Do you take the train to 1600 miles per hour: 2007 had only completed the first stage of the UK high-speed rail, but China had left the station.
But almost ten years later, the UK still has the same 109 km of high-speed rail, while China has built the world's longest high-speed network.
This network of 12,000 km in total is more than twice the European and Japanese networks combined.
So if you want to get an idea of what the future of the train journey will look like, it seems that China will be the destination.
Speed in Vacuum
As it stands, train technology hasn't changed much in years.
So when will we see really "super fast" trains that can speed several hundred kilometers per hour pass like a bullet through the countryside?
Both in China and elsewhere, the hopes are in the "evacuation tube handling" technology, which is ETT for short.
Theoretically, this technology suggests that trains travel through the vacuum tubes.
For this, the current maglev, magnetic lifting technology is used.
With this technology, the trains are raised from the rails and the friction can be reduced to near zero.
In this way, ETT trains can potentially travel at speeds of more than 1,600 km per hour.
However, these are the first days ...
Repellent magnets and copper coils are expensive because maglev technology is expensive.
Moreover, the rail infrastructure is much more complex than traditional steel rails.
In addition, there are security problems.
How will passengers evacuate when the train fails and how will emergency services access them?
Another drawback is that many people may not be happy with the journey in a tube that doesn't even have a window.
The TV screens and video projections can make the ride less claustrophobic (fear of staying indoors) but it will take time to get used to.
Meanwhile, Japan is taking giant steps with maglev technology.
China also has its own maglev line in Shanghai.
This line carries passengers from Pudong International Airport to the city.
But this line is often shown as an example of the pitfalls of major infrastructure projects, not very well thought of, as a gleaming example of the benefits of the high-speed rail.
This line takes passengers to the city at breathtaking speed, but not to the city center.
Passengers then have to find other ways to complete their journey.
Therefore, for many, the subway now extended to the airport offers a regular, reliable and inexpensive alternative.
Rail network expansion
As you're waiting for super-fast trains, you'll have to make do with traditional high-speed trains for a while longer.
The trend is also in this direction ...
China plans to build a $ 242 billion high-speed rail link to Russia's capital Moscow in the near future.
In the next five years, it aims to double the size of its existing network.
The goal of all these railway projects is to create a big explosion focused on investment in the economy, at least in the short term.
In a large country like China, reducing travel time is also a positive development for the business community.
The main problem facing China now is whether such a major expansion is commercially viable.
Source : www.bbc.co.uk