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China’s New “Super High-Speed Rail” is “Super-Faster” than Acela

A week before the Olympics are set to open, China has launched a new train line between Beijing and Tianjin, the city where soccer matches are to be held. China’s first super high-speed intercity rail route is part of the country’s infrastructure improvements planned for the Olympic Games.

The trains can reach speeds of 215 mph, cutting travel times for the 75-mile trip from 70 to 30 minutes. A first class ticket will cost 69 yuan ($10), while a second-class ticket is 58 yuan.

Click here to watch a video of China’s new train

How does China’s new train line compare to our own? AMTRAK’s fastest train is the Northeast Corridor’s Acela Express, which can reach speeds of 150 mph, but often moves significantly slower. The trip between New York and Philadelphia (roughly 90 miles) on the fastest train takes 1 hour and 8 minutes (fares range from $45 to $139). That’s about 81 mph.

What would be the impact of a super-high speed train system on the Northeast corridor? It seems likely that trip times would certainly be cut in half, making the train travel to northeast cities a far faster option than flying. That could dramatically reduce congestion at all of our NYC airports. What do you think?

Read “China launches high-speed train,” on BBC News Read “China to open world’s fastest intercity rail line,” on China Daily