Marimekko chart of high-speed rail lines in km by country and region, based on data from ICU

High-Speed Rail Lines Worldwide

Two-thirds of high-speed rail track is in China, as shown in this Marimekko chart.  USA and Europe lag behind with just 1.6% and 19.7%, respectively.  Data are provided by UIC, The Worldwide Railway Organization.

High-speed rail in Asia includes China's 31,043km, Japan's 3,041km, 887km in South Korea, 594km in Turkey, 453km in Saudi Arabia and 354km in Taiwan.  In Europe, Spain, France and Germany all have over 1,000km of high-speed rail.  There are lesser amounts in Austria, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, the UK and the Netherlands.  The only lines on other continents are the 735km in the USA and 200km in Morocco.

The Union Inter des Chemins Fer (UIC) defines high-speed lines or sections of lines as those in which operations are at least 250km/hour.  They also compile data for lines under construction and planned lines.  The geographic breakdown of these other categories is similar to the breakdown for lines in operation.

High-Speed Rail Lines Worldwide in Marimekko Charts with Data Row

Marimekko chart of high-speed rail lines in km by country and region, based on data from ICU

How I Made This Marimekko Chart with Data Row

The data for the Marimekko chart was in a pdf table provided by the UIC.  They conveniently included both country and continent in the data, along with kms of high-speed rail lines. Here is the data in Excel and the PivotTable I created to make the chart: 

Data for Marimekko chart of high-speed rail lines in km by country and region, based on data from ICU

  Here are the steps to make the Marimekko chart with data row:

  • use pdftables to convert UIC pdf into Excel file
  • copy data for country, area and distance into list as above
  • create PivotTable from list, also as above
  • create chart in PowerPoint based on Excel range from PivotTable (D4:G22)
  • add data row to Mekko Graphics Data Editor using formulas for % of total
  • sort data so biggest segments on bottom and widest bars on left
  • show labels with values and percentages
  • set percentage to percent of Grand Total
  • format values to add km as custom suffix and set %ages to 1 decimal place
  • change to narrow margins and adjust margins from there
  • annotate labels for smaller segments in Asia and Europe
  • pull labels for USA and Morocco to annotate on right and left justify these labels
  • uncheck autowrap to display % of Total on one line
  • switch to color by series after sort
  • adjust colors to show shades in each bar

Take This Chart and Make It Your Own

Download this chart and edit it using Mekko Graphics. See more Marimekko charts in our chart gallery. Here are some other charts that may be of interest: