Frequent international train travelers know that the US is lagging severely behind when it comes to speed and efficiency. FleetLogging, a company that manages train fleets in the US, calculated how fast the average passenger train in the US compares to the fastest trains around the world. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they didn’t stack up well.
The fastest commercial train in the world is the Shanghai Transrapid, which has a regular operating speed of 267.8 mph. Built by German companies Siemens and ThyssenKrupp, this train uses electromagnetic suspension to eliminate friction by hovering above the track.
Coming in second is the Blue Dolphin and Golden Phoenix trains in China’s Fuxing Line. They use conventional electricity-powered locomotion applied from multiple cars to push it along the track at speeds of 217.5 mph.
For third place, there’s a four-way tie between the UK’s E320, Japan’s ES/Eg/H5 Shinkansen, Morocco’s Al Boraq, and France’s TGV trains, all of which operate at 198.8 mph.
The US, by comparison, can’t really compete. The average speed of an Amtrak train between New York and Boston was just 65 mph.
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