Frenchies zipping right along

This is one fast train! [video of TGV breaking the speed record] Apparently the cloud behind the train at over 500 km/h is when the train pulls up pebbles from the tracks. Here's an English language article describing the ride.

If only there'd be straight, dedicated tracks for our Acela, we'd be so much better off. We don't need a train that goes 350 mph (presumably mag-lev trains will do that during normal operation, whereas the TGV doesn't normally run at those speeds); our Acelas can do 150 mph consistently if they're on the right tracks and that's just fine for now. Except that the trains rarely make it up to that speed because politicians who wanted to kill AMTRAK decided to run them on privately-owned tracks built in the distant past and maintained for commuter rail speeds. So here in the Northeast, we're stuck with the option of either driving on overcrowded toll roads, waiting for flights that are "on time" at most 40% of the time, or sitting on a train that could go 150mph but is forced to sputter along most of the state of Connecticut at a mere 15-30mph. The so-called quasi-free market at work.

Update Holy Crap!! This is insane [video of someone "surfing" the German high-speed ICE train]: