Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chinese passenger train breaks world speed record

AP - Friday, December 3

BEIJING – China's railway ministry says a Chinese passenger train has set a new record for speed, hitting 302 miles per hour (486 kilometers per hour) during a test run.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the feat took place Friday on the yet-to-be opened line linking China's two major cities of Beijing and Shanghai. It's scheduled to commence operations in 2012 and will halve the current travel time to five hours.

State television footage showed the sleek white train whipping past farm fields. The project is part of a massive government effort to link many of China's cities by high speed rail and reduce overcrowding on heavily used lines.

China now boasts some of the fastest passenger trains in the world. The speed of 302 mph (486 kph) was the fastest yet for an unmodified conventional commercial train, according China's railway ministry.