Seeing as how high speed rail is suddenly a big thing of the moment with the $2.4 billion federal investment this week in U.S. railway projects, it goes without saying that other parts of the world are still well ahead of us in this mode of transportation. One case in point is China, which claims to have a bullet train which is the fastest in the world at the moment – almost 260 miles per hour.
This new super high speed train, dubbed the CRH380A and built by CSR Qingdao Sifang, began traveling this week between the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou, reports the official Chinese press agency Xinhua. The distance of around 125 miles between the two stations will be covered at a lower speed – around 220 miles per hour – shortening the trip to 45 minutes from 78 minutes.
The People’s Railway Network, also reporting on the train’s debut, said the CRH380A looks like a “white dragon.” While that is a corny description by most accounts, the train definitely has a sharp look when it comes to bullet train design. Its developer says it reflects a variety of innovations, including “low-resistance streamline head, vibration mode system matching, high-air-tightness body, safe and reliable high-speed bogie, advanced noise control technology, high-performance traction system, high-speed dual-pantograph current-receiving performance, safe and environment-friendly brake system, human-oriented passenger interface and outstanding intelligent performance.”
As for cost, the AFP reports it comes in at around 29.3 billion yuan (4.4 billion dollars).
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