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 Britishrailways.' 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, plansto invest 20 billion pounds
( 32 million dollars, 22 million euros ) in railway infrastructure in the nextfew 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 and Glasgow.
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
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.
High-speed railway in China
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
(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
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 tobe 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.
Picture source: NHK BS broadcast December 18, 2008
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.
France and Japan populated, Industrial belt zone of Honshu Island of Japan. Further all Japaneserailways 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.
Travel by Train
$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!!(BWashington DC Metro/Union Station
$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!!(BRailways in Helsinki, Finland
$B!!(BKorea Train Express, Airport Express and Metro
$B!!(BBangkok Mass Transit/Thai Railways
$B!!(BTaiwan High-Speed Rail
$B!!(BChina High-Speed Rail
$B!!(BPortugal Metro, Railways
$B!!(BHigh-speed train in Spain 2010
$B!!(BRailway Travel in France 2011
$B!!(BRailway Travel in Germany 2011
$B!!(BVIA train, Vancouver to Jasper
$B!!(BAmtrak: Seattle to Glacier National Park
$B!!(BAirport Express and MTR, Hong Kong
$B!!(BSan Francisco: cable-car, 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'
Smoking ban in the railway trains of the world
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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