High speed trains

By Frédéric de Kemmeter, Railway policy observer – Freelance railway contributing writer – Suscribe my blog
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Success for Trenitalia France
24/01/2023 – A successful bet for Trenitalia France: its Paris-Lyon route reached its one millionth passenger last December. This was important because the Italian company’s arrival on French soil was a risky move in a country that has never been convinced by multiple operators on the same network…

Private operator Le Train chooses Talgo for its future rolling stock
24/01/2023 – Of the four candidates who wanted to operate train services in France, it is finally the company Le Train that is the first to take action. On 23 January, the Bordeaux-based company announced the acquisition of 10 Talgo Avril trainsets. In France, one of these trainsets – not intended for Le Train – is currently…

Portugal_realestatePortugal will also have a high-speed line
01/10/2022 – Last week Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced plans for a brand-new high-speed line between Lisbon and Porto. The new service could reach speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour and cut journey times down to just one hour and 15 minutes. Which is, by any measure, pretty bloomin’ speedy. In comments Mr Costa highlighted the importance of connecting Portugal’s two…

Turkey: works resume on the Ankara-Izmir high-speed line
14/09/2022 – After the groundbreaking ceremony in Afyonkarahisar on August 30, work began on the 508-kilometer high-speed line Ankara – Afyonkarahisar – Usak – Izmir in Turkey. This new line is a key national project of the Turkish Government’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and is part of the national government’s plans to expand the country’s HSR network to 10,000km by 2023.

USA: difficulties in the Texas high-speed rail project
02/09/2022 – Ten years ago, a company calling itself Texas Central High-Speed Railway announced plans for a trailblazing bullet train that would whisk passengers between Dallas and Houston in 90 minutes. The potential for an American high-speed rail line captured the imagination of Texans and national train enthusiasts alike. The stakes of the high-speed rail project extend beyond the Texas.

Czech Republic: a new Prague-Dresden high-speed line for 2040?
26/08/2022 – The Czech Republic wants to use its presidency of the EU Council to push forward the construction of the new Prague-Dresden railway line. This is a project whose conclusions were already presented in January 2016 in Germany by the Minister of Transport of the Land of Saxony. Earlier in 2014, the European Commission agreed to cover half the cost of a €1.26 million feasibility study…

Italy: the Bari-Naples high-speed line, a 5.8 billion euro project
25/08/2022 – The last works on the route of the future high-speed line were opened in August. The entire route is now under construction, following the announcement of the opening of the last construction sites on the Hirpinia-Orsara and Orsara-Bovino sections. In detail, the completion of these two sections will allow a further reduction in travel time between the capital of Campania and Puglia and…

Italy’s high-speed train celebrates its 30th anniversary
04/06/2022 -2022 is definitely an anniversary year for high-speed rail in Europe. At the end of May 1992, Italy also joined the little club of high-speed train operators. Althought Italy had in been partially operating a new high-speed line since 1977, we retain the year 1992 with a complete new line and the operation of a new train.

Spain: Iryo begins final tests and prepares to launch services in Spain
24/08/2022 – The last competing high-speed operator that has not yet started services, Ilsa (under the brand name Iryo), has begun technical tests on the Madrid-Barcelona line with an ETR 400 trainset, one of 20 supplied by Hitachi Rail. This is the final step in the process of authorising the ETR 400 to operate on the Spanish high-speed network. Unlike the other operators Ouigo and Renfe (AVE and…

Italy: RFI launches a €1.1 billion tender for the high-speed rail bypass and the new Florence station
23/08/2022 – The infrastructure manager Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (FS Italiane Group) has published the tender notice in the Official Journal of the European Union, for a total amount of more than 1.1 billion euros, for the construction of the bypass and the new high-speed station at the Florence hub. It should be…

Italy’s high-speed train celebrates its 30th anniversary
04/06/2022 -2022 is definitely an anniversary year for high-speed rail in Europe. At the end of May 1992, Italy also joined the little club of high-speed train operators. Althought Italy had in been partially operating a new high-speed line since 1977, we retain the year 1992 with a complete new line and the operation of a new train.

Service provisionally complete for Trenitalia France
03/06/2022 – The train service of the Italian’s ‘Frecciarossa’ in France now includes two additional daily return trips, bringing to five the number of connections between at least Paris and Lyon, with two of these return trips continuing to Milan via Modane and Turin. On international traffic, with the fall of Covid restrictions in Italy, the occupancy rate would reach 93% according to Roberto Rinaudo, CEO of Trenitalia France.

