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2024 | Book

Socioeconomic Impacts of High-Speed Rail Systems

Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on High-Speed Rail Socioeconomic Impacts, University of Naples Federico II, Italy, International Union of Railways (UIC), 12–13 September 2023


About this book

This book offers new insights into the wider socio-economic impacts of high-speed rail (HSR). Over the past few decades, significant investments have been made in these systems around the world. The use of public funds for the construction of high-speed rail offers a range of benefits, such as time savings, increased comfort, and reduced traffic congestion, as well as broader economic benefits, including the advancement of less developed regions.

These proceedings feature papers presented at the 3rd International Workshop on the Socioeconomic Impacts of High-Speed Rail. The focus is on HSR impacts on the environment, on the land use system, on investment, on the tourism industry, on inclusion and on cooperation vs integration with other transport modes. The book provides an overview of the current state of practice from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Consequently, it will be of interest to scholars of transportation economics and related fields, as well as transportation industry professionals.

Table of Contents


HSR and Environment

Evaluation of External Costs Change Due to High Speed Rail in Italy
The evaluation of the external costs of transport has become increasingly relevant and fundamental, as much as the growing interest and concern about climate change; even if these costs involve aspects beyond environmental ones, like accidents and congestion, they allow the environmental impacts of people’s transport choices to be determined and represented, transforming them in monetary costs. The EU Commission has been debating these topics for almost 20 years, and DG Move has covered this topic in the Handbook on the External Costs of Transport; moreover, during this period (2022–2024), the European Commission has been organising a fitness check to prepare a recommendation on how to better implement the polluter pays principle, which could balance the costs perceived by the polluters and those borne by the community. In this context, railways can play a key role in reducing the impact of Transport. It is well-known that train transport is one of the least impactful modes of transport, as showed by several studies, like that conducted by UIC “Greening Transport” (Domergue & Markovic-Chénais, Greening transport—Reduce external costs, 2012); it could be improved by new technologies, but it is already less impactful than air and road transport. The problem is encouraging its use by passengers and freight carriers. For instance, users of the roads don’t perceive all of the effects and the relative costs that they produce: for them, travel by car remains the most convenient mode in terms of money, comfort, and (perhaps even) time. Only major events, like an economic crisis or a pandemic, can change people’s mobility habits, and this change will not always favour less impactful modes of travel, as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some governments have sought to resolve this through modal choice: France, for example, has sought to reduce its environmental impacts (namely CO2 emissions) by banning air connections where comparable train services exist, and take less than two and a half hours to cover the OD distance. Despite the foregoing, and even if modal choices in Italy haven’t changed much over the past few decades, some Italian Origin/Destination pairings witnessed major changes in people’s modal choices following the development of High Speed Rail. Based on this modal shift, this paper aims to analyse the change in the External Impacts of Transport for passengers on certain HSR OD pairings in Italy. The comparison is performed between the external costs of transport with or without the High Speed Rail services. The analysis is carried out considering the modal share surveys and pax-km for the specific OD pairing selected for the years 2008 and 2019. The external costs evaluation follows the methodology explained in the Handbook on the External Costs of Transport by DG MOVE (EC [European Commission] et al., Handbook on the external costs of transport—Version 2019—1.1, 2020).
Martina Farsi, Mario Tartaglia, Lorenzo Vannacci
Comparison of Istanbul–Ankara High Speed Train and Airplane and Automobile Passenger CO2 Emissions in Sustainability Assessment
Some of the important indicators within the scope of sustainability are harmful emissions, including carbon footprint. In the coming period, pricing policies in transport will become more rational and inclusive, taking into account environmental impacts and limited resources. In this study, the data of the main means of transport between the cities of Istanbul and Ankara are taken as reference. By analysing the relevant data, high-speed train, airplane and automobile modes of transport are compared. As a result of the analysis, it has been revealed that the CO2 emission of high-speed train is more acceptable in terms of sustainability compared to other modes of transport. In the sustainable transport policy approach, high-speed train seems to be the most efficient mode of transport today, both environmentally and economically with lower external costs compared to air and road transport.
Hakan N. Ozturk

