducing high-speed rail travel, plans
to invest 20 billion pounds ( 32 million dollars, 22 million euros ) in railway infrastructure in the next
few years. The government has set up a company to investigate the feasibility of a north-south
high-speed rail line, which could link London with other chief cities like Birmingham, Manchester
Source: AFP London, December 14, 2009.
Source: NHK BS broadcast December 2008.
Air France Plans High-Speed Train Business.
With fuel costs rising and profit margins on short-haul flights getting thinner, Air France-KLM
and Veolia have announced a joint venture to enter the high-speed train passenger business by 2010.
As part of the larger plan, the air companies have been in discussions with Alstom, the maker of the TGV
high-speed trains currently used by the SNCF, about either leasing or purchasing a number of trains to
operate this service. In particular, they are interested in the new generation of Alstom trains known as AGV,
which can carry up to 900 passengers at a speed of 360 kms/h. At such speeds,passengers would be
able to commute between Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport and Schipholairport outside Amsterdam in
about 90 minutes.
Source: Spiegel Online, September 9, 2008.
(L) Air France plans to start the high-speed train service. (R) High-speed line networks in Europe.
(L) A rail transport in Europe will be liberalized in 2010. (R) Passengersuse more railway route than the air.
New Spanish bullet train whisked passengers from Madrid to Barcelona.
Spain's high-speed train
Slicing through the countryside at speeds of up to 300km/h (185mph), a new Spanish bullet train whisked
passengers from Madrid to Barcelona in just over 2 and a half hours, challenging the supremacy of flight
on one of the busiest air routes. Almost unnoticed by the outside world, Spain has engaged in a frenzy of
high-speed rail building in recent years and is fast catching up with the world leaders, France and Japan.
By 2010, the Government claims, Spain will have the most extensive high-speed rail network in the world.
Source: Times On lines$B!!(BFebruary 21, 2008
A new high speed train 'El Ave' has commenced its rail service between Madrid and Barcelona,
cutting travel times to 2houes and 30 minutes.
A punctual operation with 300 kms/h run by 'El Ave' Spanish train.
'El Ave' Spanish train with a 99% punctual operation.
Source: NHK BS TV February 2009.
High-speed Spanish Railway
The Madrid-Barcelona high-speed rail line is 621 kms in length, The superexpress train service inaugurated
in February 2008. It is designed for speeds of 300 kms/h and compatibility with the rail systems of neighboring
countries. It connects the cities of Madrid and Barcelona, major cities of Spain. There is a total of 20 trains
per day from Madrid to Barcelona, and the same number for the return journey in 2010. The Siemens S-103
train travels at speeds of up to 300Km/h and the shortest journey time is 2 hours 38 minutes.
Spain's high-speed train with the maximun speed over 300 km/H;
photographed in May 2010 by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D.
Spain's high-speed AVE between Barocelona and Madrid
High-Speed Train Network in China
In April 2007, China opened several high-speed rail lines between major cities, providing a network
of 6,003 km, making it the world's largest high-speed rail network, catapulting it from last to first
place in network size. The CRH2 is one of the high-speed train models in China. The CRH2 is a modified
E2-1000 Series Shinkansen design from Japan, and represents the second Shinkansen train model
to be exported, the other being the700T series for Taiwan High-Speed Rail.
China's high speed train, CRH2. and Shanghai Maglev.
Taiwan's Shinkansen high-speed trains
$B!!(BHigh speed train running between Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan
$B!!(BA New Era for a high-speed train
A passenger would cheese the high-speed train for transport between urban area, if appropriate
for its population density and lying a few hundred or at most a thousand kilometers. An aircraft service
can stay in the second choice.
The Japanese was the pioneers. In 1964, the Tokyo Olympic Games were the starting of the
high-speed train with the launch of the standard-gauge new track in the Tokkaido, linking Tokyo and
Osaka at a speed of 210 kms/h. Three years later, the Capitole, linking Paris and Toulouse, reached
a comparable speed following technical changes to the line.
