Here’s an intriguing bit of news from California: the state government is in talks with Beijing to bring Chinese-style high-speed rail to the US. On high-speed rail development, China—along with many, many other nations—has left us in the dust. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
From the New York Times :
BEIJING — Nearly 150 years after American railroads brought in thousands of Chinese laborers to build rail lines across the West, China  is poised once again to play a role in American rail construction. But this time, it would be an entirely different role: supplying the technology, equipment and engineers to build high-speed rail  lines.
The Chinese government has signed cooperation agreements with the State of California and General Electric  to help build such lines. The agreements, both of which are preliminary, show China’s desire to become a big exporter and licensor of bullet trains traveling 215 miles an hour, an environmentally friendly technology in which China has raced past the United States in the last few years.
“We are the most advanced in many fields, and we are willing to share with the United States,” Zheng Jian, the chief planner and director of high-speed rail at China’s railway ministry, said.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger  of California has closely followed progress in the discussions with China and hopes to come here later this year for talks with rail ministry officials, said David Crane, the governor’s special adviser for jobs and economic growth, and a board member of the California High Speed Rail Authority.