The history of using guided tracks for transportation dates back to the ancient times, the Egyptians used wooden tacks made of huge tree trunks to transport large stones for the construction of the Pyramids. From 1500 to 1800 wagon-ways were quite common in Europe especially in the mining industries.
England started the mechanized rail transport in 1820’s and these systems used steam locomotives. This development in the transport system was an important factor in bringing about the Industrial revolution. Trains of today are much more advanced from the trains of old days, they carry more load and travel faster.
Here is the list of the fastest trains in the world today.
10. Amtrak Acela Express: 150 mph
The Acela Express trains are the fastest trains in the America’s and they travel through the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Boston and Washington DC. Their top speed is 150 mph (240 km/h), these trains also use the latest tilting technology which enables it to control the lateral centrifugal forces and allows it to travel on the curvy NEC with high speeds without disturbing the passengers.
Acela travels comparatively slow on other parts of the track due to infrastructure and traffic limitations. In 2013 almost 3.3 million passengers travelled on Acela Express, it generated approximately 25% of the total revenue by Amtrak Services.
9. Hokuriku Shinkansen E7: 161 mph
Operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) the Hokuriku Shinkansen E7 is a high speed train, at its inaugural in March 2014 all the seats were sold out in just 25 seconds. The E7 is based on the E2 series and it features a Japanese theme inside and out. Its top speed is 161 mph or 259.1 km/h.
This train travels from Tokyo to Toyama and Kanazawa, this journey previously took more than four hours but E7 has cut that time down to just two hours. Kanazawa is another postcard perfect city of Japan and now foreigners can also visit this beautiful city with ease.
8. Thalys: 186 mph
One of Europe’s most important train lines the Thalys connects Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne. It is used by both business travellers and tourists travelling for leisure. The German route was extended in December 2015 and now it goes as far as Dortmund, although the bulk of the business comes from Brussels to Paris route,
The Thalys travels at the top speed of 186 mph (299 km/h), the same track is also shared by the Eurostar trains that travel from Paris or Brussels to London through the Channel Tunnel, French domestic TGV trains also share the track.
7. Hayabusa Shinkansen E5: 200 mph
The Hayabusa Shinkansen E5 is also operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and it travels at the top speed of 200 mph (321 km/h). The Hayabusa Shinkansen travels from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori which is in Honshu one of the largest Japanese islands.
A new but slower extension was added which allows the train to travel at 160 mph (257km/h) and it continues to Shin-Hakodate. The Hayabusa Shinkansen E5 is the fastest commercial train of Japan and it cuts down the travelling time between the two largest cities of Japan from seven hours to four hours.
6. Eurostar e320 : 200 mph
The Eurostar e320 also travels at the top speed of 200 mph (321 km/h) and it is a self-propelled train which was commissioned in 2010 by Eurostar. The main objective of the Eurostar e320 was to further enhance the passenger service through the Channel Tunnel.
This is also the first totally redesigned from head to tail in the 22 years of the Eurostar Train company. A one-way ticket to Brussels, Paris or London cost $70 dollars and another benefit is that it drops the passengers in the center of the each city.
5. Deutsche Bahn ICE: 205 mph
ICE stands for Inter-City Express and it is a prominent rail system running in Germany and some of its neighbouring countries (Austria, Denmark, Switzerland). The white and silver body with a sharp red line gives it a futuristic look. It travels at the top speed of 205 mph (329.9 km/h).
The fastest train in Germany is designed by Siemens, and similar to the Spanish Renfe AVE this train was built to fit through the Channel Tunnel. In future the DeutschBehn is planning to run trains from Frankfurt to London.
4. Renfe AVE: 217 mph
The Renfe AVE is the fastest train in Spain and its top speed is 217 mph (349.22 km/h). This train is used for travelling long distances and it connects major cities of Spain. A journey from Barcelona, Spain to Paris, France takes only six hours when using this high-speed train.
3. Trenitalia Frecciarossa 1000: 220 mph
Also known as the ETR.1000 the Frecciarossa is developed by Bombardier Transportation and AnsaldoBreda and it was designed by Bertone. It is the fastest train of Europe and it can take passengers from Milan to Rome or Florence in less than three hours.
Often called the “Red Arrow” it was unveiled on the Expo 2015 which was held in Milan. Another feature that distinguishes this train from others is that all of its components are 100 renewable and sustainable.
2. Harmony CRH380A: 236 mph
The Harmony CRH380A is the world’s fastest train non-maglev train, this high-speed electric train was developed by CSR Corporation limited. The trains are built by CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd.
This train is built to travel at the speed of 236 mph (380 km/h) while performing its commercial services. During trial runs the train has achieved a top speed of 258.9 mph (416.6 km/h) with 8 bogies and a record breaking 302 mph (486.1 km/h) with 16 bogies.
1. Shanghai Maglev: 267 mph
Maglev trains use magnetic levitation technology and since there is minimum resistance from its tracks it can achieve amazing speeds. The Shanghai Transrapid of commonly known as The Shanghai Maglev Train is the world’s fastest train and it began its public commercial service on January 1, 2004.
It has been the world’s fastest commercial train since 2004, it has an astonishing top speed of 268 mph (431 km/h). The train’s length is 153 meters (502 ft) and it is 3.7 meters (12 ft) wide, in test runs the maglev has achieved the speed of 311 mph (501 km/h).