Fresh off the success of the Olympics China has announced that it plans to have the fastest rail lines in the world within four years.? The trains will reach top speeds of 380 kmh (236 mph).? Currently Japan’s Shinkansen “bullet train” and Siemens’s ICE train average around 300km/h, but a new version of the Japanese train is expected to operate at 360km/h when it enters service.
“It is possible that we can start to manufacture 380km/h trains in two years time, and put them into service on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway,” Mr Zhang told the state-owned China Daily.
These are different from maglev trains, which can reach speeds in excess of 561 kmh (361 mph) on test tracks.? China’s maglev, which runs from Shanghai to Pudong International Airport reaches actual speeds of 430 kmh.? I’ve never understood why Amtrak or the American government has not invested in high speed railways similar to what they have in Europe, and now more prominently in China and Japan.? I’m firmly on record that America would be wise to convert existing rail lines into maglev trains, having dedicated lines from major city to major city.
So one on the East Coast running from Portland, ME to Miami, Fla. stopping only in Boston, New York, Philly, DC, etc.? One line on the West Coast running from San Diego to Seattle and another for the midwest, et cetera.? This could work and alleviate the herded cow mentality of the airways by providing a legitimate alternative when travelling short distances between proximate cities.
But america doesn’t invest in infrastructure the way other countries do and that’s a debate for another day.