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£32bn HS2 High Speed Rail Scheme Approved by Government

education news hs2

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)

CountryIn operationUnder constructionPlannedTotal country
SOURCE: UIC
Belgium13100131
France118513116352951
Germany8032364191458
Italy5770247824
The Netherlands750075
Poland00445445
Portugal00629629
Russia0406406813
Spain1285110410643453
Sweden00469469
Switzerland2245067
United Kingdom710128198
China3937271218138462
Taiwan-China21600216
India00309309
Iran00297297
Japan16652363642266
Saudi Arabia03440344
South Korea25811631404
Turkey2794747621515
Morocco0125300425
Brazil00319319
USA2260563789
Total World1072959301019926858

High-speed lines by country (Km)

CountryIn operationUnder constructionPlannedTotal country
Belgium20900209
France189621026164722
Germany12853786702333
Italy92303951318
The Netherlands12000120
Poland00712712
Portugal0010061006
Russia00650650
Spain2056176717025525
Sweden00750750
Switzerland35720107
United Kingdom1130204317
China62994339290113539
Taiwan-China34500345
India00495495
Iran00475475
Japan26643785833625
Saudi Arabia05500550
South Korea41218649647
Turkey44775812192424
Morocco0200480680
Brazil00511511
USA36209001262
Total World1716688381631842322

 

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