Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021
The evolution of trains started when the first “bullet train”, formally known as Shinkansen, ran in 1964 between Tokyo and Osaka. Ever since the world has viewed railways differently.
Chinese Railway is in a class by itself when it comes to high-speed trains. China has outstripped all its rivals with the fastest trains, hitting start-to-stop speeds of just over 180 mph (300 km/h), according to the Railway Gazette International.
A high-speed rail is generally described as one that runs at speeds exceeding 200 km/h (124 mph). It contains multi-powered modules and requires a high quality of operation.
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Trains with a long silver serpent have often been synonymous with Gen Z elegantly racing its way across Europe or Honshu Island and, more recently, through China. Task Unthinkable with Tom Cruise/Ethan Hunt clinging on to the Eurostar at over 150 miles an hour springs to mind. Bullet train action scenes have also become popular with moviegoers. We’re taking a peek at the world’s best trains.
Top 10 Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021
These are the Top 10 Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021 and their speeds:
- EUROSTAR E320 – THE UNITED KINGDOM, 200 MPH
- KORAIL KTX – SOUTH KOREA, 205 MPH
- DEUTSCHE BAHN ICE – GERMANY, 205 MPH
- HARAMAIN WESTERN RAILWAY – SAUDI ARABIA, 217 MPH
- AGV ITALO – ITALY, 223 MPH
- SHINKANSEN E5, H5 SERIES – JAPAN, 224 MPH
- HARMONY CRH 380A – CHINA, 236 MPH
- FUXING HAO CR400AF/BF – CHINA, 249 MPH
- SHANGHAI MAGLEV – CHINA, 267 MPH
10. EUROSTAR E320 – THE UNITED KINGDOM, 200 MPH
In 2015, Siemens launched the British Rail Class 374, better known as the Eurostar e320. The interiors were designed by the renowned Pininfarina Italian automotive stylist outfit. The train will easily accommodate 900 people, an expansion of 20 over its Eurostar e300 predecessor. The e20 is among the Top 10 Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021.
Between London St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord, the e320s operate. The 305-mile journey can be done in 2 hours and 16 minutes, achieving the maximum speed of 200 mph on the English Canal. Between London and Brussels, there is also a service.
This e320 is swift and slices through the Channel Tunnel travel time, making it preferable to traveling. The operating frequency is also high, with a train running every hour every day of the week from London to Paris.
Eurostar is timely, with most trains running on time or 15 minutes late at the latest. It is remarkably environmentally sustainable, with 90 percent fewer emissions per passenger than London’s flight to Paris.
9. KORAIL KTX – SOUTH KOREA, 205 MPH
Designed by Hyundai, the KTX Sancheon has been run by Korail since 2009. The Sancheon is an upgrade to the previous KTX-I with a top speed of 205 mph and is the first to be planned and developed in South Korea in the run-up to the 2018 Incheon Winter Olympics.
With a demure blue and white livery, at lightning level, the superfast expresses are quite a regular sight racing through the countryside. With two classes, first and regular, they are an incredibly common method of nation-wide travel. The KTX is among the Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021.
The Sancheon is driven by 8 or 16 cars, and the seats rotate. As this offers more leg space, you may move backward or forwards as it serves you.
The trains operate on five lines: Gyeongbu, Honam, Gyongjeon, Jeolla, and Gangneung, linking Busan, Mokpo, Gwangju, Gangneung, and Shinju to the capital of Seoul.
8. DEUTSCHE BAHN ICE – GERMANY, 205 MPH
Deutsche Bahn runs the InterCity Express, or ICE 4. They connect Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg, and other major German cities. You can also catch an ICE train outside of Germany to Austria, Brussels, Amsterdam, and some other cities.
The chic, elegant interiors are spacious and well built. Due to improved aerodynamics, the train consumes 30 percent less capacity. The ICE is among the Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021.
Each train can hold upwards of 450 seats, built by Siemens in partnership with Bombardier. With as many as 24 driven axles scattered across six out of twelve compartments, the ICE 4 operates on a revolutionary control car design.
DB has placed an order with Siemens worth EUR 1 billion for 30 additional trains to operate on new lines between Dortmund and Munich. Any of them can be used later to enter London via the Channel Tunnel, depending on the chassis configuration.
7. HARAMAIN WESTERN RAILWAY – SAUDI ARABIA, 217 MPH
The Haramain high-speed railway is 450 km or 280 miles long, also known as the Mecca-Medina high-speed line, and was inaugurated in 2018. Haramain is among the Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021.
The travel time between the two holiest places of Islam has been shortened to under two hours. The fleet presently consists of 35 trains, each of which will potentially ferry 60 million passengers annually, with a capacity of 400 passengers.
Mecca, Medinah, Jeddah, King Abdullah Economic City, and King Abdulaziz International Airport are the five stations on the route. Talgo 350, built for RENFE and produced in collaboration with Bombardier, is the rolling stock. The silver streak speeding across the hot desert sand is a sight to see, with a distinctive snout that makes it look like a dolphin.
6. TALGO 350 – SPAIN, 217 MPH
Built by Patentes Talgo, the Spanish Talgo 350 runs between Madrid and Barcelona. In Spanish, the train has a strange nickname, ‘Pato,’ meaning duck. This is because of the prominent nose cone, which is similar to a duckbill. The Talgo 350 is among the Top 10 Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021.
The express managed a maximum of 228 miles per hour during its trial runs, but it was reduced to 215 mph in daily service from 2005. As well as high speed, the architecture focuses on safety. Minimum coach rolling exists, and equilibrium around corners is provided by an advanced tilting system.
