‘The first class looks like an airplane’
China has delivered such an incredible high-speed rail experience that people the world over are pining for similar transportation in their countries.
She said the 300-kilometer-per-hour treks were “incredible” and “a travel game-changer.”
China has extended its high-speed rail network over the last 15 years from next to nothing to more than 25,000 miles, and now it’s making waves in Indonesia and elsewhere. A Bandung-to-Jakarta jaunt takes just 45 minutes, while other lines feature trains dueling at 350 kilometers per hour (217 miles per hour).
In September, Reuters reported that a year-and-a-half ago, there were close to 2,000 miles of track in China that regularly carried cars at high speed. In the United States, the closest it comes is 34 miles of track — along the 231-mile Acela line from Washington, D.C., to Boston — that allow trains to reach 150 miles per hour.
Ridership is soaring, too. The China State Railway Group in September announced that 830 million passenger trips were made in July and August alone.
The U.S. has countless projects underway to retrofit existing railways, but nothing will touch any of these feats until one of many bullet train ventures comes to fruition. The Biden administration announced Dec. 8 that a new round of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law would earmark $8.2 billion for high-speed rail lines from the Los Angeles area to Las Vegas as well as part of another line from L.A. to San Francisco. A Houston-to-Dallas line has also been long-rumored.
“Where’s our American [high] speed train…oh, the [airlines] pay off the politicians,” one commenter wrote (which, for the record, has a basis in fact, as Southwest was recently the subject of criticism for lobbying against railroad development).
Another was impressed by the seating, saying: “Wow the first class looks like an airplane first class seat! … Almost as if you’re flying on a plane, which you kind of are when you’re traveling at 350 km/h on the ground!”
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