Political analysts agree that China is expanding its influence across much of Asia through dramatic economic and diplomatic policies. One such policy is the creation of a high speed rail across much of Southeast Asia, and eventually into Europe.
Right now, there is no official “master plan” regarding the when, where, and how of this huge high speed rail network. The first step though is to link neighboring land-locked Laos (which has just 2 miles of train track total) with China. From there, experts believe China will expand its rail network through Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and eventually Singapore. Such a network could eventually wind its way right into Russia and perhaps one day, Western Europe. Imagine being able to hop a train from Paris to Hong Kong, without the aggravation of a plane flight.
The end goal for this network is a two-day trip from London to Shanghai…not quite as fast as an airplane, but infinitely more comfortable. However, this rail network is as much about economics as it is expanding China’s influence across Southeast Asia. Of course, given that the current rail network in China is subject to poor construction, high corruption, and anger over costly ticket prices, government leaders may want to solve these problems before exporting a Silk Rail Road.
Meanwhile America can’t even get its trains into the triple digits. Sigh…
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.