Specially modified trains in France and Japan have run faster, but this represents just the latest step in China's grand rail-building plans. The new passenger train is slated to cut travel time in half between Beijing and Shanghai to just five hours, according to the AP. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2012. China can also boast of having the world's longest high-speed rail network, as well as a Maglev bullet train that is the fastest in operation. This railway boom certainly looks impressive, but it's not a luxury for China—the country needs the added infrastructure to cope with its massive and increasingly mobile population.