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High-Speed Rail:Lessons for Policy Makers from Experiences Abroad


  • Daniel Albalate

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

  • Germà Bel

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)


In April 2009 the US government unveiled its blueprint for a national network of high-speed passenger rail (HSR) lines aimed at reducing traffic congestion, cutting national dependence on foreign oil and improving rural and urban environments. In implementing such a program, it is essential to identify the factors that might influence decision making and the eventual success of the HSR project, as well as foreseeing the obstacles that will have to be overcome. In this article we review, summarize and analyze the most important HSR projects carried out to date around the globe, namely those of Japan, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. We focus our attention on the main issues involved in the undertaking of HSR projects: their impact on mobility, the environment, the economy and on urban centers. By so doing, we identify sessons for policy makers and managers working on the implementation of HSR projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Albalate & Germà Bel, 2010. "High-Speed Rail:Lessons for Policy Makers from Experiences Abroad," IREA Working Papers 201003, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Feb 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:201003

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    Cited by:

    1. Ofelia Betancor & Juan Luis Jiménez, 2011. "When trains go faster than planes: the strategic reaction of airlines in Spain," ERSA conference papers ersa11p295, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Fu, Huiling & Nie, Lei & Meng, Lingyun & Sperry, Benjamin R. & He, Zhenhuan, 2015. "A hierarchical line planning approach for a large-scale high speed rail network: The China case," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 61-83.

    More about this item


    Interurban Transportation; Government Investment Analysis; Transportation Planning; Rail Costs Management.. JEL classification: L91; L92; R41; R42 ; R48;

    JEL classification:

    • L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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