Club (with 14-26 seats), First (with 26 seats), and Coach with 36. There are multiple classes. Each seat comes with lamps for reading, reclining back, and laptop and mobile phone charging power points.
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5. AGV ITALO – ITALY, 223 MPH
It retains the distinction of being the fastest train in Europe at 223 mph. Nicknamed ‘Ferrari of the tracks,’ the plum red trains are operated by Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, a consortium led by Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the former president of Ferrari. The train itself is designed by Alstom AGV and is driven by axles in the rake rather than having an engine at the front and rear, making it very fast. The AGV is among the Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021.
The train is also smaller and, by some accounts, Talgo and Siemens shave off 70 tons from comparable projects. The compartments are 9 feet tall, making it easier to navigate with baggage, and there are luxurious leather seats also in the general compartments.
It first began to operate on the route from Naples to Milan and later expanded the service to Turin and Venice.
4. SHINKANSEN E5, H5 SERIES – JAPAN, 224 MPH
The legend, the first and, for many purists, the only “bullet train.” Japan is the birthplace of the network of modern high-speed trains. The network is based around Tokyo and spreads to Nagasaki in the south from Sapporo in the north. There are nine operating routes, with four more expected to be operational by 2023.
There are several bullet train versions, of which the H5 is the newest. The fastest bullet train that entered service in 2016 has an appearance that is not unlike the Talgo 350. This trian is among the Top 10 Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021.
Due to excellent acoustic suppression, the vehicles are silent, and all the seats face forward. The Japan Rail Pass makes it very affordable to fly on the H5.
There are eight Ordinary Cass compartments seating five abreast, a Green Class seating four abreast, and a First Class seating three abreast in each ten-car train. Seats are reserved as well as unreserved. Many of the lines have extremely high demand, and it is best to book first for interested travelers.
3. HARMONY CRH 380A – CHINA, 236 MPH
The top three come from somewhere else other than China. In the past forty years, the Middle Kingdom has made fast strides and likes to demonstrate its success by technological might. Japan, its traditional foe for decades, had to lose the throne a decade ago to China. This is among the Top 10 Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021.
The Harmony CRH 380A is the world’s second-fastest speed train in service. It entered operation before the Beijing Olympics and was constructed by the China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Company Limited (CSR). The train operates in eight to sixteen compartments in different configurations and also comes with excellent executive six-seat compartments. Every has behind the driver a bar and a sightseeing lounge.
The seats are packed, like aircraft, with LED panels, power outlets, and reading lights. From Beijing, the shortest lines run to Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. It is the envy of the rest of the planet, made out of aluminum alloy and with a long barracuda nose.
2. FUXING HAO CR400AF/BF – CHINA, 249 MPH
The world’s fastest long-distance standard train is the Fuxing Hao CR400. It runs between Shanghai and Beijing in just five hours, with a capacity of over 550 passengers. The name Fuxing Hao suggests revitalization. “Also known as “Dolphin Blue” and “Golden Phoenix” are the two versions AF and BF, slightly different from each other. The trains typically run in eight and sixteen car sets. Fuxing is among the Fastest Bullet Trains in the World 2021.
The train debuted in 2016 and lowered its sibling Harmony 380 by 13 mph to second place. The BF variant can hit more than 250 mph, according to sources and in trial runs.
1. SHANGHAI MAGLEV – CHINA, 267 MPH
At the top of the list of top 10 fastest trains in the world 2021 is a machine that many would refuse to call a real train. But like it or not the Shanghai Maglev is the fastest bullet train in the world in 2021.
Maglev has been used for a long time, at least three decades, or magnetic levitation. However, in most parts of the world, it has not been effective operationally.
The most comprehensive maglev tracks are in Shanghai, linking Longyang Road Station with Pudong Airport. It takes just 8 minutes for the 19-mile trip, and the trains run every 15 minutes. Compare it to Union Pacific 4014 a.k.a The Big Guy, the fastest train in the USA (back in post-war years) that would have taken over twenty minutes.
A maglev train has no wheels and uses magnetic repulsion to “float” on the rails. This helps the electromagnetic train to withstand inertia and achieve extreme velocities equal to aircraft velocities. It is the hovercraft version of a train. There is no echo or sound since there is no interaction with the tracks. Long-distance maglev, though, is not yet feasible because the rails have to be dead straight, and manufacturing is prohibitively costly. At South Korea’s Incheon Airport, operating at a mere 68 mph, there is only one other working maglev system in the country.
|Train||Country||Year||Manufacturer||Max Speed (km)||Max Speed (mph)|
|Shanghai Maglev||China||2004||Siemens-Thyssenkrupp JV (Joint venture)||431 km/h||267 mph|
|Fuxing Hao CR400AF/BF||China||2017||CRRC Qingdao Sifang||400 km/h||249 mph|
|Harmony CRH 380A||China||2010||CSR Corporation Limited||380 km/h||236 mph|
|Shinkansen E5, H5 Series||Japan||2011||Hitachi, Kawasaki, Heavy Industries.||360 km/h||224 mph|
|AGV Italo||Italy||2008||Alstom||360 km/h||223.6 mph|
|Talgo 350||Spain||2005||Talgo, Bombardier||350 km/h||217 mph|
|Haramain Western Railway||Saudi Arabia||2018||RENFE, Bombardier||350 km/h||217 mph|
|Deutsche Bahn ICE||Germany||1985||Siemens||330 km/h||205 mph|
|Korail KTX||South Korea||2004||Hyundai||330 km/h||205 mph|
|Eurostar e320||United Kingdom||2015||Siemens||320 km/h||200 mph|