China Is Unleashing a 372-MPH Bullet Train

It takes “high-speed rail” to a whole new level.

Courtesy of CRRC

A high-tech bullet train with a blistering top speed of 372 mph is currently being built in China. 

The prototype body for a sleek magnetic-levitation (maglev) train was just completed in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, CNN reports.

Maglev railways use magnetic repulsion to lift cars off the ground and reduce friction. The country’s current examples allow for a max speed of just 217 mph.

Rendering of the driver’s seat. 

Engineers at China Railway Rolling Stock Coportation (CRRC), the state-owned company behind the project and the world’s largest supplier of rail transit equipment, made some mind-boggling predictions regarding the travel times. 

Accounting for factors like airport security screening, the new maglev will be faster than even jet travel over certain distances. 

Courtesy of CRRC

“Take Beijing to Shanghai as an example—counting preparation time for the journey, it takes about 4.5 hours by plane, about 5.5 hours by high-speed rail, and [would only take] about 3.5 hours with [the new] high-speed maglev,” said CRRC deputy chief engineer Ding Sansan, head of the train’s research and development team, in a statement.

CRRC also released the above renderings of a futuristic cockpit and admittedly underwhelming cabin. Perhaps they’re banking on passengers being totally mesmerized by sheer speed. 

Courtesy of CRRC

Next, CRRC will construct an “experimental center and “high-speed maglev trial production center” that’s set to open later this year. Commercial production of the new bullet train will begin in 2021, following extensive tests. 

Only two other countries—South Korea and Japan—have maglev trains. Japan Railway’s model became the fastest in the world when it 374 mph on an experimental track in 2015.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Elon Musk to build us a 760 mph Hyperloop.