I missed that this actually happened earlier this weekend: “The fast link, which has been hit by safety concerns and graft, is opening a year ahead of schedule and will be able to carry 80 million passengers a year — double the current capacity on the 1,318-kilometre (820-mile) route.”
Safety concerns and graft are all well and good, but the fact of the matter is that they built a 820-mile train route in a little bit over three years. It connects two of the world’s top twenty cities, and it goes 190 miles per hour (they hope to get that up to 220). The trip will take five and a half hours. And the intermediate stops aren’t slouches. Tianjin, Jinan, Xuxhou, and Nanjing are all cities of over 2 million people.