December 3, 2010

Chinese Train Tops Out At 302 Mph

China media reported that a Chinese passenger train hit a record speed of 302 miles per hour on Friday during a test run of a yet-to-be opened link between Beijing and Shanghai.

The Xinhua News Agency said it was the fastest speed recorded by an unmodified conventional commercial train.  There have been other trains in other countries that have reached higher speeds.

France's TGV train reached 357.2 mph during a 2007 test, while a Japanese magnetically levitated train raced to 361 mph in 2003.

Xinhua reported that the train reached the top speed on a 824-mile stretch between Zaozhuang city in Shandong province and Bengbu city in Anhui province.

That stretch is expected to open in 2012 and will halve the current travel time between the capital Beijing and Shanghai to five hours.

The project costs $32.5 billion and is part of a massive government effort to link China's cities by high-speed rail and reduce overcrowding on heavily used roads.

China has the world's longest high-speed rail network, and it plans to cover 8,125 miles by 2012 and 10,000 miles by 2020.

China's railway officials said they want to reach speeds over 312 mph.