A couple of Asian countries are updating their rail systems.

In China, wireless Internet services are to be expanded: 200 express train lines will have wireless Internet access installed by the end of this year and 500 train lines will be so equipped by the end of 2008.

The Chinese Ministry of Railways is planning other upgrades as well, including high-definition programs on public LCD screens and a mobile train multimedia network featuring current travel information, weather forecasts, real-time news and entertainment programs.

Last year, EPIN Technologies, which will be developing these upgrades, installed the TraiNet information service system aboard 105 express trains, mainly from Beijing to other commercial and tourism cities in China. TraiNet provides passengers with video broadcasting, travel information, and both national and international news, as well as Internet game and online chat features.

In Vietnam, the Vietnam Railway Corporation plans to build the first-ever 880 kph (546.81 mph) express railway. The initiative is scheduled to begin in 2010 and end by 2015. Currently, the fastest train, located in France, tops out at only 515.3 kph (320.19 mph.).

Image source: www.china.org.cn/english/2004/Feb/88052.htm.