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Welcome to the future of European high-speed rail travel

<i>Serge Lemoine/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images</i><br/>Queen Elizabeth II leaves Fiji during her royal tour on February 1977. Prince Philip is just visible behind her.
Getty Images
Serge Lemoine/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II leaves Fiji during her royal tour on February 1977. Prince Philip is just visible behind her.

By Maureen O’Hare, CNN

This week in travel news, a new high-speed train is unveiled in Europe, an RAF plane carrying Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin set a new flight-tracking record and a Canadian family is gathering “visual memories” around the world before three of the children lose their sight.

The UK mourns Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth visited more than 120 countries during her 70-year reign: She saw regimes change, countries form and dissolve, the end of the British Empire and the rise of globalization. Here are some of her most memorable journeys around the world.

And even now, she’s still setting travel records: The plane carrying her coffin from Edinburgh to London on September 13 became the most tracked ever on aviation website Flightradar24.

Lines to see the late monarch lying in state have been stretching for miles across central London, while visitors surged into the capital in the lead-up to her funeral on Monday.

Many tributes to Queen Elizabeth are to be expected in the weeks and months ahead, but one of the earliest aviation-related honors came from France: The little seaside airport of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage has been renamed after the late Queen.

Trains and planes

In the US, Amtrak canceled long-distance rail routes ahead of a proposed freight railroad strike that — at the time of writing — had been averted after a deal was struck. Then on Friday, hundreds of European flights were hit by an air traffic control strike. Disruption is also expected Monday as London’s Heathrow Airport said some flights would be canceled or delayed to keep airspace silent during events to mark the Queen’s funeral.

European rail had a better week: French railway company SNCF and train manufacturer Alstom unveiled the first completed TGV M, a next-generation, high-speed, double-decker train that Alstom has dubbed “the TGV of the future.”

And in Asia, cafes on Hanoi’s popular “train street” — where trains rattle along a track just a whisker away from homes and businesses — have been ordered to close by September 17, with shop owners reportedly given just a few days’ notice.

Life in US skies

A retired nurse helped save the life of a baby who had stopped breathing on a Spirit Airlines flight between Pittsburgh and Orlando. Tamara Panzino was able to resuscitate the 3-month-old and says that within a couple of minutes, she knew that “we were home free.”

Not every passenger has been so helpful. A New York woman was recently sentenced to four months in prison after she and her co-defendant engaged in “unruly and intimidating behavior” on a February 2021 American Airlines flight from Dallas to Los Angeles.

And at ground level, a man was arrested after climbing through the airport baggage carousel into a restricted area at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Ohio.

Asian record-breakers

At 326 meters (or 1,070 feet), Bailong Elevator in China’s Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the world’s tallest outdoor elevator. It offers breathtaking views over the park’s towering karst formations, which are said to have inspired the scenery of the 2009 film “Avatar.”

Going higher again, South Korea’s highest restaurant, 123F Lounge, sits on the top floor of Seoul’s Lotte World Tower, 555 meters above the ground. Here’s what it’s like to eat there.

And finally, at 800 meters, the world’s longest outdoor escalator system is found in Hong Kong’s Central business district. The Central-Mid-Levels Escalator is a chain of moving stairs and walkways that intersects 13 busy streets and is built on a hill slope. Watch here.

Living in the moment

Three out of Edith Lemay and Sebastien Pelletier’s four children have been diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that causes a loss or decline of sight over time. So the family is traveling the world now so the children can gather up precious “visual memories” for the future.

In case you missed it

This crispy fried snack is one of India’s most popular treats.

But the only place you can try the real thing is the northwestern city of Bikaner.

Andye was only in Paris for three days, but she met the love of her life on the Metro.

It’s a real-life “Sliding Doors.”

At just 20 years old, Sheila Nutt traveled the world as one of Pan Am’s first Black flight attendants.

The former Miss Philadelphia runner-up landed the role in the summer of 1969. Here’s her incredible story.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week moved Kenya down to its “low” risk Level 1 category.

In 2018, Anthony Bourdain introduced comedian and CNN host W. Kamau Bell to the sights, sounds and tastes of Kenya. Relive the episode now through the “Parts Unknown” podcast.

Pack like a pro

Tidy suitcase, tidy mind. If you want to achieve the zen-like higher plain of impeccably packed luggage, our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have put together this list of 20 expert-approved products to help you up your A-game.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Top image: SNCF’s TGV M high-speed train is presented at the Alstom plant in La Rochelle, France, on September 9. (Xavier Leoty/AFP/Getty Images)

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