I remember in the old days (15 years ago) it took 8 hours to travel from Shanghai to Ningbo. Now it took less than 4 hours. They are raising the speed again this year, according to the news. The D series train is expected to travel at 200 Km per hour, much faster than 40 Km per hour in my college years. This is just another sign China has been through in last 15 years, on the economy.
On the new train, the seat can be turned around 360 degree, cool? It will take an hour from Shanghai to Hangzhou, or from Beijing to Tianjin. This means people can live in Hangzhou and work in Shanghai. Does it means higher real estate prices for HZ or TJ?
But at the same time, they will not raise the speed in the near future. While I don’t see any slow down in Chinese economy, technically it’s more and more difficult to raise the train speed using current technology. The “low hanging fruit” has already been taken. We will look at other ways (e.g, new technology such as MegLev) to get higer speed. Similar thing can be said for economy development: change from current manufacturing economy into service based economy in next 15 years?