A new bridge across the Ill river in Strasbourg is a major step forward for the European Union’s plans for a high-speed railway reaching from Paris to Bratislava, the BBC reports.
An earlier bridge had only one track and could only carry trains going a maximum of 100 kph (62mph). The new bridge has two tracks and can deal with trains going 160kph (99mph). The Paris-Bratislava line is one of a network of high-speed railways being built across the EU, but with a price tag of 63 million euros ($84 million) just for the bridge, construction is being affected by the economic crisis. Some countries have already cut back funding and delayed projects. Still, high-speed trains are becoming increasingly popular across Europe because they’re more comfortable than planes, and more convenient since they take passengers from city center to city center.
The French city of Strasbourg is close to the German border and home to the European Parliament. It’s also attractive to tourists for its medieval and Renaissance architecture.
[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons]
The UK government has leased its High Speed One line to a Canadian consortium. The line, which cost more than £5 billion ($8.1 billion) in taxpayer money to build, will be run by Borealis Infrastructure and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension fund on a 30 year lease. They paid £2.1 billion ($3.4 billion) in the deal.
The High Speed One line is the route that Eurostar uses in its journeys from London to Paris and Brussels. The consortium plans to open the line up to more train companies in a move that will see more competition, and hopefully lower rates, on the popular route.
The line will continue to be under the ultimate authority of the UK government and subject to its regulations.
[Photo courtesy user Sunil060902 via Wikimedia Commons]
The Chinese government opened a new high-speed railway yesterday that is the fastest in the world. The Wuguang Passenger Railway links Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei, with the port of Guangzhou. The train runs an average of 350 kilometers per hour (217mph) and makes the journey in less than three hours. The old train took ten.
In test runs the train has made 394 kph (245mph).
As you can see in this video, the train looks like other high-speed trains but improved engineering gives it a superior speed.
The government plans to expand the existing network with 40 more lines and 13,000km (8078 miles) more track. The capital Beijing will get many of the links as it strives to improve connections with regional production centers.
More evidence that this will be China’s century? Yep. Perhaps instead of learning Globish we should all be taking Mandarin.%Gallery-73525%