China is speeding towards the future of public transportation with the launch of the fastest high-speed train on the planet! Averaging 217 mph (350 km/h), the new train is faster than a speeding bullet train, and will link Wuhan in central China to Guangzhou in the south, covering a total distance of 663 miles (1,068 km). The new rail service will cut the travel time between the cities from over 6 hours down to 2 hours and 45 minutes. Note to the US: we need one of these!

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China’s new rail service travels through 20 cities along its route, connecting central China and less developed regions to the larger and more industrial Pearl River Delhi. Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom worked together to design and build this feat of modern transportation, which topped out at a whopping 245mph (394km/h) during trial runs earlier in December. The average speed will be 217 mph (350 km/h), which is much faster than the other high-speed trains around the world. Japan’s high-speed rail runs at an average of 243 km per hour, Germany’s at 232 km per hour, and France’s at 277 km per hour.

China has released a massive rail development program, which will expand the high-speed rail service to 42 more high-speed lines by 2012. The government hopes that the rail lines will help spur economic growth, especially in less developed areas. While increased development isn’t quite our taste, we certainly support low carbon transportation like rail service, especially if it goes that fast. Imagine if the US had a high speed train like China’s – a trip from New York City to Chicago would take a little over 3 1/2 hours without all the hassle of flying and airports.

The Times of India via Gizmodo

Lead photo by Benjamin Lowy