Is Investment in High Speed Rail Socially Profitable?

This paper reports the results of a study to calculate the minimum level of demand required for high-speed rail in Europe to provide sufficient benefits from a social perspective. Other benefits, such as providing long-term capacity where overcrowding is expected, might be found to lower the minimum demand threshold. The paper provides a history of high-speed rail starting in the late 1990s through the accession of new member states in the European Union that has resulted in an increased average distance between European capitals. The model used to make the calculations is explained, along with economic and environmental evaluations and factors such as demand thresholds. The report’s conclusions state that investing in high-speed rail can hardly ever be justified on the basis of time savings alone and the net willingness to pay of generated traffic. Additional benefits from providing additional rail capacity and reducing road and airport congestion must be factored in order to make the case.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Rus, Gines de
    • Nombela, Gustavo
  • Publication Date: 2007-1


  • English

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Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01043017
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 21 2007 12:11PM