Britain Studies London-Manchester HSR February 7, 2005
The British government is studying a high-speed rail link that could take passengers from London to Manchester in less than 90 minutes, a reduction of at least 50 minutes. Transport Minister Alistair Darling says the Government must decide whether the extra capacity required on the rail network over the next 10 to 20 years could be achieved by upgrading existing lines or by building new railways. He also says earlier plans for the project drawn up by the Strategic Rail Authority had not been "robust" in terms of cost. The link was determined to cost L33bn.
London-Edinburgh HSR? February 4, 2005
Under the SRA blueprint the new line would run parallel to the existing East Coast main line out of London but then go to the West Midlands. There would be a branch to Manchester and the main line would go via Leeds and the north-east of England to Edinburgh. The final bill would be about L33bn. Almost two hours would be knocked off the trip from London to Edinburgh, cutting the journey time over 400 miles to two hours and 35 minutes
From International Railway Journal's Latest News Archive
Korean High-Speed Train Breaks Through 350km/h Barrier December 22, 2004
THE G7 prototype high-speed train built by Rotem, Korea, reached a speed of 352.4km/h during a midnight test run on December 16. The run started at Gwangmyeung station and the train exceeded 350km/h between Cheonan and Shintanjin. The Ministry of Construction and Transportation said that only three other countries, France, Germany, and Japan have built trains that can travel at 350km/h or more.
The train is a progression of the Korea Train eXpress (KTX), which is based on French TGV technology. Forty-six KTX trains, the first 13 built in France by Alstom and the rest progressively built in Korea by Rotem under a technology transfer deal, have been in service on Korea?s new high-speed line between Seoul and Busan that opened in April.
The six-car aluminium-bodied G7 is an all-Korean train designed for ultimate operation at 350km/h. About 87% of the core technology is Korean. Korea has invested about $US 200 million during the past eight years to develop the train, which it hopes to export from 2007.
Russia Agrees High-Speed Train Development December 21, 2004
RUSSIAN Railways (RZD) and a Russian consortium, New Transport Technologies (NTT), have signed an agreement with Siemens to jointly develop a new 250km/h train for operation between key Russian cities, including the Moscow--St Petersburg route, and between St Petersburg and Helsinki, Finland.
The signing ceremony was attended by the Russian president, Mr Vladimir Putin, and the German Chancellor, Mr Gerhard Schröder, as well as Mr Hans Schabert, Siemens Transportation Systems' group president. Initially, the agreement calls for the production of 60 trains, which will be built mainly in Russia. The first train is expected to be completed in 2007.
Maglev Rejected For BeijingShanghai High-Speed Line? December 2, 2004
A former mayor of Shanghai, Mr Xu Kuangdo, who is now vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, has said that China is unlikely to use maglev technology for the proposed 1300km BeijingShanghai high-speed line because it is too expensive and too risky from a technological point of view. Xu was speaking at the China Foreign Affairs University.
The world's first commercial high-speed maglev line running 30km from Shanghai's Pudong international airport to the city's financial centre in seven minutes has been operating since January 2004. Xu commented that maglev technology was too expensive and required too much precision for the BeijingShanghai route which will have many rivers to cross. "Although maglev is very advanced technologically, the investment involved is huge and construction quality requirements are very high," he said.
A maglev line, with a journey time of about three hours, would cost $US 48.4 billion, while a conventional steel-wheel-on-steel-rail line could offer a journey time of about five hours at a cost of $US 15.7 billion.
Despite that, Xu is quoted by China News Service saying that China will build a second, longer maglev line covering 170km between Shanghai's Pudong airport and Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province. The journey time will be 26 minutes.
[For an informative web site on Maglev, see
RFF Seeks Local Approval For New TGV Line November 26, 2004
THE president of French Rail Network (RFF), Mr Jean-Pierre Duport, has asked the prefect of Charente to open an enquiry in order to obtain approval to construct the first phase of the 302km Sud Europe Atlantique high-speed line. RFF hopes to receive a declaration of public utility during the first quarter of next year.
TGV Sud Europe Atlantique will extend the existing Paris–Tours TGV Atlantique line to Bordeaux. The 300km/h line will cut the Paris–Bordeaux journey time by 50 minutes. The current fastest time by non-stop TGV is 2h 56min.
The first phase of the project will be 121km long and run from Villognon, north of Angouleme, to Ambares-et-Lagrave, north of Bordeaux. It will cost Euros 1.7 billion to build and should open in 2013. This section will cut 30 minutes off the Paris–Bordeaux journey time and should attract an extra 1.7 million passengers.