A piece of news several days old - drafted earlier but crowded out by other postings.
China plans to buy 60 high speed bullet trains from Japan and another equal quantity from Germany. Each deal may be worth over US$800 million.
The principal lines will be between Beijing and Shanghai, aimed to relieve stress on current transportation between the two cities. Beijing will probably like to have them by 2008, just in time for the Olympic Games.
When this is implemented, China will enjoy not only the service of the fastest trains but also the world's highest altitude railway line between Golmud in Qinghai and Lhasa in Tibet. In the 2nd case, because the trains will be travelling above 10,000 feet, the coaches will be pressurised like jet planes to prevent passengers and the train crew from experiencing hypoxia or lack of oxygen for the needs of the human bodies.