The fastest trains in the world

The fastest trains in the world | Understanding tourism

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(Last updated on: 08/07/2020)

Travelling on the fastest trains in the world can be an exciting experience. Whether you’re travelling for work or leisure, high speed trains can be a great alternative to air travel. Learn more about the fastest trains in the world in this educational and interesting article.

The fastest trains in the world

An overview of rail travel and the fastest trains in the world

Rail travel is a popular form of land travel.

More eco-friendly than road travel, and often cheaper then air travel, rail travel is becoming more popular as the years go by.

Ideal for commuters and tourists alike, trains connect rural areas with cities, and cities with other cities.

This means job prospects are wider and people are able to visit new cities for entertainment purposes. Trains also allow for citizens to travel for retail and leisure.

The history of rail travel extends back to the Ancient Greeks.

Evidence shows a 6 to 8.5 km long paved trackway, used to transport boats across the Isthmus of Corinth in around 600 BC. Wheeled vehicles left grooves in the limestone which created a track and prevented wagons from veering off route. This track was used for over 650 years.

Since then, trains have been ever changing.

From steam trains to trams to electric railways, the industrial revolutions have produced new and better ways to travel by rail. High-speed railways now exist in most parts of the world, allowing people to get from A to B in a speedy manner.

Whether this is to travel between cities and countries for work or leisure, journey times have been cut down to allow for better movement of people.

This article delves into some of the fastest trains in the world.

The fastest trains in the world

High speed trains are becoming more common round the world. Whilst the USA doesn’t yet have any high speed railway networks, China has been developing rapidly.

Below are some details about the fastest trains in the world.

ETR 500 Frecciarossa, Italy

The fastest trains in the world
ETR 500 Frecciarossa, Italy

This is the fastest train service in Italy.

It is operated by Trenitalia.

The trains have a maximum speed of 186.4 mph (almost 300 km/ph), and run between Milan, Rome and Naples. There are 72 connections daily.

The non-stop route from Milan to Rome takes just 2 hours and 40 minutes as opposed to the almost four-hour journey it can take otherwise. There are 28 Frecciarossa trains to Rome from Milan each day.

A Frecciarossia train is a modern version of the ETR 500, an Italian high-speed train.

The Frecciaerossa trains are built by Bombardier, Alstom and AnsaldoBreda, a consortium of train manufacturing companies.

Each train has four main cabins:

  • Standard class
  • Premium class
  • Business class
  • Executive class

The trains offer free WiFi and are soundproofed. They are one of the fastest trains in the world.

THSR 700T, Taiwan

The fastest trains in the world
THSR 700T, Tasiwan

The THSR 700T is a series of thirty high-speed multiple unit trains based in Taiwan.

Launched in 2007, the route is between Taipei City and Kaohsiung.

It runs at a top speed of 186.4 mph. This is approximately 300 km/ph, and shortens the journey time between the two cities to just 90 minutes. Otherwise, it’s a 4.5 hour journey.

The 700T trains have 12 carriages and multi-engine systems. 9 of these 12 cars provide power for the train – so they’re speedy and spacious. The many powerful motors allow for an acceleration from 0-186.4 mph in just 15 minutes.

The trains are built in Japan by Hitachi, Kawasaki and Nippon Sharyo.

The TSHR 700T trains adhere to European safety standards. Being one of the fastest trains in the world, they have enhanced safety features such as bi-directional operation, fire and smoke detectors, an instability detection system and station stopping control.

Business class cabins in 700T trains can seat 66 passengers. The trains can seat a further 923 passengers. The train carriages are soundproofed, and they provide travel updates in real time throughout the journey.

SNCF TGV Duplex, France

The fastest trains in the world
SNCF TGV Duplex, France

These French trains can run up to 198.8 mph (319.9 km/ph).

Launched in 2011 and operated by the SNCF Railway Company, they are double-decker high-speed trains connecting all of the major cities in France.

Often cited as one of the most comfortable trains in Europe, they can seat up to 508 people.

Manufactured by Alstom, they are made from aluminium. This allows for the weight to be reduced as well as the trains to have a recyclability rate of 90%. They are designed to be eco-friendly, and the carriages are stiff which ensures passenger safety in the unlikely event of a collision.

