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This tutorial paper provides a comprehensive overview on the recent development in broadband wireless communications for high speed trains. Starting with the introduction of the two-hop network structure, radio-over-fiber (RoF) based cell planning is described in detail. Moreover, based on the analysis of differences between conventional cellular systems and the one for high speed trains, promising techniques are recommended to improve the performance of handover, which is one of the main challenges in high speed train communications. Finally, in order to combat the fast fading caused by the high mobility, robust algorithms are needed in physical layer signal processing, including synchronization, channel estimation, modulation/demodulation, and so on.