Grab on and, explore these HSR rail networks

 Tuesday, November 15, 2022 


According to data provided by the International Union of Railways in 2021, China has the largest high-speed rail network (routes with an average speed of 200 km/h or more), with 37,558 km of electrified high-speed track. China is home to six of the ten longest high-speed railway (HSR) lines in the world, with the other four being in Spain, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Japan was the first nation to construct and run a High Speed Rail line in 1964. So, grab hard to the seat and enjoy this compilation of the world’s longest high-speed rail networks.

With a total length of 40,000 kilometres by the end of 2021, the high-speed rail (HSR) network in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the longest and most widely used in the world. The HSR network includes recently constructed rail lines with a 200-350 km/h design speed (120–220 mph). Two-thirds of the world’s high-speed rail networks are found in China. The China Railway Corporation, which goes by the name China Railway High-speed, owns and operates nearly all HSR trains, tracks, and services (CRH).

Europe’s longest high-speed rail network is in Spain. Alta Velocidad Espaola, or AVE, is in charge of running it. A play on the Spanish word ave, which means bird, is also incorporated into the acronym. Spain’s AVE trains run on the continent’s longest high-speed network, which spans 3,100 km of track. This vast network, which can travel at up to 310 km/h, enables quick connections between Spanish cities. Less than three hours are needed to get from Madrid to Barcelona. From Madrid and Barcelona to Cordoba, Seville, Málaga, and Valencia, this contemporary rail network connects a number of cities throughout Spain.

Japan created the first high-speed rail system in the world more than 50 years ago, and it is still regarded as the benchmark for rail travel. When the Shinkansen, or bullet trains, were first introduced in Japan in 1964, it became the first nation to offer high-speed rail service to the general public. Over 10 billion passengers have travelled on Japan’s high-speed train system since it opened (as of 2017). Their high-speed rail system is still among the largest in the world. With an operating length of roughly 713.7 kilometres as of March 2022, Japan Railways’ Tohoku Shinkansen was the longest high-speed train route in the system. The Tohoku Shinkansen connects Tokyo with Aomori in Aomori Prefecture, which is situated on Japan’s main island’s northeastern seacoast.

After Russia, the UK, and France, Germany has the fourth-oldest high-speed rail network in Europe. Its system is run by InterCity-Express, whose ICE brand is wholly recognisable in Germany. All of Germany’s major cities are connected by the ICE, being one of the quickest methods to get between cities like Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne, reaching speeds of up to 300 km/h. The ICE has ties to Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Austria on a global scale. ICE trains often feature breakfast, lunch, or supper menus featuring many German delicacies, as well as snacks and a large range of beverages. Amenities may vary by train and itinerary. In first class, waiters will even bring food and beverages to your seat. On ICE trains, dogs are welcome and some routes even feature Wi-Fi.

France has the fourth-oldest high-speed rail network in the world. The TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, or high-speed train) service wasn’t made available to the general public until 1981, while France began building their High Speed Rail network shortly after Japan opened theirs in 1964. With average top speeds of 320 km/h, national rail operator SNCF operates the world’s fastest network of conventional trains (200 mph). France introduced Ouigo, a low-cost HSR service, in April. A trip from Paris to southeast France can be taken for as little as 10 Euros.

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