Streetcars without overhead wires? Beijing to London by rail in 48 hours?

What will global transportation look like in 40 years?

How about a 48-hour rail trip from Beijing to London? China is investing billions in its new high speed rail network, with transcontinental trips a real possibility.

Or perhaps a new wireless streetcar system that opens cramped downtown cores to trams without spoiling the view? A pilot program is under way in Augsburg, Germany.

Mass transit monorails that handle as three times as many people in an hour as Skytrain? Several such systems are under construction, including in Sao Paolo.

It’s not only all possible, it’s happening, according to the “gee whiz” presentation by Bombardier’s Steve Hall at yesterday’s panel discussion on future transport options organized by the Urban Land Institute. (Many of Hall’s key points were also part of this presentation last year.)

Excellent news, but light years from the Metro Vancouver reality, where Translink is doggedly consulting unhappy muncipalities on a proposed property tax lift to fund the long-awaited Evergreen Line.