As the US is still discussing the options, the rest of the world has fully embraced the concept of high speed trains as viable public transportation
And here it comes around again: the discussion on high speed trains. While in the US everyone keeps putting their two cents into the discussion as if it were detriment to the survival of democracy, in the process paralyzing the decision making process, China on Saturday unveiled what it billed as the fastest rail link in the world — a train connecting the modern cities of Guangzhou and Wuhan at an average speed of 350 kilometres (217 miles) an hour.
The super-high-speed train reduces the 644 mile journey from a previous 7 and a half hours to a three hour ride.
Jacksonville – Miami in One Hour and Forty Five Minutes
Okay, let me do a quick comparison here with an airline trip from Jacksonville to Miami a distance of about 380 miles. The train would do this in One Hour and Forty Five minutes. To safely catch an airline flight it is strongly recommended these days to be checking in¬† anywhere from 2 – 3 hours prior to the flight. So let’s say 2 hours. The flight time is 55 minutes and voila, flying brings you to Miami an hour and fifteen minutes later than the High Speed Train. Additional advantages for train travel are that there are no onboard luggage restrictions, there is much more leg space, the train stations are usually in the heart of your destination, rather than in the outskirts, saving on additional transportation cost and time and last but not least a very good reason for many people is the fact that they never leave ground level.
Technology creates Employment and Progress
The Chinese train can go 394.2 kilometres (237.5 mph) per hour and is currently the fastest train in operation in the world. Test runs for the service began earlier in December and the link officially went into service when the first scheduled train left the eastern metropolis of Wuhan on Saturday, December 26.
What’s even more impressive, the Chinese started this job a little over 4 years ago in 2005 as part of plans to expand a high-speed network aimed at eventually linking Guangzhou near Hong Kong, with the capital Beijing,
China’s ambitious rail development programme is aimed at increasing the national network from the current 86,000 kilometers to 120,000 kilometres over the next several years. China unveiled its first high-speed line at the time of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 — a service linking the capital with the port city of Tianjin.
In September, officials said they planned to build 42 high-speed lines by 2012 in a massive system overhaul as part of efforts to spur economic growth amid the global downturn.
The network uses technology developed in co-operation with foreign firms such as Siemens (Germany), Bombardier (Canada) and Alstom (France), companies that are so far ahead of its US counterparts in developing transportation technology and clean energy that it’s not funny.
Time for the US authorities to develop vision and get on the train. It’s an all around win-win providing construction and development employment and operational employment when finished, it is much cleaner that airplane emissions or car emissions from the Interstate traffic and as anyone who has ever used high speed train travel can attest, it is about the most sophisticated way of traveling ever invented.