High-speed railway development expected to nearly double

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Posted on: 29 Nov 2011

The Worldwatch Institute for Vital Signs Online (WIVSO) in the US is predicting that the number of countries operating high-speed railways will nearly double over the next few years.

Based on new research, WIVSO says that by 2014 high-speed trains will be operating in nearly 24 countries, including China, France, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United States, up from 14 countries at present.

The group maintains that the increase in high-speed rail is due largely to the reliability of high-speed trains and their ability to cover vast geographic distances in a short time; investments aimed at connecting once-isolated regions; and to the diminishing appeal of air travel owing to greater security concerns.

"The rise in HSR [high speed rail] has been very rapid," said senior researcher Michael Renner. "In just three years, between January 2008 and January 2011, the operational fleet grew from 1,737 high-speed train sets worldwide to 2,517. Two-thirds of this fleet is found in just five countries: France, China, Japan, Germany, and Spain. By 2014, the global fleet is expected to total more than 3,700 units."

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Posted: 29 November 2011

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