I am a huge fan and proponent of High Speed Rail. It's a very comfortable and convenient way to travel, and certainly beats to heck both standard rail and (most times) the comfort of economy class in an airliner. I've ridden four different systems, and loved each one. The Eurostar, between London and Paris -- through the underwater Channel Tunnel -- is my favorite, but it's France's TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) upon which I've ridden most frequently. I've also made one-way trips on the Thalys between Paris and (ultimately) Amsterdam -- with a stopover in Brussels -- and the Frecciargento between Rome and Venice.
As a very small boy living in Japan, I rode the Shinkansen....the world's first standard HSR system.
Being a proponent of HSR trains I'm very quite pleased and excited my home state of California is building the first true American High Speed Rail system.
Below is the Gare du Nord station in Paris. A bright red Thalys train is on the left, with two silver bullets of the TGV behind.
(BTW - You can see the age of this shot -- that's Star Wars: The Phantom Menace being advertised on the billboards against the far wall.)