Proposed high-speed rail by country

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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. Planned or proposed lines are therefore separated here from lines that are under construction, some nations having both. High-speed rail is public transport by rail at speeds in excess of 200 km/h (125 mph).[1]

Africa[edit]

Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia[edit]

Moroccan high speed rail service program (by 2035).

A trans-Maghreb high-speed rail line linking Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia is being planned. The project is expected to begin in Morocco and move towards Algiers, and finally reach Tunis.[2] However, the difficult historical relations between Morocco and Algeria make the project not immediate. Part of this project line has opened as of November 2018 in the high-speed rail Al-Boraq, that service between Casablanca and Tangier, in Morocco and is the first of its kind on the African continent.

By 2040, Morocco additionally is planning to build a route from Kenitra to Marrakech for 40 billion MAD, and a route from Marrakech to Agadir for 50 billion MAD.[3]

Egypt[edit]

On 12 March 2018, Egypt's Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said that Egypt is in the process of launching a new high-speed railway linking the Mediterranean (Most likely referring to the northern coastal governates like Alexandria, Beheira) and the Red Sea with the participation of more than 10 international companies.[4][5]

Planned high speed rail lines in Egypt (January 2020)

In September 2020, a Chinese-Egyptian consortium consisting of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and the Egyptian Samcrete and the Arab Organization for Industrialization won a US $9 billion to build a 543-km-long high-speed railway capable of top speeds of 250 km/h. The electric-powered trains would be manufactured in Port Said with a Chinese technology transfer to Egypt.[6] The first 460 km will begin at Al-Alamein on the Mediterranean Sea, pass through Borg El Arab, then to Wadi El Natroun, on to the 6th October City, through southern Cairo to the New Administrative Capital, and end in Ain Sokhna on the Gulf of Suez of the Red Sea.[7] As of January 2021, surveying and route planning have been completed and construction is underway to build bridges and track.[8] This initial segment is intended to be used for both passengers and freight, and is projected to cost US $3 billion with a completion date of 2023. On 14 January 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Siemens Mobility and the National Authority of Tunnels, an authority under the Ministry of Transportation of Egypt to design, install, and maintain Egypt's first high-speed rail system.[9][10]

A second line is planned between Alexandria and Borg El Arab. A third line is then planned in the south from Hurghada through Safaga and Qena, ending in Luxor. The fourth announced line would link Sixth of October City to Luxor and on to Aswan. The entire network is projected to cost US $23 billion.[10]

South Africa[edit]

On 7 June 2010, Minister of Transport Sbusiso Ndebele said that plans were seriously being considered for a high-speed line from Johannesburg to Durban. The line would reduce the current journey time from 12 hours to about 3 hours. The 721 km line would involve major engineering challenges, including traversing the Drakensberg mountains. A high-speed line from Johannesburg to Cape Town is also under study.[11][12]

Asia[edit]

Bangladesh[edit]

Bangladesh considered building a high speed rail link between Dhaka and Chittagong in 2005. The government short-listed France's SNCF and Japan Railways for the project.[13] But the plan was then shelved. Spain and China had later, in 2014, expressed interests in developing the Bangladesh Railway into a high-speed network.[14]

North Korea[edit]

North Korea does not have a high-speed railway. Attempts were made in the 1970s to speed-up its network, when one electric trainset (using the bullet-train design) was built. However, the trainset never had regular services, due to bad economic situation and even 1990s crisis.[clarification needed] In the 2000s, the Chinese government proposed a high-speed railway for DRPK, but these proposals are still too far from planning or construction stage. Changes in foreign policy in 2017–2018 period encouraged both Koreas to start international railway projects. The Chairman of the State Affairs Commission many times paid his attention to high-speed rail technology[15]

Persian Gulf Countries[edit]

The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) plan a 2200-kilometre rail network,[16] Etihad Railway, which may include high-speed rail from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.[17] however it presently runs only a freight line in between.

In 2010, the government of Qatar has announced it intends to have high-speed rail links to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia built in time for its hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.[18]

India[edit]

India, in collaboration with Japan, is building its first high-speed railway, the Mumbai–Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor, on a 508 km (316 mi) long route between Mumbai and the western city of Ahmedabad. Pre-construction preparatory work began in the third quarter of 2017, and is expected to be completed in 2023. The National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) plans to operate Japanese built trains at speeds up to 320 km/h (200 mph). It is expected to cost about 1.1 trillion (equivalent to 1.2 trillion or US$17 billion in 2019), and shall be mostly financed by a soft loan from Japan. The Indian government has also expressed interest in building about 4,500 km (2,800 mi) route length tracks of High Speed Rail lines across six corridors, with average operating speeds of 320 km/h (200 mph). The government of Kerala state has also expressed interest in constructing a high-speed rail corridor along the length of the state, from Kasargod in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south; work on the corridor could begin in 2020.[19]

Potential High Speed Rail lines[20] [21]

There has been an initial proposal by the state government of Odisha regarding the feasibility of implementing a high speed rail link between Bhubaneswar and Berhampur, with a rail link distance of 144 km (89 mi). The proposed average speed of this line would not be lower than 155 km/h (96 mph), thereby bringing travel time down to 40 minutes, from the current 210 minutes.

