The Info List - Inter-city Rail

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Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail
services are express passenger train services that cover longer distances than commuter or regional trains. There is no precise definition of inter-city rail; its meaning may vary from country to country. Most broadly, it can include any rail services that are neither short-distance commuter rail trains within one city area, nor slow regional rail trains calling at all stations and covering local journeys only. Most typically, an inter-city train is an express train with limited stops and comfortable carriages to serve long-distance travel. Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail
sometimes provides international services. This is most prevalent in Europe, due to the close proximity of its 50 countries in a 10,180,000 square kilometre (3,930,000 sq mi) area.[citation needed] Eurostar
and EuroCity
are examples of this. In many European countries the word "InterCity" or "Inter-City" is an official brand name for a network of regular-interval, relatively long-distance train services that meet certain criteria of speed and comfort. This use of the term appeared in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and has been widely imitated.


1 Speed

1.1 Distance of inter-city rail

2 Overview of Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail
by country

2.1 Africa 2.2 Asia

2.2.1 East Asia China Japan Hong Kong Taiwan South Korea

2.2.2 South Asia Bangladesh India Pakistan Sri Lanka

2.2.3 Southeast Asia Burma Cambodia Indonesia Malaysia Philippines Thailand Vietnam

2.2.4 Southwest Asia Iran Israel

2.3 Europe

2.3.1 Western and Central Europe Poland

2.3.2 Russia

2.4 North America

2.4.1 Canada 2.4.2 Mexico 2.4.3 United States

2.5 Oceania

2.5.1 Australia 2.5.2 New Zealand

2.6 South America

2.6.1 Argentina 2.6.2 Bolivia 2.6.3 Brazil 2.6.4 Chile

3 See also 4 References 5 External links

Speed[edit] The speeds of inter-city rail lines are quite diverse, ranging from 50 km/h (31 mph) in a mountainous area or on undeveloped tracks to 200–350 km/h (124–217 mph) on newly constructed or improved tracks. As a result, Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail
may or may not fall into the category of higher-speed rail or high-speed rail. Ideally, the average speed of inter-city rail service would be faster than 100 km/h (62 mph) in order to be competitive with car, bus and other methods of transport. Distance of inter-city rail[edit]

50–100 km

The distance of an inter-city rail journey is usually at least 50–100 km (30–60 mi), although in many large metropolitan areas commuter and regional services cover equal or longer distances.

100–500 km

A distance of 100–500 km (60–300 mi) is a common journey distance for inter-city rail in many countries. In many cases, railway travel is most competitive at about 2–3 hours journey time. Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail
can often compete with highways and short-haul air travel for journeys of this distance.

500–1,000 km

In journeys of 500–1,000 km (300–600 mi), the role of inter-city rail is often replaced by faster air travel. Development of high-speed rail in some countries increases the share of railway for such longer-distance journeys. The Paris-Marseille TGV
(750 km or 466 mi, or 3 hours) and Tokyo-Aomori Shinkansen
(675 km or 419 mi, or 2 hours 59 minutes) are examples of this type of journey. In conventional non high-speed rail, overnight trains are common for this distance.

1,000 km or more

In some countries with a dense rail network, large territory, or less air and car transport, such as China, India, and Russia, overnight long-distance train services are provided and used practically. In many other countries, such long-distance rail journey has been replaced by air travel except for tourism or hobbyist purposes, luxury train journeys, or significant cost benefit. Discount Eurail Pass in Europe, Amtrak
in the United States, and Indian Pacific
Indian Pacific
in Australia are examples. Faster high-speed rail of 350 km (220 mi), such as the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway
Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway
in China (1,300 km or 810 mi, or 5 hours) and Tokyo-Sapporo in the proposed Hokkaido Shinkansen
in Japan (1,030 km or 640 mi, or 4 hours), may play a significant role in long-distance travel in the future. Overview of Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail
by country[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2009)

A Moroccan Inter-city train at Rabat station

Africa[edit] Railways in Africa are still developing or not practically used for passenger purposes in many countries, but the following countries have inter-city services between major cities:

Algeria SNTF Egypt: Egyptian National Railways Morocco: ONCF
(in French - Office National des Chemins de Fer du Maroc, National Office for Railways of Morocco) South Africa: Shosholoza Meyl Tunisia Tunisian Railways(SNCFT)

