On December 17th 2009 the Sapsan (Russian for Peregrine Falcon) high-speed train made its maiden voyage from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Nothing has ground America’s collective gears worse than losing to the “Ruskies” for the majority of the past century, so this development could provide the spark needed to ratchet up speed rail development in the United States as a matter of national pride.
When Sputnik slung Yuri Gagarin into orbit, the United States launched into the space race with the Apollo missions. America prides itself on its tech capabilities, which makes it even more puzzling why the high speed rail resistance has held out for so long and why we are behind the Russians in this regard.
The Sapsan is the latest and greatest of Russian rail, and adds to the heritage the zheleznya doroga (meaning railway, or literally “iron road”).