China Railway's High-Speed (CRH) trains run between Zaozhuang city in Shandong Province and Bengbu city in eastern Anhui Province – but never quite this quickly! The line forms a segment of the yet-to-be opened high-speed rail line which will link linking China's two main cities, Beijing and Shanghai. If the record-breaking run recorded by train CRH380A on December 3rd, 2010 is any indication, commuters are going to have a tough choice choosing between air and ground travel.
Measurements during trial service on the run showed that train CRH380A reached a maximum speed of 486.1 km/h (302 mph), breaking the world operation speed record for unmodified commercial use trains. With this run, the train obliterated its own previous record speed of 416.6 km/h (259 mph) set a mere two months ago.
Chinese officials are proud of the train's accomplishment and wax enthusiastic about the implications for domestic train travel in the near future. According to Wang Yongping, spokesman for China's Ministry of Railways (MOR) who commented on the record run, “It not only marks a milestone in the construction of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, but also is a major achievement of China's technology innovation.”
"The CRH380A is the world's fastest and most technologically-advanced high-speed train," added Zhang Shuguang, a deputy chief engineer with the MOR. "It has a maximum speed of 380 km/h (236 mph) during regular operations, and can keep a constant speed of 350 km/h (217.5 mph)."
These record railway speeds put China's newest CRH trains into Shinkansen territory – and beyond. The famed Japanese Bullet Trains regularly run at at speeds up to 300 km/h (186 mph) in regular service with test runs reaching 443 km/h (275 mph).
Japan still holds the world record for train travel: 581 km/h (361 mph) set by an experimental Maglev (magnetic levitation) train in 2003. (via People's Daily Online and Xinhuanet)