Timeline of high-speed rail

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This is a timeline of high-speed rail, focusing on speed evolution of the transport. Since the birth of the railway age in the 1830s, when 50kph was considered ‘fast’, rail speeds have increased dramatically.[1] Therefore this timeline has for axis events related to services breaking speed record across time. For the early development of railways, plase visit timeline of rail transport.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
19th century Railways originate in Europe during the Industrial Revolution, with earliest events taking blace in the United Kingdom. Since the very beginning, the speed of passengers trains is an essential argument to compete, not necessarily with other transport modes but among the different companies. The speed on rails also constitute an evidence of technological development of the most advanced countries at that time.[2]
1930s Trains designed for commercial operation between cities average 133 km/h.[3]
1950s Japanese railway engineers begin their own extensive research and development on high speed rail, aiming to improve rail transportation for the densely populated and rapidly growing Tokyo–Osaka corridor. In France, tests conducted by the French National Railway show that speeds over 300 km/h could be achieved with powerful electric locomotives.[4]
1964 < The Japanese Shinkansen becomes the first high speed system in the world, marking a new era of modern transport. Japan is the first country in the world to build a dedicated line for new high speed trains.[5]
1970s–1990s High–speed rail sees a great adoption in Europe, with France leading with its TGV. Magnetic levitation (Maglev) technology is first tested in the 1970s.[6]
2000s< High–speed rail is adopted late in China, yet the country quickly raises as the worldwide top with the largest network. In Europe, Spain, which also saw a late introduction, has notwithstanding topped the continent with the current largest network worldwide second only to China.

Visual data

High–Speed Rail development, 1964-autumn 2009 (kms). Japan shows early development. The two countries with the largest networks currently, China and Spain, had a late introduction
High–speed rail under construction, 2009-12 (kms).

