A chairman of China Southern Airlines, the countrys largest domestic carrier, admitted upon the Harmony Expresss debut that high-speed train travel boasts significant advantages over air in terms of convenience, punctuality, and safety records. In light of the new trains offerings and highly competitive rates with air routes (a second class ticket is $72) the airline revealed counter tactics to win over passengers wallets earlier this month, like slashing airfare to as low as $38 (260 yuan) between the same cities.
Despite Eurostars embarrassing fiasco in the U.K. last week (when ice stalled service in the Channel Tunnel for over three days, backlogging 75,000 passengers), train travel is quickly becoming a more efficient, emissions-friendly, and economical means of commercial transport between many major cities around the world. Next year, plans are set to be unveiled for a new 250 mph high-speed rail link between London and Scotland, and a California track network has been in the works in the U.S. for years. This past spring, President Obama announced plans to develop 600 miles of high-speed lines connecting major cities across the country pledging $13 billion to jumpstart the project and finally put Americas outdated train service on the right track.