Formation of National High Speed Rail Authority (NHSRA), a body that will look after the implementation on High Speed Rail in India had been announced in Rail budget of 2012–2013, although no firm date has been set for construction initiation or completion. Central Japan Railway Company has promoted the Shinkansen for India,[22][23] while France has also shown interest in collaboration for long-term development of the Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad route.[24] Spain's Talgo has also expressed interest in the projects, and plans to open an office in India to promote its technology.[25] The current conventional lines between Amritsar-New Delhi, and Ahmedabad-Mumbai runs through suburban and rural areas, which are flat, therefore have no tunnel. Ahmedabad-Mumbai line runs near the coast therefore have more bridges, and parts of it are in backwaters or forest. The 1987 RDSO/JICA feasibility study found the Mumbai-Ahmedabad line as most promising.[26]

Maharashtra state government has proposed a link between Mumbai and Nagpur which will be good for development of the state railway. This project's cost is estimated 600 billion. The government also wants a corridor which will connect to Navi Mumbai International Airport.[27]

On 12 December 2015, India and Japan signed a deal for a US$15 Billion deal to build a high-speed line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Japan will provide a very low interest loan of US$12 billion. This deal was part of a greater MoU involving transfer of defense technology and civil nuclear cooperation among others.[28]

Talgo also offered its coaches free-of-cost for a test run on the Indian tracks, the tests were carried out successfully during September and October 2016 with an Indian WDP4 Locomotive hauling a rake of Talgo coaches at speeds of up to 180 kmph on various routes across India.[29]

High-Speed Corridor Route Speed Track gauge Length Further extension Status
Nationwide
Diamond Quadrilateral Delhi-Mumbai-Chennai-Kolkata-Delhi 350 km/h (220 mph) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 7,000 km (4,300 mi) Approved in Rail budget 2014
East India
Howrah–Haldia high-speed rail corridor Howrah-Haldia 300 km/h (190 mph) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) Approved by Planning Commission & PMO
North India
Delhi–Patna high-speed rail corridor Delhi-Agra-Kanpur-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna 350 km/h (220 mph) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 991 km (616 mi) Howrah Approved by Planning Commission & PMO
Delhi–Amritsar high-speed rail corridor Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 450 km (280 mi) Approved by Planning Commission & PMO
Delhi–Dehradun high-speed rail corridor Delhi-Haridwar-Dehradun 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 200 km (120 mi) Approved by Planning Commission & PMO
Delhi–Jodhpur high-speed rail corridor[30] Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer-Jodhpur 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 591 km (367 mi) Proposed
West India
Ahmedabad–Dwarka high-speed rail corridor Ahmedabad-Rajkot-Jamnagar-Dwarka 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Mumbai–Nagpur high-speed rail corridor Mumbai/Navi Mumbai-Nashik-Akola-Nagpur 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) Proposed
Mumbai–Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor Mumbai-Ahmedabad 320 km/h (200 mph) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 534 km (332 mi) Currently under construction
Rajkot–Veraval high-speed rail corridor Rajkot-Junagadh-Veraval 350 km/h (220 mph) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
South India
Chennai–Hyderabad high-speed rail corridor Chennai-Vijayawada-Dornakal-Kazipet-Hyderabad 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 664 km (413 mi) Howrah(Via Visakhapatnam) Approved by Planning Commission & PMO
Chennai–Thiruvananthapuram high-speed rail corridor Chennai-Bengaluru-Coimbatore-Kochi-Thiruvananthapuram 350 km/h (220 mph) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 850 km (530 mi) Approved by Planning Commission & PMO
Chennai–Kanniyakumari high-speed rail corridor Chennai-Tiruchirappalli-Madurai-Tirunelveli-Kanniyakumari 350 km/h (220 mph) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 850 km (530 mi) Waiting for Approval from Planning Commission & PMO
Thiruvananthapuram–Kannur high-speed rail corridor Thiruvananthapuram-Kannur 300 km/h (190 mph) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 585 km (364 mi) Udupi High Speed Rail Corridor survey by DMRC in progress by Kerala government (Not listed by High Speed Rail Corporation of India Limited)[31]
Bengaluru–Mysuru high-speed rail corridor[32] Bengaluru-Mysuru 350 km/h (220 mph) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 110 km (68 mi) Approved in Rail budget 2014

Indonesia[edit]

Since 2006, Indonesian authorities have expressed an interest in high-speed rail for the densely populated island of Java, probably linking the cities of Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya.[33] Since 2008, government with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Transportation Consultant has done pre-Feasibility study. The Jakarta-Surabaya 685-kilometre fast train will connect both cities in 2 hours 53 minutes with maximum speed 350 kilometres/hour and average speed 300 kilometres/hours. The construction project will need US$14.3 billion, exclude land acquisitions and detail engineering design, so the total cost predicted was $20 billion.

Proposed high-speed railway in Java, Indonesia.

In July 2015, Indonesian Government revealed their plan to build high-speed rail in Indonesia.[34] Japan and China competed to win the project, previously both nations have done comprehensive studies on the project. On late September 2015, Indonesia awards this multibillion-dollar railway project to China.[35][36] On 16 October 2015, Indonesia and China signed an agreement to build Jakarta to Bandung high speed rail.[37] Groundbreaking has been done on 21 January 2016. The HSR is project of 60 percent of Indonesian consortium and 40 percent of China Railway International.[38] The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail is planned to begin its operations to public in 2021.

Iran[edit]

Iran has a high-speed rail under construction connecting three major cities of Tehran, Qom and Isfahan. The line will have a station in Imam Khomeini International Airport. The route length will be 422 km (262 mi) with the operating speed of 350 km/h, decreasing the travel time from 5 hours to 90 minutes. The project costs over 7 billion Euros and will be open in 2025.[39]

Another high-speed rail is planned to link Tehran the capital to Mashhad the second largest city in Iran. If done the route will have 800 km rail and the speed of 400 km/h which will decrease the travel time from 8 hours to 3.5 hours.[40]

Israel[edit]

In 2020, Israel's National Infrastructure Committee approved high-speed rail links between the four metropolitan cities – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheba. The project is slated for completion by 2040, with a top speed of 250 km/h.[41]

Japan[edit]

L0 series maglev train at Yamanashi test track

A maglev line between Tokyo and Osaka, the Chuo Shinkansen, is under construction by the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central). The Nagoya-Tokyo section is planned to be opened in 2027. The Nagoya-Osaka section is projected to be completed in 2045.