Asia[edit] East Asia[edit] China[edit] See also: High-speed rail
High-speed rail
in China Trains run by China Railways
China Railways
link almost every town and city in the People's Republic of China mainland, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen
and Xi'an, as well as onwards from Shenzhen
across the border to Kowloon, Hong Kong. New high-speed lines from 200–350 km/h (124–217 mph) operation are constructed, and many conventional lines are also upgraded to 200 km/h (124 mph) operation. Currently there are seven High-Speed Inter-City lines in China, with up to 21 planned. They are operated independently from the often parallel High-Speed-Rail-Lines. Japan[edit]

DMU tilting train express "Super Ōzora" in Japan. The train type shown is a KiHa 283 series
KiHa 283 series
Diesel Multiple unit.

See also: Shinkansen Japan has six main regional passenger railway companies, known collectively as Japan Railways Group
Japan Railways Group
or simply as JR. Four JR companies operate the "bullet trains" on very fast and frequent Shinkansen
lines that link all the larger cities, including Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and many more. Many other cities are covered by a network of JR's "limited express" inter-city trains on 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in), narrow gauge, lines. Major cities are covered by convenient train services of every one hour or more frequent. In addition to the JR Group, Japan has several major regional carriers such as the Kintetsu and Nagoya Railroads. Hong Kong[edit]

Beijing- Kowloon
Through Train, hauled by a SS8 electric locomotive, passing through Tai Po Market Station
Tai Po Market Station
in Hong Kong

See also: Rail transport
Rail transport
in Hong Kong Rail services that connect the towns in the New Territories
New Territories
with the city centres of Kowloon
and Hong Kong are provided by the East Rail Line, West Rail Line
West Rail Line
and Tung Chung Line. Inter-city railway services crossing the Hong Kong-China border (often known as through trains) are jointly operated by Hong Kong's MTR Corporation Limited and the Ministry of Railways of the People's Republic of China. Currently, Hung Hom Station
Hung Hom Station
is the only station in the territory where passengers can catch these cross-border trains. Passengers are required to go through immigration and custom inspections of Hong Kong before boarding a cross-border train or alighting from such a train. There are currently four cross-border train services:

Between Hong Kong and Beijing
(Beijing- Kowloon
Through Train) Between Hong Kong and Shanghai
(Shanghai- Kowloon
Through Train) Between Hong Kong and Guangzhou
(Guangzhou- Kowloon
Through Train) Between Hong Kong and Zhaoqing
(Zhaoqing- Kowloon
Through Train)

A new border-crossing service, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, has been approved and has been granted HKD 6.6 billion in funding by the Legislative Council's Finance Committee. The line is now under construction. A new station, West Kowloon
Terminus, will be built in Hong Kong to be served by this new railway.

Taiwan[edit] See also: Taiwan High Speed Rail
Taiwan High Speed Rail
and Taiwan Railway Administration Taiwan Island's coastline is connected by frequent inter-city train services by Taiwan Railway Administration. Taiwan High Speed Rail, opened in 2007, covers the most populated west-coast corridor. Chinese:對號列車 there are Chu-kuang express (莒光號) and Tze-chiang limited express (自強號). South Korea[edit]


See also: Korea Train Express Almost every major town and city in South Korea is linked by railway, run by Korail. ITX-Saemaeul
is operated in most Main railway lines like Japanese limited express or German Intercity. Also, Mugunghwa-ho is the most common and most popular type of intercity rail travel like German Regional-Express. In addition, Seoul
and Busan
are linked by a high-speed train line known as KTX, which was built using French TGV technology. South Asia[edit] Bangladesh[edit] See also: Bangladesh Railway India[edit]

A Rajdhani Express
Rajdhani Express
train, one of the fastest Inter-city services in India

