China is in negotiations to build a high-speed rail network to India and Europe with trains that capable of running at over 200mph within the next ten years.
According to Wang Mengshu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a senior consultant on China’s domestic high-speed rail project, said the network would eventually carry passengers from London to Beijing. Other routes would be to Singapore. It would also run to India and Pakistan,
Passengers could board a train in London and step off in Beijing, 5,070 miles away as the crow flies, in just two days. They could go on to Singapore, 6,750 miles away, within three days.
(Note this is not a new idea. The reason the Peninsula Hotel is in Kowloon is that it was originally built by the Hong Kong railway station and passengers who did not want to sail could take the train from London to Hong Kong. It took about 15 days which in those days before WW2 was considered quite speedy.)
Wamg Menshu said, "We are aiming for the trains to run almost as fast as aeroplanes. The best case scenario is that the three networks will be completed in a decade."
Mr Wang said that China was already in negotiations with 17 countries over the rail lines, which will draw together and open up the whole of Central, East and Southeast Asia. Mr Wang said the network would also allow China to transport valuable cargoes of raw materials more efficiently.
Daily Telegraph reports that one stumbling block is China’s desire for the high-speed tracks to run on the same gauge as China’s domestic network. Vietnam has agreed to change its standard gauge, but other countries are still in negotiations.
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