While America is trying to figure out how to connect Disney and Vegas with a maglev train, China is going forward with plans to connect a whopping 17 nations with a high-speed rail network. The plan right now is for three major lines: one that connects Beijing to London via the Channel Tunnel (or Chunnel) and continues on to Singapore; a second line that covers Malaysia, Burma, Vietnam, and Thailand; and a third that would bridge China, Russia and Germany to other European railways. And, just when you thought it wouldn't get crazier: China wants to get this done in the next 10 years.
China already has plans to expand its already expansive rail network in the country by nearly 19,000 miles of track over the next five years. The country also boasts the fastest train in the world right now, the Harmony Express (pictured above), which peaks out at around 250 miles per hour.
According to PhysOrg, work is already well underway:
Construction of the Asian network has already begun in the southern Yunnan province, and Burma is soon to start construction of its section of the network. China has offered to pay for the Burmese section in return for Burma's rich lithium reserves. Prospecting and survey work has already been done for the European network, and there is already an agreement for a high-speed rail link across Siberia.
In the end, the massive network will carry both passengers and resources from one country to another, and allow a traveler to get from London to Singapore in three days. Sure, it's not as fast as a plane that has the advantage of flying directly, but it will be cheaper, no doubt, and better for the environment — if that's your thing.