A new prototype for the world’s fastest commercial passenger train made its debut this week at the China-WuXi Industrial Development Expo in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi.
The new model of the EXPRESS 180 powered by six diesel-electric engines makes a top speed of 620 kph (373 mph), faster than the 480 kph record claimed by the Russian-made Talisker 110 in 1981, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
In November, China unveiled its a shorter, gas-powered train capable of running at speeds up to 450 kph and capable of carrying an additional 200 passengers, part of efforts to speed up travel times.
The EXPRESS 180 trains have no interiors, allowing the train to travel at a speed higher than other Chinese trains. The train itself is made in Nanjing, China, Xinhua reported.
These latest trains represent the latest upgrade to a trains network which saw an additional 10,000 new high-speed passenger cars built in the past year. The network has grown from 7,000 passenger cars in the 1980s to about 120,000 now.
According to a report by China’s Communist Party newspaper, the Global Times, the railway network — which brings in almost 3 percent of China’s total GDP — is also expected to generate 3.5 percent of China’s entire GDP within ten years.
The State Council announced in May that the country intended to extend the network to include every city in the country.
The new EXPRESS 180 trains will be ready for commercial use by 2022.