High-Speed Rail and Its Integration into the Rail Network

High-Speed Rail and Its Integration into the Rail Network


Peter Endemann, Regionalverband FrankfurtRheinMain


This paper will analyse the suitability for developing a rail network that increases accessibility through the integration of high-speed rail infrastructure and operation.


The European Union pursues the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) in order to achieve the EU’s main objectives including the smooth functioning of the internal market and the strengthening of economic, social and territorial cohesion which are set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy and the White Paper "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system". Resulting measures should focus on better interconnections and network interoperability while using resources efficiently. High-Speed Rail (HSR) is a relevant ingredient to fulfil the objectives. EU stresses the necessity to make better connection with high-speed lines and favours the creation of new development areas around the stations in the outskirts I would classify as the “TGV-“generation.

High-Speed Rail as a means of increasing speed through the development of new lines appears doubtful: First, there is an impact on land resources by these new development areas. Second, the effects on existing central locations and the regional accessibility is more difficult. Third, it is not guaranteed whether long-distance train operations on conventional lines will not be affected by “parallel” high-speed supplies. To the author's knowledge, this so far holds systematically only true for the Japanese system where three parallel services with different sequences of stations served exist (Hood 2010). Givoni and Banister (2012) argue that the average speed is the relevant criteria not the maximum speed. They further consider the network effect as a criterion since rail performances increased at a very moderate level during the first decade of the new millennium. Though HSR has some increases, it accounts only for a small proportion of the whole passenger travel. Chen and Hall (2011) therefore suggest that HSR integration is best realised if a hierarchical system is conceived where cities not being served by HSR-lines are well connected by rail and thus not the “loser” of a purely speed-based infrastructure rail policy.

Goal of the paper
The paper uptakes this issue in order to analyse the suitability for developing a rail network that increases accessibility through the integration of high-speed rail infrastructure and operation. The paper mainly presents findings from an extensive literature review in order to define criteria for the development of an integrated rail network along the trans-European Corridor Rotterdam-Genoa, also known as Rhine-Alpine Corridor. This is part of the EU-project CODE 24 (Corridor 24 Development Rotterdam – Genoa). In a trans-regional approach, CODE 24 aims at developing the transport capacity of the entire corridor by ensuring optimal economic benefits and spatial integration while reducing negative impacts on the environment at local and regional level.

The paper will draw conclusions on the transferability of the findings to the aforementioned corridor context focusing on the following aspects:
- Identification of the high-speed rail benefit for the corridor
- HSR-contribution to a better interconnectivity between the corridor and the regional networks accessibility around important transfer nodes.
- HSR-operations on both conventional and dedicated lines
- Effects of new “greenfield” stations and existing nodes
- Effects on “losing” nodes not being served by HSR/losing long distance trains
- Origin of new passengers, mode shift effect

Given limited land and financial resources, such an integrative strategy appears to be gainful if “losers” are less apparent than the “winners” (Martínez Sánchez-Mateos and Givoni 2012).

By the time of the conference in September 2014, the paper will include modules of the final CODE 24-recommendations on how to integrate HSR into an overall concept of a cross-border integrated timed-transfer (IITT) with potential travel time savings.

European Commission (2010). High-Speed Europe, Brussels
Givoni, M. and D. Banister (2012). Speed: The less important element of the High-Speed Train.
Martínez Sánchez-Mateos, H. and M. Givoni (2012). The accessibility impact of a new High-Speed Rail line in the UK – a preliminary analysis of winners and losers, Journal of Transport Geography 25, 105-114.
Chen, C. and P. Hall (2011). The Impacts of High-Speed Trains on British Economic Geography: A Study of the UK’s Intercity 125/225 and its Effects, Journal of Transport Geography 19, 689-704.
Hood, C. (2010). The Shinkansen’s Local Impact, Social Science Japan Journal 13 (2), 211–225.


Association for European Transport