HOW FAST ARE THEY?
A train is defined as ‘high speed’ if it can move at a speed of 200 km/h or more. An average passenger train travels at about 100 km/h.
WHO MADE THE FIRST HIGH-SPEED TRAIN?
The world’s first high-speed train, called the Shinkansen, was designed and built in Japan. It officially opened in 1964 and connected the cities of Kyoto and Osaka.
DID YOU KNOW?
The fastest high-speed train was launched in China last year. The train travels at a super speed of 350 km/h. It could cover the distance between Cape Town and Joburg in less than four hours. Wow!
- Gautrain will be South Africa’s first ever rapid rail link. It’s not classified as a high-speed train because its maximum speed is only 160 km/h, but that’s still faster than most cars!
- The rail will offer quick travel between stations in Joburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo Airport. Passengers will be able to travel from Sandton to OR Tambo in just 12 minutes!
- Gautrain is designed to carry more than 100 000 passengers per day.
YOU’VE GOT MAIL!
Not all high-speed trains transport passengers. For instance, in France they use them to carry the post. Definitely not snail mail!
WHY TAKE THE TRAIN?
- High-speed trains carry large numbers of passengers in a short period of time. This means there are fewer cars on the roads, which helps reduce CO2 emissions that are bad for the environment.
- Fewer people on the road also means less congestion. This is good news for places like Bangkok, Thailand, where people sit in traffic for an average of 44 days a year – more than a month of going nowhere!