Indian inter-city trains are run by Indian Railways. With 63,000 km (39,146 mi) of rail routes and 6,800 stations, the railway network in India is the third-largest in the world (after Russia and China) and the largest in the world in terms of passenger kilometres. Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi Express, Rajdhani Express and Duronto Express
Duronto Express
are the fastest Inter-city services in India of which the Bhopal Shatabdi Express
Shatabdi Express
is the fastest train of India.[citation needed] All long-distance journeys generally require a reservation and unreserved travel is allowed in some trains. Pakistan[edit] See also: Pakistan Railways Sri Lanka[edit] See also: Sri Lanka Railways Southeast Asia[edit] Burma[edit] See also: Myanmar Railways Cambodia[edit] There is only one train service in Cambodia, from Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
to Sihanoukville, stopping at Doun Kaev (Takeo) and Kampot.[1] Indonesia[edit] See also: Rail transport
Rail transport
in Indonesia In Indonesia, PT Kereta Api
PT Kereta Api
operates inter-city services in many cities, especially in Java. Inter-city serves some of Indonesia's major cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Padang, and Palembang. In Jakarta
metropolitan area (or Jabodetabek), KRL Jabotabek
KRL Jabotabek
operates the inter-city and commuter. Malaysia[edit]


See also: KTM Intercity, KTM ETS, and MRL East Coast Rail Link Keretapi Tanah Melayu
Keretapi Tanah Melayu
(Malayan Railways) operates loco-hauled express trains called KTM Intercity
KTM Intercity
along Peninsular Malaysia
Peninsular Malaysia
and into Singapore. At the Malaysia– Thailand
border, connections to State Railway of Thailand
trains are available. KTM Intercity
KTM Intercity
trains are diesel-powered and run on a single-track 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge system. The rail track is gradually being duplicated and electrified. On the completed Central to Northern section (border), KTM runs the higher-speed Electric Train Service (ETS). Philippines[edit] See also: Philippine National Railways The Philippines had relaunched their inter-city rail service. It runs between Manila
and Bicol Region. The Philippine National Railways
Philippine National Railways
had their Bicol Express and Mayon Limited as their inter-city rail service brands. The Bicol Express leaves Manila
and passes through cities of Manila, Pasay, Muntinlupa. The train also passes the provinces of Laguna, Quezon, and Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur
before arrives at Naga City. The train leaves Manila
at 06:30pm PST (UTC+8) and arrives at NAGA at 04:30am PST (UTC+8). The return trip leaves NAGA at 06:30pm PST (UTC+8) and arrives at MANILA at 04:30am PST (UTC+8). The trip clocks 10 hours or 600 minutes. The trip is designated 611 for southbound and 612 for northbound.[2] Also, The Mayon Limited leaves Manila
at 08:30pm PST (UTC+8) and arrives at Ligao at 07:00am PST (UTC+8). The return trip leaves Ligao at 07:15pm PST (UTC+8) and arrives at Manila at 05:30am PST (UTC+8). The southbound train operates as trip number 713 (de luxe) or 815 (ordinary) and the northbound train operates as trip number 714 (de luxe) or 816 (ordinary). The trip clocks 10 and a half hours, ordinary and deluxe.[3] Thailand[edit] See also: State Railway of Thailand Vietnam[edit] Trains in Vietnam, run by Vietnam
Railways, link Hanoi, Hué, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Southwest Asia[edit] Iran[edit] See also: Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Israel[edit] Israel Railways
Israel Railways
operates inter-city services between all the 4 major metropolitan areas of Israel; Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Be'er Sheva and Haifa. However, due to the small geography of Israel, most of the railway services have a more suburban service pattern, with many short stops at stations between the major city centres. Europe[edit] Western and Central Europe[edit] Main articles: High-speed rail
High-speed rail
in Europe, InterCity, EuroCity, and Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail
in the United Kingdom In Europe, many long-distance inter-city trains are operated under the InterCity
(Intercity, or often simply IC) brand. InterCity
(or, initially, "Inter-City" with a hyphen) was first conceived as a brand name by British Rail
British Rail
for the launch in 1966 of its electrification of the major part of the West Coast Main Line, notably new express services between London and the major cities of Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool. It later became the name of one of British Rail's new business sectors in the 1980s and was used to describe the whole network of main-line passenger routes in Great Britain, but it went out of official use following privatisation. InterCity
had become an iconic brand in the 1970s mostly because of the introduction of the British Rail
British Rail
Class 43 (HST). The principal network of international express trains in continental Europe is called EuroCity, to distinguish it from the national InterCity
networks and to indicate its better support for international journeys even though some IC trains also cross borders. High-speed railways have relatively few stops. The German high-speed train service was named InterCityExpress
indicating its evolution from older InterCity
trains. Other high-speed lines include the TGV (France), AVE
(Spain), Treno Alta Velocità
Treno Alta Velocità
(Italy), Eurostar
(United Kingdom–France and Belgium), Thalys
(Netherlands–Belgium–Germany and France) and Railjet
(Austria-Hungary). In Great Britain, the inter-city rail links are now operated by a number of private companies as well as Continental State owned railways such as Virgin Trains, Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains
East Coast, East Midlands Trains, CrossCountry, and First Great Western. Ireland's inter-city rail network is maintained by Iarnród Éireann
Iarnród Éireann
and Northern Ireland's is run by Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Railways. Poland[edit] Main article: Rail transport
Rail transport
in Poland The Polish State Railways
Polish State Railways
(PKP), a state-owned corporate group, is the main provider of railway services. The PKP group holds an almost unrivaled monopoly over rail services in Poland as it is both supported and partly funded by the national government. As of 2008, foreign services operate on the Polish Railways network. These include EuroCity
and EuroNight trains operating between Western and Eastern European destinations, most notably the EN Jan Kiepura direct sleeping cars which operate between Russia and Amsterdam, Basel and Munich via Warsaw, Poznań and Germany. These trains generally consist of varied coaches from different rail operators that are added to the train as it passes through their area of operation. Russia[edit]