The 10 years of NTV-Italo
26/04/2022 – This Thursday 28 April marks the 10th anniversary of the start of NTV-Italo’s services in Italy. This is an opportunity to look back on this undeniable success, which was unique in Europe, while high-speed competition is now taking off in Spain and France.

UK: How HS2 will maintain its network using Virtual Reality and ‘digital twin’ technology
17/02/2022 – HS2 is using virtual reality and real-time monitoring technology built into infrastructure such as rails, bridges and overhead lines in a push for greater reliability. It said that engineers are preparing designs using the latest software. The data produced from this work will inform construction and help build a…

Germany: Deutsche Bahn orders 43 new ICE 3neo trains
02/02/2022 – Siemens has bagged an order for 43 ICE 3neo trains to the tune of 1,5 billion euros. The Deutsche Bahn contract was announced earlier on Tuesday in Berlin and brings the total number of ICE 3neo trains ordered to 73. The first units are expected to be entered into service by the end of this year. The new ICE 3neo trains seat 439 passengers and can reach a top speed of 320 kilometres…

USA: High-Speed Las Vegas Train Back On Track As U.S. Reviews L.A. Extension
26/01/2022 – Extension Brightline, the only private passenger rail company in the U.S., could begin construction of its high-speed train from Las Vegas by early 2023 as U.S. regulators start reviewing an extension that would connect it to a Los Angeles suburb. The review focuses on a 49-mile section of Brightline West, the…

Spain: Renfe lauch four Avlo services between Madrid and Valencia
20/01/2022 – From 21 February 2022, it will be possible to travel between Madrid and Valencia with the low-cost train Avlo, Renfe’s low-cost service, with three daily return trips, offering 2,200 seats per day. Although two trains – one for each direction – are direct, the other four Avlo trains will stop at the stations of Cuenca Fernando Zóbel and Requena-Utiel, in line with what the operator has also…

France: the first Frecciarossa left Paris this saturday
18/12/2021 – The first Frecciarossa of Trenitalia France (ex-Thello), left Paris Gare de Lyon at 7.26 am (+ 2 minutes…). The Italian public operator is initially offering two return trips between Paris and Milan, which will be increased to three during 2022. The important thing to understand here is that Trenitalia can offer French domestic tickets, in this case on Paris-Lyon. Trenitalia is putting the best…

UK: Hitachi and Alstom win order to build and maintain High Speed Two trains in Britain
09/12/2021 – Alstom and Hitachi Rail have today confirmed that the Hitachi-Alstom High Speed (HAH-S) 50/50 joint venture has signed contracts with High Speed Two (HS2) to design, build, and maintain the next generation of very high speed trains for HS2 Phase 1 as part of the £1.97 billion contract, including an initial…

USA: State appeals court rejects long-standing challenge to California bullet train
01/12/2021 – The last pending civil lawsuit seeking to stop the California high-speed rail project hit a wall Tuesday when a state appeals court affirmed a lower court ruling that the project did not violate the California Constitution by adopting…

Great-Britain: scaled back plan for HS2 network project
21/11/2021 – The UK’s high-speed network project HS2 is undergoing a major slimming down in the part towards the Midlands. The authorities intend to shift the focus of rail policy to local and regional transport in this region. But with what money?

France celebrates 40 years of high speed trains
19/09/2021 – This week France celebrates the 40th anniversary of the TGV. The French high-speed train has given a new lease of life to a railway that was wondering about its future.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

Aviation-vs-RailCan the train really replace the plane?
28/06/2021 – The train could replace some 500 to 1000km flights. Mentalities seem to be evolving in this direction and the average travel time would increase. But there are still a number of conditions for this replacement. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

Digital-RailwaysMoving from product to customer: can rail learn from Gafam?
20/06/2021 – Moving from a « product » policy to a « customer » policy is a real challenge for rail. The weight of assets (trains-infrastructure) and cultural habits still largely shape rail policy, but there are, however, some reasons for hope.

Thalys-SNCF-BrusselsThalys: 25 years old and a future to consolidate
06/06/2021 – Since the 1980s, a project for an international high-speed train had been in the making. In October 1987, a political decision in Brussels was made to build a high-speed network between France and northern Europe, including the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. Now Thalys have 25 years old.

Deutsche-Bahn-ICEHappy birthday, InterCity Express
30/05/2021 – 10 years after the launch of the first high-speed train in France, Germany launched its own high-speed train called « InterCity Express » (ICE). This is an opportunity to look back at the German concept, which differs from the French options. The arrival of the ICE has allowed Deutsche Bahn – and Siemens -, to become one of the world’s leading high-speed railways.

