‘It’s kinda wild to see’

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Recent footage of a high-speed train being tested in India wowed the members of the r/trains subreddit.

The footage was posted to the forum with the description, “9th vande bharat express blows past Mumbai station during high-speed test, India.” X user Ashwini Vaishnaw originally posted it to the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The Vande Bharat Express is a medium-distance Indian Railways train service that runs between major cities and other destinations, according to the India Times. It launched in 2019 and now functions on 36 routes across the country, according to Conde Nast Traveler, which described it as “Much faster and lighter than other trains in India” due to its advanced self-propelled technology.

The trains can reach speeds of up to about 110 miles per hour (although they are not permitted to go quite that fast due to poor track conditions that have not yet caught up with the high-speed trains).

When countries invest in high-speed rail, that’s a big win for the environment, as it cuts down on the need for both driving and air travel, which cause far more pollution than trains.

According to one study, commercial air travel produces seven times more planet-overheating gases than train travel.

And while cars are not as bad as planes, they are still far worse for our planet than trains. According to Our World in Data,” Taking a train instead of a car for medium-length distances would cut your emissions by around 80%.”

Unfortunately for those of us in the United States, efficient high-speed rail has become much more ubiquitous in Asia — particularly in China, which has built out a robust high-speed rail system over the past decade — than it has in the U.S., which remains car-centric almost everywhere.

That means that for many of us, watching footage of a high-speed train is as close as we’re going to get to experiencing one. 

“It’s kinda wild to see people just casually strolling next to a vehicle moving that fast!” wrote one commenter.

“I really can’t wait to see the actual HSR blast through the Indian countryside,” wrote another.

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