China has unveiled a new high-speed train which is capable of reaching 500 km/h or 311 mph, according to media reports.
While China has several other high-speed trains in operation, including monorails traveling at more than 265 mph, this new train is the first that has been entirely developed and built in China by state-owned train maker CSR.
China's bullet trains have been routinely traveling at 186 mph, but have been heavily criticized since July when two trains collided and at least 40 people died as a result of the crash. According to media reports, flaws in the control system of the trains, a lack of security checks and failures in emergency management led to the accident. Reports also stated that 54 people that were found to be responsible for the crash will be "punished".
It was unclear when the new train, the design of which is apparently reminiscent of ancient Chinese sword, will go into operation and how fast it will travel. Typically, high-speed trains run substantially slower than their maximum speed allows. For example, the Transrapid 09 monorail, which connects Shanghai downtown with the Pudong airport can hit 313 mph, but is limited to a maximum speed of 267 mph in regular operation and typically runs at only 217 mph.