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The global market for high-speed rail likely increased 9.5 percent to $112 billion in 2014 compared with 2013, according to a recent report by international market research firm BCC Research.The December 2014 report reveals that the international market has been growing at a significant pace along with an increase in passengers and freight, primarily driven by the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. Rapidly growing economies — particularly in China and Japan — have significantly expanded the demand for high-speed rail over the past 20 years, BCC officials said in a press release.In addition to the year-over-year growth in 2014, the market is predicted to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 3.6 percent over the next several years and reach $133.4 billion in 2019, they said.The Asia-Pacific region has become the hub for Western markets to outsource the manufacture of high-speed rail. With the recovery of the global economy, high-speed track installation activities have geared up globally."Lower-emission and high-speed travel resulting in shorter transportation times will drive the high-speed rail market in the future," said BCC Research analyst Aneesh Kumar. "“As the number of cities grow, high-speed rail could provide a boost to the second-tier cities that are geographically near the 'mega-cities' by reducing travel times and providing greater access to metropolitan hubs."
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