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High Speed Trains

Sir Rols

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Brazil revives $16.5bn high-speed railway project

Brazil has revived its proposed BRL33bn ($16.5bn) high-speed railway project that would link Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The 317 mile high-speed rail line will connect the cities of Sao Paulo, Campinas and Rio de Janeiro with scheduled completion in 2018.

The bidding process for the project will be divided into two phases which include a public consultation phase, allowing people to offer their suggestions by 24th September and bidding phase.

The interested companies will have to submit their bids by 30 April 2013.

Short listing of bidders to build and operate the trains will take place on 29 May 2013 while the bidding to carry out the related infrastructure work for the project will take place in early 2014.

According to the Brazil’s National Agency of Terrestrial Transport (ANTT), the company or consortium that will build the trains and operate the system will be selected first and later a contract will be awarded for building the railway lines, stations and the remaining infrastructure needed for the train’s operation.


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China opens Zhengzhou – Wuhan high-speed line

Friday, September 28, 2012


COMMERCIAL operations began today on the latest addition to China's high-speed network, a 536km line between Zhengzhou and Wuhan.

The eight-station line has a design speed of 350km/h and trains will operate at up to 300km/h, reducing the fastest journey time between the two cities from more than four hours to 1h 56 min. Initially the line will be used by 24 trains per direction per day.

According to the Wuhan Railway Bureau, test trains covered a total of 536,000km prior to the start of commercial operations.


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Seeing as we've had a few threads for the numerous aviation buffs here, I wondered if we had any rail buffs here, and if they had a favourite fast train system.

I don't call myself a big train fan, but I do like train travel (especially in Europe _ Aussie trains are sh!t), and have travelled on a number of the high speed services _ TGV (France), ICE (Germany), X2000 Sweden, Shinkansen (Japan) and favour the German ICE system by far _ very nicely kitted out inside, very smooth ride.


TGV _ France


ICE _ Germany


X2000 _ Sweden


Shinkansen _ Japan

I am sure soon train will break the record of this train. Scientist are trying their best to make high speed train.

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Eurotunnel revenues rise during Olympic Games


Eurotunnel has reported a rise in passenger numbers over summer, the period that included the Olympic Games.

The company, which operates the Channel Tunnel and runs Le Shuttle vehicle train, said revenue rose 13% to 274.6m euros ($358m; £224m) in the third quarter from the same period last year.

People using cars to cross the Tunnel rose by 10% to 820,484 people, but the number of coach passengers fell.

Eurostar traffic also fell during the period of the Olympics.

Passenger numbers on the high-speed train between London, Brussels and Paris fell 1% to 2.6 million between July and September, which the train operator said was because "tourists who were not going to the Games were encouraged to avoid London".

But a new daily record was also set on 11 August, when a combined total of 15,152 cars were carried across the Tunnel. The numbers of trucks crossing also grew by 17% from last year.

"This summer, on the back of a dynamic first half year, Eurotunnel again set new traffic records," said Jacques Gounon, chairman and chief executive of Groupe Eurotunnel.

The company also said that its 300 millionth passenger had travelled through the Tunnel on 18 October since its commercial opening in June 1994.

The passenger, Chris McCairns, from the south-west of England, has been given free travel for a year on Le Shuttle.


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California High-Speed Rail Too Expensive, McCarthy Says

California’s $68.4 billion high-speed rail project is looking for too much money from the U.S. government and should be reconsidered, said California Representative Kevin McCarthy, the U.S. House’s third-ranking Republican.

“Maybe it’s time when we cut our losses,” McCarthy said today at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing in Washington.

An additional $38 billion sought for the project from federal coffers would be more than the $31 billion a year Congress is seeking in annual additional revenue from a deal to resolve the year-end deadlines for automatic spending cuts and tax increases, he said.

“California started this discussion when it had a surplus,” McCarthy said. “That is not the same perspective where California is today, and it is definitely not where the federal government is today.”

McCarthy criticized the project at a hearing called by the committee’s chairman, Florida Republican John Mica, who has said $10 billion in U.S. money designated for high-speed rail should have been concentrated in fewer projects.

California’s project, which would start with track in the state’s Central Valley before connecting with its biggest cities, is courting sovereign-wealth funds, pensions and endowments for more than $50 billion to fund the most expensive public-works project in U.S. history.

California is the only U.S. state working to lay tracks for trains running as fast as 220 miles an hour (354 kilometers an hour). It’s counting on $10 billion in bonds authorized by voters and $3.3 billion committed by the federal government so far.
Private Investment

The U.S. Transportation Department, which disbursed the high-speed rail money to California and other states, “absolutely” wants private-sector funding to be part of the California project, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said at the hearing.

“There are lots of private investors working with California,” LaHood said. “We know full well this project will not be fully funded by the federal government. California knows that.”

McCarthy also questioned the location of the start of the project because it’s in more lightly populated areas than San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“I know Hollywood happens to be in California, but this is not a Kevin Costner movie,” he said, referring to the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams.” “If we build it, I’m not sure they will come.”


