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Sample Research Paper on High Speed Rail in Japan

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Sample Research Paper on High Speed Rail in Japan


High Speed Rail (HSR) is a passenger train system which runs at an operational speed of between 200 and 300 km/h or above in certain situations. The speed at which the rail system runs is dependent on the nature of existing laws, the geographical terrain, and the level of technological development defining the system (Akiyama, 2015). HSR originated in Japan in 1964 in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. The objective was to find an effective and efficient way that could be used in maintaining and transporting the expected dense population in the closely interconnected large cities. In the contemporary Japanese society, HSR is one of the most effective alternative airport and highway congestion. According to existing evidence, the rail travel time is reduced by 50% through the establishment of high-speed service between any two cities.

Since the inauguration of the Shinkansen HSR train service in 1964 between Tokyo and Osaka Japan in 1964, Japan introduced an essential passenger mode of transport. Since its introduction, the transport sector in Japan has not only improved in terms of efficiency but also reduced the time spent by passengers on the road and in air through the provision of an alternative and better means of transportation (Akiyama, 2015). The main objective of this paper is to assess the HSR train system in Japan and compare it with the system in France and that of Saudi Arabia that is under construction. By comparing and contacting the HSR system in these countries the paper will assess the polices that impacted and the development and operationalization of this system.

High Speed Rail (HSR) in Japan

The first rail of the Japanese Shinkansen rail system connecting Tokyo and Osaka was developed in 1964. The main objective in the development of this link was to ensure the reduction of the travel time between the two cities, which were approximately 350 miles apart (Akiyama, 2015). Through the HSR system, it takes approximately 3 hours for a complete and successful journey between these two cities. In terms of policy, the main objective in the development of the Shinkansen HSR system was to promote and enhance rapid growth that Japan was experiencing following the end of the Second World War (Akiyama, 2015). In the contemporary society, Shinkansen HSR system has been expanded and it crosses additional areas such as the Honshu Island, which is Japanese largest Island. In addition, the efficiency of the train system is in its ability to serve more than 300 million passengers annually. The efficiency of the HSR system in Japan can also be attributed to the country’s large metro political centers separated by a few hundred miles. The need among the Japanese and other members of the population to move between these cities favors demands for a high speed and highly effective means of transportation hence the rapid growth and expansion of HSR (Ahlfeldt, 2009).

In countries where HSR has been implemented, the trains operate under two discrete technologies. There are countries where the HSR system operates on improved conventional rail systems. This is considered as a relatively cheaper alternative because the implementing authorities have the responsbility of molding the existing rail system to meet the demand of HSR. However, the principle setback to this kind of system is that the trains are relatively slower while at the same time they have to share existing trails with regular passenger and freight trains hence limiting the opportunities available for effective operationalization of HSR (Ahlfeldt, 2009). In Japan, the need to ensure high-level efficiency explains the decision to engage in exclusive high speed networks. This enables high speed trains to operate on exclusive and independent tracks. Japanese HSR can attain speed of up to 300km/h. this was considered as a competitive advantage for the train system when compared to the efficiency and speed of air transport. For the Japanese the development of policies focusing on exclusive high-speed networks was also to improve on the efficiency of the freight transport operations since this system inherits an exclusive use of the conventional system (Campos and de Ras, 2011).

The geography of japan was considered as highly influential in the formulation of policies targeting the development of the Shinkansen HSR system. A large percentage of the Japanese pupation lives in a few densely populated parts of the country (Lufkin, 2015). By providing a platform that could link millions of people in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe, the railway system provided a platform of shifting business patterns. This is because business personnel could make numerous day trips between Tokyo and Osaka (Akiyama, 2015). This not only enhanced business relations between different cities but also provided a platform for citizens to acquire varieties of high quality products and services from different regions.

The mountainous topography of Japan was also considered as a challenge in the construction of the Shinkansen HSR. Japan is vulnerable to high rate of earthquakes, and this required the country to engage in additional investment during the construction process. This is because there was need to ensure high-level slope protection during the tunneling process (Akiyama, 2015). Furthermore, it was also necessary to engage in the erection of avalanches and wind barriers. This was aimed at the reduction of the risk of natural disasters through seismic reinforcement of infrastructure. This explains why more than 30% of the Shinkansen HSR system constitutes tunnels (Lufkin, 2015). The construction of tunnels and the need to avert the threat posed by natural disasters contributed to the high cost in term of the construction of Shinkansen HSR system. The decision to construct new and exclusive high-speed rail networks into the cities of Osaka and Tokyo exacerbated the construction cost due to the engineering complexities and high land values within the cities of Tokyo and Osaka (Campos and de Ras, 2011).