Sibirjak, passenger train from Berlin to Novosibirsk

Russia has dense network of long-distance railways all over its vast territory, the longest and most famous being the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok. Long distance train of more than 1,000 or 2,000 km (621 or 1,243 mi) is common and they keep on running two or three days. Speed is relatively low with 60 or 70 km/h (37 or 43 mph) average. North America[edit] See also: Higher-speed rail Canada[edit] Canadian inter-city trains are mostly run by Via Rail, and connect many but not all major cities. Ontario Northland Railway
Ontario Northland Railway
operates passenger service between Cochrane and Moosonee
in Northern Ontario. International trains, run jointly by Amtrak
and Via Rail, connect New York with Toronto and Montreal. Amtrak
operates the Amtrak
Cascades service linking Vancouver and Seattle. The White Pass and Yukon Route links Alaska
with the Yukon. Tourist oriented inter-city service includes the Royal Canadian Pacific and Rocky Mountaineer. Mexico[edit] The Mexican federal government discontinued almost all scheduled inter-city passenger trains in January 2000. Ferromex
operates trains on three routes: Chihuahua to Los Mochis, Torreon
to Felipe Pescador, and Guadalajara to Amatitan. The President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed intercity trains, the proposed projects are Mexico City-Toluca (construction began July 7, 2014), the Peninsular train (Yucatán-Mayan Riviera), Mexico-Querétaro high speed train (with future expansion to Guadalajara) and Puebla-Tlaxcala-Mexico City. United States[edit]

Pacific Surfliner
Pacific Surfliner
in the south California
west coast route

A Via train at London, Ontario
London, Ontario

See also: High-speed rail
High-speed rail
in the United States There was a dense system of inter-city railways in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but after the decline of passenger railroad in North America in the 1960s, the inter-city lines decreased greatly. Today the system is far less dense and is operated by the government-owned Amtrak
company, with the exception of Alaska, which uses the Alaska
Railroad (which is also government-owned). The most heavily used routes with the greatest rider-ship and schedule frequencies are in the Northeastern United States, on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. About one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders live in New York City. The two busiest passenger rail stations in the United States are Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, both in New York City. Passenger rail outside the Northeast, Northwest, California
and Chicago
is infrequent and rarely used relative to networks in Europe and Japan. Multiple new rail corridors have been identified for private development throughout the country. These include the Eastern Flyer route in Oklahoma, the All Aboard Florida
All Aboard Florida
route between Miami and Orlando, and a high-speed line in Texas. Oceania[edit] Australia[edit]

