I have no analysis to add, but I love trains and I’d love to be able to use such a railway:
So the news that China is planning a series of transcontinental high-speed rail lines designed to connect London to Beijing in just two days that broke yesterday in the South China Morning Post should be taken at face value. The proposal, which is mapped out above according to preliminary information about proposed alignments, would likely be the largest infrastructure project — ever. Taking the growing Chinese rail network as the starting point, new 200 mph lines would extend south towards Singapore, north and west into Siberia, and west through India, Kazakhstan, and Turkey, with the eventual goal of linking into the growing European fast train system.
The politics of China are interesting, and I often wonder how the world will change with the inevitable rise of China. For sure, air travel won’t continue as it is for much longer1. High-speed rail is an excellent method of transport and should be the direction in which all countries move.
- As oil becomes more scarce and hence becomes more expensive, air travel will become much more expensive too. After oil, the only viable route will be to use biofuels, though depending on demand for such fuel, the price could be immense. Planes will still fly, but probably limited to the military and the rich. At least, that is, until another fuel of comparably high energy-density is found, or demand for biofuels drops off to make air travel more affordable. [↩]