We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

China's New Bullet Train Breaks Speed Record; Makes Amtrak Cry

By Brett Israel
Dec 31, 2009 10:30 PMNov 20, 2019 4:56 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

China's Harmony train can now boast of being the fastest long distance passenger train on the planet. The Harmony express raced 1,100 km in less than three hours on Saturday, travelling from Guangzhou, capital of southern Guangdong province, to the central city of Wuhan. The journey previously took at least 11 hours [Financial Times]. That's almost like traveling from New York City to Indianapolis by train in three hours. Even if you encountered a two and a half hour delay, which happened to one unlucky load of Harmony riders this week, you'd still make great time. See the train in action in the video below:

The train will run 56 times per day and the cheapest fare is 490 yuan (roughly $72), however many slower trains along the same route will be axed to help cover costs.

Harmony reached a top speed of 217 miles per hour (350 km per hour) on its debut, bumping off Japan's Shinkansen bullet train and France's TGV, both of which can travel at 186 miles per hour (300 km per hour). Embarrassingly for the United States, Amtrak's Acela service takes three and a half hours to travel the 186 miles (300 km) between New York and Boston.

For a look at Chinese high speed rail, both present and future, and the state of U.S. high speed rail spending, click over to Next Big Future.

Related Content: 80beats: Are Digital Strip Searches Coming Soon To Every Airport Near You? 80beats: Virgin Galactic Unveils New Rocket for (Super-Rich) Space Tourists 80beats: Computer Glitch Delays Airline Flights Around the CountryVideo: YouTube / itnnews

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.