From a policy perspective, the process and the decision to develop the Shinkansen HSR system was to serve public interests. Servicing national systems in a linear fashion along the main corridors was considered as an effective approach of integrating the needs of the population with the ability of the existing resources to satisfy these needs (Ahlfeldt, 2009). Existing road and air travel system provides an effective way of handling traveling needs. However, in terms of linking the cities necessitated the development of the HSR considering that it would ensure the reduction for the turn round time for passengers (Akiyama, 2015).

French TGV high-speed rail system

The success of the Shinkansen in Japan in terms of efficiency and ability to enhance economic growth motivated countries such as France to formulate policies targeting the development of high-speed rail system in 1981 (Atkins, 2002). French TGV and the Japanese Shinkansen were considered similar in terms of their purpose in the provision of effective and highly efficient transport system linking two major cities. However, the difference between these two-rail systems was in the philosophy and the design. For the French the process of developing the TGV HSR system was to not only enhance the transport network but also to ensure an elimination of the disadvantages of Shinkansen (Bonnafous, 1987). In addition, the difference in the design and the philosophy of these two HSR systems was in geographical dissimilarities between Japan and France (Atkins, 2002). Cost reduction was considered an essential policy issue in the construction of TGV. This was based on the understanding that building an exclusive HSR system would necessitate additional cost. For the French, TGV was developed to operate on both exclusive and conventional railway tracks when leaving and entering the city center hence ensuring massive reduction in the construction cost (Minn, 2012). Conventional railway lines in France ran through different towns and cities. In the process of developing policies targeting the efficiency of TGV with regard to serving national interests, the decision to use conventional railway lines also mean that the TGV HSR system could also provide service to regions without the high-speed train infrastructure (Bonnafous, 1987). This was to ensure that the services were provided even in areas where their demand was relatively low hence eradicating the need for the construction of an exclusive high-speed line. Using the conventional railway lines in its operationalization, the TGV has proved its efficiency in France by taking over more than 90% of the country’s air-rail market for the Lyon-Paris route (Atkins, 2002). This is because the TGV travel time between the two cities is less than two hours. The success of TGV can also be attributed to the systems 60% market share in areas where the systems track time is approximately 34 hours. The success of this system explains it adoption in countries such as Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. TGV is the longest HSR system in Europe considering that it covers more than 1,250 miles while the trains operate at speed of up to 200 miles per hour (Akiyama, 2015)

Other than the motivation for the success of the Shinkansen in Japan, in early 1970s and 1980s France was experiencing congestion in the rail linking Paris and Lyon necessitating the construction of a new network. By 1983, TGV had provided services to more than 18 million passengers (Bonnafous, 1987). The subsequent expansion initiatives of the TGV were aimed at providing services to areas with sufficient traffic, and in the connection of cities with significant sizes. The main objective of the TGV policy was to ensure that it was an investment directed towards socially profitable lines (Bonnafous, 1987).

The development of the French TGV was under a state directed policy, focused on commercial viability of the project, and cost containment. Through the government’s centralized and hierarchical decision-making structure, it became possible for the railway authorities in France to ensure that polices were focused on the realization of commercial goals (Bonnafous, 1987). In addition, it was through this policy approach that ensured that the eventual realization for the project would facilitate the realization of the country’s economic objectives as a technique of proving that public enterprises can generate financial resources through the operationalization of the TGV high-speed rail system (Akiyama, 2015). The French government through its railway authorities considered the development of the high-speed railway transport network as an economic incentive that would attract more foreign and local investors into the country because of its nature in term for efficiency in the locomotion of personnel between the cities of Paris and Lyon (Campos and de Ras, 2011). An additional contributing factor to the success of this industry emanated from the decision by the French government to minimize public debates of distribution strategy of the HSR networks. Furthermore, the authorities were immune to the social and regional pressures considering that TGV was a government project that was not only dedicated in the reduction of congestion but also targeting the generation of financial benefits from its operationalization (Kluhspies, 2010).

