With more than 31,000 km of rail, China has the world's most extensive high-speed network, according to rankings published by Omio on Tuesday, July 2. (Shutterstock/cyo bo)
With more than 31,000 km of rail, China has the world's most extensive high-speed network, according to rankings published by Omio on Tuesday, July 2. France wins the match in terms of speed.
The report took into account rail network coverage, operational and maximum speeds, and lines under construction. Data was drawn from the International Union of Railways' report published in the end of March 2019. Each criterion represented 25% of the final score on a scale of 0 to 100.
China comes out ahead with its combination of railway lines under construction (7,207 km) and record speed (420 km/h). The Chinese high-speed train, the CR400BF, is faster than the legendary Japanese Shinkansen which reaches speeds of up to 400 km/h. France wins the speed race, however, with a maximum speed of 575 km/h.
However, while French know-how may have been a catalyst for the development of high-speed rail in Europe, it takes fourth place overall due to a lack of new infrastructure development, unlike Spain, which beats it in this regard with 904 km lines under construction for its AVE train.
Within Europe, the best high-speed networks are, in order, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Austrian. The Swiss take the last place in this 20-country ranking, despite being known for its trains.
Internationally, Japan takes second place. Meanwhile the United States aren't major competitors in high-speed rail transport, with only 735 km of high-speed railway in service and 192 km under construction. The American Acela Express train is also one of the slowest, with its high speed record of 265 km/h.