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Fastest Passenger Train

Posted by Andrew at 10:23 AM on January 31, 2010

This might’ve been overlooked during the Christmas / CES / Google v. China period but China launched the world’s fastest passenger train, the Harmony Express, at the end of December.

The trains go 1069 km (664 miles)  from Guangzhou to Wuhan in around three hours with a top speed of 394 km/h (that’s 245 mph).  For the purposes of comparison, Japan’s Shinkansen train manages 300 km/h (186 mph) and France’s TGV 279 km/h (173 mph).  The Acela Express in the USA reaches just 240 km/h (150 mph).

China is in the middle of an ambitious railway building programme with the aim of increasing the network from 86 000 km to 120 000 km.  This particular link cost US$17bn and took only four years to build.  The eventual plan is to link Beijing in the North with Guangzhou in the South and close to Hong Kong with a 2,000 km high-speed line.

For all the gricers out there, you’ve a new one to spot.

There are some photos at the Daily Mail.

2 Comments

  1. From P M J Davies at 4:30 pm on January 31, 2010

    The information in this item is at best confused. The 279 km/h quoted for a TGV is an overall journey average speed. The TGV’s travel at a top speed in service of 300 km/h (as does Eurostar) with the exception of the TGV POS, which travels at a top speed of 320 km/h in service.Some Shinkansen trains travel at a top speed of 300 km/h. The China Railways high speed trains have a top service speed of 350 km/h. The average speed over the 968 km Wuhan – Guangzhou line is given as 313 km/h

  2. From Andrew at 9:43 am on February 1, 2010

    Thank you for the clarification. I tried to reconcile a number of sources, including Wikipedia, Daily Mail and the IET as best I could. When you try to reconcile test top speed, top speed during schedule and average scheduled speed, there’s always going to be an error or two.
    Still, it’s pretty nippy.