The route is to be privately financed through bond sales by JR Central, but the intermediate stations will be financed by local governments. JR Central expects at least 8 years between the completion of the Tokyo section and the start of construction of the Osaka to rebuild its financial position. The federal government is exploring options to accelerate the project.[42]

Research on high-speed rail systems based on magnetic levitation have been ongoing since the 1970s, led by JR Central. The trains and guideways are technologically ready and over 100,000 people have ridden them. Pre-series L0 series trains on the Yamanashi Test Line have reached speeds of 603 kilometres per hour (375 mph) (crewed), making them the fastest trains in the world.[43] The Yamanashi test track is to be incorporated into the under construction Tokyo–Osaka maglev route.

Extensions to the current network expansions, notably from Hakodate to Sapporo, have been approved for construction.[44] The route of the final extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen has not been finalised. It is ultimately to provide a northern route through to Osaka.

Conventional routes planned in 1973 are on hold (to be built after current lines opening). Further Hokkaido Shinkansen extension was proposed in 1970s, even to Russian border via possible tunnel, tunnel to South Korea is also proposed.

Line Speed Length Construction began Expected start of revenue services
Hokkaido Shinkansen Extension
(Sapporo – Asahikawa)
320+ km/h 130 km on hold 2045
Sapporo – Oshamambe 200+ km/h 180 km on hold 2045
Uetsu Shinkansen
(Toyama - Aomori via Niigata)
200+ km/h 560 km on hold 2030+
Ōu Shinkansen
(Fukushima - Akita via Yamagata)
200+ km/h 270 km on hold 2030+
Hokuriku Shinkansen
(Tokyo - Osaka via Kanazawa)
200+ km/h 50 km Tokyo to Kanazawa in operation, Kanazawa to Tsuruga under construction, Tsuruga to Osaka in planning 2045
Trans-Chūgoku Shinkansen
(Okayama - Matsue)
260 km/h 150 km on hold 2030+
San'in Shinkansen
(Osaka - Shimonoseki via Tottori & Matsue)
260 km/h 550 km on hold 2030+
Shikoku Shinkansen
(Osaka - Oita via Matsuyama)
260 km/h 440 km on hold 2045
Trans-Shikoku Shinkansen
(Okayama - Kōchi)
260 km/h 150 km on hold 2045
East Kyūshū Shinkansen
(Hakata - Kagoshima-Chūō via Ōita)
260 km/h 390 km on hold 2045
Trans-Kyūshū Shinkansen
(Ōita - Kumamoto)
260 km/h 120 km on hold 2045

Kazakhstan[edit]

Qazaqstan Temir Zholy, the national rail company of Kazakhstan, has awarded a contract to oversee the design and construction of a high-speed line from Nur-Sultan (the country's capital) to Almaty (its largest city).[45][46] The line is expected to be 1,011 km (628 mi) long, and will travel via Karaganda and Balkhash.[45][46] A 10 km (6.2 mi) viaduct across Lake Balkhash is planned near Sayaq.[45][46] The trains are expected by be built by Tulpar-Talgo (a joint venture established in 2011 between Qazaqstan Temir Zholy and Spanish company Talgo[47]), and will have a maximum speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), completing the trip in five and a half hours.[45][46] The system will use Russian gauge, the same as used by Kazakhstan's existing conventional lines.[45][46]

Laos[edit]

Plans have been published to build a high-speed railway between Vientiane and China, where it will link to Chinese high-speed railways. Construction is said to have started in 2011.[48] Vientiane is located close to the Thai border where are plans of a high-speed railway to Bangkok. These plans have been put on hold by China and Thailand has changed its priority routes after its new administration was elected. It will involve the construction of 154 bridges, 76 tunnels, and 31 train stations. They railway began construction in December 2016, but will only have a top speed of 160 kilometres (99 mi).[49]

Malaysia and Singapore[edit]

A high-speed rail running at 300 km/h (186 mph) to link Kuala Lumpur and Singapore was proposed in 2006 by YTL Corporation, operator of the KLIA Express in Malaysia, although the company did propose a similar system back in the late 1990s. A Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore line spanning the three nations has been suggested previously, though no action has been taken. Plans for the project were put on hold in April 2008 due to high cost to the government, estimated at about RM8 billion.[50] The project also faces opposition from rail operator rivals such as Keretapi Tanah Melayu, and the liberalisation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore air route further dampened prospects for the proposal.

In 2007, Siemens expressed interest in becoming the technology provider for the proposed rail link.[51] By the middle of 2009, YTL again revived talk on the project and expressed hope that the Malaysian government would relook at the proposal,[52] claiming that delays in the project has caused development costs to rise over the years.[53]

In 2010, Malaysia had made a proposal to revive the project.[54] In the new proposal, the route will be in two phases; the first one is from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore while the second phase will be from Kuala Lumpur to Penang.

On 19 February 2013, Singapore and Malaysia announced that they officially agreed to build a high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore by 2020.[55] The KL – Singapore section will be about 380 km long with an expected travel time of 90 minutes.[56]

The high-speed railway terminus for Singapore will be located in Jurong East at the Jurong Country Club site while the terminus for Malaysia will be located at Bandar Malaysia in Sungai Besi. The high-speed railway depot for Singapore will be located in Tuas at the Raffles Country Club.

