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]
In 2013, Europe could become even easier to navigate, with a new high-speed train connecting Germany with other major cities in Western Europe. The new Deutsche Bahn train would travel at 200 miles per hour from London through the Euro Tunnel, arriving in Amsterdam in four hours (currently only reachable with a connection) and Frankfurt in five hours (down from seven hours on DB). Additional services are planned for Brussels, Cologne and Rotterdam and officials are hopeful this could pave the way for additional high-speed routes.
The above video from BBC goes inside a prototype train currently at London’s St. Pancras Station for safety checks and a test run. Reporter Richard Scott shows off the train’s reclining seats, real-time travel information, and even multi-country emergency stops. Let’s hope they work out any air conditioning problems for the new trains.
The irritated passengers were unable to see justice served, as the smoker eluded capture – he fled the scene when the alarm that stopped the train went off. Reuters notes a Xinhua news agency report in which a spokesman for the Guangzhou Railway Group Corporate says, “Smoking is strictly forbidden on the Wuhan–Guangzhou high-speed train, even in the toilet.” He continued, “It could trigger the alarm and even cause equipment failures.”
It could also lead to a delay, he didn’t need to explain, that could cost the passengers all the efficiency they purchased.
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%
Starting in 2012, travelers will be able to go from London to Madrid in eight hours thanks to a planned high-speed rail link. The service, organized by a French and Spanish consortium, will link Paris and Madrid. It’s already quick and easy to get to Paris from London by taking the Eurostar. The trip lasts two hours and fifteen minutes. Travelers will then have to change stations before heading out to Madrid, a trip that will take five and a half hours.
There’s discussion of including Lyon and Barcelona in the route. A high-speed route already links Madrid and Barcelona.
This is a joint operation between Renfe, the Spanish state train operator, and SNCF, its French counterpart. Each will have an equal stake. The system will have ten trains and be managed from Spain, which is already a leader in high-speed trains.