China to Top TGV

The Chinese are growing four-lane highways like weeds, but they also want the world’s fastest high-speed rail system:

“It is possible that we can start to manufacture 380km/h trains in two years time, and put them into service on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway,” Mr Zhang told the state-owned China Daily.

Meanwhile, here in the US it’s a struggle to assemble political support for even one of these. Technological feats are increasingly the domain of other countries.

Rebuilding Passenger Rail

It’s been out for a while now, but a study group says it’d take about $357B over the next 40-plus years to re-create a passenger rail system that would offer travel times competitive with the auto. That annualizes to about $8.1B a year. The group suggests that the feds pick up 80 percent of the tab. See also America 2050.