Optimum Speed for High-Speed Rail Systems

Project information

  • Acronym: OptSpeed
  • Optimum Speed for High-Speed Rail Systems
  • Sector: Passenger
  • Project director: Bertrand Minary
  • Project manager: Michele Gesualdi
  • Status: ongoing project
  • Project code: 2023/PAS/776

Project description

The operational speed of High-Speed Rail (HSR) services continues to be a critical performance factor in attracting passengers. This study will focus on three main components to provide HSR operators with an updated technological framework regarding optimal speed:

  • Situation Update: This involves examining the current maximum operational speeds across different networks and services.
  • Extended Experience: This component will analyze the evolution of operational speeds over recent times.
  • Technology Evolution: This will involve researching the results and trends of technological advancements in fields related to speed.

The study will further delve into three main areas:

  • Performance Level and Travel Times: Travel time is a defining parameter of HSR service performance. The study will explore the importance of offering higher speeds to provide more attractive services. A specific investigation will be conducted to analyze the sensitivity of trip times to speed increases.
  • Sustainability Features: In line with the broader goal of combating climate change, it’s essential to assess and highlight the advantages of HSR as a sustainable mode of transport.
  • Technology Trends: Over the past decade, numerous technological improvements have been introduced in the HSR system. These advancements have allowed for increased operational speed, thereby reducing trip times.

This study aims to equip HSR operators with the necessary insights to adapt their services to the evolving demands and expectations of passengers.

Project objectives

OptSpeed addresses a crucial challenge in High-Speed Rail (HSR): achieving a balance between speed, sustainability, and passenger appeal.

The project will undertake a comprehensive analysis of the current operational speeds across HSR networks and evaluate historical trends. It will also delve into the influence of emerging technologies on speed.

A key aspect of the project will be to explore the trade-off between faster travel times and sustainability. This will be done while taking into account passenger preferences for optimal speed ranges.

By equipping HSR operators with insights into the latest technologies and their implications on speed, OptSpeed aims to pave the way for future optimisation of HSR systems.

Project structure

The project should be entrusted to either a consultant or a university. The project is structured as follows:

WP1 - Methodology
WP2 - Update on technology and current speed performance level
WP3 - Performance level based on higher speeds and sustainability balance
WP4 - Technology trends
WP5 - Final report

Project members

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Friday 31 May 2024