China has had its share of high-profile failures (and successes) of late, but a recent high-speed rail crash has shaken the people's confidence more than past mishaps.
America's very successful freight train system will have to make some compromises to accommodate high-speed rail, but those needn't be the end of the world.
In the late 1980s, both Texas and Spain proposed high-speed rail systems: Texas walked away from the idea, while Spain leapt in a little too exuberantly.
German high-speed trains started in the provinces, too, but now have a fast, efficient and popular system crisscrossing the nation.
Using rail lines for the energy grid may help a suddenly nuclear-shy Germany transition to wider use of renewable sources.
A Danish professor promotes a cure for billion-dollar cost overruns in government megaprojects: Use past boondoggles as a baseline.