Full timeline

Year Event type Details Present day country/location
1803 Model British inventor and mining engineer Richard Trevithick develops the first high-pressure steam engine as well as the first full scale working railway steam locomotive, the ‘Puffing Devil,’ which is widely recognised as the first demonstration of transportation powered by steam. It successfully carries six passengers to the next nearby village travelling at a speed of 8 km/h.[7] United Kingdom
1812 Model English manufacturer Matthew Murray builds the first commercially viable steam locomotive.[3] United Kingdom
1829 Speed English engineer George Stephenson develops his “Rocket” locomotive, which reaches 50 km/h, representing a true high speed consideration for railways at the time.[2][3][7] United Kingdom
1845 Line The British Great Western Railway introduces the fastest rail service in the world with its London to Exeter expresses, which averages 70kph.[1] United Kingdom
1854 Speed Railways reach 130 km/h.[2]
1891 Engineer Károly Zipernowsky proposes a high-speed line ViennaBudapest, bound for electric railcars at 250km/h.[8] Austria, Hungary
1899 Test Early experiments in high-speed rail are conducted in Germany. Railway between Marienfelde and Zossen, in length of 72 km, is electrified by Prussian state railway and ten electrical and engineering firms. After four years of experimenting rails would manage to achieve a speed of 210.2 km/h though this train would not enter the regular service.[9][7] Germany
1903 (October) Model The Siemens & Halske-equipped railcar obtains speed of 206.7 km/h on 23th October, and on 27 October the AEG-equipped railcar achieves 210.2 km/h.[10][2] Germany
1933 Introduction The first high speed trains appear in Europe and the United States when streamliner trains start being used to transport goods and people at speeds of around 130 km/h.[11] Europe, United States
1933 Model Diesel-powered “Fliegender Hamburger” enters regular service between Berlin and Hamburg with a top speed of 160 km/h.[1][9] Germany
1934 Model The Denver Zephyr averages 134 km/h[1] and peaks at 185 km/h.[9][7] United States
1938 Model The steam traction, LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard high speed runs on Britain’s East Coast Main Line at a speed of 203km/h.[1][7] United Kingdom
1938 Line The Italian ETR200 electric train serves the Bologna-Rome-Naples route at 200 km/h.[1][9][7] Italy
1957 Model Engineers at the private Odakyu Electric Railway in Greater Tokyo Area launch the Odakyu 3000 series SE electric multiple unit EMU. This unit sets a world record for narrow gauge trains at 145 km/h.[12][11] Japan
1964 (October 1) Line Japan opens the world's first high-speed rail line, between Tokyo and Osaka, in time for the 1964 Olympics. The Shinkansen (新幹線, new trunk line) is the first high speed system in the world.[2] The new service operates at speeds up to 210 km/h and average over 110 km/h.[4][7][13][14] Japan
1964 Program The United States start exploring the notion of high-speed rail transportation.[15] United States
1965 (June) Introduction In Europe, high-speed rail begins during the International Transport Fair in Munich, when German Federal Railways operate fast trains with 200 km/h between Munich and Augsburg.[6][11] Germany
1965 Model French engineer Jean Bertin invents the Aérotrain, a hovercraft monorail train, and builds the first prototype.[6] France
1965 Policy The United States Congress passes the high speed rail bill. The act would contribute to the establishment of the nation's fastest rail service, the Metroliner, from Washington, DC to New York city.[16] United States
1966 Program La Société nationale des chemins de fer français sets up a research department dedicated to the creation of a high-speed “turbotrain” based on the model of the Shinkansen.[17] France
1968 Line The first modern high-speed rail between Tokyo and Osaka, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, starts operating.[9] Japan
1976 Line The first high speed rail service is introduced in Great Britain, with diesel-powered High Speed Trains or HSTs running at up to 200km/h.[1][18] United Kingdom
1978 Line Italy is credited with Europe's first high-speed line, the Direttissima, opening between Rome and Florence. The service opens with a top speed of 250 km/h.[4][19][13] Italy
1981 (September 27) Line The National French Railway Company starts the operation of the first high speed line TGV (French: Train à Grande Vitesse, "high-speed train"), between Paris and Lyon, at 260km/h.[2][4] Since then, France would become the European leader of the high speed rail movement.[19][16] France
1981 Speed The TGV reaches the record speed of 380 km/hour.[17] France
1988 Test West Germany’s Intercity Experimental train reaches 406.9 km/h, a record that would become the predecessor of all Intercity-Express trains on the Deutsche Bahn.[7][18] Germany
1988 Introduction The Shatabdi Express, the fastest train in India, travelling at 140 km/h, is introduced.[20] India
1989 Model The TGV "Atlantique" becomes the first train to operate regularly at 300 km/h.[2] France
c.1989 The United States Congress begins to show interest in Maglev technology as a possible solution for high-speed rail in the country, requesting the Federal Railroad Administration to assess its feasibility.[15] United States
1990 The Community of European Railways proposes an interconnected high–speed rail network.[6] Europe
1990 Speed The French TGV breaks speed record for an electric train reaching 515 km/h.[18] France
1991 (June 2) Line High-speed rail in Germany is established with the introduction of the Intercity-Express train at 320 km/h.[4][21][22][16] Germany
1992 Line The AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) iniciates with the MadridSeville service opened on dedicated track. In spite of its late introduction, the Spanish high speed railway system would become the second in the world only to China.[21][2][5][14][16] Spain
1993 Speed The Japanese Jōetsu Shinkansen reaches 425.0 km/h.[7] Japan
1994 Line Eurostar high–speed rail service starts operating, linking directly London to Continental Europe via the Channel Tunnel.[23] Europe
1997 Line High-speed rail in Belgium is introduced with the opening of the HSL 1 to France, cutting the Eurostar LondonBrussels journey time.[24][2] Belgium
2002 The Shanghai Pudong maglev airport link is successfully completed.[8] China
2003 Line The first section the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (re-branded "High Speed 1" in 2006) opens. It is the first purpose-built high-speed rail line in the United Kingdom.[2][25][26] United Kingdom
2003 Maglev Japan Railway’s magnetic levitation maglev line reaches 581km/h.[27] Japan
2004 (April) Maglev The Shanghai maglev train starts operations.[7] China
2004 Line Korea Train Express (KTX) high–speed rail system is launched in South Korea.[2] South Korea
2007 Speed France’s LGV Est travelling at speeds of 574.8 km/h wins the prize for the fastest high-speed train in the world.[2] France
2007 (january 5) Line Taiwan High Speed Rail begins operation with first line between Taipei and Kaohshiung, at speeds up to 300 km/h.[28][2] Taiwan
2008 Line High-speed rail in China is introduced with the first line opened between Beijing and Tianjin.[2][29] China
2009 Line High-speed rail in Turkey is introduced with the first line between Ankara and Eskişehir.[2][30] Turkey
2009 (December 13) Line High-speed rail is introduced in the Netherlands with first service by Thalys operating on the HSL-Zuid.[2] Netherlands
2009 Organization High Speed Two Ltd is established; with aims was at developing proposals for a high speed railway link between London and the West Midlands.[6] United Kingdom
2009 (February 17) Policy The President of the United States Barack Obama signs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, enabling funds (US$ 8 billion ans US$ 1 billion yearly for at least five years) for the Federal Railroad Administration to assign to intercity and high–speed rail projects.[14] United States
2010 Statistics High speed trains worldwide carry 250 billion passenger km per annum.[5]
2013 The Tōhoku Shinkansen reaches 320 km/h.[31] Japan
2014 Maglev Construction of the first intercity maglev line begins, netween Tokyo and Nagoya. It is anticipated to open in 2027.[5] Japan
2015 (April) Speed record Japan Railway’s magnetic levitation maglev line breaks world speed record with 600km/h test run.[3][27] Japan
2015 Statistics High speed lines worldwide extend over almost 30,000 kilometres.[2]
2016 Statistics China has 22,000 kilometres of high-speed rail as of end December 2016, accounting for two-thirds of the world's total.[32][33] China
2017 Maglev The Shanghai Maglev Maglev wins the prize as the fastest high-speed train in the world, with a top operational speed of 430km/h and average speed of 251 km/h.[7] China
2027 Maglev The Linear Chūō Shinkansen is expected to travel at 505 km/h.[31] Japan

