High-speed rail (HSR) 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. While there is no single standard that applies worldwide, new lines in excess of 250 kilometres per hour (160 mph) and existing lines in excess of 200 kilometres per hour (120 mph) are widely considered to be high-speed. The first high-speed rail system, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, 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.
Many countries have developed high-speed rail to connect major cities, including Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, The Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan. Only in Europe does HSR cross international borders. China had 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi) of HSR as of December 2018, accounting for two-thirds of the world's total.
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