In the run up to the launch of HS2 the University of Birmingham is set to host an international conference on high-speed rail to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Shinkansen high-speed line in Japan.


The conference will celebrate the last 50 years of high-speed rail and look ahead to the next 50 years; with contributions from industry leaders and academics to tackle the challenges and solutions of high-speed rail. Sessions include debates on the aesthetics and usability of high-speed railway stations, railway safety and how to predict aerodynamic noise from high-speed trains.

The first high-speed rail system opened in Japan in 1964, featuring super-fast so-called ‘bullet trains’ that revolutionised post-war intercity and international rail travel. At present 13 countries operate modern high-speed rail lines including China, France, Britain and Germany. A further 26 are either building high-speed rail or adding to existing facilities. Birmingham is set to be one of the hubs of the HS2 network and the University is home to the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) which is Europe’s largest railway research group.

Clive Roberts, Professor of Railway Systems and Director of the BCRRE said: ‘We are delighted to be hosting the International Conference on High Speed Rail at the University of Birmingham. It is particularly poignant to be holding the conference in Birmingham as it will be the centre of the HS2 route, home to the HS2 construction headquarters and the location of the National Elite High Speed Rail College, which we are currently helping to develop. We are grateful for our international keynote speakers, especially those that have travelled from Japan to share their experiences of how to develop a world-class high speed network’.

The conference takes place from Monday 8 December until Wednesday 10 December at the University of Birmingham.

For further information, programme details and online registration please visit the conference website.

For all media enquiries please contact Faye Jacksonin the University of Birmingham press office on +44 (0)121 414 6029. For out of hours enquires please contact the duty press officeron +44 (0)7789921165.

HS2 sessions:

High Speed 2: Putting the passenger at the heart of design
Andrew McNaughton, Theresa Clarke (HS2 Ltd), Ian Wright, Ping Teo and Sultana Idris (Passenger Focus)
Monday 8 December 13:00

HS2 nowhere? A historical perspective on the case for high-speed rail in the UK
Professor Colin Divall
Tuesday 9 December 09:15