Just about every industrialized country in the world has effective, high speed rail transportation. The United States, apart from an East Coast corridor or two, does not. And since I've been covering all these 'China vs. US in cleantech' stories over the last few days, let's toss another one into the mix. As of early last year, China boasts one of the fastest bullet trains in the world. The train between Guangzhou and Wuhan goes 620 miles (1000 km) in three hours. And the fastest train in the US?I believe it took me nearly the same amount of time to get to Boston from New York last time I rode the Acela Express, one of the fastest passenger trains in the nation. The distance is roughly 1/3 of the Chinese corridor, at around 220 miles.
There are of course many who disagree with me, but I think high speed rail should be a hallmark of any modern, industrialized society. It's incredibly efficient, low-emissions, and can serve to drastically reduce congestion in urban areas. It's a comfortable and quiet way to ravel. It's a no-brainer.
Just check this out, and imagine this was a train traveling from, say, Los Angeles to San Francisco. (Watch for the bullet going the other way to pass at around 0:40):
I don't know about you, but I'd hop on.