What are the World’s Fastest Trains?

Fastest Train in the World – 357.2 MPH

The current world speed record for a commercial train on steel wheels is held by the French TGV at 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph), achieved on 3 April 2007 on the new LGV Est.

The trainset, the track and the cantenary were modified to test new designs.

Chinese high speed trains station exterior

Fastest Train You Can Ride – 217 MPH

The fastest scheduled trains are on China’s Beijing to Shanghai line.

This line opened in 2011 and was designed for 380 km/h (236 mph), but is currently “limited” to 350 km/h (217 mph).

Trains G27 and G39 now cover the roughly 639 miles between Beijing and Nanjing in 193 minutes at an average speed of 318 km/h (198 mph), which earns them the top station to station speed.

China Ran the Fastest Unmodified Train

The Beijing – Shanghai high-speed line also holds the world record for an unmodified “stock” trainset hitting 486.1 km/h (302 mph) in December of 2010.

The fastest Beijing to Shanghai trains cover the 1,302 km, or 908 miles, in 4 hours and 18 minutes. That’s roughly Chicago – New York.

Keep that in mind next time someone tries to tell you that America is too spread-out for high-speed trains.

Beijing - Shanghai high-speed line
Morocco train station

Morocco’s high-speed train “Al Boraq” entering Kenitra Railway Station.

Morocco is on the List

Morocco’s new high-speed line places the country at number eight in the list by nations, just behind Germany and ahead of South Korea.

Hourly trains cover the new 194 km (121 mi) line from Tangier to Kenitra in only 50 minutes for an average speed of 233 km/h (145 mph).

(From Kenitra, trains continue to Casablanca on conventional tracks while the rest of the high-speed line is planned and built.)

North America

Unfortunately, the fastest trains in North America ran decades ago.

Join us to help bring the fastest trains here

Test Train – 183.68 MPH

The steel wheel on steel rail record in North America was set by the New York Central with an experimental jet-powered railcar on July 23, 1966 in Northwest Ohio.

New York Central Black Beetle
United Aircraft Turbotrain

Production Train – 170.8 MPH

The more important record was set by an un-modified, production trainset on Penn Central’s main-line between Trenton and New Brunswick, New Jersey on December 20, 1967.

A TurboTrain reached 170.8 mph (274.9 km/h). This remains the world speed record for gas turbine-powered rail vehicles.

The Acela is the Fastest Train in the USA

The fastest train in North America is the Acela which hits 150 mph in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Amtrak is upgrading track in New Jersey for 160 mph.

Acela train
Fresno Rail Construction

California is Building 220-MPH High-Speed Rail

The first segment of the San Francisco to L.A. line is under construction in the Central Valley.

It’s part of a statewide Integrated Network plan and will improve transit throughout the state.

Let’s Make High-Speed Trains a Priority

Alliance members are passionate advocates for high-speed train networks throughout the country.

We’re building toward a country where everyone has access to fast and affordable trains.

Please Join Us

man using tablet on train platform

The Latest from HSRA

Our Latest Blog Posts

Check out the latest news, updates, and high speed rail insights from our blog!

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Congressman Quigley Champions High-Speed Rail

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