Europe boasts four of the ten most expensive railroad projects worldwide, according to project cost ranking by Railway Technology.
1. $136 billion High Speed 2 (HS 2)
High Speed 2 (HS 2) will connect Scotland, the Midlands and London by linking over 25 stations in three phases by 2035. With 30 million expected users expected annually on this high-speed rail line.
The 2015 Budget estimated the initial costs of High Speed 2 would total $72 billion (PS56 billion). Since then, however, funding for this project has nearly doubled with total investment reaching an anticipated total of around $136 billion (PS106 billion).
This project aims to reduce travel times from Birmingham to London from one hour and twenty-one minutes to fifty-two minutes, and from Manchester to London via Birmingham/Leeds from two hours seven minutes.
2. Chuo Shinkansen – $84bn
Central Japan Railway Company has begun construction of the Chuo Shinkansen, commonly referred to as Tokaido Shinkansen Bypass or JR Central. The Maglev-based route from Tokyo to Nagoya is estimated to cost $84 billion (9 trillion).
The new line is projected to travel at speeds up to 500 km/h, connecting Tokyo and Nagoya within 40 minutes. Ninety percent of its 286 km long route will consist of tunnels.
3. California High-Speed Rail – $80bn
The Central Valley in the United States will serve as the link between Northern and Southern California on a publicly funded high-speed rail route known as California High-Speed Rail. Constructed at an estimated cost of $80 billion by California High-Speed Rail Authority.
California high-speed rail project officially kicked off in January 2015 and is projected to be complete by 2040 – making this system one of the country’s first high-speed rail systems.
4. Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) – $47bn
Northern Powerhouse Train (NPR), is being constructed in England’s north to increase capacity on existing railway lines. Estimated to cost PS39 billion ($47 billion), it represents one of the greatest transportation projects since the Industrial Revolution.
Transport for the North has taken on the responsibility for creating the Northern Passenger Railway program (NPR).
5. Suburban Rail Loop – $34bn
Suburban Rail Loop Authority will soon unveil the Suburban Rail Loop (SLRA). This orbiting train system will circumnavigate Melbourne and connect all main railway lines through Melbourne Airport.
Suburban Rail Loop project costs are expected to total A$50 billion ($34 billion), and construction on its initial 90km long south-east segment could begin as early as 2022, with completion targeted for 2032.
6. Grand Paris Express – $31bn
Construction on France’s Ile-de-France Grand Paris Express automated transport network is currently underway and expected to cost $31 billion (EUR28 billion).
This project entails the construction of 68 new stations and four railway lines spanning 200km, 90% of which will be underground. Construction began in June 2016 and should continue up to 2030.
7. London Cross rail Project – $24bn
Crossrail, the UK railroad project known as Crossrail covers 118.5 kilometers through central London. The Elizabeth line will operate with high frequencies between Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east and Reading and Heathrow in the west; altogether stopping at 41 stations along its route.
Crossrail comprises three sections – western, central, and eastern – with its construction expected to cost $24 billion (PS18.7 billion). Elizabeth line began accepting passengers during the first half of 2022.
8. Riyadh Metro – $22.5bn
As part of Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Public Transport Project (RPTP), an innovative fast transit system known as Riyadh Metro will be constructed. Estimated to cost $22.5 billion, it is by far Saudi Arabia’s biggest public transport undertaking.
Riyadh Metro Network will cover six major lines totalling 176 km with 85 stops over six major lines, passing through densely inhabited areas as well as government, educational, and commercial institutions.
9. Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Railway Corridor – $15bn
National High-Speed Train Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) is developing India’s inaugural high-speed rail project connecting Ahmedabad with Mumbai, its financial center. This endeavor represents India’s inaugural project currently under way for this purpose.
Project is projected to cost $15 billion (Rs1.1 trillion). Japan government provides both financial and technical assistance for this endeavor, which requires building 12 stations along its 508km railway network in order to complete it.
High-speed trains will travel at speeds up to 320 km/h over this elevated track, while limited stop service will cover their routes within two hours. Along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor, 36,000 passengers would be able to travel each hour.
10. Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Project – $12.2bn
Kuala Lumpur is currently undertaking construction of a 150km Mass Rapid Transit system as part of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit project. Two northeast-southwest radial lines and one circular line that circles around the city will form part of this MRT system.
The Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley National Key Economic Areas of the Economic Transformation Programme have designated this project, worth $12.2 billion (MYR50 billion), as an Entry Point Project (EPP).
In 2016, the MRT Kajang Line between Sungai Buloh and Semantan completed its initial phase, while in 2017 its second phase between Sematan and Kajang became fully functional. By 2023, its third and final line should also be operational.