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Top Countries for High-Speed Train Service

New comprehensive analysis by Omio shows where to ride the rails if you want to get where you want to go

Omio, a popular booking platform for travel by train, bus and flight, has released a ranking of the countries with the world’s best high-speed train infrastructure. The findings show the prevalence of high-speed trains around the world and highlights economies that have started to invest in a future fueled by high-speed technology.

From a long list of countries with advanced high-speed infrastructure, the top 20 were ranked according to the operational and record speed of the trains, the length of track in operation, and the length of track under construction.

High-speed trains are environmentally-friendly and efficient. They reduce CO2 emissions by offering an alternative to road and air travel. In the USA, the California bullet train is under ongoing construction and scheduled to open by 2022, although the project continues to endure enormous political challenges. The line will connect Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2 hours 40 minutes. The 119-mile project, owned and managed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority, is projected to cost around $77 billion.

Other line items worth noting:

• The USA’s high-speed line, the Acela Express, runs 281 miles between Washington D.C. and Boston.

• Spain ranks top for Europe, with 562 miles of tracks currently under construction.

• China ranks first, with over 19,000 miles of high-speed tracks in operation.

Top Ten Worldwide High-Speed Trains Ranked with Maximum Operational Speed

China 261 mph

Japan 249 mph

Spain 251 mph

France 357 mph

GermanyI 229 mph

South Korea 262 mph

Italy 245 mph

Turkey 155 mph

Austria 171 mph

Saudi Arabia 227 mph

Further findings worldwide:

• China has more miles of high-speed tracks than the rest of the world combined.

• Japan ranks second, with almost 1,900 miles of high-speed tracks currently in operation.

• Saudi Arabia ranks tenth. Opened in October 2018, 281 miles of Haramain High-Speed Railway connect the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The line is expected to transport over 50 million passengers a year.

Further findings for Europe:

• Spain has the most miles of high-speed tracks currently under construction in Europe, followed by Austria and the United Kingdom. The AVE network already connects Malaga in the south, Barcelona in the north, and Valencia in the east.

• In France, the TGV intercity line has a record speed of 357 mph (575km/h): the fastest worldwide.

• Germany outperforms the United Kingdom, with 14 times the length of high-speed tracks currently in operation.

The research for this study was completed on the 20th of June 2019.

Complete results for 2019 High-Speed Train ranking are available on: ​