High-speed rail line. Credit: Shutterstock; High-speed rail line. Credit: Shutterstock;

High-speed rail

Shaping tomorrow’s sustainable travel

Shaping tomorrow’s sustainable travel

As a key component of a low carbon, integrated transport system, high-speed rail is a long-term investment in a net zero future. By bringing distant communities closer together, high-speed rail, when linked with metro and other transport systems, enables seamless connections, regional regeneration and improved economic opportunity.

Arup has been at the forefront of high-speed and faster rail development globally for more than 40 years, having taken a key role in projects in the UK, the US, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Italy, Australia, Türkiye and Sweden.

At Arup, we offer global experience and insight across different transport modes together with technical expertise, breadth of resources and independent analysis, to support the delivery of high-speed rail projects.

It takes creativity, technical expertise and deep rail network experience to deliver high-speed rail schemes that will support long-term economic growth, serve communities and address a nation’s net zero goals. ” Andrew Went Andrew Went Global High Speed Rail Leader

Our services span the entire project life cycle of high-speed rail development, from strategy and concept development through to early design, detailed design, construction, operations and maintenance. We also work with clients who are planning to move towards offering higher-speed rail operations. Our services cover a broad range of expertise from rail engineering, rolling stock engineering, asset management, digital transformation, masterplanning, project funding and economics, and stakeholder engagement.

We work with governments, transport policy makers, funding organisations, rail delivery organisations, rail operators, contractors and rolling stock suppliers as partners and help them to shape and deliver high-speed rail projects that maximise the wider social, economic and environmental benefits.

How we can help you

Develop an integrated transport strategy

As a first step, we help clients to assess their existing transport and rail networks, to develop an integrated strategy and economic case so that a high-speed rail scheme will deliver real value for communities.

We bring our global expertise, experience and advanced digital modelling to align the project with a country’s economic, social and environmental goals.

Design high-speed rail schemes

From the concept to detailed design stage of the high-speed scheme, we design the route options (and final recommendation), speed, stations and their surroundings.

We ensure that the railway’s network interfaces are economically viable and long-lasting. We undertake rigorous environmental impact assessments and global benchmarking, to help inform the project business case.

Deliver major rail programmes

We work as delivery partners and provide confident and efficient project management for major rail schemes through the whole life cycle.

Our people and change experts work with leaders to establish effective new organisations, including the processes, teams and culture, required for successful delivery of new high-speed rail systems. Our work also includes developing the project’s procurement strategy to enable a better return on your investment.

De-risk complex programmes

The sheer scale of high-speed rail projects creates a unique level of complexity for major infrastructure. Taking a ‘systems approach’ across the project lifecycle, we support clients with systems integration and systems assurance, to ensure the railway is designed and built to meet its reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety requirements.

Our people and change experts work with delivery organisations and operators to mobilise new operations team to ensure success from the first day of service.

Optimise performance and assets

Whether you’re approaching a critical asset renewal cycle, looking to achieve operational excellence and reliability in your daily service or creating efficiencies in your maintenance programme, we can help.

Our teams identify the right strategy and digital technologies to help plan for future passenger demand and to maximise the whole life of your assets. Our rounded approach also means we will look at ways to increase resilience, reduce carbon emissions and embed circular economy principles to minimise waste, and improve or extend whole life value. 

Efficient stakeholder management

The scale of high-speed rail projects requires a major commitment to public engagement. Keeping communities informed and involved in key aspects of the delivery programme is critical to its success.

We also use advanced digital technologies such as our SoundLab and iLab to bring to life – visually, aurally and spatially – components of the railways so your stakeholders can see and understand a proposal in context, building support for the preferred route and speed. 

Latest perspectives

Explore our latest insights and ideas about rail

The UK’s first high-speed railway line offers invaluable insights into the transformative benefits that rail infrastructure offers people, communities, economies and the environment.
To view this video, you must enable cookies.