|Abstract This paper deals with a multidimensional examination of the infrastructural, technical/technological, operational, economic, social, and environmental performances of high-speed rail (HSR) systems, including their overview, analysis of some real-life cases, and limited (analytical) modeling. The infrastructural performances reflect design and geometrical characteristics of the HSR lines and stations. The technical/technological performances relate to the characteristics of rolling stock, i.e., high-speed trains, and supportive facilities and equipment, i.e., the power supply, signaling, and traffic control and management system(s). The operational performances include the capacity and productivity of HSR lines and rolling stock, and quality of services. The economic performances refer to the HSR systems' costs, revenues, and their relationship. The social performances relate to the impacts of HSR systems on the society such as congestion, noise, and safety, and their externalities, and the effects in terms of contribution to the local and global/country socialeconomic development. Finally, the environmental performances of the HSR systems reflect their energy consumption and related emissions of green house gases, land use, and corresponding externalities.