HSR: Competition vs Integration vs Inclusion

Interaction of Regional and High-Speed Transport in Transport Services: Case Study of Praha-Brno High-Speed Railway Line in Vysočina Region
The paper assesses the future interaction between the projected high-speed rail (HSR) and regional transport in the Czech Republic (CZ) with the aim of analysing potential interchanges. The current decentralisation of transport service orders of regions and the liberalisation of the railway market create a complex system that poses many challenges for modern railway transport in CZ. Although these aspects improve rail transport due to competition within the existing network, at the same time they make it more complicated for passengers. Moreover, the effects of competition are not limited to certain lines, and its effects are only noticeable in selected parts of the network. There are already many conflicts between regional and conventional long-distance transport, such as transport concept, the carrier, the timetable and the capacity of the trains and the compatibility of travel documents. These conflicts will naturally be present even in the case between regional and high-speed long-distance transport. The construction of high-speed networks should improve accessibility to major centres such as Prague and Brno and at the same time further connect Europe, as the current state of rail transport in CZ is not satisfactory in terms of speed. This construction could not only improve the transport within the country, but also improve the international transport through CZ as the centre of Europe. High-speed and regional transport are not mutually exclusive, but can create synergies that will offer people an alternative to travelling individually by car. Whether it is an alternative to commuting to an HSR terminal or an alternative to the journey itself. This paper is a case study of the availability of the high-speed terminal in the Prague–Brno high-speed line (HSL), for the Vysočina region. The location and presence of a terminal can determine the disparity of regions, and consequently of cities that have/do not have access to HSL and thus influence the inclusion of these fast transport systems in the regions. In the paper is stated the optimal variant of the HSL line from the feasibility study, as well as the current traffic flows and the forecast of traffic demand in the selected region where the high-speed line Prague–Brno will lead. According to the best routing option according to the feasibility study of the infrastructure manager—Správa železnic, s. o. (SŽC), interchanges should take place at the future Jihlava-Pávov terminal near the regional town of Jihlava. The case study will address the surrounding railway network towards Okříšky, Slavonice, Horní Cerekev, Humpolec, Hlinsko v Čechách, Třebíč and Znojmo with overlap to other neighbouring regions. For the time being, extensive reconstruction plans for the surrounding railway network are not anticipated, so an important part of the paper is also a proposal on how to improve the new connections without serious interventions in the railway infrastructure, as well as the use of alternative propulsion methods. The paper is concluded by pointing out the various problems that the integration of the high-speed transport system into the current transport (regional) concept will face with the aim of increasing the inclusiveness of new high-speed rail transport and reducing the disparity for residents who are not in the relevant vicinity of high-speed line terminals.
Filip Baran, Tatiana Molková
How Competition on HSR Services Could Generate Social and Economic Benefits: The Case of Italy
Competition on HSR services has had major social and economic effects, including an improvement in the quality and variety of the services (at lower costs), improved accessibility, and an increase in the overall demand. These effects coincide in part with the advent of HSR itself, and in part with those observed with the opening of other transport markets. However, the latter effect (i.e. increase in demand) appears particularly amplified here, since it has positive implications not only for individual travellers, but also for society as a whole: in fact, a significant part of the increase in HSR demand has been diverted away from less environmentally friendly modes (e.g. air, long-distance bus, and car), thus leading to a reduction in CO2 and other pollutant emissions. In order to explore the full range of positive effects of HSR competition, this paper specifically investigates the unique case of Italy, where the opening of this market segment has been effective for more than ten years now.
Mauro Capurso, Mario Tartaglia
Integrating High-Speed Rail Stations at Airports
High-speed rail has been a successful and globally-adopted mode for intercity travel since 1964, with over 36,561 miles (58,839 km) in operation worldwide (UIC, 2022). Trains with commercial speeds of 155 mph (250 kmh) or greater are capable of competing with air travel for journeys of 500 miles (800 km) or less (UIC, 2022). Of the 20 countries with systems in operation, 60 percent offer rail service with speeds competitive with air travel. Currently, an additional 24 countries (UIC, 2022) are planning or constructing new high-speed rail systems in corridors adjacent to airports, including the United States (UIC, 2022). In 2021, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which established $66 billion in federal funding for modernizing passenger and freight rail networks, including $36 billion in competitive grants for the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program (The White House in Building a better America: Passenger and freight rail, 2022). This funding program is dedicated to new intercity rail projects, including high-speed rail, and is the largest investment in American passenger rail since 1971 (USDOT in Fact sheet: Equity in the bipartisan infrastructure law, 2022). To better understand common conditions that have resulted in successful air/rail station integrations worldwide (Interrail in Airport train station connections, 2022), semi-structured interviews were conducted with experts who are familiar with the implementation and functionality of rail stations at airports. Following the interviews, the author quantified, coded, and sorted interview responses and identified trends in the data. The results of this evaluation have identified three exemplary airports with good high-speed rail integration, six criteria of successful air/rail station integrations, and three common conditions to avoid building poorly integrated air/rail stations. Understanding challenges with existing rail stations at airports in the United States and conditions that have made for successful stations at airports abroad can help decision makers design station locations that attract ridership and capitalize on the environmental and economic benefits of multimodal collaboration. With many new projects in development stages, due to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, emphasis on successful integration of high-speed rail stations at airports is key for growth planning, economics, and addressing environmental impacts of intercity transportation.
Paige Malott
Can HSR Services Increase Regional Economic Integration? Evidence from the Italian Case
As High-speed rail networks have been developed both nationally and internationally as a successful alternative to both air and road over medium-long distances. Inter-city and inter regional traffic, especially between the major metropolitan areas has benefitted greatly from the investment in this network. HSR infrastructure investments are also often viewed by governments in many countries as effective tools to stimulate economic growth. Economic literature has analyzed in many studies the magnitude of the impact of HSR investments. On economic growth, employment, and transportation efficiency. Less studied is the impact of HSR services on economic integration: by improving connectivity and reducing travel time between regions, HSR services can enhance the flow of people, goods, and services between regions, leading to increase trade and investment. This effect can be observed through the lens of Multi Regional Input–Output Tables, a tool used to analyze the interdependence of economic activities between different regions and sectors. The scope of this paper is to assess the effect of HSR connection and passenger flows between regions on their trade integration across different sectors, using Italian regions as case studies. HSR network connects major cities throughout Italy, and, by extensions, their surrounding regional economic systems. After carrying out a descriptive analysis of the major trend in HSR in Italy (both from a passenger and a service perspective), we define potential catchment areas of HSR services and operationalize their evolution since 2010. Then we put this evolution in correlation with a sectorial disaggregated index of economic integration between regions computed on Multi Regional Input–Output Tables, in a quasi-counterfactual setting. We compare pairwise combination of regions with a direct HSR connection with unconnected similar pairs of regions and evaluate if their economic integration indexes are significantly different.
Leonardo Piccini, Mario Tartaglia
Estimating Schedule-Based Assignment Models for High-Speed Rail (HSR) Services Using Multiple Data Sources
The availability of open-source and big data on transport services and individual travels represents an opportunity for detailed travel demand analysis and advanced models estimation. This paper presents a schedule-based High-Speed Rail (HSR) demand forecasting model estimated using traditional and mobile phone data sources. The model includes the reconstruction of the diachronic graph of railway services provided by transport operators (both HSR, intercity and regional services) using General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data, and the estimation of the origin–destination (OD) matrices for each hour of the day using mobile phone traffic data. Schedule-based assignment models ultimately allow for simulating travelers’ route choices and predicting passenger flows on board single trains. The model system has been implemented for the Italian HSR network and has been calibrated and validated using ticket sales data from the primary Italian HSR transport operator, Trenitalia. This application demonstrates a high reliability of predictions, with \({R}^{2}\) values of the comparison between observed and estimated values ranging from 0.45, when considering flows on individual train journey sections, to 0.95, when considering station-to-station flows. By presenting two practical use cases of the developed model, the results of this research highlight the importance of developing schedule-based assignment models for timetable optimization of HSR services, including their interconnections of HSR services with intercity and regional ones, and for ex-ante simulation of the impacts of policies and operational adjustments such as line extensions, speed enhancements, and the introduction of new services to improve HSR accessibility at the national scale.
Fulvio Silvestri, Tommaso Montino, Pietro Mariano

