Chinese Bullet Train Smashes World Rail Speed Record
China Railway's High-Speed (CRH) trains have been running 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 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.
“It not only marks a milestone in the construction of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway," stated Wang Yongping, spokesman for China's Ministry of Railways (MOR), "but also is a major achievement of China's technology innovation.”
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)
*** UPDATED! Originally published on December 5th, 2010