In brief: China pauses its high-speed rail service
A deadly crash prompts China to suspend its high-speed rail service, many domestic US airlines boost ticket prices by more than 7 percent, a motel-houseboat called Boatel debuts off the coast of New York City, a charity rally of seven ambulances start racing from Britain to Mongolia, and more. Here is what travellers are buzzing about:
China's high-speed train programme halted by deadly crash
The death toll from Saturday's high-speed train crash in east China's Zhejiang Province has risen to 38, reports Xinhua news service. Service on 58 other trains has stopped during a safety check, reports BBC News. The accident dealt a fresh blow to the world's largest programme for deploying ultra-fast trains. In recent months, the government has sacked several ministers because of safety concerns and technical problems system-wide.
US airlines net savings from expired taxes
This weekend's partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration meant that airlines stopped collecting some federal aviation taxes, reports the Associated Press. Total ticket prices on domestic flights ought to have dropped by more than 8% on average, but many airlines raised fares by an equivalent amount instead, namely, AirTran, American, Delta, JetBlue, United/Continental, US Airways and Southwest. A spot check by BBC Travel this morning found that only Alaska, Frontier, Spirit and Virgin America are passing savings on to fliers.
First summer for a floating $50-a-night boat motel
Today, NPR's Morning Edition tells the story of the Boggsville Boatel, which opened 7 July off Jamaica Bay in Far Rockaway, Queens. Six reclaimed boats have been tied together and thrown open to guests this summer as part of a project by artist Constance Hockaday. The boats lack electricity and bathrooms, though the marina has a new bathroom and shower. Yet because of its urban gritty charm and under-the-radar vibe, the Boatel has sold out its berth through the summer.
A Europe-to-Mongolia ambulance race
A charity rally has launched to help drive a convoy of seven ambulances from London, where they were donated, to Mongolia, where there's a dire need for modern emergency vehicles. Many teams departed this past weekend. You can follow the Mongolia Charity Rally online.
The mega re-tweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
"FYI: At noon (in 5 min) all of #Norway is observing a moment of silence. The view from my cabin. http://twitpic.com/5vkk48 #Hurtigruten" ~
-- @johnnyjet, JohnnyJet, a.k.a., longtime travel writer John DiScala, sailing on a cruise ship off of the coast of Norway. He was commenting on today's national moment of remembrance for the more than 90 people who died this weekend, apparently at the hands of a lone killer.