China continues to set the pace when it comes to development and deployment of high speed rail. Is what they're doing a perfect fit for us here in America? Of course not. But putting fingers in our ears while yelling "choo-choo trains! choo-choo trains!" isn't a strategy either.
BEIJING — China on Wednesday opened the world’s longest high-speed rail line that more than halves the time required to travel from the country’s capital in the north to Guangzhou, an economic hub in southern China. The opening of the 2,298 kilometer (1,428 mile)-line was commemorated by the 9 a.m. departure of a train from Beijing for Guangzhou.
Trains on the latest high-speed line will initially run at 300 kph (186 mph) with a total travel time of about eight hours. Before, the fastest time between the two cities by train was more than 20 hours.
The line also makes stops in major cities along the way, including provincial capitals Shijiazhuang, Wuhan and Changsha.
For what it's worth, our most recent family trip from Milwaukee to Seattle (1,600 miles) took about seven hours by plane. It would certainly be nice if there were some other options for long distance travel in this Country besides airplanes.
But we don't because a major portion of our population has some unexplainable phobia to any form of mass ground transportation that doesn't involve six lane highways. For some reason, their irrational – in my opinion – fear and loathing of high speed or commuter rail always seems to win out in policy discussions.
Meanwhile, the rest of the industrialized world chugs on past us at 300 kilometers per hour.