In 1970, Italy started building the Roma-Florence Direttissimadesigned for train traveling at a speed
of 250 kms/h. In 1981; French-made TGV train established new world record 380 kms/h,
between Paris and Lyons in the two hours and 40 minutes. Since then, France has continued to
concentrate on expanding its TGV network, achieving ever better performances. In May 1990,
TVG Atlantique's 325 clocked up a speed of 515kms/h, setting a new world speed record for rail.
Today, Paris is just one hour and 25 minutes from Brussels (TVG Nord ) and 2 hours 55 minutes
from Marseilles ( TGV Mediterranean ).
In Italy, the new generation of ETR 500s, able to carry 590 passengers at a speed of 300 kms/h.
In Germany, the ICE 3 trains reach speeds of 300kms/h on the Hanover-Waurzburg and Hanover-Berlin lines.
The major European project for the future is to expand further this high-speed rail network by connecting
up more and more railroad grid.
However, for the higher speeds to save traveling time, noise, vibration, the cost of maintaining the track
and rolling stock, and energy consumption ( up by 50% for an increase in a train speed from 300kms/h
to 360 kms/h ) would become an issue. The high-speed train with the area of Europe invented a suitable
transport system. It is appropriate for the size of the continent, its population density and transport
needs between urban area lying a few hundred or at most, a thousand kilometers apart.
(L) Japanese high-speed train, Shinkansen, with a long nose. (R) French high speed train, TGV.
(L) Japanese Shinkansen high-speed train in 1964. (R) Shinkansen in 2008.
Shinkansen high-speed train, Hayabusa
French researcher dash to the world speed records for rail. The speed up to 32o kms/h, 360 kms/h, and 574 kms/h.
Source: NHK BS broadcast December 2008.
The Shinkansen high-speed train is proud in the world. It runs at 310 kms at maximum speed, and it is
very safe transportation means, which provides accident-free train systems. There was no accident resulting
in injury or death of a train passenger during the fifty-year operation, since its service opening in 1964.
The first business expansion abroad was to Taiwan. The technology of the train vehicle is used in Taiwan
Shinkansen high-speed train, which serves the route between Taipei and Kaohsiung, with the maximum
speed of 300 kms/H.
China' high-speed train is built based on 'Hayate' of the JR-East, Japan. In 2011, a 1318 Km-long Shabghai
and Beijing railway track was completed. Two trains are running between two large cities. The passengers
of the first-class vehicle are rather small in a compartment, and the service was reported inferior, compared
with that of Europa and Japan. The train station is quite far from the center of the cities. It is considered as
a loss$B!>(Bmaking railroad line.
On behalf of France, the key high-speed train is TGV. Its maximum speed in business operation is 320 kms,
the same to the Hayabusa's 320 kms in JR-East of Japan. France works hard on the speed-up of train, and
demonstrated an experimental high-speed train in 2007, which showed the highest speed of 574 Kms/H.
The high-speed train has certainly changed the image of rail transport and brought Europe's major
centres closer together. Judging by its success, the TGV is the most suitable mode of transport for
linking densely populated areas over distances of up to 900 kms.
(L) ICE and TGV on the same platform of Paris's terminal station
(R) A TGV train vehicle is caring on a boat on the Seine River.
$B!!(BICE German high-speed test train ran through the Channel Tunnel.
(L) ICE high-speed train entering Channel Tunnel. Photo source: AP (R) A German Stamp of ICE intercity express
The German railway, Deutsche Bahn, says it has held its first test of a high-speed train carrying
passengers in the Channel Tunnel. Currently only Eurostar is allowed to operate on the route, but
the German firm is keen on a widen competition. Eurostar is a subsidiary of railway operators in
the UK, France and Belgium but the German railway has asked repeatedly for access to the tunnel.
It has said it hopes to run services to Frankfurt and Cologne within the next three years. Deutsche
Bahn hopes to link London and Cologne, Koeln, by 2013.
Deutsche Bahn sent one of its ICE-3 trains in the tunnel for the first time, with some passengers,
in October, 2010. Trains passing through the tunnel have to be long enough to allow people anywhere
on board to be able to reach emergency exits in the tunnel. France's transport minister insisted
the order was null and void, saying the only rolling stock made by Alstom to be met safety standards.
France has also objected to Eurostar's recent announcement that it was ordering new trains
worth more than $B!r(B700 m from German firm Siemens. France had been pressing the trains to
be built by French firm Alstom.
