If you have the urge to get from Point A to Point B very fast, France has an option. Yesterday, Train V150 went 357.2 miles per hour. (547.8 kph) This particular speedy ride was to prove that a French train can go that fast. The hope is that China and Japan may want to buy France’s technology for their own trains.
Going that fast does not seem that pleasant. If you’ve ever seen a cartoon where the character’s cheeks are flapping and eyelids are almost turning inside out, that’s what writer Ingrid Rousseau’s experience of riding on this train’s demo journey sounds like. Her ears ached even. Then there was the “green blur” of the scenery as the train sped through. The train did slow down to 194 mph at its cruising pace. Upon arrival at the Champagne-Ardennes train station, passengers were given champagne.
The AP article includes specifics about how a train is made to go that fast and details about China’s plan to build miles of railroad. It’s interesting that the Wright brothers made demo flights in France more than 100 years ago to show just how safe airplane travel is in order to get people to buy their technology. One of the demo flights in Pau, France was when their sister Katharine was the 2nd female passenger to ride in an airplane just to show the safety of air travel for females.