China unveiled a novel rail technology Sunday that looks like a miniature version of a racing car and travels at four times the speed of U.S. airlines.
The coach can reach a top speed of 620 kph (360 mph), according to the state broadcaster. That would make it the fastest train on the Earth, ahead of the Zaha Hadid-designed Chek Lap Kok track that will be part of a Dubai airport project when it opens in 2022.
Western countries have shown no interest in the prototype that was displayed on Sunday as part of China’s 21st Century Rail Rolling Stock Expo in the eastern city of Xuzhou.
“The design is meant to attract global interest,” said Huang Yan, a rail industry consultant. “Given its importance, Western countries should work with China to study the technology and come up with ways to make it more suitable for their purposes.”
It’s unclear whether the technology will be standard for the world’s most populous country and No. 2 economy.
Chinese officials have touted railroads as a path to high-speed transportation and new energy sources but have come under pressure to address safety concerns.
A high-speed rail collision in the southwestern city of Wenzhou last year killed 40 people and prompted Chinese President Xi Jinping to promise that trains would carry 3 billion passengers by 2020.