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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. Railway-technology.com lists the top ten fastest trains currently in service.
Shanghai Maglev tops the list with its maximum operational speed of 430km/h and average speed of 251kmph. The Maglev started commercial operations in April 2004.
It runs on the 30.5km 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.
Shanghai Maglev is owned and operated by Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co. (SMTDC). The train was constructed by a joint venture of Siemens and ThyssenKrupp.
Harmony CRH 380A, with maximum operational speed of 380kmph, is currently the second fastest operating train in the world.
The electric multiple unit (EMU) set a record by speeding at 486.1kmph during its trial operation on the Shanghai-Hangzhou intercity high-speed railway in December 2010.
The CRH 380A was put into operation in October 2010. It operates from Beijing to Shanghai and provides daily service along Wuhan to Guangzhou route.
The vibration free train was constructed by CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock. Its high design speed is a result of research carried out at various Chinese universities.
AGV Italo is the first train in the AGV Series which entered into service in April 2012. It has a maximum operational speed of 360kmph.
The train broke a record speed of 574.8kmph in April 2007.
Considered to be the most modern train in Europe, AGV Italo was built by Alstom. The train currently runs on the Napoli – Roma – Firenze – Bologna – Milano corridor.
The train complies with the European TSI interoperability standard, which includes safety, reliability and availability, health, environmental protection and technical compatibility.
Velaro E, designated as AVE S 103 in Spain, is the fastest series-production high-speed train in the world. It achieved a whopping speed of about 400kmph during its test trips in Spain.
The train possesses an operational speed of 350kmph.
The train was ordered by Spanish National Railways Renfe, and operates on the Barcelona-Madrid line. It was delivered in July 2005 and began operations in June 2007.
The design of the multiple-unit train was founded on the latest developments of the successful ICE 3 trainset designed for Deutsche Bahn.