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High Speed Rail

Jacobs is a world leader in the development and implementation of high speed rail (HSR) projects.

High Speed Rail

Clients choose Jacobs because they expect the best in knowledge, innovation and teamwork. With skills and expertise at our fingertips, our ability to bring the right combination of experience and innovation for each project is second to none.

From the United Kingdom, China and Saudi Arabia to the United States, the Netherlands and Poland, our multidisciplinary team has helped local authorities and regions in the planning and delivery of large-scale HSR initiatives that connect communities, relieve traffic congestion, reduce journey times, improve air quality and stimulate economic development.

With more than 55,000 employees around the globe, Jacobs has a proud history of partnering with government agencies and the private sector to successfully deliver large, complex infrastructure programs. Every project we take on is a chance to move the world forward one more step, and we think that’s an incredible privilege.

Our HSR services include:

  • Program delivery partner
  • Engineering delivery partner
  • Environmental impact assessments
  • Route alignment and permanent way engineering
  • Station and depot design and refurbishment
  • Station and commercial development integration
  • Vehicle engineering and procurement
  • Signaling and telecommunications
  • Design specifications and procurement
  • Railway operations and operations planning
  • Railway safety management, risk assessment and auditing
  • Information technology and management information systems
  • Railway simulations and planning

Project Experience

High Speed 2 Development Partner, HS2 Ltd., UK

High Speed 2  Phase One Development Partner, HS2 Ltd., U.K.

High Speed 2 (HS2) is the planned HSR network linking London with Leeds and Manchester via the West Midlands. When fully operational, HS2 is expected to carry over 300,000 passengers a day. Jacobs was appointed as the Development Partner for Phase One of HS2 in 2012. As the Development Partner, Jacobs successfully managed the professional services companies undertaking the design, environmental and land referencing work required for the Phase One Hybrid Bill submission, which covers the London to West Midlands section of the network.

High Speed 2 Engineering Delivery Partner, HS2 Ltd., UK

High Speed 2 Engineering Delivery Partner, HS2 Ltd., U.K.

Jacobs is supporting HS2 Ltd in working as a catalyst for regional connectivity and regeneration, job creation and economic benefits. We are committed to HS2's vision for economic regeneration and growth and this vision is mirrored by our own commitment to growth in the midlands and northern city regions of the U.K. In 2015, the Jacobs-led joint venture team was awarded the HS2 Engineering Delivery Partner role. The scope includes the management and coordination of engineering and environmental design for Phase One. 

High Speed 1 – Channel Tunnel Rail Link

High Speed 1 – Channel Tunnel Rail Link, U.K.

One of Europe’s largest ever infrastructure projects and the UK’s first high-speed railway, the award-winning 102 km High Speed 1 links central London with Europe’s rail network via the Channel Tunnel. Jacobs was a member of the Rail Link Engineering Consortium, responsible for all design and project management services and was instrumental in delivering the $6.3B (£5.8B) project on time and within budget.

Chengdu-Chongqing High Speed Rail Project

Chengdu-Chongqing High Speed Rail Project, First Section, China

The Chengdu–Chongqing Intercity Railway is a 307 kilometer high-speed railway that connects the cities of Chengdu (Sichuan) and Chongqing in southwestern China. The Consortium consisting of Jacobs and Zhongtie Wuhan Major Bridge Engineering Consultancy & Supervision Co., Ltd. was responsible for construction supervision and project management of 124.95 km of the high speed railway.

Hefei-Fuzhou High Speed Rail Project, Anhui Section

Hefei-Fuzhou High Speed Rail Project, Anhui Section, China

The Consortium consisting of Jacobs and Zhongtie Wuhan Major Bridge Engineering Consultancy & Supervision Co., Ltd. was responsible for construction supervision and project management of 73 km of the ¥109.8 billion high speed railway connecting the cities of Hefei to Fuzhou. This new line provides a major passenger corridor connecting the central area and south area of China, and will stimulate economic development.

Haramain High Speed Rail, Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah

Haramain High Speed Rail, Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s first high-speed, inter-city rail transport system links the cities of Makkah, Jeddah, the new King Abdullah Economic City and Madinah. Jacobs provided project management support services for the design and construction of the Phase I civil works contract. Now in Phase II, Jacobs is overseeing the track, signalling, telecommunication and power components for the 450 km rail line.

TAV High Speed Rail Line, Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brazil

TAV High Speed Rail Line, Rio De Janeiro, São Paulo, Brazil

Jacobs worked with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Brazilian Government as sole technical advisor to develop the new 510km HSR line (TAV) between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in southeast Brazil. TAV would be one of the largest rail projects in the world and capable of achieving a 95-minute journey between the two cities.

