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Surprising Science

The Harmony Express

European companies have built China the world’s fastest train which took its maiden voyage last weekend.

“China’s new high speed train made its debut Saturday, December 26, 2009, with average speeds of 217 mph. The Harmony Express traveled 683 miles from Wuhan to Guangzhouin less than 3 hours, a trip that previously took 11 hours. Compare that to Amtrak’s Silver Meteor – the 641-mile journey from New York to Charleston, SC takes 14 hours. The new high speed train connects central China to the Pearl River Delta and smaller towns. By 2012 the government plans to install 42 more high speed rail lines, hoping to drive economic growth throughout the country. Also the world’s longest high speed passenger train, the Harmony Express topped speeds of 245 mph during trial runs in early December. France previously operated the world’s fastest train at 172 mph. The U.S. lags behind, with Amtrak’s Acela Express reaching its top speed of 150 mph between the Boston and New Haven, Connecticut route.”


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