Friday, Jul 12 2013 by kjfitz
High-speed rail is a type of rail transport that operates significantly faster than traditional rail traffic, using an integrated system of specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks. The first such system began operations in Japan in 1964 and was widely known as the bullet train. High-speed trains normally operate on standard gauge tracks of continuously welded rail on grade separated right-of-way that incorporates a large turning radius in its design. Since 1964 many countries in addition to Japan have developed high-speed rail to connect major cities (e.g. China, France, Germany, Italy, ROC (Taiwan), Turkey, South Korea and Spain). As of 2012 the maximum commercial speed on most high-speed rail lines was about 300 km/h (185 mph).