Most of the time, discussions on this blog are altogether too serious. I have tried to make up for this lack of levity by submitting ever-longer verbiage of my own in the comments. A few days ago, Robert Cruickshank kindly decided to invite me to submit posts of my own, perhaps in the forlorn hope that I will at least acquire an appreciation of brevity. So here goes:
The townsfolk of Sables D'Olonne are apparently well-connected in high places. SNCF now runs TGV trains directly from Paris. The last section from Nantes to their town isn't electrified, so the trains are towed by a diesel locomotive. All just so the tourists can avoid a transfer.
Not to be outdone, DB runs high-speed tilting diesel trains called ICE-TD with a top speed of 200kph (125mph) on the winding legacy tracks in East Germany. They also come in handy on the Hamburg-Copenhagen route. Until the Fehmarn Belt bridge is completed in 2018, very slightly more modest speeds are involved.
Further east still, Russian military intelligence officers came up with their own version of high speed rail. It avoided not only electrification but also the expense of having to construct actual tracks. Apparently, they are hoping for orders from China.
Aviation of a different kind was apparently the objective of this young man. I don't think this is quite what CHSRA has in mind, though.
UPDATE: apparently, reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated (h/t to Loren). If true, he is just really, really eager to win a Darwin Award. Perhaps this sort of thing is best left to machinima artists.
On a real-world note that is only marginally lighter, how's this for transit-oriented development?