Speed Reads

Supertrains

Watch Japan's new 311 mph bullet train in action

Japan's latest high-speed maglev train, which is suspended above the tracks by powerful magnets, was recently tested for the first time with passengers, where it reached a speed of over 500 kilometers per hour (311 mph). Watch:

This comes in slightly ahead of the current speed king, China's Shanghai Maglev Train, which has a top commercial speed of 270 mph — though that still leaves the United States' fastest train, the Acela Express, far in the dust. The Acela has a top speed of about 150 mph, though it can typically manage only about half that on average, due to congestion and lack of straight tracks.