The world’s largest network of high-speed rails now has the world’s fastest train running on its tracks. In China in early December 2010, a 16-car train set a new world record during a trial run by speeding faster than 302 miles per hour. During regular service, the train will travel just over 236 miles per hour.The world’s fastest train is currently running from Shanghai to Hangzhou, a city about 120 miles to the southeast. The $445 million project cuts train travel time in half, from 90 to 45 minutes.
A first-class ticket on this route costs a little less than $20, double the cost of an ordinary Chinese train ticket. In comparison, a first-class seat on the express train from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia, a distance of 136 miles, will run you nearly $240, according to J.P. Morgan. This train’s average speed is only 70 miles per hour
The landscape is lined with the largest number of wind-powered turbines in the world. In rural farming towns, solar-powered street lights are evidence that the green infrastructure reaches far from the big cities.Even the escalators are different. Instead of moving non-stop all day long, they remain frozen until they sense that a passenger is about to get on. Then, they use just enough energy to carry the passenger before automatically shutting off again.
These amazing feats and ambitious goals are not imported from the developed world, but products of Chinese innovation. The world’s fastest train was built by a Chinese company (China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation) which has become the third-largest high-speed train producer behind Bombardier (Canada) and Alstom (France).