Trains are one of the most popular modes of transport around the world. The steam engine paved the way for industrial revolution, therefore making it a major milestone in our history. Today, however, trains are used to travel within cities, between cities, or even between countries. And with the clock only ticking faster for us humans, trains have begun cruising at speeds we couldn’t imagine before. Curious to know which the trains that are giving airlines a run for their money? Presenting the 10 fastest trains in the world.
10) THSR 700T
Launched in 2007, Taiwan’s THSR 700T with a speed of 300 kmph comes at number ten. This train runs from the capital of the country, Taiwan, to another city of Kaohsiung in just 90 minutes, compared to four and a half hours of journey in a car. The train can reach its top speed in mere 15 minutes, but also follows all European safety standards and measures. It also offers various add-ons like an entertainment screen, which keeps the passengers updated with real-time information. Each of these trains has one business class and eleven standard class cabins, offering 66 and 923 seats respectively.
9) ETR 500 Frecciarossa
Italy’s ETR 500 Frecciarossa with an average running speed of 300 kmph (although it can run at 360 kmph) comes at number nine. The train’s first journey from Rome to Milan, a distance of 460 kms, was covered in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The train now operates on the Milan-Rome-Naples route, offering 72 connections daily by a total of 28 such trains. Along with being fast, the train offers state-of-the-art luxuries, with climate control and sound insulation being one of the many facilities. Passengers can choose to ride in the standard, platinum, business or executive class.
8) TVG Duplex/ Double Decker
TVG Duplex was introduced in France in 2011 by NSCF railway company. At 320 kmph, it is the eighth fastest train in the world. It operates daily between Paris and Masiley, capable of transporting 508 people at a time. The train has lower and upper decks for the passengers to enjoy the secenic views from. TVG Double Decker is an eco-friendly and is made up of a highly recyclable material, but also offers collision safety features along with luxuries like welcome drinks, free WiFi to make the journey a pleasant one.
7) Alstom Euroduplex
At number seven we have the third upgrade of the TVG Duplex, which has been named Alstom Euroduplex. It travels at an average speed of 320 kmph, transporting passengers between European countries of France, Switzerland, Germany and Luxemburg. This train’s capacity is higher than its original counterpart, accommodating 1020 people at a go in its upper and locker decks. Alstom Eurodeplex is more aerodynamic and therefore, consumes lesser energy than it’s precedent. However, it provides the same comfort and luxury that France is known for.
6) Shinkasen Hayabusa (E5 series)
The Skinkasen Hayabusa railway service is the 6th fastest railway in the world and the fastest in Japan. Launched in 2011, the speed of this train is 320 kmph. It travels between the cities of Tokyo and Anomory in no more than 2 hours and 56 minutes. It has three available classes for the 731 possible passengers to travel in – the standard class which accommodates 658 people, the green class with 55 seats and the gran class with only 18 seats. The passengers in the gran class enjoy amenities like reclining seats with pillows and blankets for a nap, or drinks and snacks to satisfy their hunger during the ride. Along with these facilities, the train also has a smart system which condenses the possibilities of accidents.
5) Talgo 350
Owned by the Spanish, the fifth fastest train in the world runs at – you guessed it – 350 kmph. The train travels between two of the country’s most famous and populated cities, Madrid and Barcelona. The head of the train resembles that of a duck’s beak and hence has earned the nickname ‘pato’. The 46 trains have 12 passenger cabins each which are further divided into the coach class, the bistro class, the first class and the club class. Passengers are provided with audio and video entertainment systems and can get real time information on their screens as well.
4) Siemens Velaro E/ AVS 103
Another entry for Spain on number four, the Siemens Velaro E/ AVS 103 started service in 2007, six years after the country placed orders for Siemens to manufacture high-speed trains. The train has the potential to reach speeds above 400 kmph, but runs on an average of 350 kmph during normal days. This train, too, runs along Madrid and Barcelona, covering the distance in merely 2 hours and 30 minutes. However, the Velaro E stands beneath its aforementioned competitor, with its seating capacity of 404 in a total of 8 cabins.
3) AVG Italio
At number three is Europe’s fastest train, the AVG Italio, which started operating in 2007. The train operates at 360 kmph, but had shown its true capacity when it reached a record of 574 kmph during trials and testing. The train transports passengers between Rome and Naples, a distance of about 190 kms, within 60 minutes. The train has 11 cabins, divided further into three types – club, prima and smart. Regardless of the class, all passengers enjoy adjustable seats, entertainment screens and free WiFi. To add a feather to the hat, AVG Italio is also made up of highly recyclable material, making it eco-friendly.
2) Harmony CHR 380 A
Marking China’s entry in the list, Harmony CHR 380 A is the second fastest train in the world. The train’s daily speed is limited to 380 kmph since it’s inception in service in 2010, but has run at 416 kmph during tests. It operates on the Shanghai – Nanjing route regularly. The 494 passengers in the train get access to a screen and a reading light, along with a dedicated food service inside the train itself. It’s unique design and aluminium body helps the train to run fast and yet avoid vibrations inside.
1) Shanghai Maglev
The Shanghai Maglev train, which started operating in 2004 (much before most trains in the list), remains to be the fastest train at 431 kmph of commercial speed. The secret to its success is that the train does not operate on a traditional track, but instead uses magnetism to help it float off the tracks. This helps reduce the friction, which is one of the biggest hurdles in achieving high speeds. The train can reach its top speed within four minutes, and travel the distance of 30.5 kms between Long Yang Road and Pudong International Airport in simply 7 minutes and 20 seconds. It can transport 574 passengers in one trip, and operates every 15 minutes. A single ticket costs $8, whereas a VIP ticket costs $16 for a ride in the fastest train in the world.
Our trains have adapted to our fast-paced lifestyle within no time. Maybe its time to ditch the crowded airports and arrogant airlines, and opt for one of these comfortable trains instead. So, where will your first fast-train experience be?