Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel in the world’s fastest trains? An even more serious question, what are the world’s fastest trains, how do they look like, and where to find them?
Well, as always, we got you covered with this list of the top 10 fastest trains in the world. Let’s discover them together!
The World’s 10 Fastest Trains
Shanghai Maglev – Up To 460 kph/286 mph (China)
The Shanghai Maglev isn’t just the fastest train in commercial service, it’s the only commercially operated maglev train in the world. It uses magnetic levitation and linear motors to reach incredible speeds up to 430 km/h.
In fact, it can complete a 30 km trip between Shanghai’s Pudong Airport and Longyang Road Station in just 7.5 minutes. In addition, China has plans to expand this technology to connect cities, like Shanghai and Hangzhou.
CR400 Fuxing – 350 kph/217 mph (China)
China’s Fuxing represent the country’s intentions to develop high-speed rail technology. Moreover, these motorcade’ speed reaches 350 km/h and are built to withstand extreme weather conditions. For example, the CR400 Fuxing gives a high-capacity service along routes like Beijing-Shanghai with its advanced features, like smart glass displays and wireless charging.
ICE 3 – 330 kph/205 mph (Germany)
Germany’s InterCityExpress high-speed trains include the ICE 3. It is the country’s fastest operational train reaching up to 330 km/h and 368 km/h in testing. Besides, these sleek 8-car fleet use powerful distributed traction systems to connect cities like Frankfurt and Cologne in just over an hour. The ICE 3 also forms the base for speedy Siemens Velaro trains used internationally.
TGV – 320 kph/198.5 mph (France)
France held the world speed record for conventional trains more than any other country. Additionally, its TGV ranks among the world’s fastest conventional trains. These trains have connected Paris to France’s major cities since the early 1980s by using advanced motor and braking technology to reach up to 320 km/h.
Besides, the latest double-decker TGVs, entering service in 2024, aim to increase capacity while maintaining speed.
E5 Series Shinkansen – 320 kph/200 mph (Japan)
Japan’s E5 Series Shinkansen bullet trains reach 320 km/h on the Tohoku Shinkansen line; it connects Tokyo and Shin-Aomori in about 3 hours. These 16-car trains provide a smooth and quiet ride because they are lightweight and have perfectly designed bogies and nose cones.
On top of that, Japan’s Shinkansen network has carried billions of passengers over 50 years of high-speed rail service.
Al Boraq – 320 kph/198.5 mph (Morocco)
Morocco’s Al Boraq is North Africa’s first high-speed train. Its name references the mythical creature that transported the Islamic prophet. Furthermore, French TGV technology allows Al Boraq to reach 320 km/h on high-speed tracks between Tangier and Casablanca in just a few minutes. Actually, tests have shown that Al Boraq trains can exceed 350 km/h.
AVE S-103 – 310 kph/193 mph (Spain)
Spain’s AVE network links Madrid and other major cities using trains like the S-103. The latter can reach up to 310 km/h in commercial use but tested at 350 km/h. Based on ICE 3 technology, the Sleek AVE trains hold speed records like travel from Madrid to Barcelona in under 3 hours.
Lately, Spanish private operators are introducing Italian and French high-speed trains to run alongside AVE services.
KTX – 305 kph/190 mph (South Korea)
South Korea introduced high-speed rail in 2004 with the Seoul-Busan KTX service. Similarly, its Double-decker KTX fleet continues to expand service across the peninsula by using domestic high-speed rail technology that smoothly reaches up to 305 km/h. Consequently, these motorcades have halved travel times between major cities.
Trenitalia ETR1000 – 300 kph/186 mph (Italy)
Italy’s Trenitalia ETR1000 operate at 300 km/h. They connect major cities across Italy on upgraded high-speed lines. Furthermore, these high-capacity trains compete with new private operators to provide fast rail travel between cities like Milan and Rome.
Haramain High Speed Railway – 300 kph/186 mph (Saudi Arabia)
Saudi Arabia might seem an unlikely place for a high-speed rail network, but the Haramain HSR proves even desert environments can support 300 km/h train services. The service links Mecca and Medina in about 2 hours, and they use modified Talgo trains to carry Hajj pilgrims and other travelers along its 450 km route, with capacity for 60 million passengers annually.