HSR and Land-Use Impacts 1

High Speed Railways: A Review of Available Evidence on Socio-economic Impacts
High-speed rail in Europe was introduced in 1981 through the opening of Paris-Lyon line in France. Subsequently, additional lines in France have been constructed as well as in other EU countries (e.g. Germany, Spain, Italy). Development of high-speed rail forms a core part of the EU policy to contribute towards an enhanced position of rail in the transport market in order to promote sustainability as specified in earlier Transport White Papers and the 2020 Sustainable and Smart Mobility strategy. Since the 80s the HSR network has increased substantially from less than 600 km length of lines to over 11,000 km in 2021. Although high-speed railways have a significant role in strengthening domestic but also cross-border cohesion of countries (i.e. with shorter travel times, distances between key centres essentially shrink), European border-crossing services by high-speed rail are relatively limited, examples being represented by the routes Paris-London-Brussels-Cologne-Amsterdam, Paris-Turin/Milan and by Barcelona-Perpignan (although the latter doesn’t yet offer a fast connection to the French high-speed network and conveys only few cross-border trains per day). Available evidence highlights that HSR can indeed improve accessibility which in turn may have impacts on the wider economy, through various channels, notably agglomeration benefits, increased competition, imperfect competition and labour market effects. This paper will review the available evidence on socio-economic impacts linked to high-speed rail investments. Particular aspects considered in the paper will be to determine the significance of wider economic impacts alongside the direct transport benefits (e.g. time savings and reductions in GHG emissions).
Torben Holvad
HSR Lines as a Tool for the Transformation of Border Cities into a Single Cross-Border Agglomeration on the Example of the Cities of Zabaikalsk and Manchuria
The article hypothesizes that the largest border cities of the Far East will be connected to the existing Chinese HSL network. Then the potential for the development of the functional-planning structure of the cities of the Russian Far East under the conditions of creating cross-border HSL lines is considered, using Zabaikalsk as an example.
Natalya Kamalieva
Understanding the Role of High-Speed Rail on Intercity Commuting: Evidence from the Shanghai Metropolitan Area
High-Speed rail (HSR) system in China serves both interregional and regional intercity travel demand. Despite intercity travel for business and leisure purposes, intercity commuting has been observed along the high-frequency HSR corridors. However, little attention has been paid to the role of HSR in labour mobility as reflected in intercity commuting. The research aims to analyze the role of HSR in intercity commuting using survey data and semi-structured interviews with intercity commuters to or from Shanghai within the metropolitan area. While traditional factors remain relevant in explaining intercity commuting, the qualitative information adds new insights into whether HSR induces intercity commuting and how HSR competes with other intercity travel modes for intercity commuters. Our results show that: (1) HSR expands labour mobility for intercity commuters at a tolerable cost in time and money; (2) HSR commuters were found to live and work within a 10 km radius of the stations. Workplaces were found to be closer to stations than residents; (3) HSR is more competitive for weekly commutes of more than 2 h one-way and daily commutes of less than 2–2.5 h (100 km). This research helps to understand the role of HSR in regional integration and labour mobility.
Ya Gao, Haixiao Pan
Causal Effect of the Shinkansen on Population Change in Japan: An Application of PSM-DID
The Shinkansen is a high-speed railway in Japan; it has been in operation since 1964 and has been used for approximately 60 years. Shinkansen has improved population mobility and communication between different regions in Japan, making it easier for people to reach different cities and areas, thereby increasing population balance and diversity. This study uses the Japanese Shinkansen as an example and empirically investigates the relationship between high-speed rail and population change. An empirical analysis using an econometric approach was conducted on 19 newly opened Shinkansen stations in Japan between 1995 and 2015, using panel data from 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015. Specifically, we used third-level grid data from the national census and the propensity score matching and difference-in-difference (PSM-DID) method to quantitatively calculate the causal effect of the opening of the Shinkansen on the population increase or decrease in the areas surrounding the Shinkansen stations. We used propensity score matching (PSM) to mitigate self-selection bias caused by observable variables and improve comparability between the treatment and control groups. We then combined the DID (difference-in-difference) method with panel data to eliminate the endogeneity problem caused by unobservable variables and improve the robustness of the estimation results. We introduced a two-way fixed effects model (TWFE) in the DID method to control for time-fixed effects and individual-fixed effects. We controlled for individual-fixed effects by dividing them into three levels—region, prefecture, and city—thus obtaining analysis results from macroscopic to microscopic perspectives. The impact of Shinkansen stations on population change at different levels was analyzed in detail. The event study method was introduced to test the parallel trend hypothesis, the core hypothesis of DID, and the dynamic effect of the Shinkansen opening on population change was further analyzed along with the parallel trend test.
Jingyuan Wang, Shintaro Terabe, Hideki Yaginuma, Haruka Uno, Yu Suzuki
The Effects of High-Speed Rail on the Real Estate Market for Residential Use: A Comparison of Medium-Sized and Metropolitan Cities in Italy
The effects of high-speed rail networks (HSR) on the local economy and environment have been the subject of numerous studies. Numerous studies have revealed how the real estate market and HSR have a relationship that boosts housing prices. Italy introduced TAV in 2008. The companies RFI and Italo NTV are the two companies operating in the country. The effects of the TAV on property values have not yet been thoroughly studied for all countries, and in Italy there is little empirical evidence. In medium-sized Italian cities with high-speed rail, the relationship between HSR and real estate values properties as residential, commercial, tertiary, and industrial is investigated. The study uses a dataset covering from 2006 to 2022 that includes the HSR stations in major and medium-sized Italian cities as well as those that are currently under construction, analysing the HSR stations managed both by RFI and Italo NTV. The methodology is based on the GEE model according to the hedonic price approach. The main results identify some variable socioeconomic factors that contribute to the increase in prices of residential buildings near stations, while the price of commercial buildings is determined by the frequency of trains and the presence of existing activities. The price of industrial buildings decreases with the increasing distance to the HSR stations and government offices. The price of tertiary and commercial buildings shows an increase in price as the distance from the high-speed railway station increases.
Irina Di Ruocco, Filomena Mauriello, Francesca Pagliara

