Travel News Tech & Gear China Shows Off the World's Fastest Train The levitating train hurtles along the track at speeds up to 373 miles per hour By Stefanie Waldek Stefanie Waldek Instagram Twitter Stefanie Waldek is a Brooklyn-based travel writer with over six years of experience. She covers various destinations, hotels, and travel products for TripSavvy. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Fact checked by Jillian Dara Fact checked by Jillian Dara on 07/28/21 Instagram Emerson College Jillian Dara is a freelance travel writer and fact checker. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, USA Today 10Best, Michelin Guide, Hemispheres, DuJour, and Jetsetter. TripSavvy's fact-checking on 07/28/21 Share Pin Email Courtesy of New China TV There's something delightfully nostalgic about the concept of slow travel via train, whether that's winding through the peaks of the Alps or crossing the steppes of Mongolia, and those are certainly lovely trips to take. But this is the 21st century, and high-speed trains are the way of the future. China has taken the lead on that front, debuting the world's fastest train this week in Qingdao. The new maglev (short for magnetic levitation) bullet train by the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation can travel up to 373 miles per hour or roughly half the speed of sound. That maglev technology is key in achieving such high speeds; the train actually levitates over the track thanks to mighty electromagnetic forces, reducing friction. Friction, as any physicist will tell you, is a detriment to speed. Maglev trains aren't new—in fact, China itself has been using them for decades, but in minimal capacities—but engineers are developing faster and faster models as demand for sustainable transportation increases. The hopes are that one day high-speed rail lines will connect many of China's major cities, but for now, that's only a dream. China's rail network is in its infancy—the only maglev train currently in operation connects Shanghai with its Pudong airport, a journey of just 19 miles that takes just seven-and-a-half minutes. But if a maglev track is laid between Beijing and Shanghai, the new train would be able to connect the two cities in just 2.5 hours, down from a three-hour flight and a 5.5-hour rail journey. Of course, laying hundreds or thousands of miles of new tracks is a massive undertaking, so there are still some roadblocks to the wider deployment of maglev trains in China and Japan, and Germany, who are similarly developing maglev infrastructure plans. In any event, it certainly looks like Amtrak has some catching up to do. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Florida Roller Coaster Smackdown: The 10 Best Rides How to Get From New York City to Philadelphia How to Get From Hong Kong to Shanghai This Luxury Train Will Make Slow Travel Smart and Sexy—if It Can Find a Buyer How to Get From Seville to Cordoba How to Get From Long Island to Block Island Top 10 Best Steel Roller Coasters in North America Forget Supersonic Planes. The Future of Travel Is…Blimps? How to Get from New York City to Niagara Falls Shanghai Pudong International Airport Guide How to Travel From Hong Kong to Beijing by Train Your Trip to Shanghai: The Complete Guide How to Get From New York City to Washington, DC How to Travel from Seattle to Vancouver by Train, Bus, Car, and Plane Getting Around Shanghai: Guide to Public Transportation Bike Travel Is Surging Around the World. Will It Last?