A NSW TrainLink H set
NSW TrainLink H set
at Sydney's Central station

In Australia the national interstate network operated by Great Southern Rail connects all mainland Australian capital cities except Canberra
and Brisbane. Intrastate inter-city trains that traverse shorter distances are operated by V/Line, NSW TrainLink, Queensland Rail and Transwa. Many of Australia's inter-city trains are not true inter-city services, given their leisurely average speed and primary role to transport people between regional areas and the nearest capital city or for the tourist market. As a result, Australian networks refer to these services as "country" trains. The fastest intercity trains in regular service are the Queensland Rail
Queensland Rail
Tilt Train, NSW TrainLink
NSW TrainLink
XPT, V/Line
VLocity and Transwa
WDA/WDB/WDC class, all of which have a top service speed of 160 km/h. In Australia, electrified interurban commuter railway systems are used to connect urban areas separated by long distances and use heavy-rail equipment:

In New South Wales, NSW TrainLink
NSW TrainLink
operates an extensive interurban network of four main routes from Sydney. These run to Newcastle and the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, the Southern Highlands and the South Coast. NSW TrainLink
NSW TrainLink
brand its interurban commuter services as "Intercity". In Brisbane, QR's City network operates a smaller interurban commuter network of three lines which connect Brisbane
to the Gold Coast in the south, the Sunshine Coast in the north and Rosewood in the west. In Perth
an electric interurban rail line running down the middle of the Kwinana Freeway
Kwinana Freeway
to serve Mandurah
opened on December 23, 2007.

On these systems, services either run as limited-stop expresses in the suburban area (e.g. Blue Mountains services) or as shuttles terminating where the suburban lines end (e.g. Rosewood services). A large-scale non-electric project of four regional lines (Regional Fast Rail) is operational in Victoria. Current interurban and intercity journeys outside the suburban area are often locomotive-hauled (particularly for longer-distance services), due to Victoria's lack of electrification outside of Melbourne. New Zealand[edit] In New Zealand there are currently three long-distance passenger services classed as inter-city: the Coastal Pacific, the Northern Explorer and the TranzAlpine. Their slow average speed is limited by the narrow Cape gauge
Cape gauge
and the rugged country traversed, particularly in the middle of the North Island, where the North Island Main Trunk has many sharp curves and steep gradients. Other current non-commuter passenger services are long-distance commuter or scenic services: the Capital Connection, Seasider, and the Wairarapa Connection. A network of regional and long-distance rail passenger services up till the mid-twentieth century has largely been replaced by air or bus services. South America[edit] A few countries of South America were once interconnected by international train services, today they are almost non-existent. Most of governments in the continent have favoured roads and automobile transportation since mid-20th century. Argentina[edit] Argentina
has inter-city services on a number of routes, run by Ferrobaires, Ferrocentral, and Trenes Especiales Argentinos. Trains in Argentina
are experiencing a revival, since the government intends to re-establish long-distance passenger trains between major cities. Bolivia[edit] Inter-city train services in Bolivia
are operated by two train companies: Eastern and Western. The western network runs daily trains from Oruro to Tupiza, with both espresso (fast) and WaraWara (slow) trains. The eastern rail hub is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, with connections to Puerto Suárez and Villamontes, and international lines to Brazil and Argentina. Brazil[edit] Brazilian inter-city services operate on two routes, one from Vitória to Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
and another from Carajás to São Luís. Chile[edit]

on Estación Chillán. This is Chile's fastest Inter-city rail service, reaching 160 kmh on it's fastest section of it's route

has inter-city services connecting Santiago to Chillán (occasionally to Temuco), run by Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado. The fastest in Chile
(and South America) is TerraSur, reaching 160 kph. See also[edit]

Longest train journeys Lists of named passenger trains PKP Intercity Railway electrification systems Railway stations in the Netherlands#Categories
Railway stations in the Netherlands#Categories
(spelling: "intercity") Terminal station


^ http://royal-railway.com/ ^ "Bicol Express - Philippine National Railways". Pnr.gov.ph. Retrieved 2012-10-04.  ^ "Mayon Limited - Philippine National Railways". Pnr.gov.ph. Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 

Overseas Timetable: Independent Traveller's Edition, Winter 2008/9; Thomas Cook Publishing European Rail Timetable: Independent Traveller's Edition, Winter 2008/9; Thomas Cook Publishing

External links[edit]

The Man in Seat 61 Information on train travel worldwide Tips for rail travel travel guide from Wikivoyage

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