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World’s fastest passenger train breaks its own speed record

Central Japan Railways says its magnetically levitating train has broken its previous world speed record in a test-run at a special track West of Tokyo, reaching a speed of more than 374 mph. (Video: Reuters)

Now that’s what we call fast.

Many Americans have long dreamed of high-speed rail, but efforts to build such a system in the United States have moved forward in fits and starts.

In Japan, bullet trains are the norm, and despite its tiny size, the country has long been the leader in high-speed train travel. But when fast is the norm, apparently faster is even better.

Which is why news that a Japan Railway maglev train hit 374 miles per hour on a test track is causing much excitement in that country. A spokesperson told CNN that the train covered 1.1 miles in 10.8 seconds. Yes, seconds.

Apparently, the previous record, set last Thursday was a mere 366 miles per hour.

Compare that to the fastest train in the United States — Amtrak’s Acela Express, which is capable of going 150 miles per hour. On the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak says  Acela trains travels at an average of speed of 83 miles per hour between Washington and New York, hitting a high of 135 mph. It takes roughly 2 hours, 45 minutes to get from D.C. to Manhattan.

The record setting Japanese train uses different technology. It doesn’t  travel using traditional metal tracks. Rather, it floats four inches above special guideways thanks to magnets. Don’t believe it? See the video above.

And there is a chance — albeit small — that such maglev technology may come to the East Coast. The Japanese government is all for building a line that would carry passengers between Washington and New York. The Northeast Maglev is a Washington-based company that “developing detailed plans for a line,” The Post’s Michael Laris reported last spring.