Russia and the World Looks Towards High Speed Rail

worldrailHot on the heels of the announcement of Russia’s first ever electric vehicle hybrid another announcement came about the bolstering of Russia’s green transportation systems. According to the announcement that came from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the country is preparing to begin serious work towards a high speed rail system. Russia isn’t alone on this plan either. Many countries around the world, including the United States, have been looking at how efficient and cost effective high speed rail transportation can be.

Russia’s plan to move into green transportation on the mass transit scale has been thin on the details so far, but it is said to be inspired by another high speed rail system. Recently, the Prime Minister rode on a Finnish high speed rail train with the Finnish President, Tarja Halonen, during his visit to the country. The train in question was a French made Allegro and ran on a rail that passed between Helsinki and Saint Petersburg. Putin says that the high speed rail he would like to have built in Russia would be ready in time for the 2018 World Cup which has chosen Russia for the host. Once to the World Cup has come and gone, however, the trains would be utilized in a way to allow quicker travelling times between cities like Moscow, Kazan, Samara and Ulyanovsk and at a more frequent rate than current mass transit allows. While the future of such a rail service in Russia is unknown, all of the first rails would be run primary through the European portion of the country where the World Cup is to be held.

The announcement of high speed rails to bolster green transportation in Russia has come at a time when other projects have been announced across the globe. Turkey, for example, is currently testing new bullet train models on their currently existing high speed rails lines. In the United States, Florida has also announced that they will be working with Siemens to build a high speed rail line between Tampa, Orlando, and Miami. The Florida rails are a part of the greater picture presented by President Obama who has vowed to give over $80 million in grants for the development of high speed rail across the country in a bid to support a move towards green transportation.

No matter where it is established in the world, the development of high speed rails is pretty critical for the spread of mass transit and green transportation. Considering the size of the United States, it would seem this country could benefit from a system much like the Russians would. However, only time will tell if we are able to adopt new green transportation methods like the rest of the world or if we will get left behind.

Photo Credit: Kim FOR sure

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