Hey talk about a-travellin'

She's the fastest train on the line
- Johnny Cash, Orange Blossom Special

Paris and Lyon, Tokyo and Osaka, Madrid and Seville, Seoul and Busan - these cities have something in common. They're connected by what many believe is the future of transportation - high-speed rail.

High-speed rail systems whisk passengers hundreds of miles in mere hours by traveling at speeds as high as 357 mph. That record, recently established by the French TGV (train grande vitesse or high-speed train), means the trains can move almost as fast as an airliner. And while most high-speed trains run slightly slower - around 200 mph - over the past several decades, they have proven their value, reliability and safety almost everywhere.

Almost everywhere but here, that is.

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Chad Vander Veen  | 

Chad Vander Veen is the former editor of FutureStructure.