World Cup of Rail

What do the World Cup and a modern, world class electric train system have in common? Canada doesn’t play at that level. Canada is 63rd in the FIFA World rankings and its massive diesel train plan in Ontario makes it a bottom-feeder among nations.

Algeria (FIFA World Ranking # 30)
Alstom has been contracted by national rail operator Société Nationale du Transport Ferroviaire (SNTF) for an €89m, 350km electrification scheme and the supply of stock for three suburban lines south of Algiers. Algerian Transit Expansion All Electric.

Argentina (FIFA World Ranking # 7)
In May 2006, the Argentine Government announced plans to develop the first high-speed line in South America, stretching 310km from Buenos Aires to Rosario, with a further 400km of new line proposed for a 160km/h operation between Rosario and Cordoba. Electric Train Construction Moves Swiftly.

Australia (FIFA World Ranking # 20)
UK Firm Chosen for S Australia's Rail Electrification. The electrification is expected to allow the railway to operate a mix of rolling stock and is scheduled to arrive in Adelaide in late 2012. Australian Electric Project Nears Completion.

Brazil (FIFA World Ranking # 1)
Brazil will open the bidding process to build a high-speed train link between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The $19.44bn project will involve the building of a 510.8km (317 mile) high-speed railway to connect Rio with Sao Paulo and Campinas and will cover seven stations including stops at international airports. Brazil Includes Electric in Major Rail Expansion

Cameroon (FIFA World Ranking # 19)
Railways in Cameroon are operated by Camrail, a subsidiary of the French investment group Bolloré and are all diesel. As of 2008, the country had an estimated 987 km of track, making it one of Africa’s smallest train systems. Amazing They Have Trains.

Chile (FIFA World Ranking # 18)
Transport in Chile is mostly by road. The south of the country is not connected to central Chile by road, except through Argentina, and water transport also plays a part there. The railways were historically important in Chile, but now play a relatively small part in the country's transport system. Some Electric Trains Still Operate

Cote d’Ivoire (FIFA World Ranking # 27)
The narrow gauge rail system is a legacy of its colonial past. About half of the 1146 km of track is state controlled. Discussion are underway to expand and connect the rail system with neighbouring Ghana. Ontario Has No Excuse.

Denmark (FIFA World Ranking # 36)
The Great Belt Fixed Link rail and road project, which provides the first physical link between Denmark and Sweden, is among the largest ever undertaken in Scandinavia. By creating a bridge and tunnel linking Zealand and the national capital, the country has embarked upon a grand plan for physical links and through-rail services between Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Rail Links All of Northern Europe

England (FIFA World Ranking # 8)
UK rail operator Network Rail has announced a 20-year rail plan for northern England that will double its number of fast and semi-fast train services. The plan includes providing high-speed rail services to major cities in the north as well as reducing journey times by 2020 and is aimed at diverting people to rail from roads. Strikingly Different Approach than Ontario

France (FIFA World Ranking # 9)
As one of Europe's busiest airports, Paris Charles de Gaulle requires extensive rail links to support its rapidly increasing passenger market. To complement major extensions to two of the airport's terminals, the Aeroports de Paris Group has implemented plans to extend its existing rail scope. Amazing What the French Can Do

Germany (FIFA World Ranking # 6)
Once famed for heavy industry and beer, Dortmund is a city successfully shedding any 'rust-belt' associations and remaking itself to prosper in the 21st century. Urban transport is central to the creation of the new Dortmund, where there is clear evidence of removing the scars of obsolete industry, fostering technological research and reusing urban space for new economic activity and housing. Germany is Miles Ahead

Ghana (FIFA World Ranking # 32)
The Ghana railroad has a bright future and there is hope that the country will soon be operating a very viable railway system that will make Ghana the Gateway to the West Africa sub-region. Private Investment to Propel Rail Revitalization.

Greece (FIFA World Ranking # 13)
The Electric Railway Company is the Green line of the Athens Metro and unlike the red and blue routes running entirely underground, ISAP runs either above-ground or below-ground at different sections of its journey. How Do They Do It in Greece?

Honduras (FIFA World Ranking # 38)
Railroads in Honduras were built in late 19th and early 20th centuries by two competing U.S. corporations – United Fruit (Tela Railroad Company) and Standard Fruit (later nationalized). All were in the Caribbean coastal area and never reached the capital. The combined network has 785 km. of track and only three separate segments remain in operation under the management of FNH - Ferrocarril Nacional de Honduras. Banana Republic Never Had a Chance

Italy (FIFA World Ranking # 5)
Italy is a European pioneer in high-speed rail and the original home of the 'Pendolino' family of tilting trains that have been widely adopted in several countries to make best use of conventional tracks. In spite of economic fluctuations, a well-developed road system and a challenging terrain, the Italian high-speed rail network has been evolving for many years with several lines in various stages of development. What’s Stopping Ontario?

