Photo: kawanet via flickr
When American’s think of high speed rail, Amtrak’s Acela Express is the closest they can get.With a top speed of 150 mph, according to Amtrak, the Acela is indeed the fastest train currently running in the USA.
However, frequent stops and the older, curving track limit the average speed of a trip from New York to Washington, DC to 80 mph, according to Railway Technology.
But what about rail travel outside the US?
#10 Belgium's HSL-1 has been in service since 1997. The 186 MPH top speed means it takes less than 90 minutes to travel from Paris to Brussels.
#9 With a top speed of 190 MPH, a trip from Milan to Bologna on the The Italian ETR 500 is done in an hour.
#8 The Eurostar connects London to Paris. It can reach speeds of 199 MPH while travelling through the Channel Tunnel.
#7 The Spanish AVE Talgo-350 is the first on the list to break the 200 MPH barrier. Its 205 MPH top speed makes trips from Madrid to Barcelona go by in the blink of an eye.
#5 South Korea's KTX 2 may only carry 360 passengers, but the 219 MPH top speed means they'll get to their destination faster than they imagined possible.
#4 France's TGV Réseau ratchets up the top speed to an IndyCar-matching 236 MPH. However, normal running is limited to 199 MPH.
#2 The Transrapid TR-09 from Germany uses mag-lev technology, meaning this is technically a monorail. However, the 279 MPH top speed also makes this the second fastest train on the planet.
#1 Not ones to be outdone, China broke the 300 MPH barrier with the CRH380A. The 302 MPH top speed makes this the fastest possible way to legally travel by land.
NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.