The Morning Briefing: High speed rail

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about high-speed rail.

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about high-speed rail.

1.) High-Speed rail investing: Is this California's bridge to nowhere? Some call it a boondoggle; some call it necessary for infrastructure development. Whatever you call it, high-speed rail construction officially launched this month.

2.) Minister -- 'We will fast-track HS2 high speed rail'. The Government will defy "grief and hassle" from its own backbenchers and fast-track plans for a new high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham.

3.) Sydney-Canberra flights will end if fast rail arrives: report. If high-speed rail goes ahead instead of a second Sydney airport being built, airlines will not fly between Sydney and Canberra.

4.) China unveils high-speed 'Ice Train,' but is it safe? China expects 10,000 miles (160,000 kilometers) of high-speed train tracks to link 24 cities by 2020, but its latest feat, a high-speed "ice train," may be its most ambitious plan to date.

5.) Director lauds short-term bullet train benefits. With unemployment still above 12 percent in the Inland area, local officials are turning to any and all options for job creation -- including a planned statewide bullet train system that won’t link Los Angeles and the Bay Area for a decade.

Image credit: California High Speed Rail Authority / Associated Press

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