The invention of the train coincided with and accelerated the industrial growth of such major nations as Britain, Japan and America, its importance was massive. It changed overland travel, transforming journeys that took months and weeks to days and hours. As technology advanced, many gave up on trains as a form of transportation in favor of airplanes, but train technology took incredible steps ahead as well. These trains zoom between destinations in speeds cars can only dream about.
10. TSHR 700T
This train runs the line between Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan. With a top speed of 300Km/h (185mph), the THSR 700T shortened travel time between these two cities from 4 hours to 1.5 hours. The initial investment for the production of the first 30 trains cost approximately $3.4 billion.
9. ETR Frecciarossa Trains
These refurbished trains travel at speeds of 300Km/h (185mph) between Rome and Milan, Italy. They are equipped with climate control and an advanced silencing system, as well as ergonomic seats meant to provide the utmost comfort for passengers.
8. TVG Duplex
It took eight years to develop the TGV Duplex. It has 512 seats, divided into upper and lower decks. It’s built of light-weight aluminum and mainly runs on the Paris-Marsalis line, as well as several others. (Top speed – 300Km/h)
7. Alstom Euroduplex
This train’s career began in 2011 and was the only one of its series to be upgraded to a duplex train capable of running at 320Km/h (198mph) while carrying 1,020 passengers. These trains were designed to work in Germany, France, Switzerland, and Luxemburg.
6. 320E5 Series Shinkansen Hayabusa
The fastest train in Japan entered service in 2011 and can reach speeds of 320Km/h (198mph). The train was designed with a unique elongated “nose” to reduce the noise it creates as it travels through the many tunnels along its path.
5. Taglo (T350)
Nicknamed “The Duck”, due to its elongated front end, this train will take you from Barcelona or Madrid to Valladolid in Spain, at a speed of 350Km/h (217mph).
4. Siemens Velaro E / AVS 103
The fourth fastest train in the world travels the line between Madrid and Barcelona on a track measuring 621Km (385 miles). It is the fastest train in Spain and reaches speeds of 350Km/h, though during one ride it went as fast as 403Km/h (250mph)!
3. AVG Italo
The most modern train in Europe started its service in 2012 and runs the Naples-Rome-Florence-Milan-Bologna line. This 360Km/h (223mph) train is known for its comfortable seats, low maintenance, energy efficiency and the quietness of the cabins.
2. Harmony CRH 380E
If you travel between Shanghai and Beijing, take the Harmony lines. It took four and a half years to build the tracks, costing upwards of $17 billion, and is now the world’s second-fastest train. Before the construction of this line, the 1,000Km (621 miles) drive would take about 10 hours. Now, this long ride takes less than 3 hours and the train rockets at speeds of 380Km/h (236mph).
1. Shanghai Maglev
The journey from Shanghai to Shanghai Airport only takes 7 minutes and 20 seconds, thanks to the incredible maglev train. This train uses magnets to levitate above the tracks, thus reducing friction and reaching speeds of 430Km/h (267mph).
Bonus: The Hyperloop
In late 2013, the CEO of Tesla Motors, Mr. Elon Musk, introduced his plans to revolutionize transportation by constructing a Hyperloop train. The Hyperloop is an enclosed track in a vacuum, in which pressurized capsules carry people and cargo at speeds of between 962Km/h and 1,220 Km/h (598mph – 760mph).