HSR and Land-Use Impacts 2

Transport Accessibility and Demographic Vibrancy: Evidence from the High-Speed Railways in Italy
The socio-economic implications of high-speed rail (HSR) systems have been widely studied. However, a research gap exists regarding the influence of HSR on changes in demographic composition. This study aims to address this gap by investigating the introduction of HSR and its effects on demographics in Italy. By conducting a fixed effect panel regression analysis, we assess the impact of HSR on demographic indicators in 70 catchment areas based on HSR stations, comparing data from two sample periods, 2008 and 2019, to analyze pre- and post-HSR differences. Our study focuses on five demographic indicators, including population ages, migration patterns, and working-age population, as dependent variables. Additionally, we employ an accessibility index based on travel time to measure the improvements in accessibility resulting from HSR. Preliminary analysis suggests a correlation between HSR and demographic vibrancy indexes, although it may not be sufficient to reverse the current demographic trends.
Gianluigi Cisco, Andrea Fiduccia, Ilaria Lopresti, Mario Tartaglia
An Empirical Analysis on the Possible Role of High-Speed Railway in Cultural Urban Development
Despite accessibility by rail is considered as one of the enabling factors of the creative economy, the impacts of High-speed rail (HSR) on cultural urban development are not much addressed by scientific literature. As a contribution to this research line, we want to examine whether and to what extent the availability of HSR affects the cultural offerings of cities and people’s ability to participate in cultural life. The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor (CCCM) proposed by the EU is the starting point for our evaluations. We deepen the spatial accessibility impacts of HSR by developing an ad-hoc index that considers an isochrone calculation of travel time, frequency, and ratio of population served. In this way, we go beyond a qualitative assessment, extrapolating in quantitative terms the role of HSR over general rail accessibility. The indicator is tested on the 18 Italian cities included in the CCCM ranking, with a focus on Milan and Lombardy. Our results confirm some limits of the CCCM in capturing the impact of HSR and rail on urban accessibility and highlight the better potentialities of our method, when included in a more comprehensive evaluation framework.
Francesco Bruzzone, Federico Cavallaro, Silvio Nocera
Land Change Pattern in High-Speed Rail Station Area: Empirical Research on Yangtze River Delta Region in China from 2010 to 2020
The opening of high-speed rail (HSR) has led to land cover changes within cities or in areas adjacent to HSR stations, but these changes vary between different HSR stations. Many local governments in China have planned larger-scale HSR new cities around the station, but not all of them have been realized. Existing studies on China’s HSR have mainly focused on the spatial scale of urban agglomerations and above, with less discussion of the built environment at the intra-city scale, and even less interaction studies based on a period of time span. This study takes 40 stations along the four major and earlier-opened HSR lines in the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration Region in China as examples, constructs two indexes of land cover scale and compactness level to measure the land change pattern in the station catchment area over a 10-year period from 2010 to 2020, and uses statistical analyses to explore the potential factors influencing such changes. The findings are as follows: (1) HSR promotes the incremental built-up land in the station area to accumulate adjacent to the stations; (2) HSR stations located at the edge or periphery of the city, or newly-built rather than upgraded stations, tend to have larger incremental land cover scale and compactness level, but newly-built HSR stations may also lead to loose spatial layout of the station areas. This study analyzes the impacts and potential factors of HSR stations on land change pattern in the station area over a 10-year time series, providing an empirical basis for future location selection of HSR stations, the urban function arranging in station areas, and the promotion of transit-oriented development in the station area.
Xinyi Wang, Haixiao Pan
An Integrated Approach for the Territorial Impact Assessment of High-Speed Railways
The growing attention to the impacts that transports policies and infrastructure projects have on sustainability and territorial cohesion has been strengthened by the progressive inclusion of these goals among the main objectives of the European Union. In particular, as stated by the Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion, the concept of territorial cohesion “builds bridges between economic effectiveness, social cohesion and ecological balance, putting sustainable development at the heart of policy design.” These goals have been fostering research and experimentation paths for the many companies of the Italian Railways Group (FS Group); in this framework, territorial cohesion and sustainability are the topics of a partnership between the FS Research Centre and the Italferr Sustainability Unit, with the aim of updating the methodological frameworks for the assessment of the territorial impacts of railways. The study is rooted in the institutional and scientific debate on territorial cohesion, interpreted as the “territorial dimension of sustainability” (Camagni, Rivista di Economia e statistica del Territorio 3:37–62, 2006a), and is anchored to the methodological references developed for the evaluation of economic, cultural, social, environmental, and governance impacts. To this end, the paper proposes a theoretical and methodological framework of indicators to assess the territorial impacts of high-speed railway projects, arising from a research pathway consisting of 4 phases: the illustration of the literature review on territorial cohesion; the focus on Territorial Impact Assessment methods and indicators; a comparison of the indicators with the Envision Protocol for infrastructures; the proposal of a multidimensional framework of indicators for the territorial impact assessment related to High-Speed Rail.
Chiara Ravagnan, Arianna Fittipaldi, Franco Stivali, Mario Tartaglia

