Folium: 267 MPH on the Shanghai Maglev Train via BoingBoing

Folium: 267 MPH on the Shanghai Maglev Train via Wikimedia Commons

Folium: 267 MPH on the Shanghai Maglev Train via Wikimedia Commons

Folium: 267 MPH on the Shanghai Maglev Train via BoingBoing

A few years ago I co-supervised a small group of study abroad students in southern Spain, and we had the unique opportunity to take the regional train (Renfe) from Sevilla to Granada. Our options were limited, but before even considering public transit we first researched taxis, vans, and buses to transport everyone and their overnight luggage. It was rather American of us to consider road travel first, but the idea that efficient train lines ran between every major city in Europe just didn’t register for us at the time. With gas in Spain over $8 per gallon, driving clearly wasn’t an option.

We, as the coordinators, purchased tickets for everyone at a Renfe office (Spain’s national train service) the day before the trip. We selected our train car, our seats, and amenities. The train hit top speeds of over 200kph and we were standing in Granada in half the time it would have taken us to drive.

I remember standing on the platform, bewildered, thinking…

“Why don’t we have this? Why is the most efficient way to travel from Buffalo to New York City via the Thruway?”

I know high-speed trains are in the conversation today, but even at best we’re ten to fifteen years away from systems that match what the rest of the world has today. How did we fall so far behind? We can launch men to the moon, but we can’t build a freaking bullet train from New York to L.A.?

I believe that things like public transportation are a mystery for most until one actually needs them. I liken it to the invention of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, whose invention makes us ever wonder how we ever lived without it!

This video is just a short blurb of the new high-speed (almost highest-speed) Shanghai Maglev Train in China. Clocking in at almost 270mph, it solves major infrastructure, economic, and ecological problems at the same time. Plus China gets the bragging rights of having these technological marvels all over their country.

Lori Cuthbert, editor-in-chief of Discovery News, shot a video of her recent ride on the Shanghai maglev train, which has a top speed of 270 mph. You can’t really tell how fast it’s going by watching the scenery move by outside the window, but the passengers’ delighted giggles make it clear they are enjoying the high-speed ride. – BoingBoing

I want my bragging rights! If you ever have the chance of taking the train in Spain, or anywhere in Europe, I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Have you ever traveled by train before? Tell about your experiences in the comments below!