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

80beatsBy Brett IsraelDecember 31, 2009 10:30 PM


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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.

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