There are three passenger classes:

  • Standard class, with comfortable seats, a buffet and vending machines
  • First class, with reclining seats, reading lights, electrical sockets as well as the above
  • TGV Pro, with extra spacious seats, free WiFi, reading material, a welcome drink and all of the above

These trains are some of the fastest in the world, and allow for business people and tourists to travel throughout France with ease.

E5 Series Shinkansen Hayabusa, Japan

The fastest trains in the world
E5 Series Shinkansen Hayabusa, Japan

Also running at speeds of up to 198.8 mph (319.9 km/ph), the E5 Series Shinkansen Hayabusa are the fastest high-speed trains in Japan.

Launched in 2011, they are operated by the East Japan Railway Company.

The route is between Tokyo and Aomori – the journey, at top speed, takes just under 3 hours.

The 15-metre long nose at the beginning of an E5 Series train allows for minimal sound and vibration when the train goes through a tunnel. The design is based on that of the Fastech 360S train also developed by the East Japan Railway Company.

E5 Series trains have ten cars, seating 731 across three classes:

  • Standard class (658 seats)
  • Green class (55 seats)
  • Gran class (18 seats)

The gran class seats are the most highly sought after. Being on one of the fastest trains in the world, and sitting in such luxury, is an amazing experience. With reclining leather seats, table service refreshments and blankets, eye masks and slippers, it’s a great way to travel in style.

Siemens Velaro E/AVS 103, Spain

The fastest trains in the world
Siemens Velaro E/AVS 103, Spain

Developed by Siemens, the Siemens Velaro E/AVS 103 operate between Barcelona and Madrid.

The journey takes just 2.5 hours (as opposed to 6 hours by car) and the maximum speed is 217.4 mph. The service began in 2007, with eight passenger cars and a passenger capacity of 404. There are 26 Velaro E 103 trains.

With power throughout the trains, there is no need to have a driving unit at each end of the train. There three passenger classes, and a glass screen separates the driver from the seating areas. This allows passengers the same view as the driver, which is nice for tourists and those interested in the Spanish scenery.

AGV Italo, Italy

The fastest trains in the world
AGV Italo, Italy

The AGV Italo are the fastest trains in Europe. Their maximum speed is 223.6 mph (almost 360 km/ph), and they are made by Alstom.

The service was launched in 2007, connecting Rome and Naples in under an hour.

98% of the AGV Italo train parts of recyclable. The trains are multi-unit, with 11 cars per train.

These are split into three classes: Club, Prima and Smart. Each class offers passengers leather seats, with are adjustable, as well as live TV and free WiFi.

Harmony CRH 380A, China

The fastest trains in the world
Harmony CRH 380A, China

China has some of the fastest trains in the world, including the Harmony CRH 380A.

This commercial service can run at a maximum speed of 236.12 mph (379.9 km/ph), and has done since 2010.

The trains are in regular service on the route between Shanghai and Nanjing.

These trains are manufactured by a company called CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock.

The CRH 380A trains have low-weight aluminium alloy bodies, and fish-head fronts. This design reduces aerodynamic pressure. The train bodies are also vibration-free, making for a more comfortable passenger experience.

The CRH 380A trains carry up to 494 passengers at a time.

There is a food and drink car, and each passenger seat has a reading light, electronic display and power sockets.

These trains also offer a VIP sightseeing section near the driver’s cabin which shows a view of the running train – great for those travellers who are particularly interested in rail travel.

Shanghai Maglev, China

The fastest trains in the world
Shanghai Maglev, China

The Shanghai Maglev is the fastest train in the world.

It runs on a magnetic levitation line, hence the name, and has a maximum operating speed of 267.8 mph.

Run by the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co, the train has no wheel. It floats on a magnetic field between the train and the track, which allows it to gain such high speed.

The public service of the train started in 2004.

It can reach its top speed in just 4 minutes, and 18.95-mile line is the only commercially operated maglev in the world.

It runs between Long Yang Road and Pudong International Airport in just 7 minutes and 20 seconds.

The train can carry up to 574 passengers, operating every 15 minutes.

To conclude: The fastest trains in the world

As you can see, the fastest trains in the world are very impressive! I am lucky enough to have been on the Shanghai Maglev train and I thought it was brilliant! Have you been on one of these trains? What was your experience like?


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