Japan (FIFA World Ranking # 45)
Japan was the first user of high-speed railway lines, when it introduced Bullet Trains on the Tokaido Shinkansen line in 1964. Four decades later, the country has an exemplary network of standard gauge high-speed lines, and is now ready to introduce a new generation of trains to accelerate services. Japan is a Generation Ahead of Us

Korea DPR (FIFA World Ranking # 105)
Rail travel is possible in North Korea. However, the domestic network is small, the equipment is old and trains are subject to delays because of electricity shortages. There is a rail service between Pyongyang and Beijing via Sinuiju/Dandong (North Korean and Chinese border towns) four times a week. Even Collapsing Totalitarian Regimes Have Electric Trains

Korea Republic (FIFA World Ranking # 47)
Busan is terminus for a Korean Railways TGV-based KTX 2hr 50min service from Seoul that, even before completion of high-speed line throughout, has proved an effective challenger to airline competitors. Hilly Terrain No Problem in Korea

Mexico (FIFA World Ranking # 17)
Mexico's passenger rail service consisted of a limited number of tourist trains between 1997, when Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico suspended service, and 2008, when Ferrocarril Suburbano de la Zona Metropolitana de Mexico inaugurated Mexico's first electric commuter rail service between Mexico City and the State of Mexico. New Train System in Mexico is Electric

Netherlands (FIFA World Ranking # 4)
As 25kV is now standard throughout much of Europe, NS considers it vital that it too adopts this system, so that it can benefit from the ability to run trains across national borders right across mainland Europe. Railned (the nation's privatized railway planning business) pushed hard for a rapid start to be made on conversion to 25kV, after concluding that it was the best option in terms of a range of criteria, including cost, strategic aspects, financing options, and price/performance ratios. Rail is a Dutch Art

New Zealand (FIFA World Ranking # 78)
Auckland is New Zealand's fastest-growing region with a population of 1.3 million. A new dedicated high-speed North Shore park-and-ride busway will serve this area. The Manukau rail link is the first extension of the Auckland rail network since 1930. New Zealand Has Lagged Behind for Years

Nigeria (FIFA World Ranking # 21)
The Nigerian Government has signed a deal with state-owned China Civil Engineering Construction to reinstate a section of its railway network. Work under the $875m deal involves rebuilding the section of the railway between the administrative capital of Abuja and the northern city of Kaduna, which are nearly 200km apart, over the next three years. First phase of Nigerian railway modernization project.

Paraguay (FIFA World Ranking # 31)
The rail system in Paraguay consisted of a 376 km line between Asuncion and Encarnacion with a connection to Posadas, Argentina. The infrastructure was administered by Ferrocarriles del Paraguay S.A. (FE.PA.S.A.), corporation established in 2002. As of 2006, all traffic has been suspended except weekly tourist steam trains between Jardín Botánico de Asunción (Asunción Botanical Gardens) and the city of Aregua. No Functioning Rail System

Portugal (FIFA World Ranking #3 )
A new public company, RAVE (Rede de Alta Velocidade), has been established to prepare plans for a new €5 billion high speed link (80% funded by the EU, the rest by Portugal and Spain) between Lisbon and Madrid. It would be standard gauge (1,435mm) and complete by 2015. Country-Wide Rail Expansion in Portugal

Serbia (FIFA World Ranking # 15)
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is considering granting a EUR 100 Million loan to Serbian Railways. The money will go to the implementation of Corridor X modernization project, the acquisition of 15 electrical locomotives and spare parts for the company's locomotive fleet. Moving Forward Despite Troubled Past

Slovakia (FIFA World Ranking # 34)
Slovakia’s rail network track covers 3,662 km, most of which is electrified. The rail system needs modernization and considerable amount of investment is needed to upgrade and expand it. Making It Better

Slovenia (FIFA World Ranking # 25)
Slovenian Railways operates 1,229 km of standard gauge tracks, 331 km as double track, and reaches all regions of the country. Electrification is provided by a 3 kV DC system and covers about 503 km. The remainder of the former Yugoslavian railroads that have been electrified operate with 25 kV AC system, thus trains to Zagreb switch engines at Dobova until dual system engines will be available. Small, Forward Looking Country

South Africa (FIFA World Ranking # 83)
Rail transport in the Johannesburg area of South Africa will enter a new era in 2011 with the opening of the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link…providing a safe, efficient and reliable service to both commuters and airport travelers. Bombardier will supply a fleet of 96 Electrostar vehicles, based on the 1,100 already in service in the UK. South Africa Goes Electric For World Cup

Spain (FIFA World Ranking # 2)
The Spanish Ministry of Development announced in November 2006 that it is to build a new direct airport rail link to Madrid Barajas Airport, and issued a call for tenders. The aim of the new rail link is to provide a direct service between the airport and Chamartin station in Madrid, which is currently being redeveloped as the terminus of the new Madrid-Valladolid high-speed line, providing direct connections from the airport to RENFE's national intercity network. Spanish Network of Trains Linked to the Airport

Switzerland (FIFA World Ranking # 24)
SBB/CFF/FFS, the operator of Switzerland's rail network has implemented major improvements in the services it offers to its rapidly-growing passenger base. Many services are being increased in frequency to half-hourly, as a result of infrastructure improvements, and have benefited from the introduction of new trains, which were supplied by a consortium of major manufacturers comprising Alstom, Adtranz (now Bombardier), Fiat-SIG and Schindler Waggon. The Swiss Move Mountains for Modern Trains

Uruguay (FIFA World Ranking # 16)
There are few operational trains in Uruguay, and a suburban service has restarted in Montevideo. Uruguay’s rail networks total about 3,000km, of which 2,000km are operative. The remaining 1,000km will continue to be inoperative for now. Long Way To Go

USA (FIFA World Ranking # 14)
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) is constructing a 70-mile passenger rail road along the existing Northwestern Pacific Railroad (NWP) right-of-way in North Bay, California. The project crosses two counties and includes the construction of a bicycle/pedestrian path parallel to the railway line. Cash Strapped California is Doing It