I rode China's superfast bullet train that could go from New York to Chicago in 4.5 hours — and it shows how far behind the US really is
China has the largest high-speed railway in the world, with 15,500 miles of track and most major cities covered by the network.
I recently took China"s fastest "G" train from Beijing to the northwestern city of Xi'an, which cuts an 11-hour journey — roughly the distance between New York and Chicago — to 4.5 hours.
I found the experience delightful, with relatively cheap tickets, painless security, comfortable seats, air-conditioned cabins, and plenty of legroom.
It left me thinking about how far behind US infrastructure has become, when most comparable journeys still require expensive and tiring air travel.
Traveling to China can often feel like visiting the future. The cities stretch out for what seems like forever, while new skyscrapers, bridges, and futuristically designed landmarks spring up every year.
Nowhere is this feeling more apparent than when you encounter China"s high-speed railway network. At 15,500 miles, the country's "bullet train" is the world's largest. And it's getting larger.