Through the formulation of an essential investment plan targeting the operationalization of TGV, additional funds were provided for the construction of high-speed railway lines connecting Paris to Lyon, Tours, Calais, and the Mediterranean. With more than 1,200 miles of high-speed railway networks, policy dedicated towards the construction of the railway line considered other essential issues such as traffic demands, construction cost, and time saving (Akiyama, 2015). By constructing high-speed lines alongside conventional railway lines to be used by less congested cities and towns when connecting to Paris and Lyon, the French government ensured that the construction cost was relatively less exorbitant. Unlike the Japanese Shinkansen system, the French TGV system through the mixed infrastructure saved the government about 37% of the cost (Bonnafous, 1987).

In terms of policy implementation at the regional level in France, the country ensured the development and improvement of regional rail services aimed at serving these regions with HSR services as a way of ensuring that the benefits of the system spread widely hence enhancing accessibility. This strategy resulted in an increase in HSR accessibility services within France (Akiyama, 2015).

The TGV lines in France were financed in accordance with their level of profitability. The expected minimum was a 12% minimum financial and social rate of return. The success of the TGV project was demonstrated when several lines surpassed the minimum return services about 3 years after their operationalization. The Japanese Shinkansen HSR system enhanced the promotion of a centralized economic community in major cities while at the same time favoring intra-organizational business trips (Campos and de Ras, 2011). The TGV system in France increased the number of trips originating from Paris to Lyon. Through the TGV railway network system, the French government has been able to improve on service delivery with regard to safe transport hence increasing business activities between major cities in the country. This is considered as an essential economic incentive for the government in terms of the realization of its objectives and mandate to the citizens (Minn, 2012). Despite the perceived development generated by the development of the TGV high-speed rail system, existing studies suggest that, that has not been effective in the acceleration of industrial concentration nor promoted the decentralization of economic and administrative activities from Paris to other established cities within France.

HSR in Saudi Arabia

The success of the HSR system in Japan, France, Germany and Spain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to engage in the development of policies targeting the implementation of the HSR system by the end of 2018 (Meng, 2015). This is meant to be the first high speed train line in the Middle East. The projects dubbed the Haramain High Speed Rail Project was developed with the objective of connecting Muslim holly cities of medina and Mecca with commercial cities in Saudi Arabia such Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City. The need for the connection between these cities was based on the understanding that during the holy pilgrimage millions of Muslim flock in Saudi Arabia causing high-level congestion (Akiyama, 2015). This makes other essential services such as transport to various destinations relatively complex. However, through the introduction of the HSR, the government of Saudi Arabia will launch a 450 km railway line targeting to serve more than 7 million people within the country. Furthermore, the HSR line will also serve million of hajj and Umar pilgrims who visit the country annually for the celebrations (Meng, 2015).

For Saudi Arabia, just as in the case of japan and France, the HSR line is perceived as an essential infrastructure for business oriented cities such as King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) because it will provide a better and more effective link between the city and the western region of Saudi Arabia (Meng, 2015). Furthermore, upon the completion of the project the government of Saudi Arabia envisions that the towns and cities around high-speed railway stations will have the potential of essential physical and symbolic gateway to KAEC. For the government and other policy implementers within Saudi Arabia, this is considered as an expression of the values and aspirations that define the vision of the country (Meng, 2015).

For Saudi Arabia, the development of the HSR in cities such as KAEC emanate from the understanding that it is still in the development stage. The situation is relatively different from the development of similar projects in already developed cities such as Tokyo and Paris because of the need to streamline the project to fit the existing infrastructure (Meng, 2015). In some situations, the implementing authorities had to destroy already established infrastructure in the cities to accommodate the HSR facilities. Being an emerging city with vast and untouched terrain, there are numerous developmental opportunities in KAEC. There is need for the implementing authorities in charge of developing the city to engage in planned process of the kind of infrastructure that is to be positioned around the HSR train station (Akiyama, 2015).

The process of developing policies targeting the development of HSR in Saudi Arabia was based on the need reduce the time taken in moving from one city to another. Furthermore, the need to provide additional economic benefits such as improved accessibility and nobility across different regions and an increase in the value of land along HSR route served as an additional objective ion the development of the rail network in Saudi Arabia (Meng, 2015). Through effective planning of its operations, the government of Saudi Arabia envisions the use of HSR in the development and linking of its cities as an investment strategy targeting foreign and local investors. Through an effective transport system, the government of Saudi Arabia will not only attract the citizens they want but it also provides the country with an opportunity of positioning itself as a dominant economy within the region (Meng, 2015).

