Building high speed rail is no easy feat. It can take years to go from planning, to construction and finally opening day. Building rail lines that travel over 200 miles per hour is no small issue either and can cost between $10 million and $100 million per mile.
High Speed Rail has been rising in popularity in China for years now with over 6000 kilometers already built and construction is well underway on many more lines. But how does it all work? How much does it cost to build high speed rail? How much does a high speed train cost to build? How long does it take to build a high speed rail?
How much does it cost to build high speed rail
High-speed rail (HSR) is a passenger rail transport system which operates significantly faster than conventional rail traffic, using an integrated set of specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks. It is often called “true” high speed rail. The maximum Speeds in the world range from 350 km/h (220 mph) in France and Japan to 380 km/h (236 mph) in China. High-speed trains normally operate on standard gauge track of continuously welded rail on grade-separated right-of-way that incorporates a large turning radius in its design. While high-speed rail is most often designed for passenger travel, some high-speed systems also offer freight service. Multiple definitions for high-speed rail are used by different organizations:
The European Union Directive 96/48/EC defines high-speed rail as a set of services at least 200 km/h (124 mph) on newly constructed lines and 50 km/h (31 mph) or more on existing lines, with the possibility that this value may be increased up to 220 km/h (137 mph).
The International Union of Railways has defined high speed as a train
The cost of building a high-speed rail network depends on the length of the line and its complexity. In general, the longer the line, the more expensive it is to build. The most expensive part of high-speed rail construction is laying track and building stations.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that new passenger rail projects can cost $24 million per mile for tracks only, or $40 million per mile for tracks plus stations. These costs are for new construction only; rehabilitation or upgrades to existing lines are considerably less expensive.
The cost of building high-speed rail varies from country to country. It depends on various factors such as the length of the route and the number of people who will ride it. The average cost of building high-speed rail is around $30 million per kilometer.
The following are examples of how much it costs to build high-speed rail in different countries:
In the United States, there are currently three major projects underway — California HSR, Texas Central Railway and Florida’s Brightline — with a total of $64 billion invested so far.
California HSR (California High Speed Rail Authority) is the largest project with a total estimated cost of $77 billion to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco by 2029. The project was given an initial $9 billion appropriation in 2009 but has not been able to secure additional funding since then due to construction delays and other issues related to land acquisition. As of 2019, only about 3% of the route has been constructed so far.
High-speed rail (HSR) is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of railways. The most common definition of high-speed rail is a service between major cities and metropolitan areas that reduces travel time by 50% or more compared to driving or flying, with top speeds normally in excess of 200 km/h (124 mph). High-speed rail can also be defined as an intercity rail service that operates on a dedicated line at speeds above 200 km/h (124 mph), but below 300 km/h (186 mph). The top speed for conventional wheeled steel-wheeled trains is about 120–130 km/h (75–80 mph), while the fastest high-speed train currently in operation is China Railways CR400AF with a maximum speed of 350 km/h (217 mph).
The first high-speed rail line was built in Japan between Tokyo and Osaka in 1964. Since then many HSR lines have been built all over the world, including extensive networks in Europe and East Asia. While high-speed trains are generally expensive to build, they provide faster services over shorter distances than other modes of transport. This allows them to compete with air traffic for business travel and get people to their destinations
The answer to this question depends on several factors:
1. The location of the high-speed railway.
2. The type of high-speed railway system being built (e.g., a high-speed line or a bullet train).
3. The type of track used to build the line (e.g., concrete ties, steel rails).
4. The length of the line being built (e.g., whether it is a short line or a long one).
5. The amount of tunneling required to build the line (if any).
How much does a high speed train cost to build
The cost of high speed rail varies greatly between countries and even within countries. The average cost per kilometre for high speed rail projects is around $100 million (USD) in Europe and $60 million (USD) in the United States. China has built many high speed lines at an average cost of $15 million (USD) per kilometre.
In Europe, there are two main categories of high-speed rail: those with dedicated tracks, which are generally built through tunnels or on viaducts where they cross existing lines; and those using existing track but with better signalling, curves and gradients to allow faster speeds. The latter type is typically cheaper than the former, but both together usually represent a substantial investment.
How long does it take to build a high speed rail?
It depends on many factors including the terrain; whether there is already a line in place or not; how densely populated the area is; how much political support there is for it; as well as other factors such as natural disasters that may occur during construction. It can take anywhere from 5 years up to 10 years or more
How much does it cost to build a high speed railway?
The cost of building a high-speed rail line varies greatly depending on the terrain, topography and other factors. In general, though, the cost of building an HSR line is about $25 million per mile for passenger service and $50 million per mile for freight service.
The main cost drivers are:
track work; and
The cost of building high-speed rail lines varies by country. For example, Japan has spent more than $100 billion on its shinkansen network and South Korea has spent $30 billion on its KTX line.
The U.S. High Speed Rail Association estimates that a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco would cost about $60 billion.
In Europe, the Eurostar train that runs between London and Paris costs about $1 million per kilometer to build, according to Railway Gazette International.
The cost of building a high-speed railway line varies greatly depending on the type of project and the country. The table below provides an overview of some recent projects:
Project Country Cost (in USD million)
Shanghai–Nanjing China 4,500
Beijing–Tianjin China 4,500
Hangzhou–Chuzhou China 1,600
Chengdu–Chongqing China 1,600
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than traditional rail traffic, using an integrated system of specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks. While there is no single standard that applies worldwide, new lines in excess of 250 km/h (155 mph) are generally regarded as high-speed.
High-speed trains normally operate on standard gauge tracks of continuously welded rail on grade-separated right-of-way that incorporates a large turning radius in its design. The first high-speed rail line was the Tokaido Shinkansen in Japan, which began commercial operations in 1964. The TGV in France and the ICE system in Germany emerged in the 1970s – both pioneered high-speed service at 200–250 km/h (125–155 mph). While their respective top speeds were 360 km/h (225 mph) and 320 km/h (200 mph), they too could be considered high speed due to the short distance between stations and their use of a wider range of technologies than classic railway systems of the same speeds.
Speed record achievements are often not perceived as being as impressive when compared with conventional railways because they do not take into account factors such as route length or number of passengers carried.