Oh, can we please order about a dozen of these?
A French high-speed train, with a souped-up engine and wheels, breaks the world speed record near Grigny, eastern France, Tuesday, April 3, 2007, reaching 574.8 kph (357.2 mph). The black and chrome train with three double-decker cars, named the V150, bettered the previous record of 515.3 (320.2 mph), set in 1990 by the French fast train. However, it fell short of the ultimate record set by Japan’s non-conventional magnetically levitated train, which sped to 581 kph (361 mph) in 2003.
More at the Houston Chronicle. To save you the math, 350 mph gets one from San Diego to San Francisco in an hour and a half, an order of magnitude faster than Amtrak currently manages. And that’s not just wishful thinking, either:
Hours before the run, Transport Minister Dominique Perben received a delegation from California, which is studying prospects for a high-speed line from Sacramento to San Diego, via San Francisco and Los Angeles.
There’s still a long way to go, but perhaps by the time Ben wants to explore California on his own, he’ll be able to go by (really fast) train.