Source: BBC News Business, 17 October 2010
ZDF( Germany) reported the high-speed ICE German railway train was arrived in London on October 19, 2010.
High-speed train from Germany rolled into St. Pancras station in London.
The chairman of Deutsche Bahn stressed this high-speed train links cities with a comfort than that of aircraft.
(L) Deutsche Bahn proposed a new high-speed train service beyond Brussel to Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
(M) This man said I wanted to go to Germany by rail for a long time.
(R) It is very exciting! We shall look forward to the new railway service.
Pictue Source: ZDF, NHK BS October 20, 2010
$B!!(BBackground of high-speed train Race
Currently, Europe accounts for70% of the global market for a high-speed railway, and a further development
is expected in the future. It is expected the planned route of the construction would extend to 6,000 kms
in 2020. The total distance through the rail network will extend to three times to the present status.
This may mean we can connect the major cities in EU by a high-speed rail network, changing in the selection
order to the way of transportation of travelers.
On the other hand, an airplane transportation has a disadvantage of the inconvenience of airport access,
a careful baggage security check. Therefore, the time and cost for air travels are more time-consuming
and expensive than that of a high-speed train. It is generally accepted to take a rail trip if it is within
three- to four-hour trip.
An aggressive technical pressure was put on train manufacturing companies to develop the high-speed train by French President Nicholas Sarkozy.
Professor Ieda, Tokyo University explained the difference in socio-geographical aspects between Japan and France.
Picture source: NHK BS broadcast December 18, 2008
France and Japan have a different background in development of a high-speed rail train. Tokaido railway
line was built in the heavily populated, Industrial belt zone of Honshu Island of Japan. Further all Japanese
railways are built in a narrow gauge (1067mm). The seacoast line was varied and rail track stretches along
the curved coast line, and there are numerous mountains and hills in the island. Therefore, all railway
track lines were newly constructed in a broad gauge (1435mm). Now, about daily 800 high-speed Shinkansen
trains run in Japan. A management of Shinkansen is operated in the unit of seconds. A passing time,
departure or arriving time is organized in 15-second partition.
All railway trains should be completely smoke -free.
$B!!(BItalia Rail: Trenitalia
$B!!(BRail Travel Ireland
$B!!(BNZ Rail: Tranz Alpine/Scenic
$B!!(BBrief Journey by Australian Rail
$B!!(BAmtrak Acela Express: Boston-Newyork
$B!!(BChicago CTA Rail
$B!!(BMiami Metro Rail
$B!!(BStockholm Arlanda Airport and Express
$B!!(BStockholm County Railways
$B!!(BGreater Copenhagen Railways
$B!!(BParis Rail Terminals
$B!!(BBangkok Mass Transit/Thai Railways
$B!!(BTaiwan High-Speed Rail
$B!!(BRailways in Helsinki, Finland
$B!!(BIndian Railways and Dehli Metro
$B!!(BPortugal Metro, Railways
$B!!(BHigh-speed train in Spain 2010
$B!!(BWashington DC Metro/Union Station
$B!!(BRailway Travel in France 2011
$B!!(BRailway Travel in Germany 2011
$B!!(BVIA train, Vancouver to Jasper
$B!!(BKorea Train Express, Airport Express and Metro
$B!!(BAmtrak: Seattle to Glacier National Park
$B!!(BAirport Express and MTR, Hong Kong
$B!!(BSan Francisco: cablecar, tram and Bart
$B!!(BHigh-speed train in Germany, Austria and Switzerland 2013
$B!!(BSaint Petersburg Metro
$B!!(BSapsan, high-speed train of Russia
$B!!(BAllegro, high-speed train between Finland and Russia
$B!!(BRailways connecting Canberra and Sydney, Australia
$B!!(BGold Coast Light-Rail
$B!!(BTrain in Norway, Trondheim to Oslo
$B!!(BNarita Airport-City Rail Service
$B!!(BJapanese high-speed train 'Hayabusa'
$B!!(BJapanese high-speed train 'Super-Komachi'
$B!z(BThis Web site is link-free.
The article was written in December 2008, last revised in January 2014,
by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D., PhD.
Smoking ban in the railway trains of the world