HSR and Investment

Case Studies in Public–Private Partnership of High-Speed Railway Transport
European railway transportation is not as efficient as it could be. Public–private partnerships can yield higher efficiency in railway transport. There are a few implemented infrastructures through public–private partnerships and, in many of them, the result has not been the expected one. The purpose of this research is to develop a list of recommendations and good practices that allow governments, private investors, and railway stakeholders to take better and more efficient decisions on the implementation of new high-speed rail lines. Consequently, this research has analysed through seven case studies, all the high-speed lines designed through public–private partnerships in Europe. The research methodology is based on exploratory case study and on the identification of critical success factors. This article has made it possible to develop a list of recommendations and good practices.
Mario González-Medrano, José-María Rotellar-García
The Interactive Megalopolis: A New Approach in Evaluating the Economic Benefits of High-Speed Ground Transportation Linkages
Ever since the emergence of High-Speed Ground Transportation (HSGT) in Japan and later, in Europe, the rationalization has focused on congestion relief requiring promoters to rely on modal diversions from aviation and road transport to justify the capital costs of building the new transportation mode. In North America, this approach has constrained government policies to pursue the most modest transportation technology improvements, if any at all.
This paper presents an alternative view of HSGT, adapted for the evolving spatial distribution of people and employment in urban North America. Instead of focusing on attracting current intercity travelers to leave their vehicles at home or abandon air travel, we should be researching how these technologies can be adapted for a new, longer reaching urban mass transit system capable of fusing clustered metropolitan labour markets. There is one major challenge however: there are very few commuters today who travel between cities in Canada. So how do we project the potential ridership, estimate the revenue streams, and conduct the economic benefit cost analyses to justify such an expenditure?
These pages will describe how the process of urbanization is creating an opportunity for a new mass transit transportation system that can merge the safety, reliability, cost, capacity, and convenience attributes of mass transit with the speed of HSGT technologies. A mass transit HSGT service will present urban planners with more options to address the urbanization paradox in the New Economy: whereas population growth is essential to a prosperous urban economy, a continuing influx of people challenges the ability of urban and transportation planners to accommodate these arriving workers and their families while maintaining an acceptable quality of life for all citizens.
A new urban form for North America is presented: The Interactive Megalopolis. This concept features an “Accessibility” infrastructure composed of telecommunications and transportation to create a location neutral labour force in urban corridors. The benefits of a fused megalopolitan labour market in the Greater Toronto–Ottawa/Gatineau–Montréal triangle (TOM), could generate tens of billions of dollars every year in labour productivity improvements, a sum that may be sufficiently large to finance the capital cost for HSGT. A research program is proposed, and the Randstad conurbation is highlighted as a possible model for Canada to emulate.
Richard M. Zavergiu
Wider Effects of Railways: The Palermo–Catania High-Speed Line, Italy
Wider Effects are impacts that the realisation of new infrastructures have on the development of the economic and social framework.
In Italy, the evaluation of railway investments is governed by the guidelines entitled “Linee guida per la valutazione degli investimenti in opere pubbliche”, published by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (2017). In this context, the main methodology used to measure the soundness of an investment is cost–benefit analysis, which focuses on the transport benefits generated by the project, such as travel time, fuel and operating cost savings, environmental benefits, and so on.
