A couple of months ago, at a conference and to gasps of astonishment, a presenter made reference to a proposed high speed rail line (HSR ) that would enable passengers to travel between Beijing and London in just 19 hours. The line would also run to Singapore and, later, to India and Pakistan, followed by another line into Germany and a third line extending south to connect Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia . The trains will travel at 200 to 215 mph, which is quite slow by HSR standards. The fastest Chinese domestic line train, the Harmony Express, already travels at 250 mph (the Maglev line in Shanghai at 270 mph), and some European trains aren't much slower.
This network isn't just to transport passengers though; it will also permit China to transport raw materials more efficiently. Many of the countries are under-developed but mineral-rich.
The London-Beijing line, which has a few dog legs in it, would go via Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Kiev, St Petersburg, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Astana, Irkutsk, Ulan Bator, and Khabarovsk, an exotic line up.
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