OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers

The International Transport Forum at the OECD is an intergovernmental organisation with 52 member countries. It acts as a strategic think tank for transport policy and organizes an annual summit of ministers. Our work is underpinned by economic research, statistics collection and policy analysis, often undertaken in collaboration with many of the world's leading research figures in academia, business and government. This series of Discussion Papers is intended to disseminate the International Transport Forum’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned.

English, French

When to Invest in High-Speed Rail Links and Networks?

Definitions of high speed rail (HSR) differ, but a common one is rail systems which are designed for a maximum speed in excess of 250 kph (UIC, 2008). These speeds invariably involve the construction of new track, although trains used on them can also use existing tracks at reduced speeds. A number of countries have upgraded existing track for higher speed, with tilting technology on routes with a lot of curves. However such trains do not normally run at speeds above 200 km p h. Their rationale is to upgrade services at relatively low cost in countries which have sufficient capacity to cope with increased divergence of speeds on routes shared with all forms of traffic. Most of the countries which adopted this strategy initially, such as Britain and Sweden, are now considering building HSR. The only form of totally new technology that has come close to being implemented is maglev.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error