Julie Wagner, a Brookings Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program, writes, "In November 2009, the European Union's ESPON (the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion) released a report called "Trends in Accessibility." ESPON examined the extent to which accessibility has changed between 2001 and 2006. ESPON defines accessibility as how 'easily people in one region can reach people in another region.' this measurement of accessibility helps determine the 'potential for activities and enterprises in the region to reach markets and activities in other regions.'
ESPON's research concluded that in this five-year period, rail accessibility grew an average of 13.1 percent. The report further concludes that high-speed rail lines have 'influenced positively the potential accessibility of many European regions and cities.'"