The 5 fastest trains in the world
Travelling by train in Europe is already faster than by plane at the moment, and Japan is testing a “Supreme” version of its popular high-speed trains, set to debut in 2020 ahead of the next Winter Olympics. We can’t get on it yet, but there are many other high-speed trains no less. Here are the fastest high-speed trains in the world in commercial service, classified by speed:
1. Shanghai Maglev: 267 mph
The fastest train in the world is not the newest, brightest or even the one with the most expensive tickets. At a cost of $8 per person, per ride, the Maglev runs almost 19 miles from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to Longyang subway station on the outskirts of Shanghai. That’s right, the train, which takes just over 7 minutes to complete the journey with magnetic levitation technology (maglev), does not arrive in the city center. For this reason, since its debut in 2004, most passengers are travelers travelling to and from the airport, with cameras running and ready to take a picture of the speed indicators when the train reaches 431 km/h.
2. Fuxing Hao CR400AF/BF: 249 mph
China wins once again, and is also home to the world’s fastest non-metropolitan train currently in service. The name “Fuxing Hao” translates into “rejuvenation” and each of the two trains has been branded with a nickname: CR400AF is “Dolphin Blue”, and CR400BF is “Golden Phoenix”. The “CR” stands for China Railway. Both take just under five hours to transport up to 556 passengers each between Beijing South and Shanghai Hongqiao station, easily halving the time of almost 10 hours to travel on the conventional and parallel railway line between these two megacities.
3. Shinkansen H5 and E5: 224 mph
This year Japan celebrates the 54th anniversary of high-speed train travel, as it was back in 1964 that the Hikari high-speed train launched its first service between Tokyo and Osaka, reducing travel time between the country’s two largest cities from almost seven to just four hours. The Shinkansen H5 and E5 series, which run the Tohoku and Hokkaido services respectively, are two of the newest high-speed trains on Japanese tracks, and so far the fastest in the country’s regular commercial service.
4. The Italo and Frecciarossa: 220 mph
The duelling Italian railway operators, NTV and Trenitalia, each sporting a high-speed train that is the fastest in Europe, capable of transporting passengers from Milan to Florence or Rome in less than three hours, with a new route to Perugia making its debut this year. The Frecciarossa, was presented during Expo 2015, held in Milan, and the train is remarkable both for its speed and its construction, its components are almost 100% renewable and sustainable.
5. Renfe AVE: 217 mph
The fastest train in Spain is the Velaro E and is used for long distance services to major cities in Spain and beyond: the journey from Barcelona to Paris can now be made on a high-speed train in just six hours.