Being one of the highly developed countries in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is characterized by effective airports and road networks connecting different towns and cities. However, the need to introduce a system free of numerous security checks such as airports and free of traffic congestion can be used in explaining the decision by the government of Saudi Arabia to invest in HSR system (Meng, 2015). Through high-speed rail networks, it also became possible for the government of Saudi Arabia to develop a strategy on how to boost land value of areas around the railway station. This is because the HSR network makes these places more accessible by large populations hence improving on their value as potential investment areas. This is synonymous to the situation in Japan, where through its HSR network the country has been able to ensure its operations without public subsidy (Meng, 2015). The Japanese HSR network owns land around the station and this provides it with the authority of capturing and adding value to the land before reinvesting it into the system. In Japan, about one third of its revenue is generated from commercial developments located along the HSR networks (Akiyama, 2015).

Policy implications in investing in high-speed railway
Reliability and time

High-speed railway provides passengers with a better platform of accessing different regions and cities with the limited time available. For former user of conventional railway lines the reliability of the Japanese HSR system which travels at speed of up to 300 km/h are more reliable and effective with regard to time. Self-contained high-speed trains in Japan, and France, which are dedicated to the provision of transport service, served to high speed passengers achieve high levels of reliability compared to conventional train services (Akiyama, 2015). This is because there is a reduction in the number of stoppages hence it is possible for commuters to rely on the services and the efficiency of the train services in actualizing their daily operations. The process of developing policies targeting HSR must focus on the ability of the service to minimize delays with regard to arriving at the scheduled time. Other than linking cities the process of designing the operation network for HSR, depend on the ability of these networks to provide services to airports. In developed countries such as Japan and France, air transport is considered essential because of the need to organize trips within and outside the country (Campos and de Ras, 2011). An increase in the integration of air transport with high-speed rail networks can provide prospects of much more rail penetration into the cities and the markets. This is especially through the development of a more effective and transparent platform that can integrate ticketing and handling of baggage (Campos and de Ras, 2011)

Capacity and diversion from other routes

The role of high-speed networks in any society is to provide effective and easily accessible means of transportation. However, the process of developing such means of transportation requires an assessment of the extent buy which the network effects of the HSR may lead to benefits that surpass the initial estimate of the project. This is however only considered possible in situations where there exist different aspects of economies of scale, scope, density, consumption externalities (Akiyama, 2015). The main question with regard to high-speed rail is on the extent by which such benefits help in improving it efficiency with regard to the intended mandate. In the case of Japan, after one stretch of the HSR had been constructed, any form of further extension was considered as an addition to the traffic of the existing stretch. This would facility the reduction of its, and an increase in the revenue and benefits of the unit (Pagliara et al, 2010). Furthermore, through the development of the HSR in Japan was also considered as an advantageous strategy with regard to improving transpiration because it relieved the conventional railway line of fast passage trains hence enabling the improvement of other services such as freight. Through such improvements, the Japanese government, despite spending large amounts of financial resources in the development of an exclusive stretch of HSR was able to streamline its freight railway services as a way of enhancing rail transportation of goods to different locations (Feigenbaum, 2013).

The situation is however different in the case of France TGV high-speed railway system because the system has the capacity of using HSR railway systems in the operationalization of its train services. The shared use of freight and passenger railways systems has however proved to be relatively costly due to the reduction of capacity and the time taken for effective delivery service in time can be attributed to delays due to shared lines (Akiyama, 2015). For effective operationalization of this system, it will be important for the national railway authority in France to increase the capacity of HSR through the construction of new capacity for freight traffic or regional passengers. According to existing evidence, the requirements of new capacity will require relatively lower incremental costs considering that existing volumes of traffic may attract larger benefits (Pagliara et al, 2010). This is in line with the existing evidence that the operationalization of HSR infrastructure less cost can make the systems more reliable considering that it lead to less overcrowding in train stations. These are considered as essential features when determining the polices focusing on the development of HSR because business travelers attribute the success of high speed railway systems to limited overcrowding in train and the time spent travelling from one city to another (Pagliara et al, 2010).

The diversion of traffic from other modes is also considered as an essential aspect defining the development of HSR in different countries. Existing evidence suggests that the process of developing an effective HSR is based on the need to diversify transport systems while providing a better alternative to the population. This has been necessitated by the need to divert transport from cars and air. The diversion of traffic from road and air doe not only affect fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it also reduces of the negative aspect related to road and air use as means of transport. Such diversion, Japan and France have enabled effective reduction of road noise, air pollution and congestion of the road and in airports (Brons et al, 2011).

