Saturday 19th August 2017,

£32bn HS2 High Speed Rail Scheme Approved by Government

With student news and education news seemingly at a premium at the moment, Young Academic can bring you some exciting UK news regarding high speed transport. The government has today given the green light to plans for a high speed rail scheme by the name of HS2 which is set to vastly improve travel times between the country’s busiest destinations.

The new system is set to be in full operation by 2026 and could slash up to 30 minutes off journeys such as Birmingham to London. Further details regarding the other stretches that HS2 could improve have also been released today.

Manchester would also see reduced journey times to the south, possibly before the network’s second stage is completed in 2032, when it will be connected to Birmingham. Once this has been implemented, the service could join the Eurostar route directly meaning travellers could get from Paris to the heart of England in just three and a half hours.

Following this news, Young Academic wondered where this will put the UK in terms of high speed travel in comparison to the rest of the world. Thanks to a range of sources such as the Union of Railways (UIC) there are figures available to help answer this  question.

With 3,937 miles of high-speed lines, China leads the way without a shadow of a doubt. There is a huge 2,712 miles still under construction there and a further 1,813 miles planned. To put that into perspective, the whole of Europe currently has 4,148 miles in operation.

France is not too far behind their Asian counterparts however with planned lines covering over 1,635 miles. In Europe, Spain will continue to have the largest high-speed rail network with 1,285 miles currently active – this will hot 3,453 miles once all their work is completed.

It is important to remember the size of the UK compared with land masses like China, Spain and France but the figures do put things into a bit of perspective. The UK currently operates a modest 71 miles worth of high-speed rail – the HS2 plans will however double this figure.

Official UIC Figures.

High-speed lines by country (miles)

Country In operation Under construction Planned Total country
SOURCE: UIC
Belgium 131 0 0 131
France 1185 131 1635 2951
Germany 803 236 419 1458
Italy 577 0 247 824
The Netherlands 75 0 0 75
Poland 0 0 445 445
Portugal 0 0 629 629
Russia 0 406 406 813
Spain 1285 1104 1064 3453
Sweden 0 0 469 469
Switzerland 22 45 0 67
United Kingdom 71 0 128 198
China 3937 2712 1813 8462
Taiwan-China 216 0 0 216
India 0 0 309 309
Iran 0 0 297 297
Japan 1665 236 364 2266
Saudi Arabia 0 344 0 344
South Korea 258 116 31 404
Turkey 279 474 762 1515
Morocco 0 125 300 425
Brazil 0 0 319 319
USA 226 0 563 789
Total World 10729 5930 10199 26858

High-speed lines by country (Km)

Country In operation Under construction Planned Total country
Belgium 209 0 0 209
France 1896 210 2616 4722
Germany 1285 378 670 2333
Italy 923 0 395 1318
The Netherlands 120 0 0 120
Poland 0 0 712 712
Portugal 0 0 1006 1006
Russia 0 0 650 650
Spain 2056 1767 1702 5525
Sweden 0 0 750 750
Switzerland 35 72 0 107
United Kingdom 113 0 204 317
China 6299 4339 2901 13539
Taiwan-China 345 0 0 345
India 0 0 495 495
Iran 0 0 475 475
Japan 2664 378 583 3625
Saudi Arabia 0 550 0 550
South Korea 412 186 49 647
Turkey 447 758 1219 2424
Morocco 0 200 480 680
Brazil 0 0 511 511
USA 362 0 900 1262
Total World 17166 8838 16318 42322

 

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About The Author

Charles Whitworth is the Editor of the Young Academic publications. Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 2008, Charles learnt his trade in newsrooms such as IPC Media and Sky. He has now developed as a top sports, music and current affairs journalist and has been printed in a range of publications including The Guardian. His interests include Cricket, Football, Rugby, Music and Current Affairs. Fresh from the editorship of Student Times he now takes the reins at Young Academic - the premier student news portal. Connect with me on Google+

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