The Modern Transport System

In China.

High-speed trains linking Beijing and Shanghai made their passenger debut Thursday on a $33 billion track China hopes will help ease its overloaded transport system.

The fast link, which has been hit by safety concerns and graft, is opening a year ahead of schedule and will be able to carry 80 million passengers a year — double the current capacity on the 1,318-kilometre (820-mile) route.

So we get safety and graft concerns, too, but without the fancy new rail lines to show for it. And sure, destructive for the airline industry, okay, what else? Have you flown recently? The airlines are about as cavalier about comfort, cost and efficiency as is sub-humanly possible. The flight distance between Atlanta and Boston is about 950 miles, and we’re at least twenty years away from China building a high-speed rail route linking the two cities. Probably more.

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