After a year of turbulence for rail projects, 2012 has kicked off with progress around the global development of high-speed rail. Let's take a look at some of the biggest and most influential upcoming rail projects.
Rail in the UK
On January 7th UK's Government confirmed the £32 billion high-speed line that will connect Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham to London. The report by the British Chamber of Commerce stated that “our railways are running out of capacity, we don’t have enough capacity for passengers or growth” and dismissed alternatives such as improving the existing line, running longer trains and having fewer first-class carriages, as insufficient to meeting growing demand. The official decision to start work on the £17 billion first stage of the project was announced three days later. Concessions to the anti-high speed lobby, such as building a 500-metre tunnel to minimise the damage to the Chilterns countryside, are already being discussed. Considering the heated debate that has dominated the high-speed discussion the UK throughout 2011, this constitutes a brave and significant step forward in bringing the UK’s high-speed capability, which currently stands at just 70 miles of track, more in line with Europe and the rest of the world.
European rail travel
Whilst France and Germany have traditionally led the way in investment in
January 4th saw US Transportation Secretary, Ray La Hood, award $186 million to the Illinois Department of Transportation to continue construction of a
2011 was something of a dark year for