Future of Transportation

From vision to reality

A new high-speed rail playbook

Transformative. Profitable. Cost-prohibitive. Impossible.

Lara Poloni
President, AECOM
The many terms used to describe high-speed rail around the world reinforce the opportunities and challenges presented by this transformative mode of transportation. They also bring into sharp focus the ongoing divide between the 'haves' and 'have nots' at a time of growing urgency for new, more efficient and sustainable ways of moving growing populations.

Exploring pathways to success for fast, modern, integrated and sustainable rail services

In some markets, high-speed rail networks have been safely, affordably and efficiently moving people — while transforming surrounding communities — for decades. In others, they remain out of reach — their planning, construction and expansion weighed-down by cost and time pressures, and a lack of critical public support and long-term political will.

“The only thing between us and ultimate success is stable funding. We’re ready to go, and stable funding is what will bring us home…Yes, people worry about going over budget, rights of way and other issues, but once it’s operational, the question changes,” Kelly says. “It becomes ‘how did we ever live without this?”
Brian Kelly, Chief Executive Officer
California High-Speed Rail Authority

Better outcomes

In experiencing HSR networks speed and efficiency, one can marvel at their ability to connect cities and regions, stimulate job creation and economic growth, and create tangible social value through their role as catalysts for better urban planning outcomes and increased affordable housing.

A new insight

Our research has produced this first-of-its-kind report that provides a global view of best practice in high-speed rail. From insights that can be applied to improve existing projects, to success factors that can be considered for proposed networks, this report will inform and stimulate discussion for operators, contractors, policymakers and community members alike.

Success factors in the first year versus five-to-ten years post-launch
The success of high-speed rail innovation hinges on the evolution of key factors throughout the lifecycle of a project. To see year-over-year success, project emphasis needs to adapt.

For a more detailed analysis read the report in full.

Find out more
"Winning hearts and minds is vital", says María Luisa Domínguez, who urges developers to focus on opportunities to win support. In Spain, for example, the high-speed network is being used to extend the 5G telecommunications network. “The railway can promote development in every region it passes through,”
María Luisa Domínguez, President
European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM) and former Chairwoman and CEO of Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (Adif)

Future evolution

As our future integrated transportation networks evolve, HSR has its place. It’s our hope that, through better understanding of the opportunities and challenges attached to these mega projects, that existing networks can expand, and proposed networks can move from vision to reality, and play their part in creating thriving, connected communities.

Related insights

“We are continuously refining our customer experience plans, including all aspects of speed, convenience and comfort, from planning, to the moment you enter one of our stations, through all of the journey and on to smooth connections to other transport modes — we are lowering friction and adding many smart features.” 
Terry Wong, Executive Director
Regional and Urban Mobility, NEOM