President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will today announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is awarding $8 billion to states across the country to develop America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service.
Plans for a new high-speed rail network between London and Scotland could be agreed as early as March, according to the Transport Secretary Lord Adonis. The network would feature 200mph trains and cut journey times to the north of Britain by half to just over two hours.
French water and transport group Veolia Environnement is in advance talks to run high-speed train services to compete with SNCF, including its Eurostar network. The joint bid with Trenitalia, part of Italy’s state-owned rail firm, would serve to break Eurostar’s monopoly on routes from Paris to Brussels and London, and could start in 2012.
The realisation of a Pan-European high-speed rail network has taken a major step forward after the launch of a new co-ordinated timetable that sees journey times between key hubs across Germany, the UK, France, Belgium, Holland and Italy slashed.
New high speed preview services between Kent and London have been so popular Southeastern is putting on more services from and to new destinations in the county.
USA: As expected, the decision by the Obama administration to allocate $8bn of stimulus funding for high speed rail development, followed by $5bn from the transport budget over the next five years, has triggered a flood of interest across the country.
While work continues in Britain examining the case for building a new high- speed rail line from London to the West Midlands and North—which may be opened by 2025—China has announced plans to build 35 high-speed routes by 2012.
WHILE Britain awaits a further report on whether to go ahead with a second high speed rail line, US President Barack Obama has announced a strategic plan for 10 high-speed corridors — with up to $13 billion (£8.8 billion) to seed planning and development.