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A new high-speed rail project linking two major cities will rival the travel time of planes: 'It's good news'

"Quicker, or at least as quick, door-to-door, as if you had been traveling by air."

"Quicker, or at least as quick, door-to-door, as if you had been traveling by air."

Photo credit: iStock

Residents of the United Kingdom and visitors should have an even easier time traveling between London and the Scottish capital city of Edinburgh by the end of this year, as a new high-speed rail service between the two cities is expected to debut.

Taking a train from one city to the other usually takes passengers around 5.5 hours, with the journey occasionally being completed in as little as 4.5 hours. The new high-speed rail, operated by LNER, will slash those times, completing the trip in just over four hours. On the way, it will make only two stops at Newcastle and York. 

One train will run per hour. Fare prices have yet to be announced.

The trip "will be quicker, or at least as quick, door-to-door, as if you had been traveling by air," LNER's managing director David Horne said, per Euronews.

The service is aiming to launch in December 2024.

"It's good news," Euronews observed. That's true not just for travelers in the UK but for the planet as well. High-speed rail has been shown to be the most eco-friendly form of long-distance travel, producing way less planet-heating pollution per passenger than airplanes or cars.

According to one scientific study published in Transport Policy, commercial train travel produces one-seventh as much planet-warming gases as commercial air routes.

China's high-speed rail system, which has been built up incredibly quickly over the course of less than two decades, is the envy of high-speed rail systems all over the world. However, many other countries are investing heavily in train systems which can run on clean, renewable energy and transport people quickly, efficiently, and relatively cheaply.

India, for instance, is investing heavily in a bullet train network. 

The United States, which remains extremely car-centric, is further away than most from having a comprehensive train system, although a small number of private companies are working on projects that would, say, connect Houston to Dallas or Southern California to Las Vegas.

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