The EU definition of High Speed Rail HSR

DIRECTIVE 96/48/EC APPENDIX 1

1. Infrastructure

a) The infrastructure of the trans-European High Speed system shall be that on the trans- European transport network identified in Article 129C of the Treaty:

    • those built specially for High Speed travel,
    • those specially upgraded for High Speed travel. They may include connecting lines, in particular junctions of new lines upgraded for High Speed with town centre stations located on them, on which speeds must take account of local conditions.

b) High Speed lines shall comprise:

    • Specially built High Speed lines equipped for speeds generally equal to or greater than 250 km/h,
    • Specially upgraded High Speed lines equipped for speeds of the order of 200 km/h,
    • Specially upgraded High Speed lines which have special features as a result of topographical, relief or town-planning constraints, on which the speed must be adapted to each case.

2. Rolling stock

The High Speed advanced-technology trains shall be designed in such a way as to guarantee safe, uninterrupted travel:

    • at a speed of at least 250 km/h on lines specially built for High Speed, while enabling speeds of over 300 km/h to be reached in appropriate circumstances,
    • at a speed of the order of 200 km/h on existing lines which have been or are specially upgraded,
    • at the highest possible speed on other lines.

3. Compatibility of infrastructure and rolling stock

High Speed train services presuppose excellent compatibility between the characteristics of the infrastructure and those of the rolling stock. Performance levels, safety, quality of service and cost depend upon that compatibility.

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