World’s fastest passenger train breaks its own speed record

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That’s what we call fast.

Many Americans have long dreamed of high-speed rail, but efforts to build such a system in the United States have moved in spurts.

In Japan, bullet trains are the norm and, despite its small size, the country has long been the leader in bullet train travel. But when speed is the norm, apparently faster is even better.

That’s why the news that a Japan Railway maglev train reached 374 miles per hour on a test track is causing a lot of excitement in this country. A spokesperson told CNN the train traveled 1.1 miles in 10.8 seconds. Yes, seconds.

Apparently the previous record, set last Thursday, was just 366 miles per hour.

Compare that to the fastest train in the United States – Amtrak’s Acela Express, which is capable of 150 miles per hour. On the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak says Acela trains travel at an average speed of 83 miles per hour between Washington and New York, peaking at 135 mph. It takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to travel from DC to Manhattan.

The record-breaking Japanese train uses a different technology. It does not travel using traditional metal tracks. Rather, it floats four inches above special guides thanks to magnets. You do not believe it ? See the video above.

And there’s a chance – albeit a slim one – that such maglev technology will come to the East Coast. The Japanese government is fully in favor of building a line that would carry passengers between Washington and New York. The Northeast Maglev is a Washington-based company that is “developing detailed plans for a line,” Michael Laris of The Post reported last spring.

Jose P. Rogers