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Meanwhile, China opens the world's longest high-speed train line between Beijing and Guangzhou.

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-20842836

The Chinese may have this achievement, but I bet there are some misgivings about the whole idea. See how these "American Chinese spies" (aka New Tang Dynasty) uncovered the other side of this story:

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JR Tokai launches new N700A bullet train

Operation of the N700A shinkansen, the first new bullet train for Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) in roughly six years, began on Feb. 8, with crowds of railway fans turning up to see the train off at departure ceremonies in Tokyo and Osaka.

The new train was developed by JR Tokai. Its external appearance is practically the same at that of the N700 bullet train and has the same top speed of 270 kilometers per hour, but the new model has a braking system that kicks in during power cuts caused by earthquakes and other events, and the distance it takes the train to come to a stop has been reduced by 10 percent.

The "A" in the new model stands for "advanced." Acceleration and deceleration on the N700A is controlled by a computer through use of an automatic train control system, with a "constant speed controller" enabling the train to quickly make up for delays -- the first system of its kind in a bullet train in Japan. The new model also has safety enhancements with a system to detect abnormal vibration and prevent accidents.

"We used the latest technology in the N700A," said Hiroyuki Kawarasaki, head of the Kansai branch office of JR Tokai, at a departure ceremony at Shin-Osaka Station. Kawarasaki added that the company also wanted to work on customer service and other areas to earn a good reputation among users.

In Tokyo the same morning, an N700A bullet train departed JR Tokyo Station bound for Shin-Osaka at the scheduled time of 7:00 a.m.

"We're proud to have the best and latest carriages," said Masaki Seki, chief of JR Tokai's Shinkansen Operations Division, at a ceremony before the departure. "Half a century has passed since the birth of the Tokaido Shinkansen. We have served as one of Japan's main arteries, and we want to continue providing the world's highest standard of transportation services."

The interior of the bullet train's green cars is fitted with new shock absorption panels, and part of the floor of regular carriages incorporates better-functioning sound absorption panels. JR Tokai says this makes the ride quieter.



pic Asahi

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Japan could run super fast maglev line by 2020

Japan could be running high speed trains at an incredible 500km/h by 2020, the head of the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) told NCE this week.

JR Central is promoting a project to build a new 500km long, ultra-high speed link from Tokyo in central Japan, south west to the city of Osaka.

It sees this as a way of replacing its existing bullet train service, which is reaching capacity.

The Chuo Shinkansen railway will use JR Central’s Super conducting Maglev system, which uses electromagnetic coils cooled by liquid helium to propel the trains.

The system has been in development since the 1960s and was approved for commercial use by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in July 2009.

JR Central plans to open a preliminary, 286km long section from Tokyo to Nagoya in 2027, with work due to start next year.

But JR Central chairman Yoshiyuki Kasai told NCE that it may be possible to get a 100km section from Tokyo to Kofu up and running by 2020, when Tokyo is due to host the Olympics.

“We host the Olympics in 2020 and it would be great to show it [to the world] then,” he said.

Kasai said it would be impossible to get the entire first section open in time for the Games because of the complexity of the civil engineering.

Around 86% of the first section is in tunnel as the route cuts beneath central Japan’s mountain ranges.

One key challenge will be the 25km long soft bedrock tunnel through the Akaishi Mountain Range.

The 3km high range crosses the Nagano, Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures and lies between Nagoya and Kofu.

“The most difficult part [of construction] is the tunnels and this cannot be shortened,” he said.

But he said that it may be possible to get a 100km section between Tokyo and Kofu operating, as 42.8km of this incorporates the company’s test track. Of this, 18.4km is already operational and a 24.4km test track extension costing £2.2bn is underway.

That would leave a 57km long section to be built. This will run east of the test track to Tokyo’s Shinagawa station, which will be 40m underground.



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Maglev is the true way forward for high speed rail...problem is so dammed expensive.

It is said the price of one-way ticket Tokyo-Nagoya by Maglev will be about 13,000 yen.(Sorry I found some sources only in Japanese. :( )But I do believe by 2027 the price that JR Tokai announced last month will surely rise up. I'm concerned if Maglev could lower the speed safely in cases of huge earthquake.

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JR Tokai may open new maglev train station before 2020 Olympics

NAGOYA, Feb. 18, Kyodo

Central Japan Railway Co. is considering opening a new station for its magnetically levitated trains in Kofu in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo, ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The railway company serving central Japan, known as JR Tokai, aims to show its technology to the world by offering foreign passengers the chance to experience journeys at a maximum speed of 500 kilometers per hour on the Linear Chuo Shinkansen line.

At present, JR Tokai is running experimental Linear Chuo Shinkansen trains on a test line stretching around 43 km in Yamanashi Prefecture.

The company plans to extend the existing test line by about 6 km to run the trains, the source said.

Under JR Tokai's plan, the maglev train link will first open between Shinagawa, the Tokyo terminal for the service, and Nagoya, capital of the Chubu central Japan region, in 2027.

