The UK government announced royal assent for Phase 2A of HS2, which includes an extension from Birmingham to Crewe, which will allow high speed services to reach Manchester and Liverpool when completed.
In Finland the government has announced funding for a high-speed link between Helsinki and the Russian Border, just three months after announcing a high-speed line from Helsinki to Turku on the Baltic.
In Australia, the Australasian Rail Association held a webinar in February, launching its new Faster Rail Report. This sets out a three-step plan required to get Australia's network up to speed and highlights how the rail industry can deliver faster, more reliable and more frequent services, both through upgrades to its existing network and the creation of dedicated fast rail projects.
In the USA, the new Biden Administration has indicated support for high speed rail, which is expected to reinforce existing projects in California and Texas as well as emerging proposals for New-York – Boston corridor, in Florida and in Ohio.
France has announced plans to expand overnight sleeper train services, following moves by Austria, Germany and Sweden, utilising under-utilised high-speed lines at night.
Meanwhile Spain has introduced new low-cost high-speed services to extend its market reach and compete with budget airlines.
In Australia, the ABS announced its internal migration data showed that Australian capital cities lost 11,200 people between July and September 2020 reflecting changes in migration patterns brought on by COVID.