The Chinese high-speed rail system is a serious feat of engineering accomplishment. Not only is it the biggest network of high-speed rail tracks, but a recent test run by a commercial train set a new speed record of 302 mph.
Yes there are other, faster trains, and this was just a test run on the new Beijing-to-Shanghai lines. However, this is supposed to be an unmodified, commercial train. China recently laid claim to another HSR record of 268 mph, but this new train breaks soared past that to 302 mph. That’s fast my friends, and very few land-based vehicles have managed such speeds. Called “Harmony,” this train probably won’t go 302 mph all the time, but just being capable of it is an achievement. At that speed, the 824 mile trip between two cities takes just five hours.
China’s high-speed rail network is about 4,000 miles right now. By 2020, they plan to more than double that to about 8,100 miles. I’m not trying to hate on my own country, but realistically, by that time, we’ll be lucky to have 500 miles of high-speed rail lines. The Chinese investment in high-speed rail dwarfs our own, though it isn’t exactly cheap.
At this rate, it’ll only be a few years before they break 400 mph. America needs to step its game up.
Source: Xinhua (yay Google Chrome translate)
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.