Cost implications

HSR has been perceived as an economic and political infrastructure that provides an easier platform of connection between cities immediately and traffic congestions of the road and airports. Despite the advantage, the decision by any government to invest in the project often faces the challenge of cost. The Japanese HSR project developed and implemented in 1964 was considered as one of the costly megaproject by the Japanese government (Brons et al, 2011). This was because of the need to invest in the development of an exclusive high-speed railway while at the same time maintaining and operating the conventional railway network. The expensive nature of HSR project in countries such as France and Saudi Arabia arises from the understanding that the public normally funds it and this necessitates the need for the government to ensure that the policies directed towards this project are beneficial compared to other social benefits that the large financial resources could have funded (Akiyama, 2015).

The relatively low glamor for the HSR project can be attributed to the enormous financial risks, which reduces the appeal of public –private partnerships for the projects. The French original HSR was structured as public-private partnership but was later nationalized because of shortage of additional private investments (Brons et al, 2011). Despite the success of the Japanese HSR system, the project faces different sustainability issues, which are often arising from depreciating charges, lower demands for the services and interest burden. This explains why for governs to consider the development of polices towards the construction of HSR it must consider other sources of financing such projects. Furthermore, the government also has the responsbility of demonstrating to the public the essence of investing in HSR as an alternative means of transport to the existing road and air transport systems (de Rus G and Nombela, 2007).

Benefits such as addicting value to land around the train station have been perceived as long-term remunerations of HSR. This is an indication that following its implementation, the actual benefits of HSR can only be experienced over a broader horizon compared to the normal considerations and evaluating by the government (Gosling, 2010). This means that it is the responsbility of these governments to demonstrate high-level commitment and obligation towards the realization of social value (Akiyama, 2015). From a commercial perspective the high-level commitment in the development of polices arises from the understanding that massive project such as HSR have marginal benefits. For Japan and France, the HSR network targeted major cities of Tokyo and Osaka in Japan and Paris and Lyon in France (Brons et al, 2011). These cities attract more people interested in travelling longer distances in limited time. The process of selecting the main connection points of the HSR must therefore be based on the geography and the population density of the targeted area. For the Japanese, the mountainous terrain and the susceptibility of the country to natural disasters such as earthquakes necessitated the development of a costly strategy aimed at securing the HSR from adverse disasters (Brons et al, 2011).

Prediction of traffic demands

One of the most difficult tasks in the appraisal of an infrastructure project such as the HSR is in the prediction of traffic demands. Despite the difficulty, high demand is often perceived as a precondition for a positive contribution to the economy (Givoni, 2006). According to the European commission, it would only be plausible to construct new HSR line if it would serve approximately 9 million passengers annually. This is considered as appositive policy strategy aimed at saving the public the possibility of inviting in a nonprofit able initiative (Pimental et al, 2011). However, despite the suggestions by the European commission, Japan’s HSR and The French TGV demonstrated the viability of the project with regard to serving a high number of passengers. This is because within its first full year of operation, the French TGV had served more than 14 million passengers connecting between Paris and Lyon (Akiyama, 2015). Within its four years of operations, Japan’s HSR line had demonstrated it viability as a public project. This is because air traffic as a share of journey made to the Tokyo-Osaka route dropped from 31% to 7% while the share of high speed rail travel increased form 40% to 72%. Despite changes in the competitive landscape since the development of the railway line, the Japanese HSR system remains profitable top the public and to the government (Ahlfeldt and Feddersen, 2009).

 Economic prosperity

The main objective of HSR lies in the improvements of the transport system in any country. This explains why the failure of an HSR project can be attributed to the decision by the government to present it as a policy dedicated towards the promotion of regional equity and regional development (Albalate & Bel, 2013). According to existing evidence, successful HSR projects such as Japan’s Shinkansen network delivers a high population of workforce to Tokyo while limited activity is experienced in Osaka. When the French Paris- Lyon line was introduced in 1981 to the country’s TGV network, there was 144% increase of train travel form Lyon to Paris while tartrate from Paris to Lyon grew by about 50%. (Akiyama, 2015) This is an indication that the promise of regional development and prosperity when used as justification for HSR may create a false demand for the project. Once the demand has been created, it is possible for the political class to be trapped by such statement and this shift the objective of the project to a political tool. The difficulty in the implementation of the Saudi HSR project can be attributed to unreliable political statement derived from the government. According to the governing of Saudi Arabia, high-speed rail network provides both economic and regional convergence. The process of extending lines under such a project has proved to be relatively expensive considering the inconsistencies in the ability of the project to provide the needed economic (Akiyama, 2015).

