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High-Speed Rail in the EU27: Trends, Time, Accessibility and Principles

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High-speed rail (HSR) can potentially transform the geography of a country, bringing regions and cities closer to each other by improving accessibility. Such benefits in turn can be the basis for creating (regional) economic development, and this is often a major factor in promoting the higher costs of HSR investment. The key factors here concern the role and position of HSR in the local, regional and national transport systems, and this may be more important than the speed of the service. Two factors are central to the planning of HSR lines. The first relates to the numbers and locations of stations on the HSR network, and the second to how these stations are integrated into the rest of the transport network. This paper reviews current financing and trends in European rail travel, concentrating on the recent developments in HSR. It then addresses these two issues of station location and integration across connecting transport services. Rail has an increasingly important role to play in providing mobility between the major cities in Europe, and it is likely to provide much of the necessary capacity for the expected growth in long distance travel. A dedicated HSR network might be a good option to achieve this role, but such a network needs to be planned as the strategic backbone of the transport system.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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