It has been awhile since I’ve talked about high speed trains here because, well, there hasn’t been a lot to talk about. America’s high speed rail system is slowly doling out money to Florida, the MidWest, and California, but it will be years before we see anything substantial. China, however, is moving ahead full speed with its plans for a high speed rail network, pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into such a network.

The latest plan from the People’s Republic calls for a high speed train that will combine the maglev system used in Japan and France with vacuum tubes. In theory, this train will be able to go 1,000 kph, or about 620 mph. That is twice as fast as most high speed trains travel today. How?