(CNN) — It has been a very good 12 months for followers of rail journey, with speedy new practice providers opening world wide, linking main cities and slashing rail journey instances.

Whether or not vacationers are searching for an alternative choice to flying, or simply need a sooner practice journey, these providers are providing new journey alternatives.

Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Categorical Rail Hyperlink

Hong Kong high speed rail China West Kowloon

The high-speed connection out of the West Kowloon station hyperlinks Hong Kong to the southern Chinese language metropolis of Guangzhou 80 miles (130 km) away after which onto China’s nationwide rail community.

PHILIP FONG/AFP/AFP/Getty Photos

Often known as the XRL, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Categorical Rail Hyperlink opened in September.

The 26-kilometer (16-mile) service connects the semi-autonomous metropolis of Hong Kong with mainland China‘s in depth high-speed rail community.

Read: What to expect from Hong Kong’s new bullet trains

Bullet trains run from Hong Kong’s newly opened West Kowloon station to 44 locations. The journey between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, beforehand two hours by practice, takes just 47 minutes. Journeys to Shenzhen take 14 minutes.

Direct trains from Hong Kong to Beijing take nine hours and to Shanghai, eight hours. They every run as soon as a day.

Read: 40 beautiful places to visit in China

In an unprecedented association, West Kowloon station is split into Hong Kong and Chinese language immigration controls — which implies passengers can keep away from an extra test when touring out and in of Hong Kong.

The transfer has not been with out controversy: a part of the station is ruled by Chinese language authorities and patrolled by mainland police. Vacationers from Hong Kong nonetheless must have a sound Chinese language visa or journey doc to journey the practice.

Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway

The entrance area of the new Jerusalem Yitzhak Navon station, which currently shuttleBen Gurion airport by train.

The doorway space of the brand new Jerusalem Yitzhak Navon station, which at the moment shuttleBen Gurion airport by practice.

Sarah Sendner/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Photos

The Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway — Israel’s first electrical practice line — partially opened in September.

It at the moment hyperlinks Ben Gurion Airport, 13 miles (20 kilometers) southeast of Tel Aviv, to the Jerusalem-Yitzhak Navon railway station. The journey takes round 20 minutes.

As soon as accomplished, the direct hyperlink between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will cut back journey between the 2 to lower than 30 minutes, with trains that run at a prime velocity of 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour. It will likely be an alternative choice to the present practice route between Jerusalem and the traditional city of Jaffa, 6 kilometers from downtown Tel Aviv, which takes one hour and 40 minutes.

Read: Guide to Israel, West Bank and Gaza

Originally slated to open in 2008, the undertaking has been affected by delays and no completion date has been introduced. It is one other controversial undertaking: two sections of the road — largely underground — run by the West Financial institution, which is taken into account occupied Palestinian land by the worldwide group.

Tangier-Casablanca high-speed line

Tangier is on the northwestern coast of Africa, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea.

Tangier is on the northwestern coast of Africa, the place the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea.

Zero Level Zero

Formally opened final month, this high-speed rail line will hyperlink the Moroccan cities of Tangier and Casablanca by way of the capital metropolis of Rabat, and Kenitra within the north.

Read: Africa’s first high-speed train opens in Morocco

The road could have French-made double decker TGV trains that attain speeds of 200 miles (322 kilometers) per hour.

Situated on the northwestern coast, Tangier has historically been a gateway between Africa and Europe. Casablanca is Morocco’s largest metropolis and its financial powerhouse.

Tangier is understood for its bohemian vibe, abundance of cafes, and wealthy multicultural heritage — whereas Casablanca is known for its structure and delightful seashores.

The 2 cities are 340 kilometers aside, and the brand new line will cut back journey time to 2 hours — down from virtually 5 hours on current trains.

London-Amsterdam Eurostar

A Eurostar train pictured at London's St Pancras International train station, set to depart for Amsterdam.

A Eurostar practice pictured at London’s St Pancras Worldwide practice station, set to depart for Amsterdam.

Eurostar

The high-speed Eurostar has lengthy supplied day by day providers between London and numerous cities in mainland European, together with Paris (two hours and 16 minutes) and Brussels (just under two hours).

In April 2018, Eurostar launched the primary ever direct service between London and Amsterdam, which takes three hours and 41 minutes.

Read: Insider’s guide to Amsterdam

There are at the moment two direct trains day by day from London to Amsterdam. There isn’t any direct return, nevertheless, as a result of the British and Dutch governments have not but reached an settlement relating to border management.

Eurostar is “planning to introduce a direct return as soon as the governments have come to an settlement,” which is predicted to occur by the tip of 2019, in line with a spokesperson.

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway

A carriage manufactured by Stadler for the new Azerbaijan-Turkey direct route.

A carriage manufactured by Stadler for the brand new Azerbaijan-Turkey direct route.

Stadler

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway (BTK) truly opened in 2017. Connecting the capitals of Azerbaijan and Georgia with the traditional metropolis of Kars in Turkey, the BTK stretches 513 miles (826 kilometers).

Read: Best things to do in Azerbaijan, from volcanoes to tea culture

However in 2019, the railway will introduce a brand new route that can take passengers between Baku and the Turkish cities of Ankara and Istanbul — the primary direct practice hyperlink between Azerbaijan and Turkey that does not require stops in Georgia, which shares borders with the 2 international locations. Trains could have a most velocity of 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour, in line with Stadler Rail Administration, which is manufacturing the carriages.

Read: 6 Turkish adventures beyond the beaches and bazaars

Whereas journey instances on the routes haven’t been introduced, the direct providers will probably be an unlimited enchancment on current practice strains. Presently, these touring by practice must endure a 40-hour journey with a number of stopovers to get between the 2 capitals. Trains from Baku to Istanbul take three days.