I had the distinct pleasure of taking three trips on the AVE high-speed rail network. The first leg I took was the express non-stop Madrid to Barcelona. It makes the 386 mile trip in 2 hours and 38 minutes at an average speed of almost 150 miles per hour.
Spain (and Europe in general--not to mention China) continues to invest heavily in expanding its high-speed rail network, while the US cannot seem to get a single effective line built in this decade. It's a sad indicator, in my opinion, of the decline of US leadership in the world.