2017 and beyond is set to be an important year for transportation, not just on land but also air and water. However, one avenue of transport that interests us the most is rail.
Amid news that construction of the first Hyperloop project has begun in Toulouse, France, and other locations around the world are set to follow suit, below are a few of the latest innovative rail projects cropping up worldwide.
Here, we have selected the seven wonders of the railway world.
The first full-scale model will be up and running by the beginning of 2018. Construction has begun in Toulouse, France and other locations including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Poland, California and Canada are close behind. The Hyperloop capsule will measure 30m in length, 2.7 m in diameter and weighs in at 20 tons. The fastest train in Japan, the Maglev bullet train, goes up to 374 mph (603 kph), but the Hyperloop capsule is expected to move at speeds of 760 mph (1223 km) per hour.
Standard Gauge Railway, Kenya
With the help of Chinese investors, Kenya Railways Corporation is building an epic new standard gauge railway (SGR) link between Mombasa and Nairobi and cutting the ten-hour journey time to just four hours. Costing close to $4 billion, the 609km-long line is expected to be completed by December 2018. The country has an overall SGR master plan which aims to connect Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan at a cost of $13 billion.
Melbourne Metro Tunnel, Australia
The Melbourne Metro Tunnel is set for construction in 2018. Excavation work will begin in the center of Melbourne to dig the tunnel deep beneath the city. The metro is expected to open in 2026 with two 9km tunnels at an estimated cost of $11bn.
London’s Elizabeth line, or Crossrail, will launch in 2019 with 66 Class 345, 200m-long trains. These stat-of the-art trains will play a key role in London’s future, helping to deliver a modern, world-class transport system through the new Elizabeth line and enabling London’s transport network to cope as the UK and London’s population rises.
North-South Railway, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s North-South Railway is set to open in 2018. The 2,400km route will include state-of-the-art trains and is split between a 1,486km freight route and a 1,250km passenger line. Stopping at Riyadh, Al-Majma’ah, Qasim, Hail and Jouf, it will be the first major train line to connect most of the country.
Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed line, Singapore
The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore line is due to open in 2026. Trains will run at 300 km/h, with stations planned at Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat, Iskandar Puteri and Singapore. Developers claim the travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore will be just 90 minutes. The project is costing an estimated $15billion.
High Speed 2, UK
Construction is scheduled for 2018 for a high-speed line between London and Birmingham. The line is expected to include stat-of-the art technology and carriages to aid customer travel experience and reduce travel times dramatically. However, there are many issue forming within government on how plans are developing and phase one is currently only penciled in for 2026. Phase two is expected to be completed by 2033.