Is High Speed Rail the game-changer we need now?

Yet again politicians reach for the High Speed Rail elixir – this time as a prescription for national economic recovery from the pandemic. But it’s snake oil

Is High Speed Rail the game-changer we need now?

 


2 Comments on “Is High Speed Rail the game-changer we need now?”

  1. The earthworks and rail structure which are unique to high-speed rail can only serve terminus to terminus needs. Slower trains serving suburban or country needs cannot use the tracks. There are a number of reasons, but the most prominent is that a high-speed train needs a much steeper transverse curvature or it will derail and fall over on the outer side. The reverse happens when normal (slower) traffic is using the route. The train might derail on the inner side and also fall over, particularly if the curve is on an earthwork of some kind. High-speed rail is certainly useful for long-distance point-to-point needs, but the older models are still necessary to service country and smaller community needs..

    • Glenn Phillips says:

      In Japan, accurate to the second timetabling allows super express, express and all stations trains to be run simultaneously on a single pair of Shinkansen lines. At the intermediate stations where only the all stations trains stop the tracks often increase to four tracks with the platforms on the outer tracks, thereby allowing express trains to pass on the inner track while the all stations train has stopped at the station.

      That doesn’t mean there aren’t fundamental questions around the cost/benefit of the high speed train proposals.


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