After the landslide defeat of Najib Razak in May 2018, his successor, Mahathir Mohamad told the Financial Times that the opening of the project would be delayed till 2031. There are also cheaper alternatives being devised. This costs RM 20 billion and involves upgrading the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) line so that trains can run at 200 km/h and align the KTM line to Jurong East Station.[57]

Line Speed Length Construction began Expected start of revenue services
Kuala-Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail >300 km/h 350 km Planned (changed from 2018 to December 2020, now scrapped) 2026 (changed to 2031, now scrapped)

Myanmar[edit]

Plans have been published to build a high-speed railway between Yangon and Kunming in China, a distance of 1920 km. Construction is said to start after agreements with China was signed in 2011.[11] The project was put on hold in 2014 due to financial feasibility and national security concerns. The project was rebooted in 2019.[58][59]

Philippines[edit]

San Miguel Corporation proposed to building a bullet train system connecting Laoag City in the northern part of Luzon island, passing through Manila, and finally ending in the Bicol Region in Southeastern Luzon. As of 2010, this project has been put on hold.[60][61]

In April 2013, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) announced the plans of the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) to fund the Clark-Metro Manila high-speed train project under a Build-Operate-Transfer scheme. The project will be called "Express Airport Trains" which will have at least three stops in Metro Manila and will be built between the lanes of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx). The trains are planned to have stops in Quezon City, Manila, and Makati.[62] In later years however, it was revealed that the new "Airport Express" service has a maximum speed of 160 km (99 mi) and does not qualify as true high-speed rail. It would rather qualify as higher-speed rail similar to trains on the Tel Aviv–Jerusalem railway which was also marketed during its proposal stage as a high-speed line. Similarly, the South Main Line reconstruction project, dubbed "South Long Haul" will have express trains that have the same maximum speed.[63]

Current railway projects such as the PNR South Long Haul are being designed for eventual upgrading to high-speed rail, and there are plans for an HSR.[64] There are also plans for a high-speed rail in Mindanao as part of future upgrades to the upcoming Mindanao Railway network with a top speed of 250 km/h (160 mph).[65]

Thailand[edit]

The State Railway of Thailand and the Thai Ministry of Transport have plans for several high-speed rail lines. In October 2009, it was reported that funding was being sought for four lines, linking Bangkok to Chiang Mai (711 km), Nong Khai (600 km), Chanthaburi (330 km), and Padang Besar (983 km).[66] In November, it was reported that the Thai cabinet had approved the plan, with the shorter route to Chanthaburi being intended for construction first.[67] The total cost of all routes are 800 billion baht or US$25 billion.

In October 2010, the Thai parliament approved initial proposals for a high-speed rail network to be built with Chinese industrial partners; 5 lines capable of 250 km/h would radiate from Bangkok.[68] After the new election of Shinawatra, plans for Bangkok-Korat and Pattaya-Bangkok-Hua Hin have been pushed over the former 5 routes. In May 2015, Transport Minister Prajin Juntong and his Japanese counterpart Akihiro Ota had signed a deal on 27 May 2015.[69] A HSR line to the eastern seaboard was first proposed in 1996 but there was no progress for over a decade. In 2009, the government requested the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) to create a plan for new HSR network in Thailand that included an eastern HSR line to Rayong. The route was finalised before the 2011 election with the promise to begin construction the next year if the government was re-elected, but they lost the election. After the 2011 election, the new government reviewed all HSR plans and the SRT stated that the line would be tendered in early-2014.[13] After the May 2014 coup there were further delays while the military government reviewed all HSR lines, initially deferring all projects. In early-2016, the government agreed to proceed with the eastern HSR route and suggested that it could be extended to Don Mueang International Airport beyond the terminus at Bang Sue Intercity Terminal thus providing a link with three airports.[14] Extending the line would provide a link between Don Mueang Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, and U-Tapao International Airport in Ban Chang District.

During 2017, OTP and the Ministry of Transport in consultation with the SRT agreed that by extending the line to terminate at Don Mueang it would effectively include the long delayed extension of the Airport Rail Link (Bangkok) from Makkasan Station to Don Mueang Airport as part of the project. The Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EEC Office) in October 2017 finalised previous OTP plans to build the 10 station Eastern HSR line linking Don Mueang airport, Bang Sue, Makkasan, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Chonburi, Si Racha, Pattaya, U-Tapao Airport, and Rayong. In early-2018, the section to Rayong was excluded due to environmental and safety concerns and it was decided that the line would terminate at U-Tapao Airport.[15]

The SRT stated that the first tenders for the Eastern HSR line are expected to be tendered by May 2018 with a four month auction period before the contract is awarded.[16] The cost of the project was estimated to be over 200 billion baht, of which the Thai Government would fund 123 billion baht and the private sector estimated to contribute 90 billion baht.[17][18]

Two rival consortia vied for the airport link contract.[19] The Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group-led consortium consisting of Italian-Thai Development, China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd, CH. Karnchang, and Bangkok Expressway and Metro, won the project with a 224 billion baht bid in December 2018. Their winning bid is valid until 8 November 2019. Until 16 October 2019, the consortium had refused to sign the contract, citing land expropriation and eviction problems and the consortium's request that the government share the risk in the project.[20] Negotiations were further complicated by the resignation of the entire board of the State Railway.[21] On 16 October 2019, news reports announced that the CP consortium intends to sign the rail deal on 25 October.[22] Tanit Sorat, Vice-Chairman of the Employers' Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry, said that the contract signing delays are "...unlikely to affect the project because the government will carry out the project smoothly."[20] The project was eventually approved in October 2019 as a public private partnership between the Thai government and Charoen Pokphand/China Railway Construction Corporation. The assets will revert to state ownership after 50 years.[23] Japan would provide Shinkansen technology for a high-speed rail link between Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai. Phase 1 would connect Bangkok to Phitsanulok. It is estimated to cost 280 billion baht. Seven stations are planned for this segment: Bang Sue, Don Mueang, Ayutthaya, Lopburi, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, and Phitsanulok. To reduce costs, Thai authorities have proposed reducing the number of stations, but the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has rejected this suggestion on the grounds that it defeats the original purpose of the project.[24] This portion of the route was scheduled to be submitted to the Thai cabinet for financial approval in August 2018.[24] A HSR line to the eastern seaboard was first proposed in 1996 but there was no progress for over a decade. In 2009, the government requested the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) to create a plan for new HSR network in Thailand that included an eastern HSR line to Rayong. The route was finalised before the 2011 election with the promise to begin construction the next year if the government was re-elected, but they lost the election. After the 2011 election, the new government reviewed all HSR plans and the SRT stated that the line would be tendered in early-2014.[13] After the May 2014 coup there were further delays while the military government reviewed all HSR lines, initially deferring all projects. In early-2016, the government agreed to proceed with the eastern HSR route and suggested that it could be extended to Don Mueang International Airport beyond the terminus at Bang Sue Intercity Terminal thus providing a link with three airports.[14] Extending the line would provide a link between Don Mueang Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, and U-Tapao International Airport in Ban Chang District.

