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World’s Greatest Bullet Trains

For Americans, unless they have traveled overseas, bullet-trains are an anomaly. Our train system leaves much to be desired. But that’s not for us to address. We’re here to share this list, courtesy of Kathika, featuring the World’s Greatest Bullet Trains.

The fastest bullet-train service now operating on the Shinkansen high-speed rail network is the Nozomi.  The trains, which commenced service in 1992, reach a speed of 186mph.  Nozomi trains also make fewer stops, which adds to their overall travel speed.  Over its history, the Nozomi Shinkansen has actually used 3 different series of trains, the 500, 700, and the newest N700 series.  It is predicted that by 2011 the service will exclusively use N700 series trains, which happen to be the fastest.

If you’re looking to ride the bullet train with the fastest operating speed in the world, this is it.  The Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Rail currently runs at a speed of 217 mph.  The train is actually capableof operating at 245 mph, but the Chinese slow it down for safer normal operation.

The “Train a Grande Vitesse” is France’s high-speed rail service.  The trains’ start to stop average speed of just over 173 mph is the current world record.  Development took place during the 1970’s and service began in 1981.  The French bullet trains proved so popular that the network was expanded and then emulated by several other countries in Europe including Germany, Belgium, and Spain.  The French themselves, however, had been inspired by the Japanese.  Today, the TGV is the second most popular bullet train service in the world.

As it all started in Italy, with the ETR in 1937, bullet trains are finally making their triumphant return to their homeland.  The Treno Alta Velocita SpA is an entity created for the development and construction of Italy’s new high-speed rail network.  The operations of this new high speed rail network will be brought to match European rail standards.  The network will also connect with neighboring high speed rails such as the ones in Germany, and France.  Construction is currently underway with new segments opening throughout the next several years.