China’s bullet trains have been turning heads for a while now, and they don’t show any signs of stopping.
Since 2008, the country has deployed a vast network of high-speed railways, and passengers have continually been impressed.
A Redditor was so thrilled with a smooth ride on a 350-kilometer-per-hour (217-mile-per-hour) journey that they shared a video in which they balanced a €2 coin (worth about $2) on edge and a Lamy pen on end. A phone also stood upright next to those items, and its timer showed the feat had lasted more than 16 minutes.
“I’ve ridden a bullet train on this same route actually, and you don’t feel a thing,” one commenter wrote, “although you look out the window and things are flying by.”
The Shanghai-to-Beijing line, which debuted in 2011, reduces travel time to as little as four hours and 18 minutes, according to the travel website seat61.com. More than three dozen trains trek the 1,318 kilometers (819 miles) daily, and a second-class ticket costs less than $100.
The jaunt is so busy that a second line is planned for completion by 2027, per China Daily.
China’s first high-speed train, between Beijing and Tianjin, debuted in 2008. Now, the country has about 25,000 miles of lines.
Its global Belt and Road infrastructure initiative — launched in 2013 — has been a hit in Southeast Asia as well. The first bullet train there, from Jakarta to Bandung in Indonesia, debuted on Oct. 2.
These high-speed rails have had enormous environmental construction costs, but they reduce planet-warming pollution. The Chinese government said high-speed rail has reduced carbon dioxide equivalent pollution by 11.2 million metric tons (about 12.3 million tons) annually by replacing road traffic.
“It’s the best way to travel in China,” one Reddit user said. “You can get city to city at up to 300km/hr [about 186 mph]. Plus the check in is super fast and easy. No need to wait for extensive pat downs like at the airport.”
Another wrote: “I’ve been on this train and it’s true. I was fascinated because my drink wouldn’t even have a ripple.”
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