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Chinese Passenger Train Clocks 486 Kmph Speed

PTI 03 Dec 2010, 15:55:36 IST
Beijing, Dec 3: A Chinese passenger train hit a record speed of 302 miles per hour (486 kilometers per hour) Friday during a test run of a yet-to-be opened link between Beijing and Shanghai, state media said.

The Xinhua News Agency said it was the fastest speed recorded by an unmodified conventional commercial train. Other types of trains in other countries have traveled faster.

A specially modified French TGV train reached 357.2 mph (574.8 kph) during a 2007 test, while a Japanese magnetically levitated train sped to 361 mph (581 kph) in 2003.

State television footage showed the sleek white train whipping past green farm fields in eastern China. It reached the top speed on a segment of the 824-mile (1,318-kilometer) -long line between Zaozhuang city in Shandong province and Bengbu city in Anhui province, Xinhua said.

The line is due to open in 2012 and will halve the current travel time between the capital Beijing and Shanghai to five hours.

The project costs $32.5 billion and is part of a massive government effort to link many of China's cities by high-speed rail and reduce overcrowding on heavily used lines.

China already has the world's longest high-speed rail network, and it plans to cover 8,125 miles (13,000 kilometers) by 2012 and 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) by 2020.

The drive to develop high-speed rail technology rivals China's space program in terms of national pride and importance. Railway officials say they want to reach speeds over 500 kph (312 mph).

The  high-speed train - the "CRH380A" - broke the world record for the fastest passenger-capable train on Friday during an operational test, the Chinese Ministry of Railroads claimed.

The track is a segment of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line China hopes to have operational by July 2011.

The Beijing-Shanghai line, once completed, is anticipated to bring the travel time between the two cities down under five hours, making the train faster than flying in practical terms since distant suburban airport locations, security and boarding times add to the two and a half hour flight. AP