A Chinese passenger train hit a record speed of 302 miles per hour (486 kilometers per hour) Friday during a test run of a yet-to-be opened link between Beijing and Shanghai, state media said. According to Xinhua News Agency, it was the fastest speed recorded by an unmodified conventional commercial train. Other types of trains in other countries have traveled faster. Like a specially modified French TGV train reached 357.2 mph (574.8 kph) during a 2007 test, while a Japanese magnetically levitated train sped to 361 mph (581 kph) in 2003.
State television footage showed the sleek white train whipping past green farm fields in eastern China. It reached the top speed on a segment of the 824-mile (1,318-kilometer) -long line between Zaozhuang city in Shandong province and Bengbu city in Anhui province, Xinhua said.
The line is due to open in 2012 and will halve the current travel time between the capital Beijing and Shanghai to five hours.
The project costs $32.5 billion and is part of a massive government effort to link many of China’s cities by high-speed rail and reduce overcrowding on heavily used lines.
China already has the world’s longest high-speed rail network, and it plans to cover 8,125 miles (13,000 kilometers) by 2012 and 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) by 2020. The drive to develop high-speed rail technology rivals China’s space program in terms of national pride and importance. Railway officials say they want to reach speeds over 500 kph (312 mph).
A thought hit my mind when I read the news. The thought primarily originated from the words “unmodified conventional”; which snowballed into bigger thoughts and thought chains.
Let I share with you the basic thought.
If one looks at how we humans classify our feats, we will find that our classification bestows honour to every kind of achievement. In short, our classification philosophy tries not to leave any achievement un-applauded.
We classify things to be the fastest in world, country, region, city, locality and even in our clans and families. That Jamaican is the fastest human on earth, Mr. Joe is fastest man of our city; my younger brother is runs fastest in our family etc.
We are generous in classifying our achievements too. If a thing can’t compete a better endowed one we are quick to device a special category to celebrate the feat. Like “fastest paraplegic in the planet”; “Only blind to conquer Everest two times”; and “the fastest speed recorded by an unmodified conventional commercial train”.
The list of the categories human brain devises to hail the best among them is endless.
The fact that we are very non-restricting and generous in our classification makes us ever evolving. What do you say?