During 2017, OTP and the Ministry of Transport in consultation with the SRT agreed that by extending the line to terminate at Don Mueang it would effectively include the long delayed extension of the Airport Rail Link (Bangkok) from Makkasan Station to Don Mueang Airport as part of the project. The Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EEC Office) in October 2017 finalised previous OTP plans to build the 10 station Eastern HSR line linking Don Mueang airport, Bang Sue, Makkasan, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Chonburi, Si Racha, Pattaya, U-Tapao Airport, and Rayong. In early-2018, the section to Rayong was excluded due to environmental and safety concerns and it was decided that the line would terminate at U-Tapao Airport.[15]

Eastern HSR Phase 1 Don Mueang–Bang Sue–Makkasan–Suvarnabhumi Airport–Chachoengsao–Chonburi–Si Racha–Pattaya–U-Tapao 250 km/h (160 mph) 220 km (140 mi) PPP Net Cost 224,544 million baht[6] 2025 Current status -Site preparation.

The SRT stated that the first tenders for the Eastern HSR line are expected to be tendered by May 2018 with a four month auction period before the contract is awarded.[16] The cost of the project was estimated to be over 200 billion baht, of which the Thai Government would fund 123 billion baht and the private sector estimated to contribute 90 billion baht.[17][18]

Two rival consortia vied for the airport link contract.[19] The Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group-led consortium consisting of Italian-Thai Development, China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd, CH. Karnchang, and Bangkok Expressway and Metro, won the project with a 224 billion baht bid in December 2018. Their winning bid is valid until 8 November 2019. Until 16 October 2019, the consortium had refused to sign the contract, citing land expropriation and eviction problems and the consortium's request that the government share the risk in the project.[20] Negotiations were further complicated by the resignation of the entire board of the State Railway.[21] On 16 October 2019, news reports announced that the CP consortium intends to sign the rail deal on 25 October.[22] Tanit Sorat, Vice-Chairman of the Employers' Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry, said that the contract signing delays are "...unlikely to affect the project because the government will carry out the project smoothly."[20] The project was eventually approved in October 2019 as a public private partnership between the Thai government and Charoen Pokphand/China Railway Construction Corporation. The assets will revert to state ownership after 50 years.[23]

Vietnam[edit]

Vietnam's national railway company, Vietnam Railways, has proposed a 1,630-kilometre (1,013 mi) high-speed rail link between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, capable of running at 250 to 300 km/h (155 to 186 mph).[70] The funding of the $56 billion line would mostly come from the Vietnamese government, with the help of Japanese aid. Technology used on the Japanese Shinkansen has been suggested to be used for this new railway.[71]

Current technology allows trains travelling on the current, single-track Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City line to complete the journey in approximately thirty hours.[72] Once completed, the high-speed rail line would have 2 parallel standard gauge tracks with no direct road crossings, and would allow trains to complete the Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City journey in approximately 6 hours. The existing line uses narrow gauge tracks common in Southeast Asia.[73]

Vietnamese prime minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng had originally set an ambitious target to complete the line by 2013, three years sooner than the previously announced nine-year construction time.[74] Later reports suggested Japanese development aid would only be available in stages, with completion of the line not expected until the mid-2030s; the same reports asserted that aid would be conditioned upon the export of Shinkansen technology.[70][71] On 19 June 2010, after a month of deliberation, Vietnam's National Assembly rejected the high-speed rail proposal due to its high cost, leaving the project's future in doubt; National Assembly deputies are said to have asked for further study of the project.[75][76]

In January 2011, Vietnamese Minister of Transport, Hồ Nghĩa Dũng, suggested the line might be completed by 2030. The length of the proposed line was listed as 1555 km long with trains running at 300 km/h. After the rejection of the original plan by the house of deputies, Minister Dung has asked for a new feasibility plan by the end of 2011, whilst the Japanese development agency has suggested an interim solution where the line could be built to separate north and south sections.[77]

Europe[edit]

Belarus[edit]

  • In 2017 Belarus authorities agreed to offer land territories to Chinese corporation CRCC for construction of high-speed corridor between EU and Russia through country territory. Chinese engineering companies are also interested in building highways and russian high-speed railways running in connection with this route with possible interchange with Moscow-Kazan high-speed corridor.[78] In 2019 Belarus also participated in discussion of future St. Petersburg – Hamburg high speed rail corridor, but it is not yet added to official proposals.

Belgium[edit]

The 25N line opened in 2012–2018 is designed for speeds up to 220 km/h, but is limited to 160 km/h until another existing line Mechelen-Antwerp will be upgraded. It's unknown when it will happen.

Czechia[edit]

In 2017, the Government of the Czech Republic approved a high-speed rail development program, predicted to cost 645 billion korunas, or over €25 billion.[79] The entire network will cover about 660 kilometers, and will include both the construction of new lines as well as upgrading existing lines to 200 km/h.

In 2018, Správa železnic, the Czech railway infrastructure manager, began working on three pilot projects for increasing speed on pre-existing lines.[80] These include the sections between Prague and Poříčany (30 km), Brno and Vranovice (25 km), and Přerov and Ostrava (60 km).

