“It may take us a little longer than we said to do this” was the update Dan Richard, chairman of California’s high-speed rail project, gave state legislators yesterday. But the insane infrastructure plan could, shockingly, be less of a cash suck than expected.
To get up to top speed, bullet trains have to pull a huge amount of electrical current from the grid. typically through unsightly overhead power lines. But this newly debuted train prototype from South Korea sucks up electricity invisibly from the tracks below.
China's second largest bullet train maker has recalled fifty-four trains over safety concerns. The government is also suspending future expansion of the high-speed railway while it examines the safety of existing lines.
Two bullet trains have collided over a bridge in Wenzhou, China. As a result, four carriages of the first train derailed. Two were catapulted by the force of the impact into the ground, killing at least 16 passengers.
When China built their network of bullet trains nearly as fast as the trains themselves move, the quick turnaround time didn't come with many safety checks, it seems. Those trains are struggling to operate at their promised speeds.
In the wake of the Japan earthquake, Tokyo has been subject to rolling blackouts in order to avoid a total power outage. This is what happens to the train stations as a result. [Tokyo Times]
Traveling at 415km/h, Shanghai's latest bullet train has smashed the previous record held by the country last year, by 21km/h. It services the Shanghai to Hangzhou route, which are about 202km apart.
Available now at every Japanophile's favorite export site J-List for $8, these bullet train chopsticks don't *quite* travel at 224mph, but they do make futomaki pieces taste even better. Fact. [J-List via Laughing Squid]
Not quite as absurd as the rail network planned which will see travel between London and Beijing possible in just two days, but some may think the idea of bullet trains in California is pretty darn crazy.
When I lived in San Francisco, there were two things people wanted to talk about: tofu corn dogs and how much Southern California sucks. Well, get ready to kiss and make up (if you're of different genders), because the California High Speed Rail Association has posted a bunch of videos of their planned 220 mph…