While planes are currently the fastest mode of travel available, the allure of trains is simply unparalleled. Trains may take longer to reach a given destination as compared to planes, but they are far more comfortable. Moreover, the magnificent views that you get to see from a train is simply priceless.
It’s also good to know that trains are getting faster with every passing year. That means you can still enjoy the pleasures that come with train travel, all while reaching your destination a lot faster. If you want to know your options, here’s a list of top five fastest trains in the world.
Shanghai Transrapid – This train technically runs on air, as it utilizes magnetic levitation for propulsion. With the use of electricity, electromagnetic forces are used to levitate the train a little about the rails and propel it forward. Two sets of magnetic systems with repelling poles are used to achieve levitation and forward and backward movement. This train runs in Shanghai, China on a 30.5 km (18.95 miles) track and the entire journey is completed in just 7 minutes. The train’s top speed is 431 km/h (268 mph).
CR400AF / CR400BF (Fuxing) – Operated by China Railway, Fuxing is a class of high-speed EMU trains. These trains have been developed by CRRC Corporation Limited, which is currently the largest producer of rolling stock in the world. The CR400AF / CR400BF are currently the fastest trains in Fuxing series. In trial runs, these trains had clocked top speed of 494 km/h (307 mph). However, due to speed regulations, these trains currently operate at 350 km/h (217.5 mph).
EMU-320 – Manufactured by Hyundai Rotem and managed by Korail, EMU-320 is operational in South Korea. To keep it lightweight, the bodies of the coaches have been built using aluminum. In trial runs, EMU-320 had clocked a top speed of 352 km/h (219 mph). However, its current operational speed has been limited to 320 km/h (200 mph) due to safety reasons.
ICE 3 – Short for Intercity-Express 3, ICE 3 is a series of high speed trains operated by German rail company Deutsche Bahn. ICE 3 trains run on several key European train routes such as Frankfurt to Cologne, Frankfurt to Paris, etc. In trial runs, ICE 3 had clocked top speed of 330 km/h (210 mph). Operational speed is currently limited to 320 km/h (200 mph).
E5 Series Shinkansen – Operational in Japan, E5 Series Shinkansen trains are managed by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). These are manufactured by Hitachi and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. In the future, the E5 Series Shinkansen will run on the Mumbai–Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor in India. The train currently operates at a speed of 320 km/h (200 mph).