ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

High speed rail trains Europe

Updated on February 13, 2014

High speed trains Europe

High speed high volume rail transportation has been a priority in a most of Europe for many years. The limited space has made it a necessity to move large numbers of people and goods quickly and economically between major European cities. To be classified as a high speed train, it must be able to operate at a speed over 125 mph.

The first high speed train in Europe was the ETR-200 developed in Italy in 1939. The train was supposed to be able to go over 126 mph. Unfortunately development was stopped abruptly because of the start of WWII. After the war was over, the focus on high speed trains became a priority again. Today high speed trains operate in Spain, Germany, Belgium, Britain, and France.

European rail lines
European rail lines
UK bullet train
UK bullet train

Maglev trains

The newest and best advancement in high speed trains is the maglev trains. They operate on a special track system that uses magnets to hover the train above the track. They also use magnets to propel the the train. They are capable of speed approaching commercial aircraft. The only operational one at this time is in China. The cost to build the track is around $53 million per mile. The high cost will make this technology very slow in coming.

Early true high speed trains

The development continued in Europe of high speed trains. The biggest problem holding them back on the speeds was the tracks were not up to handling the speeds. Much of the track in Europe is still not able to handle the high speeds trains at their potential. Much of the track in Europe is similar to the track in the U.S. that also can't handle the higher speeds.

The first true high speed train was in Japan. It was opened in 1964 for the Tokyo worlds fair. The train went from Tokyo to Osaka. The train could operate consistently at over 120 mph. The same rail line is operating today, with trains averaging 180 mph.

Advantages of high speed rail

High speed trains are more cost effective per passenger mile. The rail lines take up less space than roads. the stations use less space than airports, so they can be located within major cities, And there are no traffic jams.

Currently France, Germany and Belgium have advance farther than the rest of Europe. This causes problems when the trains cross country borders. Speeds can't be maintained at the rate they should. The main reason for the lag of upgrading the tracks to where they need to be to handle the higher speeds are the cost of upgrading all the thousands of miles of track.

The future of high speed trains

Most experts agree that the limit of high speed rail train to operate effectively is around 220 mph. When you go faster than that, you get excessive wear and vibrations. The air resistance is much greater. The trains use way to much power and parts wear out so fast, it is not practical to operate the train at those speeds.

To go faster, they would need to go to the Maglev technology. There are problems with the Maglev's in that they use so much energy, and cost so much to build. The maglev trains are prohibitively expensive.

All of the European countries operating high speed trains are continually upgrading track to allow the high speed trains to operate everywhere at their potential. It is going to take a long time to complete, because of the thousands of miles of track that need replaced.

Other good reading

Glacier National Park This is a tribute to a place that could possibly be the most beautiful place on earth, Glacier national Park.

What are earthquakes An earthquake is the sudden and sometimes very violent release of energy from the movement of the earth surface. The surface is comprised of pates called tectonic plates. these plates are constantly moving into each other.

Top 10 Guitar Players of all time My picks for the top 10 greatest guitar players of all time, may be a little different than yours, but you can't disagree that these guys are fantastic

Interesting earth facts This is a collection of interesting facts about the earth and interesting details about the Earth. You may or may not have heard or read about these facts before.

Most amazing survival story ever This is a survival story, about Ernest Shackleton and the Antarctic expedition he and his crew took on the Endurance.

Favorite webcams  One of the really amazing things about the internet, you can travel by webcam to places that you want to see, anytime you want.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • htodd profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the nice post....

    • profile image


      8 years ago

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      We tried this method of travel in both Spain and Italy and absolutely loved it!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      It is. The train is very comfortable non-smoking with nice clean toilets, a buffet car, and plenty of room.

    • spease profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Minneapolis Mn

      I have never been on it, it looks like a nice way to travel.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      I enjoying using the TGV in France, it s very comfortable and it allows me to have a day out in Paris as it covers the 300km from my town to Paris in about 2 hours. The only downside is the price, bought in advance I can pay as little as 30 Euros each way; but bought at the last minute you can pay as much as 80 euros each way.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)