Putin Says Russia Will Have High-Speed Rail by 2018 World Cup

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If you haven’t heard Russia is hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, one of the biggest global events. It recently beat out England, Spain/Portugal, and Holland/Belgium for this fantastic opportunity. Of course, a ton of infrastructure development goes into preparations for the World Cup… the development of a high-speed rail network, for example.

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised last week that there would be high-speed rail connecting all of the World Cup’s host cities (Moscow, Kazan, Samara, and Ulyanovsk) by 2018.

“It will be a powerful incentive for the development of high speed rail services in the European part of Russia,” Putin said.

Putin hasn’t provided a lot of detail yet, but he seems fully behind this plan.

The statement came immediately after he and Finnish President Tarja Halonen went on “an inaugural journey on the French-made high speed Allegro train linking Helsinki to St. Petersburg.” I think this is what more Americans need to really propel high-speed rail forward in their regions, real-world experience riding a high-speed train.

While, technically, the U.S. has had a high-speed rail line in the Northeast for 10 years now, trains on that line don’t really compare to what we consider high-speed rail today. Florida’s planned high-speed rail lines are likely to be the first truly high-speed lines in the U.S. The first line, from Tampa to Orlando, is supposed to be completed in 2014 and the second, from Orlando to Miami, in 2017. Will we really beat Russia to high-speed rail.

Related Stories:
1) China Wants to Connect its High-Speed Rail to Europe (Largest Infrastructure Project in History)
2) Over a Dozen States Get Wisconsin and Ohio’s High-Speed Rail Money
3) High-Speed Rail for the US, Finally!
4) High-Speed Rail Opposition and Support

Photo Credit: Antonis SHEN via flickr

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Zachary Shahan

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