The new train will connect the two cities, located 286 km apart, in 40 minutes -- less than half the time of existing shinkansen bullet train services.

Construction of the Tokyo-Nagoya Linear Chuo Shinkansen line is expected to begin in the fall of this year.

The maglev line is seen as a second high-speed link for the country's three key metropolises of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka that will provide a backup when the existing shinkansen line becomes obsolete or if it is damaged by a major earthquake.

The line is expected to be extended further west to Osaka by 2045, when full-fledged operations will commence.


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The UK Government is currently funding the planning stages of High Speed 2 which is a new line from London to Northern England. It will be built in 2 phases; phase 1 from London to Birmingham and phase 2 from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, with a spur being built to Heathrow. Eventually it would be extended to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

There is a webpage about it: www.hs2.org.uk

Its proving quite controversial since it will plough its way through some very wealthy areas including Counties which the Conservative Party rely on for support, so I'm surprised they've gone ahead with it tbh.

Construction will commence in 2017 with the whole route finished and open to passengers by 2032.

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Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Train Turns 50

It was, retired Japanese railway engineer Fumihiro Araki recalls, "like flying in the sky."

Zipping cross-country in a super-high speed train has become commonplace in many countries these days, but it was unheard of when Japan launched its bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka 50 years ago Wednesday.

The Shinkansen, as it's called in Japan, gave a boost to train travel in Europe and Asia at a time when the rise of the automobile and the airplane threated to eclipse it. It also was a symbol of pride for Japan, less than two decades after the end of World War II, and a precursor of the economic "miracle" to come.

The Oct. 1, 1964, inauguration ceremony was re-enacted at Tokyo Station on Wednesday at 6 a.m., complete with ribbon cutting. The first bullet train, with its almost cute bulbous round nose, traveled from Tokyo to Osaka in four hours, shaving two and a half hours off the 513-kilometer (319-mile) journey. The latest model, with a space-age-like elongated nose, takes just two hours and 25 minutes.

Araki, now 73, drove the Shinkansen briefly in the summer of 1967 as part of his training as a railway operations engineer. Last week, he slipped back in time as he sat in the driver's seat of one of the early model bullet trains at a railway museum outside of Tokyo. He pulled a lever on the control panel, looking straight ahead as he was trained, though all he could see were other museum exhibits.

"It was like flying in the sky, it was that kind of feeling," said Araki, the acting director of the museum. "On a clear day, you could see Mount Fuji, and riding atop the railway bridge at Hamanako lake was very pleasant. It felt like you were sailing above the sea."



Japan started building a high-speed line during World War II, but construction was halted in 1943 as funds ran out. The idea was revived in the 1950s, but many questioned undertaking such a costly project, particularly with the expansion of air travel and highways. Criticism turned to pride when construction, financed partly by an $80 million World Bank loan, was completed in time for the Tokyo Olympics in October 1964.



The first Shinkansen had a maximum speed of 210 kilometers (130 miles) per hour. The fastest trains previously, in Europe, could reach 160 kph. Today's bullet trains, in Japan and elsewhere, have reached and in some cases exceeded 300 kph (186 mph). By average speed, China has the fastest train in the world, averaging 284 kph on a route between Shijiazhuang and Zhengshou Dong, according to a biennial World Speed Survey by Railway Gazette.



The Shinkansen renewed interest in high-speed rail elsewhere, notably in Europe. France and Spain are among the leaders in Europe, and Turkey last year became the ninth country to operate a train at an average speed of 200 kph, according to Railway Gazette. South Korea and Taiwan also operate high-speed systems in Asia. The United States is an exception, though there are proposals to build lines in California and Texas. The fastest train in the U.S., Amtrak's Acela Express, averages 169 kph (105 mph) on a short stretch between Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware, the speed survey says.



Magnetic levitation. Shanghai launched a German-built maglev train in 2004 on a 30-kilometer route between the city and the airport. It can hit 430 kph (267 mph). A Japanese maglev train in development has topped 500 kph (310 mph) in tests. If built, it could reduce the travel time between Tokyo and Osaka to just over one hour. With speed, though, some of the romance is lost. A faster Shinkansen has eliminated its dining car. "The problem is that Japan is such a small country," said Araki, the retired engineer. "If you go too fast, you'll get there in no time. No time to enjoy an onboard meal."




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It's not just NIMBYs. I think the California one is far too expensive. And I wonder if there is enough traffic between Dallas - Houston -Austin to sustain one in Texas.

Really? Not enough traffic between three of the Souths most important cities? One can be sustained in Texas and will probably happen before Cali.

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I just went to this amazing website called The Man in Seat 61 (Brits might know it) and there was a page on how it's possible to take trains from London to Singapore. Not really much High Speed Action outside of Eurostar and ICE but really wanted to share Looks like an amazing trip

London - Moscow - Beijing - Hanoi - Saigon - Bangkok - Singapore (or vice versa)

If you have the time (we're talking a minimum of 3½ weeks one-way), you can travel from London to Singapore overland, see the route map here. The links below cover travel in either direction, from London or to London:

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