China's Grand High Speed Rail Plans

China has plans not only to expand its own network of high speed trains, but to build the trains for the rest of the world. They are already giving Japan and Europe a run for their money. Not bad considering their first HSR line opened in 2008.

If China and GE have their way, the first high speed rail trains that run in the U.S. will be 80% made in U.S. and 20% in China - it's all part of China's plan to dominate the manufacturing of this technology in years to come.

"High-speed trains were once the preserve of Japan, with its "bullet train," and France, with its TGV. But China's trains are the world's fastest, its network of tracks the longest and its expansion plans the most ambitious. By 2012, just four years after it began its first high-speed passenger service, China will have more high-speed train tracks than the rest of the world combined.

Chinese officials said exporting to the United States is part of a broader goal of becoming the chief high-speed train supplier to the world. GE Transportation China signed a deal last year to invest in China's rail expansion in exchange for using Chinese trains and technology to bid on high-speed rail projects in the United States."

"Trains are creating competition with airlines: After a high-speed train route opened last year between Zhengzhou and Xi'an, airlines stopped all flights between the cities. Travelers preferred a two-hour train ride that cost $57 to a 40-minute flight that cost $73."

Full Story: China pulls ahead in high-speed rail race

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