DeutschlandtaktD-Takt: the great challenge of the clockface timetable 2/2
09/05/2021 – A train every half hour from city to city and from village to village. Convenient transfers without long waiting times, even in the countryside. Riding a train anywhere in the country would be as easy as riding the S-Bahn in the cities today. This second part will detail the impact of the clockface timetable service on journey times between the major German cities and the place reserved for new entrants.

DeutschlandtaktD-Takt: the great challenge of the clockface timetable 1/2
02/05/2021 – A train every half hour from city to city and from village to village. Convenient transfers without long waiting times, even in the countryside. Riding a train anywhere in the country would be as easy as riding the S-Bahn in the cities today. It is the Deutschlandtakt, the german’s clockface timetable.

OBB_WorkshopMore operators are needed to contribute to more modal shift
16/08/2020 – The railway is not able to cover a maximum of our mobility needs. Not really because there are other modes of transport, but because there are not enough operators and innovation.

OBB_WorkshopHow can the train win back business travellers?
17/07/2020 – Business customers have high expectations when it comes to travel. The train can conquer this clientele but under certain conditions.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

ADIF_2_gettyThe post-Covid utopia: Paris-Berlin in four hours…
22/06/2020 – It is well known that great crises give rise to great utopias. The EU’s Covid-19 economic stimulus package could be used to fund a high-speed rail network across Europe, according to the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies.

Aerial view of Interchange StationWest Midlands: first railway station in the world to obtain a sustainable label
12/05/2020 – How do you build a station with a sustainable label? Example with this new station in the East of Birmingham, but with a very English label…

Texas Central High Speed Train_02The Texan high speed railway project is progressing well
25/02/2020 – It gets little publicity , but it seems to be moving forward. The Texan TGV is an issue that attracs our attention because European companies are involved in it. It is also fundamentally different from the Californian dossier, which is getting bogged down. Why?

HS2_Curzon_Birmingham_stationBoris Johnson gives green light to the high-speed rail line HS2
12/02/2020 – With its cost of almost €118 billion, the HS2 high-speed line will be built to improve railway service between London and the center of England. HS2 will be the second high speed railway in the United Kingdom, following HS1 build in 2007.

Avlo_Renfe_3_RenfeAVLO, Renfe’s first low cost train in Spain – 12/12/2019 – As the SNCF comes to Spain with its rail concept Ouigo, Spain would to answer clearly. That’s what the Renfe did by introducing its new Avlo train.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

Hardt_Hyperloop_02Optimistic debate about Hyperloop at Hypermotion fair in Frankfurt – 02/12/2019 – A dominant topic at the fair was Elon Musk’s first innovative heartbeat, hyperloop, which still spurs visionary thinking.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

KL1724_2KLM to replace Brussels flight with Thalys – 14/09/2019 – Replace the plane on short distance? KLM will do it on Amsterdam-Brussels. From the end of March 2020, the airline KLM will remove one of its five daily flights to replace it with a TGV Thalys.

1a9ee-maglev-japanAsia: Are futuristic maglev trains could revolutionize railways ?
16/06/2019 – While the world looks at Hyperloop projects with caution, it is useful to look at another railway technology: magnetic levitation, which Europe seems to have definitively cancelled. The magnetic levitation train can be defined as a high-speed train, but not only. In 1984, in Birmingham, a train operated on an…

Autonomous_railwayAsia takes leadership of trains at 600km/h, and itsn’t good news for Europe and America
30/05/2019 – The Chinese manufacturer CRRC, which is so scary to European manufacturers, unveils a magnetic levitation train project that could circulate at 600km/h. It is a train without wheels, where the train is the only moving part…

Evo-Padova_2018NTV-Italo : seven years and now success
05/05/2019 – Last month marked the seventh anniversary of NTV-Italo, the italian private high speed train. It has now become a reference for rail liberalization. Welcome in Italy.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

ADIF_2The Spanish high speed officially liberalized
25/04/2019 – ADIF, the spanish infrastructure manager, has released its 10-year network statement for the “network of general interest” (RFIG), which proposes creating three high-speed packages for liberalisation expected in 2020.

ThalysThalys launches his low-cost service
03/02/2016 – Thalys will also launch a low-cost service with its new concept « Izy » (easy). Starting expected on 3 April.

1a9ee-maglev-japanJapan: the Maglev reaches 603km/hr and a new line of 286 kilometers is building
28/01/2016 – Last week, it has been announced by Japan Railways’ Operator JR that Maglev, the train which works with the technology of magnetic elevation, has reached 603 km/hr, according to the test results conducted. A plan was decided to build the first commercial line of such trains with a length of 286 km between Tokyo and Nagoya.