In 2020, German Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Czech agreed to undertake construction of the new high speed rail link between Prague and Dresden (RS4), and started feasibility studies. The project is estimated to cost a total of €5.4 billion and will include a 25 kilometer tunnel beneath the Ore Mountains. The travel time on the current route is 2 hours and 15 minutes, but the new link is predicted to reduce travel times between Prague and Dresden to just 60 minutes. The first section, between Prague and Lovosice, is predicted to be completed before 2035, with the rest completed by 2050.[81]

Denmark[edit]

  • There are plans to upgrade the existing railway Ringsted–Odense to 200 km/h or more. Also Ringsted–Rødbyhavn which however in part is too curvy for that.
  • There are plans to build a new railway for 250 km/h OdenseAarhus, including the Vestfyn Line from Odense to Middelfart which received government approval in 2019.

These projects are planned to reduce the travel time Copenhagen–Aalborg to three hours compared to 4:20 as of 2018, and to one hour between each of Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg.

  • A proposal led by lobbyists is the HH Tunnel Helsingør–Helsingborg, with connecting 60 km (37 mi) high speed railway Copenhagen–Helsingør. This one has no decided year for realisation.
  • A proposal led by lobbyists is also the 35 km (22 mi) Kattegat Bridge with connecting high speed railway, able to connect Copenhagen with Aarhus in less than two hours, and complementing the congested and vulnerable Great Belt Bridge.

Finland[edit]

Hungary[edit]

On January 28, 2020 a call for tenders was issued for a detailed feasibility study of the proposed line between Budapest and Cluj-Napoca in Romania. The section within Hungary is expected to accommodate speeds of 250–350 km/h while the Romanian section will have a line speed of 160 km/h.[82]

Iceland[edit]

49 km of airport rail link is under planning.[83]

Line Speed Length Construction began Expected start of revenue services
Reykjavik Airport Rail Link 250 km/h 49 km Planned (construction 2020–) 2023

Ireland[edit]

In 2020 the Irish Government confirmed it will be launching a study into an approximately 500 km high-speed railway from Belfast via Dublin to Cork and Limerick,[84] which could cost around €15 billion.[85]

Netherlands[edit]

The proposed HSL-Oost line was cancelled in 2009. The existing line from Amsterdam to Utrecht is four-tracked. 2 tracks out of 4 are capable for 200 km/h, but electrification voltage is not enough, the line is planned to be re-electrified to 25 kV AC.

Norway[edit]

  • The Norwegian government has examined five long distance high-speed lines radiating out from Oslo to Bergen, Kristiansand/Stavanger, Trondheim, Gothenburg, and Stockholm. A sixth line would be a coastal line between Bergen, Haugesund and Stavanger. At least two investigations on cost and benefit have been made, released 2007 and 2012.[86] These plans were shelved in 2013, although still open for restart in a decade or so.
  • There are ongoing and coming projects for high-speed upgrades on the closest 50–100 km from Oslo on each of these lines (except direction Stockholm). They have good potential for regional trains. Upgrade and new construction to high-speed standard have to some extent already taken place like for Gardermobanen. The time plan is to have 200 km/h or more from Oslo to Porsgrunn (partially slower), to Hamar and to Råde east of Moss around 2020–2025, and to Halden and Hønefoss later, maybe 2030.

The regional projects near Oslo have higher priority than the long-distance projects. They are also preconditions for the long-distance projects, since they will be used by long-distance trains.

Poland[edit]

Portugal[edit]

Russia[edit]

Since 1980s, the several proposals of high-speed network were made. Vladimir Putin announced plans to build a 770 km high-speed rail line that would connect Kazan and Moscow at the Economic Forum at St. Petersburg in 2013. Plans for the railroad estimate that it will be the first true high-speed line in Russia with trains operating at up to 350 km/h, reducing travel time from 13-hour to 3.5 hours. In comparison, trains on the Moscow–St. Petersburg line run at up to 250 km/h.[88] In 2019, the date of opening changed to 2024, the initial track length was shortened from 770 km to 301 km.

Line name Start and end points Maximum speed Opening Length
High Speed Main Line Zhelesnodorozhnaya (Balashikha, Moscow's suburb)–Gorokhovetz 360 km/h (220 mph) or 400 km/h (250 mph) (different sources) Planned, to be built until 2024, construction delayed 301 km (187 mi)
Gorokhovetz–Kazan 360 km/h (220 mph) or 400 km/h (250 mph) (different sources) To be constructed after 2024 461 km (286 mi)
KazanNaberezhnye Chelny 360 km/h (220 mph) or 400 km/h (250 mph) (different sources) Proposed in 2019 220 km (140 mi)

Sweden[edit]

Many of the newly built railway lines in Sweden are adapted for speeds up to 250 km/h as Botniabanan, Grödingebanan, Mälarbanan, Svealandsbanan, Västkustbanan, Vänernbanan (GothenburgTrollhättan).[89] The problem that is slowing down high-speed rail in Sweden is the present signaling system (ATC), which does not allow speeds over 200 km/h. It can be upgraded, but it will not be done since it shall be replaced by the European signaling system ERTMS level 2 on major lines in the near future, allowing high speeds up to 250 km/h.[90] ERTMS level 2 has been installed and is being tried out on Botniabanan, and that railway allows 250 km/h, although no passenger train goes above 200 for now. The train set X55-Regina has been delivered to the rail company SJ with the max speed of 200 km/h but with the option to upgrade the EMU to 250 km/h when possible.[91] Also the mix with freight trains slow down the practical speed.

There are four major high-speed projects proposed in Sweden with speeds between 250 and 350 km/h.

