China's High-Speed Rail

China's High-Speed Rail
Michael Christopher Brown for TIME

Need for Speed
Railroad authorities have focused intently on upgrading the system's speed. In July 2010, the fastest train to date — it can travel as fast as 220 m.p.h. (355 km/h) — went into service, linking Shanghai to Suzhou and Nanjing. By comparison, Japan's fastest train reaches speeds of just 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h), while the Acela, America's fastest rail link, averages an anemic 72 m.p.h. (116 km/h).

Get the Latest Photos from
Get TIME photos and pictures of the week delivered directly to your inbox.