The guidelines consider wider effects that go beyond the impacts analysed by the CBA, which, although not recognised as key elements in the investment decision-making process, are nevertheless seen as essential community benefits.
These latter effects can be estimated through the interaction between the transportation infrastructure and the territory.
In particular, the guidelines define the indirect wider impacts of transport investment as those arising from other macroeconomic sectors and different markets that might result from a new transport supply (e.g. impacts on employment, international trade, demographic developments, and so on). It is well known that these impacts are extremely important, and can significantly influence the social return on an investment, especially in times of crisis.
In order to estimate the indirect macroeconomic effects, it is possible to construct a model based on relationships between sectors, at the national (or regional) scale. This model measures the economic impacts (i.e. on labour market supply and demand, imports and exports, trade, productivity, etc.), based on the effects (both short/medium term, related to increased expenditure during the construction phase, and long term, linked to a change in accessibility and transport costs) resulting from the use of the new transport infrastructure.
According to the literature in the field, the term “Wider effects” refers to benefits associated with changes in the economic and residential field, tourist flows, accessibility of the territory and economic activities, upgrading of the real estate, land regeneration, and territorial competitiveness, which generally occur after a renovation or the construction of new transport infrastructures.
The importance of the latter effects is even more remarkable when the territories considered are under development or have low accessibility, as in these cases the wider effects could significantly affect the social and economic landscape.
In this paper will present the case study of the Palermo–Catania high-speed rail link. This investment aims to upgrade the Palermo–Catania railway connection by improving the Fiumetorto–Bicocca section to expand the existing single-rail capacity and to increase the speed limit to 200 km/h.
As part of the evaluation of the Palermo–Catania high speed link, several wider aspects were considered to enrich the benefits assessed by the cost–benefit analysis. The following aspects were also computed by referring to the same perimeter considered in the CBA.
Short-term effects, during the construction phase:
  • Value Added and employment.
Long-term effects, during the operation phase:
  • Accessibility
  • Contribution to inequality reduction (Gini Index)
  • Agglomerative effect
Chiara Chinzari, Enrico Cieri, Mara Radicioni, Sarah Ravà, Michele Cerullo, Mario Tartaglia
CBA Results of CPK Railway Program with Modulated Methodologies
Cost–benefit analysis (CBA) lacks the formal nature often associated with financial analysis. In Europe, CBA typically adheres to a predefined methodology set forth by the European Commission, specifically for the purpose of applying for EU funding. However, when used internally by project promoters or for national transport policy purposes, the CBA scope may extend beyond the Commission’s recommendations. This is particularly true since additional effects can be calculated using existing methodologies. Using an example of one of the HS rail projects developed by CPK in Poland, based on the standardized CPK CBA Model, multiple simulations of the CBA results were carried out, incorporating various assumptions, methodologies, and a range of effects considered in the analysis. The simulations are of different nature than a standardised sensitivity analysis. Conclusion had been drafted as to the observed changes in the CBA results.
Joanna Archutowska

