High-Speed Trains in Europe

Sun, Jul 21
+ Add return
Scan to get our free app
Use our app to get live travel updates and book mobile tickets for trains, buses, flights, and ferries.
App Store
42K ratings
Google Play
136K reviews

We, at Omio, offer train, bus, and flight tickets with over 800 companies—in 36 different countries around the world—with mobile tickets for many European routes. Plan your next trip by high-speed train with us by using the Omio app to travel across borders to multiple destinations. Just remember to bring your passport!

High Speed Trains Worldwide: A Ranking

High Speed Trains

*Based on total score. Ranking based on operational and record speed of trains, length of track in operation, and length of track under construction.
All Rights Reserved. Please credit Omio when using the table.

High-Speed Train Ranking (code)

To use the infographic above, make sure to credit Omio and copy this code: img src="https://cdn-goeuro.com/static_content/web/content/rest/updated_23.08.2019_10_trains_infographic_miles.png"

With a rising global conscience on climate change and an urgent need to connect rural populations to urban hubs, high-speed rail offers a promising solution to congested roads and remote labour markets.

We, at Omio, analysed the leading high-speed rail networks worldwide and identified the top 20 countries with the most advanced infrastructure. The factors considered included: trains’ operational and record speeds, miles of existing railway, and miles of high-speed tracks currently under construction.

The birth of the railway began with the onset of the 19th-century industrial revolution in Europe. British rail—notably The London Underground known as The Tube—is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 1860.

Ranking of High-Speed Trains by Omio

Country Train name Score
1 China CR400BF 100.0
2 Japan Shinkansen 85.4
3 Spain AVE 83.3
4 France TGV POS 72.9
5 Germany ICE 60.4
6 South Korea KTX 58.3
7 Italy AGV 575 / ETR 1000 / ETR 500*** 56.3
8 Turkey TCDD HT65000 43.8
9 Austria ICE 39.6
10 Saudi Arabia Talgo 350 33.3
11 Belgium TGV 33.3
12 Morocco RGV-M 31.3
13 United Kingdom Siemens e320 31.3
14 Taiwan THSR 29.2
15 Russia Sapsan 29.2
16 USA Acela Express 16.7
17 Netherlands PBA 16.7
18 Poland ED250 14.6
19 Sweden X2 10.4
20 Switzerland RABe 503 0.0

***In Italy the Frecciarossa 1000 has a commercial speed of 186mph (300 km/h); the maximum speed it can reach is 249mph (400 km/h) with commercial-grade trains complete with 8 cars. This was unintentionally omitted from the original research.
****In Italy the distance in miles of high-speed rail currently under construction is 231 miles as indicated by RFI—Italian Railway Network. The Frecciarossa 1000 has a commercial speed of 186mph (300 km/h); the maximum speed it can reach is 249mph (400 km/h) with the train operating with its full commercial composition of 8 cars. The current distance in miles of the high-speed railway in operation is 621 miles as indicated by RFI—Italian Railway Network (source article). This was unintentionally omitted from the original research.

International Bullet Trains

High-speed rail—first launched by the Japanese—is defined by trains operating at a speed on or above 120mph (200km/h) Japan was the first country to launch a high-speed route as early as the 1960s .

In Europe almost 20 years later, France became the first country on the continent to adopt high-speed rail. Predictably, China dominates the 2019 ranking with more miles of high-speed rail than the rest of the world combined.

On the other side of the pond, the US is considering expanding its bullet train network further. The country has 475 miles of rail tracks nationwide: its single high-speed route is Acela Express which connects Washington D.C. to Boston. It can travel up to 149 mph (240km/h).

How the Omio Ranking Works

For this study, Omio researched high-speed trains worldwide. All trains which travel at a speed on or above 120mph (200 km/h) were selected.

Factors contributing to the ranking

  1. Record speed (mph): the fastest speed the train is able to reach. This speed is often obtained when the vehicle is empty or on a test run - it is not its usual operating speed.
  2. Miles in operation: the distance in miles of the high-speed railway currently in operation (commercially).
  3. Upcoming routes: the distance in miles of high-speed rail currently under construction. Source: International Union of Railways.
  4. Max. operational speed (mph): the maximum speed the train can travel by law.

How we calculated it?

  • Each of the above factors accounted for 25% of the overall score for each country.
  • The scores were standardised to offer a final score between 0-100 (0 being the lowest rank and 100 the highest).
  • Data sourced from The International Union of Railways report (updated March 28, 2019).
  • Research compiled in June 2019 before the new high-speed line Madrid-Granada in Spain was completed.
  • In Italy the ETR 1000 has a commercial speed of up to 186mph (300 km/h) and has a max operating speed of 245mph (394 km/h). This was unintentionally omitted from the original research.

Most Popular Routes

From planning a multi-city European rail trip to simply wanting to travel to a destination faster, there are many popular high-speed rail routes to choose from. Omio has a wide selection of ground transport which offer high-speed railway: covering destinations in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and the UK. Popular rail routes—listed in the table below—are all available with Omio; with some routes including mobile tickets on selected lines.

Route Duration Average
Trains Amsterdam – Brussels 01 h 53 55 €
Trains Paris – Brussels 01 h 22 65 €
Trains Lyon – Paris 1 h 57 45 €
Trains Paris – Rennes 1 h 33 55 €
Trains Madrid – Barcelona 2h 30 59 €
Trains Sevilla – Madrid 2 h 30 54 €
Trains Rome - Milan 02 h 55 43 €
Trains Milan - Naples 04 h 11 53 €
Trains Frankfurt – Berlin 3 h 53 62 €
Trains Berlin – Munich 3 h 56 88 €
Trains Hamburg – Düsseldorf 3 h 07 36 €
Trains Barcelona – Paris 6 h 33 69 €
Trains Lyon - Barcelona 5 h 06 82 €
Trains London - Paris 2 h 16 83 €
Trains London - Amsterdam 3 h 44 68 €

*Prices listed in the table are for high-speed train tickets, taken from internal data using the Omio product (accurate: June 2019).

HomeHigh-Speed Trains in Europe
More routes, destinations and providers