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links

References

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  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 "HIGH SPEED RAIL HISTORY". uic.org. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "The History (and Future) of High Speed Rail". blog.midwestind.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Pérez Henríquez,, Blas Luis; Deakin, Elizabeth. High-Speed Rail and Sustainability: Decision-making and the Political Economy of Investment. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 High-Speed Rail and Sustainability: Decision-making and the political economy of investment (Blas Luis Pérez Henríquez, Elizabeth Deakin ed.). Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Khabbaz, Hadi; Fatahi, Behzad. "How to Overcome Geotechnical Challenges in Implementing High Speed Rail Systems in Australia". researchgate.net. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 "The ten fastest trains in the world… 1801 to present.". smartrailworld.com. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "E n d o f a n E p o c h & N e w S t a r t". trains-worldexpresses.com. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 "High-Speed Rail History and Facts". trainhistory.net. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  10. Sith Sastrasinh, "Electrical Train Marienfelde–Zossen in 1901", 21 January 2000, WorldRailFans. Accessed 23 January 2013.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "High Speed Trains". thoughtco.com. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  12. "The Blue Ribbon and Laurel Awards". japaneserailwaysociety.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "A Brief History of High-Speed Rail". content.time.com. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Albalate, Daniel; Bel i Queralt, Germa. The Economics and Politics of High-speed Rail: Lessons from Experiences Abroad. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "High-Speed Rail Timeline". fra.dot.gov. Retrieved 19 March 2018. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Peterman, David Randall. High Speed Rail in the United States. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 "THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIGH-SPEED TRAIN LINES". sncf-reseau.fr. Retrieved 19 March 2018. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "High speed rail from wheels to magnet". futurism.com. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 O'Toole, Randal. Gridlock: Why We're Stuck in Traffic and What To Do About It. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  20. Roy, Navkala. The Railway Train: How it Works. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Fang, Youtong; Zhang, Yuehong (Helen). China's High-Speed Rail Technology: An International Perspective. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  22. High-Speed Rail and Sustainability: Decision-making and the political economy of investment (Blas Luis Pérez Henríquez, Elizabeth Deakin ed.). 
  23. International high-speed rail systems: hearing before the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, first session, April 19, 2007, Volume 4. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  24. Lawton, Thomas C. Strategic Management in Aviation: Critical Essays. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  25. Delivering a Sustainable Railway: A 30-year Strategy for the Railways? : Tenth Report of Session 2007-08 : Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence (Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Transport Committee ed.). Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  26. Railway Development: Impacts on Urban Dynamics (Frank Bruinsma, Eric Pels, Hugo Priemus, Piet Rietveld, Bert van Wee ed.). 
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Japan's maglev train breaks world speed record with 600km/h test run". theguardian.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  28. Pérez Henríquez, Blas Luis; Deakin, Elizabeth. High-Speed Rail and Sustainability: Decision-making and the Political Economy of Investment. 
  29. Zhang, Guangrui. Green Book of China's Tourism 2011: China Tourism Development Analysis and Forecast. 
  30. "Turkey uses resources wisely to develop rail network". globalrailwayreview.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
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  32. "China's high speed railway exceeds 20,000 km". chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  33. "China to start construction on 35 railway projects: report". news.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 28 December 2017.