Described by passengers as a sensation of ‘flying on land’, China’s newest fast train set a world record during a trial run as it hit 486.1 km/h on the Beijing-Shanghai line.

The new record replaced one of 416.6 km/h set almost three months earlier, also in China, on the high-speed line between Shanghai and Hangzhou. “This is a major contribution that China has made to the world’s high-speed railway technologies,” Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun said after the trail run.

With a longer, streamlined nose designed to reduce air resistance, the train picked up speed and shattered the previous record of 416.6 km/h within minutes of the trial run.

Now though it was not the fastest a train has travelled, the French had an experimental high speed train that went up to 574.8km/h, China set a new milestone altogether as the 16 car-ed train with passengers hit a near 486.1km/h speed record.

With noises similar to a jet engine, except quieter, passengers aboard the train for the record-breaking trial run were not required to be buckled in and said the ride was smooth and the feeling was not dissimilar to being on a regular 250 km/h train.

Zhang Shuguang, Deputy Chief engineer with the Ministry of Railways, stated that there were no concerns about the safety of the train. He said it operated well within its safe parameters and “performed excellently” even while it was at the new record speed.

When it begins operation next year, the travel time between China’s two largest cities will be slashed to less than four hours from the current 10 hours.

Still far from satisfied, Zhang said an experimental train that China is developing will look to set a new high-speed record next year on the Beijing-Shanghai line that will exceed 500 km/h. I don’t know about you, but that’s going to be one hell of a ride!


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