Europeans and Asians currently operate the fastest high speed trains in the world, regularly commuting on trains such as the Shanghai Maglev and Harmony CRH 380A. While these two currently hold all the records, other fast trains, such as the HEMU-400X, Zefiro 380 and Talgo Avril, are close contenders for the crown of world's fastest trains. Here are the world's fastest high-speed trains in commercial service, ranked by operating speed.
1. Shanghai Maglev, China
Shanghai Maglev tops the list with its maximum operational speed of 430 km/hr and average speed of 251 km/hr. It runs on the 30.5 km Shanghai Maglev Line, which is the first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation line, extending from Longyang Road Station of Metro Line 2 and ending at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
2. Harmony CRH 380A, China
Harmony CRH 380A, with maximum operational speed of 380 km/h, is currently the second fastest operating train in the world. China Railways’ Harmony is the world’s fastest non-maglev passenger train currently in service, connecting Shanghai with Nanjing since 2010.
3. AGV Italo, Italy
AGV Italo is the first train in the AGV Series which entered into service in April 2012. It has a maximum operational speed of 360 km/hr. AVG Italo is the fastest running train in Europe. The train currently runs on the Napoli - Roma - Firenze - Bologna - Milano corridor.
4. Siemens Velaro E/AVS 103, Spain
Velaro E is the Spanish version of Velaro E high-speed trains developed by German engineering company Siemens. In Spain, Velaro trains are named as AVS 103. The Velaro E operates between Barcelona and Madrid. Velaro E runs at a maximum speed of 350 km/hr. During trials, Velaro E achieved a top speed of 400 km/hr.
5. Talgo 350, Spain
Spain’s Talgo 350 high-speed train operated by the state run railway company. This high-speed train can achieve a maximum speed of 350 km/hr. The Talgo 350 runs between Madrid and Barcelona. The seating facilities in Talgo 350 trains are divided into four classes – Club class, First class, Bistro class and Coach class. All class in Talgo 350 features comfortable reclining seats with foot rests. The passengers also have access to video, audio devices at each seat. There are also real time information panels on both inside and outside of car sets.
6. E5 Series Shinkansen Hayabusa, Japan
E5 Series Shinkansen Hayabusa trains, which entered service in March 2011, with an initial maximum speed of 300 km/hr now run on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line with a maximum operating speed of 320 km/hr. Currently the fastest in Japan, the train achieved a speed of about 400 km/hr during trials.
7. Alstom Euroduplex, France
Alstom-built Euroduplex is the third generation of TGV Duplex, which entered service in December 2011. The trains in the series are touted to be the only double-decker, interoperable high-speed trains capable of running on European networks at 320 km/hr. This train can transport 1020 passengers at a time. The Alstom railway company designs the Euroduplex trains.
8. SNCF TGV Duplex, France
TGV Duplex was manufactured from 1996-2004. They are operated by SNCF and were manufactured by Alstom and Bombardier. The trains can reach maximum speeds of 300 km/hr to 320 km/hr. TGV Duplex is Alstom's first third-generation double-decker/duplex train. It provides a seating space for 512 passengers in its upper and lower decks.
9. ETR 500 Frecciarossa Train, Italy
Elettro Treno Rapido 500 (ETR 500) Frecciarossa trains entered into service in 2008. The trains are designed for a maximum speed of 360 km/hr and currently run at 300 km/hr on high speed lines. This service runs between Milan-Rome-Naples route and offers 72 connections daily.
10. THSR 700T, Taiwan
The THSR 700T operates on the high-speed line between Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan. The train entered into service with Taiwan High Speed Rail in January 2007. It operates at a speed of 300 km/hr reducing the journey time between the two cities from four hours to just 90 minutes.