French train exceeds 357 mph, breaks speed record
A French train broke the world speed record for conventional trains, reaching 357.2 mph as it whizzed down the tracks this morning in eastern France.
Related: How it stays on the tracks
AFP reports that "the record -- easily beating the 515.3 kph [320.2 mph] set by a TGV (Traine a Grande Vitesse) in 1990 -- was made by an experimental version equipped with two supercharged locomotives and extra-large wheels."
"The TGV train was equipped with larger wheels than usual to cover more ground with each rotation and a stronger, 25,000-horsepower engine," Alain Cuccaroni, the technician in charge, tells The Sun newspaper. "Adjustments were also made to the new track, which opens June 10, notably the banking on turns. Rails were also treated for perfect contact," according to Cuccaroni.
Here's a page that describes the history and technology behind France's high-speed rail program. If you want to buy tickets, check this website.
(Photo by Vincent Kessler, Reuters
TGVweb - The TGV World Speed Record