One of my projects at the ETH IVT is helping to coordinate a day-long conference on the future of high speed rail transport in Switzerland and Europe that will be held in Zurich on June 28, 2007. The conference should be quite interesting, as we plan to approach the issue from a multi-disciplinary point of view.
Session 1 consists of three academic papers about the need for traveling at high speeds (sociology), the economics of high speed rail systems, and urban development planning impacts of high speed rail. Session 2 will present history of high speed rail and Switzerland's decision to adopt the Taktfahrplan approach rather than build a new high speed rail line. Session 3 will compare various technology options for high speed travel: Maglev, Swissmetro, Traditional High Speed Rail and Air travel. Session 4 will be a round table discussion by political, business and social leaders on how they see the future for high speed (rail) transport.
The conference will be in German, but we plan to translate the PowerPoint presentations into English. For more information see our conference website.