Showing that once again, the rest of the world has their shit together when it comes to rail. According to the Telegraph, China is attempting to build a mammoth rail network over the next decade, which would stretch from Singapore to London, with stops in Beijing, India and Pakistan. A second line would head North from Beijing, hit Russia, head to Germany, then join the European rail system. A third line would go South, taking travelers to Vietnam, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia.
The best part? Speed. Clocking in at faster than 200mph/320kmh, it would get from King’s Cross to Beijing in two days, to Singapore in three. That’s a distance of 5070 miles/8100km, and 6750 miles/10,800km respectively. By that speed, you could easily travel 2400 miles from New York to Los Angeles in a single day.
Apparently China is in talks with 17 nations for these railways, and a decade is a very optimistic take on how long it would be before up and running.
But come on people! Why the hell is America lagging behind so freaking behind on this? Europe already has a widespread system of high speed train, yet Amtrak is considerably slower than driving most of the time. Obama did make some moves towards setting up major rail corridors across the United States, but given that he cites the New York-Boston train as an excellent example of how it would work, I’m not very heartened.
There really needs to be a viable alternative to flying, especially in the days of less space and fewer amenities in the air. Frankly, if I needed to get half-way across the country, and didn’t need to be there in 4 hours? I would take trains all the way. At least you’re allowed to stand.