Hayabusa High-Speed Train Debuts In Japan (PHOTOS)

Surprise! High-Speed Train Debuts Somewhere Other Than The US

On Saturday Japan launched the Hayabusa with a smoking fast 186 mile per hour (300km) debut. *PHOTOS BELOW*

George Will might be confused by the concept of trains but the Japanese sure don't appear to be confused, and neither does China. In December 2010, the Chinese broke the speed record for the world's fastest unmodified conventional commercial train with a top speed of 302 miles per hour (486 kilometers per hour).

The debut of Japan's Hayabusa (also known as "Falcon") train marks the continued investment into high-speed rail in Japan, with plans by Central Japan Railway Company to complete a high-speed train network with speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour by 2045.

With Obama's proposed $53 billion in funding for high-speed rail, the United States is a desirable potential customer of Japan's infrastructure technology.

But will there be any interest from the US once everything is said and done? While Japan and China are breaking records and launching bullet trains, the United States is breaking speed records in what seems like the opposite direction with The Supreme Court having issued "a brief but unanimous decision siding with Scott less than 24 hours after hearing oral arguments" by Florida Governor Rick Scotts against using $2.4 billion in high-speed rail funding in the state.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said those funds would go to other states looking to build high-speed train networks.

States like California. Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took a spin on the Hayabusa when he visited Japan in September, giving him a taste of what California's high-speed rail could be like if it ever manages to see the light of day.

For now American citizens can only sit and watch as high-speed trains like Hayabusa debut elsewhere, with what looks like little hope of seeing a similar working high-speed rail system in the United States any time in the near future.

Photos of the Hayabusa debut: