What are the Top 10 fastest trains in the world today? Travelling by rail in Europe is already quicker than flying, and Japan is developing a “Supreme” version of its famous high-speed trains, slated to launch in 2022 ahead of the next Winter Olympics. You won’t be able to ride it just yet, but there are plenty of bullet trains ready to help you get about. Here are the world’s fastest commercial high-speed trains, listed by speed:
List the Top 10 fastest trains in the world today:
1. Shanghai Maglev: 267 mph
The quickest train in the world isn’t the newest, shiniest, or even the most costly. The Maglev costs $8 per passenger, each journey and travels roughly 19 miles from Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport to the Longyang metro station on the city’s outskirts. That’s right: the train, which takes just over 7 minutes to travel utilizing magnetic levitation (maglev) technology, does not go to the city centre. As a result, since its introduction in 2004, the majority of passengers have been travellers on their way to and from the airport, cameras ready to capture a snapshot of the speed indications when the train reaches 431 km/hr (267 mph).
2. Fuxing Hao CR400AF/BF: 249 mph
China triumphs once again since it is also home to the world’s fastest non-maglev train, which is now in operation. The term “Fuxing Hao” translates to “rejuvenation,” and the two trains have been given nicknames: the CR400AF is known as “Dolphin Blue,” while the CR400BF is known as “Golden Phoenix.” The abbreviation “CR” stands for China Railway. Both take slightly under five hours to transport up to 556 people between Beijing South and Shanghai Hongqiao Station, effectively cutting the roughly 10-hour travel on the normal, parallel train route between these two megalopolises.
The “Rejuvenation” also outperforms China’s second-fastest train, the “Harmony” CRH380A, which has wowed since 2010 with speeds of up to 236 mph on lines linking Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hangzhou, as well as Wuhan and Guangzhou.
3. Shinkansen H5 and E5: 224 mph
This year marks the 54th anniversary of high-speed train travel in Japan, as the Hikari high-speed train began service between Tokyo and Osaka in 1964, reducing travel time between the country’s two main cities from over seven hours to four via rail. The H5 and E5 series Shinkansen, which operate the Tohoku and Hokkaido services, are two of Japan’s newest bullet trains and are now the fastest in regular commercial operation in the nation.
4. The Italo and Frecciarossa: 220 mph
NTV and Trenitalia, Italy’s rival railway providers, both boast a high-speed train that can transport passengers from Milan to Florence or Rome in under three hours, with a new line to Perugia starting this year. The Frecciarossa, or “red arrow,” was debuted at Expo 2015 in Milan, and the train is notable for its speed as well as its construction; its components are almost 100 per cent renewable and sustainable.
5. Renfe AVE: 217 mph
The Velaro E by Siemens is Spain’s fastest train, and it is utilized for long-distance services to major Spanish cities and beyond: going from Barcelona to Paris on high-speed rail currently takes six hours.
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6. Haramain Western Railway: 217 mph
The Mecca-Medina high-speed connection connects Saudi Arabia’s holiest cities and has been in partial service since December 2017, with complete completion scheduled for early summer 2018. The trek takes two and a half hours to complete, compared to five hours by vehicle. However, speed isn’t the only reason for this railway’s development; the Haramain is planned to transport three million people every year, including many Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, alleviating traffic congestion.
7. Deutsche Bahn ICE: 205 mph
The Inter-City Express, or ICE, with its characteristic modern white and silver design and crisp red cheatline, makes a spectacular sight flying across gorgeous German countryside, particularly on its newest route between Berlin and Munich. Similar to Spain’s Renfe AVE train, Germany’s fastest train, the Velaro, is another Siemens design that was designed to fit through the Channel Tunnel. This is a significant benefit for DeutscheBahn’s long-term intentions to run these trains from Frankfurt to London.
8. Korail KTX: 205 mph
South Korea’s high-speed rail network is not the most recent (the KTX launched in 2004), but it is among the quickest. The most recent line, which opened just in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics, links Incheon International Airport in the west to the seaside town of Gangneung in the east, with a stop in Seoul in between. The KTX reduces the time required to go to PyeongChang’s ski slopes from six hours by conventional rail to less than two hours.
9. Eurostar e320 and TGV: 200 mph
The TGV and Eurostar e320 trains are tied for second place on the list, however, the latter was redesigned in 2015. The e320 series, named after its peak speed of 320 km/h (200 mph), is the first tip-to-tail makeover of a Eurostar train in the company’s 22-year history. The quicker trains—20 km/hr faster than the previous e300 series—can shave another 15 minutes off the already quick Eurostar journeys of roughly two hours between Brussels, Paris, and London (and Amsterdam, later this year). Since Eurostar takes travellers directly to the heart of each city and rates start at $70 one-way with Rail Europe, it’s a surprise anybody still flies between the cities.
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10. Thalys: 186 mph
The Thalys, which connects Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and Cologne with several daily trains, is one of Europe’s most essential railway lines for both pleasure and business visitors; in fact, its ridership is almost evenly divided between the two. The German route was expanded as far as Dortmund in December 2015, but the Brussels-to-Paris route remains crucial, accounting for more than half of the business.