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Applying the European High-Speed Rail Experience to North America

[+] Author Affiliations
David S. Lehlbach, David T. Hunt, Kevin M. Foy

Oliver Wyman, Princeton, NJ

Rodney E. Case

Oliver Wyman, Toronto, ON, Canada

Paper No. JRC2010-36285, pp. 367-372; 6 pages
  • 2010 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2010 Joint Rail Conference, Volume 2
  • Urbana, Illinois, USA, April 27–29, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4907-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3867-9
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Driven by a range of factors, there is growing interest in highspeed passenger rail (HSR) and intercity passenger rail (IPR) in North America. A valuable source of information on the cooperation needed to make these services viable in North America is European experience with HSR/IPR, which extends over many decades. North American owners and operators can learn much from Europe with regard to operating dense, mixed-use corridors: Using a “partnership” model, European rail operators have found that when incremental demand for freight and passenger markets are considered together, networks can be expanded faster and further. In North America, a similar partnership approach to capital and strategic planning has already shown huge benefits, for example, in the development of the highly regarded Capital Corridor passenger service in California and in infrastructure improvements on Canadian National’s Kingston subdivision that allow VIA Rail to provide 100–125 mph train service. Through an analysis of current passenger/freight cooperation in Europe, and the examination of HSR/IPR developments and trends in North America, we aim in this paper to illustrate how benefits can be achieved for all stakeholders in the North American rail system as passenger services expand.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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