Dutch High Speed Line (HSL-Zuid), Netherlands

Dutch High Speed Line (HSL-Zuid), Netherlands

Jacobs assisted the Dutch Government with the definition and assessment of the public-private partnership procurement options for the Netherlands first high speed rail line. Our team also managed the tendering process and continued into contract implementation, system delivery and commissioning of the 125 km line. The range of services performed by Jacobs on the HSL-Zuid project demonstrates the breadth and depth of experience available within the company and the corporate commitment to the client.

California High Speed Rail, Merced-Fresno, USA

California High Speed Rail, Merced-Fresno, U.S.

Jacobs was part of a team that developed the environmental documents, permit applications and preliminary engineering services for the 105 km HSR corridor in the Central Valley of California. The Merced to Fresno section is the first true HSR system in the U.S. that has gone into construction. Our team was instrumental in achieving the program’s first environmental Record of Decision, and issuance of the first set of state and federal environmental permits.

Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study, USA

Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study, U.S.

Jacobs is providing program management oversight and administration for the Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study. The study will provide an evaluation of a range of passenger rail service options in a 1,368 km corridor from Oklahoma City to South Texas to determine how passenger rail could serve Texas communities and the benefits and impacts of different passenger rail choices.

E65 High Speed Rail Modernization

E65 High Speed Rail Modernization, Poland

Jacobs was the lead member of a team undertaking a feasibility study for the upgrade of Poland’s 500 km E65 railway. The goal of this project was to provide a high speed railway between Warsaw and the Czech Republic and Slovakian boarders, via Krakow and Katowice. The 3-year study involved a wide variety of expertise, including assessment of existing infrastructure, alignment planning, business analysis, environmental impact assessment, surveys, funding and financing support, preliminary design for infrastructure and systems and preparation of tender documents.

Taiwan High Speed Rail, Republic of China

Taiwan High Speed Rail, Republic of China

Jacobs prepared the initial space planning analyses; the concepts, initial designs and planning arrangements for the two elevated stations at Chiayi and Tainan on the high speed rail link from Taipei to Kaohsiung. Our client, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation, a private organization won the contract to build and operate the 345km High Speed Rail Link from Taipei to Kaohsiung.

Canberra HSR Study

Sydney - Canberra High Speed Rail Study, Australia

Under the direction of Inter Capital Express, Jacobs conducted passenger demand and revenue forecast studies for a proposed high speed rail service between Sydney and Canberra. The research included traffic counts; vehicle type classification; air, coach and rail counts; stated preference surveys of air, car, coach and existing rail; access surveys; non-user surveys; and focus groups. Modelling tasks included model specification, data processing, compilation of generalized costs, calibration, forecasting, station site analysis, validation, scenario testing and risk assessment.

Amtrak ACS64

Amtrak ACS64 Higher-Speed Electric Locomotives, U.S.

Jacobs supported Amtrak in the procurement of a new fleet of 70, Tier I, higher-speed electric locomotives manufactured by Siemens Rail Systems. We provided an on-site and remote team of experts in rolling stock engineering, vehicle procurement, engineer cost estimates and contractual negotiations. Our team also played a key role guiding the process from conceptual to final design, supplying technical support for carbody design; crash energy management; propulsion; primary and auxiliary power systems; brake systems; stability and dynamic behavior; safety certifications; fire safety; quality audits and onsite inspections.

FRA High Speed Rail Programme Support

FRA High Speed Rail Program Support, U.S.

Serving the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Jacobs has supported staff and leadership at the headquarters level in the development of internal policy on project-related stakeholder agreement requirements; negotiations with Class I railroads, Amtrak, and grantees to execute stakeholder agreements; development of program technical guidance materials and providing strategic support for project implementation. In addition, our rail team is providing strategic support to the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program and is supporting the joint procurement of rail cars and next generation locomotives through FRA grants.


Amtrak Acela High Speed Rail Link, U.S.

Jacobs provided the Commissioning Manager and a team of engineers to develop a commissioning strategy, program and all supporting documentation, and then conducted final works inspections and managed the rectification works, testing and commissioning of the 25kV auto transformer power supply and overhead line equipment system of the Acela high speed line. Our team also provided the project management for Amtrak to test the dynamic performance of the Alstom-Bombardier procured train which operates in the U.S. Northeast Corridor.

West Coast Mainline Tilting Trains, UK

West Coast Mainline Tilting Trains, U.K.

The upgrade of the U.K.’s West Coast Mainline and the introduction of tilting trains required the production of new Railway Group Standards. Jacobs managed a team tasked with the production of standards associated with aerodynamics, train control and communications, operations, electrification and civil engineering. The project followed a systematic process of risk management, which was applied to demonstrate that the risks associated with high speed and tilting operations were controlled to be as low as reasonably practicable.