China’s Newest Train Goes More Than 100 mph Faster Than Acela

A Chinese CRH380A train, making a test run today on the new Shanghai-Hangzhou railway, reached a

top speed of 416.6 kilometers per hour

, or 258.8 mph. In the

elaborately subdivided field of train-speed measurement

, that was a world record—and not a bad one: the fastest top speed by an unmodified commercial train running on wheels. (The fastest commercial train without wheels is the Shanghai maglev, which hit 311 mph on a test run.)

In normal service on the Shanghai-Hangzhou line, China Daily reported, the train is supposed to run at a top speed of 350 kph, or 217 mph. Including acceleration and deceleration time, the 125-mile trip is scheduled to take less than 40 minutes.

The newest and fastest trains in the United States, which are used in Amtrak’s 10-year-old Acela Express service, have a top speed of 150 mph. At

ordinary travel speeds

, the timetable lists them as making the 120-mile trip from Trenton to Baltimore in 1 hour and 35 minutes.