High-speed rail

significantly faster advanced rail transport & tech-enhanced infrastructure systems

High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal rail traffic. Early Shinkansen trains had a top speed of 200 km/h (120 mph), which is the world's first high-speed rail. Various definitions are used in different contries.

Eurostar and Thalys PBA TGVs side-by-side in the Paris-Gare du Nord. Eurostar trains connect London with Brussels and Paris through the Channel Tunnel. Thalys trains connect Paris with Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne.
World speed record holding 581 km/h (361 mph) JR-Maglev in Yamanashi, Japan

According to the European Union, high-speed trains must run at least 200 km/h (120 mph) on existing lines, and at least 250 km/h (160 mph) on newly built ones.

According to the United States Federal Railroad Administration, they should go above 90 mph (140 km/h) but there is no single standard, and lower speeds can be required by local constraints.[1][2]

As of 2020, speeds of 300 km/h (190 mph) to 350 km/h (220 mph) are common in regular operation.


  1. "General definitions of highspeed". International Union of Railways. Archived from the original on 2006-12-10. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  2. "High-Speed Rail". Federal Railroad Administration. Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2007-05-02.