China has set a new world record for trains passing one another at speed.
Two Chinese bullet trains, each travelling at 420 km per hour along parallel tracks in opposite directions, successfully passed within 1.6 meters of each other during a test run in central China on Friday.
The trains passing each other at speed was a crucial part of the testing phase, according to one of the officials involved in the project.
“When a train passes another train, its engine will bring a great pressure disturbance to impact the body of the latter, which will affect the fatigue strength of the train body and the pressure in and out of the train,” said Wang Yueming, chief researcher at China’s Academy of Railway Science.
“This will help us collect data about the air-tightness of the train body and the firmness of the connections of the installed components.“
Footage taken from inside one of the trains captures the extraordinary speed at which the futuristic trains passed each other.
China is home to the longest high-speed railway, but its rail modernization ambitions suffered a major setback following a serious accident five years ago.
In 2011, 40 people were killed and scores injured when two high speed trains collided on a viaduct in the southwest Chinese city of Wenzhou. A government inquiry into the incident found it was caused by a combination of design flaws and project mismanagement.
The fastest operational trains are in Japan, where the Maglev train set a new record in 2015 by hitting speeds of 603 km per hour.