China’s high speed rail service has been making headlines for months, breaking speed records, and announcing plans to make rail links from Asia to Europe. However this week, the Chinese rail service is claiming yet another record has been smashed by one of their locally produced trains reaching a top speed of 262 miles per hour – the fastest ever by a scheduled train. But there is a bit of controversy – read on to see why some people are questioning China’s claim.
The new record was achieved by the government opening a new rail line between Hongqiao and Hangzhou, two districts that are 126 miles (2ookm) apart. On its inauguration, two bullet trains travelled between the two suburbs running up the impressive speed. But it has been reported that a Chinese-made maglev train has previously reached a top speed of 268 miles an hour, while a French TGV in 2007 reached 356 mph, so it is unclear what record the Chinese are claiming to have broken.
Regardless, 262 miles an hour is an impressive speed. However when the service goes into full operation, riders will only travel at a ‘leisurely speed’ of 220 miles an hour as opposed to the record breaking pace announced by the Chinese government.
The Chinese have also said that they are not going to give up producing high-speed services and are working towards a train that will top 312 miles an hour. It is no surprise that the likes of the US and Canada are going to the Chinese for help in developing their own high-speed rail services.