The three first listed, but not Europabanan, have been prospected in detail by Trafikverket. In several cases the detailed alignment has been decided. There is a political interest to build all these four. The Swedish Moderate government decided in 2012 to build Ostlänken, but with mostly max 250 km/h, after putting all projects on hold in the budget of 2011.[97] The Social Democrat government entering in 2019 stated they want to build them, as of 2019 construction has to start on all lines.[93]

Ukraine[edit]

In the early 2000s, Ukraine planned to build 2593 km of upgraded high speed rail tracks between 2005 and 2015.[98] The rolling stock was purchased in 2010. However, the maximum operating speed in Ukraine is still 160 km/h, and subsequent lack of maintenance has caused a number of derailments.

In 2011, a Moscow-Kiev high-speed line was proposed, but Ukraine canceled the project following the 2014 conflict between the two countries. Russia, which had already purchased the rolling stock for the planned rail line to Kiev, instead deployed the trains on the Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod line. In October 2017, it was claimed that a 330 km line between Lviv and Warsaw would begin construction in 2018, but the project has yet to break ground.

United Kingdom[edit]

High Speed 2 (HS2) is a planned "Y"-shaped high-speed rail network which will connect cities both directly and indirectly via connections to the existing British railway network. The first phase of High Speed 2 will connect London and Birmingham and is expected to be completed between 2029 and 2033.[99] The second phase will connect Birmingham to Leeds, Manchester, and a new East Midlands Hub station which will serve Nottingham and Derby. Other cities and towns such as Carlisle, Crewe, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Preston, and York will be linked to the network via HS2 trains running on existing lines.

The first phase is currently under construction. High Speed North is a proposed east-west line connecting Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds which will also connect to HS2.

Beyond HS2 Report. In May 2018, Greengauge 21 released a report entitled ‘Beyond HS2’ which looked at how the rail network could develop by 2050. It proposed several projects:[100]

  • New High Speed Line from Colchester and Cambridge (via Stansted) to Stratford (possibly extending to Canary Wharf)
  • A New Higher Speed Line from Perth and Dundee to the Shotts Line
  • A new High Speed Line avoiding Motherwell
  • A new connection between the HS2 Eastern Leg and Kingsbury allowing services to continue to Bristol, Cardiff and Plymouth via Cheltenham Spa.
  • A new link between WCML and Crossrail
  • A new link between Langley and Heathrow
  • A new link between Richmond and Waterloo to Heathrow T2
  • A new link between Heathrow and Staines
  • A new Northern Powerhouse Rail
  • A new line between Darlington and Newcastle

North America[edit]

Canada[edit]

Although Canada does not currently have high-speed rail lines, there have been two routes frequently proposed as suitable for a high-speed rail corridor:

A possible international high-speed rail link between Montreal and Boston or New York City is often discussed by regional leaders, though little progress has been made.[101][102] On another international line between Vancouver and Seattle, work is in progress to improve the existing Amtrak Cascades service, though it will not reach speeds normally associated with high-speed rail. In Ontario, the Conservative Government elected in 2018 postponed its decision on high-speed lines, but still hopes to make efforts in that direction.

Mexico[edit]

The Secretariat of Communications and Transport of Mexico originally proposed a high-speed rail link[103][104] that would transport passengers from Mexico City to Guadalajara, Jalisco, with stops in the cities of Querétaro, Guanajuato, Leon and Irapuato; and a connected line running from the port city of Manzanillo to Aguascalientes. The train which would travel at 300 km/h[105] allows passengers to travel from Mexico City to Guadalajara in just 2 hours[105] at an affordable price (the same trip by road would last 7 hours). The network was planned to connect the network to Monterrey, Chilpancingo, Cuernavaca, Toluca, Puebla, Tijuana, Hermosillo, Cordoba, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Colima, Zacatecas, Torreon, Chihuahua, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Mexicali Saltillo and Acapulco by 2015, but nothing had materialized by 2020.[103] The whole project was projected to cost 240 billion pesos, or about 25 billion dollars.[103] In 2005, Mexican billionaire Carlos Helú expressed an interest in investing in high-speed rail.[106] Most recently the Yucatan 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.[107]

By 2014 the route for the 1st phase of the Mexico City-Guadalajara HST had been selected. This 1st stage was to have operated from the Buenavista station in Mexico City to Querétaro with a length of 212 km of high speed line.[108] The HST was to have been further extended into the city of Guadalajara with an immediately extension after the 1st stage to the cities of Celaya, Salamanca, Irapuato and Leon. The 1st phase was to have been completed by 2018.[109]

The first High Speed Line in Latin America had been announced in July 2014 with the opening of an international tender to build a passenger train linking Mexico City and Querétaro at up to 300 km/h, moving 23,000 passengers a day. The line was to have been extended over 210 km, with construction beginning that year and operations starting in the second half of 2017.[110]

On 6 November 2014, Mexico's president, announced that the proposed bullet train was being postponed because there was only one bidder. Falling oil prices and the economic downturn was also believed to have played a role in the decision.[111]

Panama[edit]

In 2019, China approached the Panamanian government with a feasibility plan for a 391 kilometer (243 mile) high speed line from Panama City to the Costa Rican border.[112] This would be financed partially under China's Belt and Road Initiative. No further action has been taken on this proposal.

United States[edit]

This map from 2001 shows a number of proposed high-speed routes in the U.S.

There are several high-speed rail services in the United States, notably the Acela Express, but all are limited to the Northeast Corridor.[113] Amtrak uses the Acela Express them on a high-speed service 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 forces. The Northeast Regional goes along the same route, but with more stops. All other high-speed rail services share part of the route.