HSR and Tourism

The Impact of High-Speed Traffic on the Tourism Economy of Urban Agglomerations: A Joint Effect and Heterogeneous Classification
This article focuses on the impact of high-speed transportation systems formed by vehicles with speeds above 200 km/h (i.e. high-speed rail and aviation) on the tourism industry in urban agglomerations. A multi-phase DID model is used to verify the positive role of high-speed rail and aviation construction in the development of the tourism industry, and a fixed effects model is used to classify the comprehensive impact of high-speed transportation system operation on the tourism industry. The results show that there is a three stage lag of the driving effect of high-speed transportation on the tourism industry, and there is significant heterogeneity of the impact on urban agglomerations of different economic levels. Specifically, 19 urban agglomerations can be divided into six bilateral impact types, five unilateral high-speed rail impact types, five unilateral civil aviation impact types, and three bilateral no impact types. The economic development and policy factors that form this phenomenon are summarized. This study provides a theoretical basis and guiding significance for the planning and construction of urban agglomerations in China, the coordinated construction of urban high-speed rail and air transportation networks, and the rapid development of the tourism industry in the future.
Chuntao Wu, Yan Li
The Relationship Between High-Speed Rail Accessibility and Tourism Demand: The Case Study of Italy
Transport infrastructure is of fundamental importance for tourism development and reinforcement. The relationship between transport and tourism is complex, as one affects the other and various features of transport can influence tourist choices. The operation of high-speed rail offers a faster mode of transport, which is supposed to improve tourism flows and shape tourism characteristics. This is particularly true for leisure and business tourism in urban areas. The availability of high-speed rail connections, the frequency of the services, and the reduced journey times are relevant transport factors whose relationship to tourism are worthy of investigation. In the literature, the impact of high-speed rail on tourism has been explored using qualitative methods and statistical models. In the latter, the relationship is usually studied based on the presence of high-speed railway stations or the frequency of the services. Little empirical analysis has been focused on the reduced journey times as a measure of accessibility. This paper presents an empirical analysis of the impact that the improved accessibility of major Italian locations served by the high-speed railway has had on tourism flows, and on specific aspects of tourism, such as length of stay. The applied methodology is based on the panel data approach, using both open official statistical data on the tourism supply and demand and railway market data. An accessibility indicator based on journey times is used for measuring high speed rail accessibility.
Ilaria Lopresti, Mario Tartaglia
Socioeconomic Impacts of High-Speed Rail Systems
Francesca Pagliara
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