High Speed Rail Data Preliminary Analysis
Here are some visualizations of our data. The data covers only a portion of high speed rail projects in each country and, in many instances, is not representative of all the HSR lines constructed in that country. Please get in touch with us if you have more accurate or complete data on the lines we have on our database, or additional lines.
You can zoom in/out and hover over markers to see more detail.
1. Cost/km to length of line (with tunnel %)
In this chart, each circle represents a project, and its color gradient represents the percentage that is tunneled. We show unknown tunnel % as 0%.
We see that UK’s HS2 is the most expensive line in our database per km and China’s Beijing-Shanghai is the longest.
The cheapest lines we have are from Turkey, Morocco and France. Most of the highly tunneled lines are from Europe.
Similarly as in our urban rapid rail data, there is no inverse correlation between length and costs/km.
2. Cost/km to length of line (with elevated %)
In this chart, each circle represents a project, and its color gradient represents the percentage that is elevated. We show unknown elevated % as 0%.
We do lack data on tunnel and elevated section lengths for some lines, however, within the projects of countries we have data for Taiwan, Japan, China and South Korea have the highest percentage of elevated sections.
3. Cost/km to length of line (colors represent regions)
This chart is similar to the two above. Additionally, each color represents a region, showing how costs vary by world region.
Europe is cheaper compared to East Asia, and Middle East has some of the cheapest HSR lines per km. We do not yet have HSR cost data from the other regions of the world.
If you are familiar with our urban rapid rail data, within that the outliers are from the US, specifically NY, similar to UK’s HS2 seen in this chart, and you also find some of the cheapest lines in Turkey.
4. Cost/km, projects grouped for each country, in order of the cost based on the cheapest line
Here, we see the range of costs within each country, and the colors show the tunnel percentage for each project. We show unknown tunnel % as 0%.
Costs/km stay within a consistent range for some countries such as Spain, Germany and South Korea, whereas they vary quite a bit in Turkey, Italy, China and UK. The tunnel percentage raise the costs as expected, in France, Spain, Italy, South Korea and Austria. (We lack tunnel % data for most of the Chinese lines, but the lines that are mostly elevated aren’t the most expensive, in the Chinese case.)
5. Average cost/km per country (with tunnel %)
Here are the countries ordered by costs, based on the weighted average cost of the projects in our database. The colors represent the weighted average of percentage of tunnel for the projects in each country, and the number of projects our database covers per country can be seen by hovering over each bar. We show unknown tunnel % as 0%.
Based on this and the following chart, we can tell that percentage of tunnels and elevated sections raise costs to some extent. Austria, South Korea and Japan build a lot of tunnels. Netherlands, Taiwan and UK don’t but are more expensive (but Taiwan builds elevated). On the other hand, Switzerland and Norway build tunnels, but their km costs are low.
6. Average cost/km per country (with elevated %)
Here are the countries ordered by costs, based on the weighted average cost of the projects in our database. The colors represent the weighted average of percentage of tunnel for the projects in each country, and the number of projects our database covers per country can be seen by hovering over each bar. We show unknown elevated % as 0%.
Taiwan and Japan build greater percentage of elevated sections than other countries and they are also more expensive. UK and Netherlands, even though represented by few lines in our database, have less tunnels or elevated sections than Japan but are more expensive.
7. Average cost/km per country and GDP (2017 adjusted for PPP)
In this chart, each country is represented with a circle, and the bigger the circle, the greater the number of projects in our database. Colors represent regions.
We use the World Bank’s numbers for GDP adjusted for PPP: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD
We see that the cost rise as GDP increases in East Asia, but there isn’t an obvious correlation between GDP per capita and costs in other parts of the world, which was something we saw in our urban rapid rail data as well. Norway and Switzerland with the highest GDPs are not the most expensive.
8. Average cost/km per country and duration of construction per km
Here we explore how construction costs interact with construction speed.
China is the fastest builder of HSR lines and, Austria and Switzerland build slow. Spain and France are both fast and cheap.
9. The timeline of rail construction for countries
Here we see how much and for how long each country in our database has been building HSR lines. The start and end years of each project is marked with a circle on countries’ lines. Hover over the points to see more data.
The continuation of a line does not mean the country has ongoing high speed rail construction throughout the years.
Our database may not include the earliest HSR projects from every country, but it does represent pioneers of HSR globally: Germany, Spain, Italy, France and Japan as well as those that started building later such as China, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.
10. A Heat map of costs per country in years
This chart shows how costs per country have changed over time. Colors indicate the square root of the Cost/km in $ M.
Each square represents the start of one or more projects in that country, and if there is more than one, the cost seen when hovering on it is the weighted average km costs of the projects that started that year.
In this chart we see that costs increased over the years for almost all countries, while Turkey, Spain and France were able to keep their costs lower. Looking at their most recent projects in our database, Japan and UK saw significant increases in their costs.