There has been a resurgence of interest outside the Northeast Corridor in recent decades, with many plans being examined for high-speed rail across the country:

  • 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.
  • A separate entity, Lone Star High-Speed Rail LLC, was formed in 2009 to plan a railway between Dallas and Houston. The company changed its name to Texas Central Railway in 2013, and has been developing the system based on technology used on Japanese Shinkansen lines. The 240-mile (390 km) route traverses open farms and ranches with one intermediate stop in the Brazos Valley. Regulatory approvals cleared in September 2020;[114] the service is expected to begin in 2026.[115][116]
  • The California High-Speed Rail Authority was created in 1996 by the state to implement an extensive 800-mile (1,300 km) rail system that is estimated to cost about $40 billion. Once built, the system will not require operating subsidies, and it is expected to generate $1 billion in annual profits. Construction has been approved with the passing of proposition 1A, in which a $9.95 billion general obligation bond was authorized by voters. The system would provide high-speed service between and among major cities, like 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. On 2 December 2010, the California High-Speed Rail Authority announced the first section of the Californian High-Speed Rail network had been selected and construction was to start in 2012, but delays postponed it to 2015. The line will run from near Madera south to Bakersfield, with stations at Fresno and Hanford, at a length of 105 kilometres (65 mi) running through a rural part of the San Joaquin Valley. The line will connect with traditional Amtrak lines at each end.[117] In December 2010, that funding was doubled after the newly elected governors of Ohio and Wisconsin decided to cancel right of way projects which had been allocated $1.2 billion of funding by the federal government. Of that amount, $616 million was then granted to California in addition to funding already promised, which, when combined with a state bond issue to match the new funding, provided over $1.2 billion in addition funding. This will be used to add an additional 88 kilometres (55 mi) of track, bringing the line to the edge of Bakersfield.[118]
  • Brightline West, a project of Fortress Investment Group, is a line planned to be built between Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada with trains running up to 200 miles per hour (320 km/h). Started as an independent venture in 2005, the project changed hands several times before being acquired by Brightline, who had recently begun their initial Florida route. Construction is expected to start in 2020 with service to commence in 2024.[119]
  • In September 2010, Amtrak unveiled proposals for 355 km/h (221 mph) trains to run between Washington, D.C. and Boston, stopping at various cities along the way, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. The end-to-end journey time would be three hours. The proposals would cost $117 billion and would take 25 years to complete. Amtrak estimates that the capacity would be needed, as, even after current investment programs, the Acela trains will be full by 2030. The proposal envisages completion by 2040.[120]
  • North American High Speed Rail Group is seeking to build a privately financed high speed rail line between Rochester and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The line is expected to cost $4.2 billion to build. The eventual goal is to extend high-speed rail service to Chicago.[121]

Oceania[edit]

Australia[edit]

There have been several proposals to develop a HSR line between Sydney and Canberra (via SYD airport and CBR airport) to link the two cities and to provide an effective second airport for Sydney. The line is also proposed to eventually continue on to Melbourne (also possibly via MEL airport). It is worth noting that the SYD-MEL air traffic corridor is one of the busiest in the world, HSR would allow for journey times city center to city center quicker than flights plus associated procedures and travel. In September 2010, Infrastructure Partnership Australia (IPA) and AECOM proposed an east coast very fast train corridor from the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane (Queensland) and onto Sydney (N.S.W), Canberra (A.C.T.) and through to Melbourne (Victoria). East Coast High Capacity Infrastructure Corridors

Line Speed Length Construction began Expected start of revenue services
Geelong Line (Melbourne-Geelong) 300 km/h 71 km Proposed 2020s (claimed)[122]

New Zealand[edit]

As part of ongoing studies to increase the speed of a rail service from Auckland to Hamilton, potential for a new standard gauge line was identified at a cost of NZ$14.425 billion; with trains travelling at 250 km/h and taking 69 minutes to travel between the two cities.[123][124]

South America[edit]

Argentina[edit]

A Buenos Aires–Rosario–Córdoba high-speed railway was planned,[125] operating at speeds of 320 km/h (200 mph). Construction was scheduled to begin in 2008 and work was expected to take around four years, but the project is currently "on hold" due to the financial crisis.[126]

The project would join the cities of Buenos Aires and Rosario at a distance of 286 km (178 mi) and Córdoba at a distance of 710 km (440 mi).[127]

Other projected high-speed rail lines include:

Brazil[edit]

The Rio-São Paulo High Speed rail (Portuguese: Trem de Alta Velocidade Rio-São Paulo; Abbreviation: TAV RJ-SP) is a high-speed rail proposal with the purpose of connecting Brazil's two largest metropoleis: São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with an extension to Campinas, another metropolis conurbated with São Paulo and 100 km distant from it.[130][131] The proposed route is through one of Brazil's most mountainous and urbanized terrains resulting the need of around 40% of the tracks to be built through viaducts, bridges and tunnels. Such massive need of structures has made the proposed project's price spike to US$16 billion.[132]

Proposed:

  • Brasília – Goiânia – Rio Verde – Itumbiara – Uberlândia – Uberaba – Ribeirão Preto – Campinas – São Paulo – Rio de Janeiro (1200 km).
  • Belo Horizonte – São Paulo (594 km).
  • Curitiba – São Paulo (410 km).
  • Santos – São Paulo (80 km).
  • Brasília – Goiânia (200 km).

Track gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) (standard gauge)

Proposed commercial speed: 350 km/h

Government mandatory stations: Rio de Janeiro Centre, Rio de Janeiro Intl Airport, Volta Redonda/Barra Mansa, São José dos Campos, São Paulo/Guarulhos Intl Airport, São Paulo Centre, São Paulo/Viracopos Intl Airport and Campinas Centre.

Cancelled due to current economic recession.

Colombia[edit]

The Colombian National Agency of Infrastructure[133] (ANI) was interested in building a High Speed rail link as part of Colombia's '4G Modernization'. The Transport Minister had said that plans and studies for the bullet train would commence in 2015. However, Colombia has the smallest train ridership of any large Latin American nation. There have been many proposals since the 1990s when Japanese firms wanted to build a bullet train network from Bogota to nearby cities, but the project was cancelled.

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