 High-speed rail presents numerous concerns for economist living in Saudi Arabia. The expansion of was sought with greater intensity despite the existing economic crisis. The success of the transport policy in Japan can be attributed to limited concentration on aspect such as mobility (Akiyama, 2015). In Japan, the objective is to enhance transport and provide a better connection to the cities of Tokyo and Osaka. Furthermore, through such an approach the government also aims at connecting Tokyo to all the existing provincial capitals. The infrastructural development policies aimed at the centralization of essential political and economic structures helps in reinforcing the political and economic capacity of major cities such as Tokyo. This contributes to an enhanced economic wellbeing of the population and the ability of the government to deliver its mandate to the target population (Ahlfeldt and Feddersen, 2009).

HSR and environmental challenges  

An objective of any public policy is to engage the wellbeing of the target population. This means that effective development of environmental policies must consider the green feature of the project. Road and air industry have been considered as major contributor to high emission of greenhouse gases (Givoni, 2005). The development and implementation of policies on HSR based on carbon emissions serve the purpose of indicating the essence of such a project with regard to environmental protection (Akiyama, 2015). Despite the limited carbon footprints emanating from HSR, any environmental gain resulting from the massive investments of infrastructure would be realized at a high cost. This is because the process of infrastructure developments as in the case of japan resulted in land takes, high consumption of electricity, and air pollution. Any form of compensation from these environmental challenges would require the development of initiatives targeting the use of green energy in the operationalization of the HSR project (Brons et al, 2011). The main drawbacks to the implementation of HSR in Japan lies in the inability of these governments to develop effective measures on how HSR can be used in environmental conservation with regard to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. Effective development of such polices would guarantee improved public acceptance of the project while at same time enhancing willingness levels with regard to the promotion of sustainable development within these countries(Brons et al, 2011).

HSR is largely electrically powered this means that emission from the railway network are linearly related to energy consumption and the source used in the generation of the electricity. One way through which governments while developing their polices can ensure a reduction in the amount of fossil fuel energy used in powering this infrastructure is by investing in renewable sources of energy ad nuclear power. This would guarantee zero emission from HSR among the line and at the train stations (Akiyama, 2015).

Safety concerns

Air transport is considered as the safest means of transportation by rail, road, and sea. Investing in HSR for governments must be justified with reasons that would motivate frequent fliers to choose this mode of transport over air (Ahlfeldt and Feddersen, 2009). The Japanese HSR network has been able to demonstrate improved safety measures through the introduction of tilting high-speed trains. Through this technology, the Japanese have been able to reduce the number of HSR associated accidents considering that the computerized systems that manage the tilting process while the trains in transit provides them with the ability of navigating through varieties of terrain with limited possibility of accidents. In addition, the tilting capability also provides the trains with the ability to operate even in conditions necessitated by natural disasters such as earthquakes (Brons et al, 2011).

The safety measures in the design and the construction of HSR also serve the purpose of eliminating all the technical restrictions, which limit the ability of the technology to operate within the acceptable speed limits of 300km/h (Akiyama, 2015). This includes the consideration of aspects such as roadway level crossing, sharp curves unfitted for high speeds. In some situations to improve of the safety, the Shinkansen system in japan introduced new signaling mechanisms such as the use of highly powerful electrification systems essential in their operationalization of the system (Akiyama, 2015). 


HSR originated in Japan in 1964 in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. The objective was to find an effective and efficient way that could be used in maintaining and transporting the expected dense population in the closely interconnected large cities. The success of the Shinkansen in Japan’s in terms of efficiency and ability to enhance economic growth motivated countries such as France to formulate policies targeting the development of high-speed rail system in 1981. The need for the connection between these cities in Saudi Arabia during the holy pilgrimage millions of Muslim flock in Saudi Arabia causing high-level congestion necessitated the adoption of HSR. Through the introduction of the HSR, the government of Saudi Arabia will launch a 450 km railway line targeting to serve more than 7 million people within the country.















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