Just reminded myself that the distance between NYC and Chicago is almost exactly that between Beijing and Shanghai, and that the 1st is served by 1 train/day that takes 19 hours, and the 2nd is served by 35 trains/day that take as few as 4.5 hours.

Also, the Beijing—Shanghai route carries about 180 million riders a year, about as many as rode on all of Delta Airlines' network in 2017.

@yfreemark, 21 December 2018