Chinese researchers unveiled what they called a world-leading locomotive that is hoped to cut high-speed train travel time to Beijing and Shanghai by up to two hours.
The prototype made its public debut on Thursday at a technology show in the southern city of Shenzhen, state media reported.
The 610 kph (480 mph) train, designed for the China Railways Corp. and called the China-Europe Express, has a track speed of 361 kph (218 mph).
The speed would be well over twice the top speed of the world’s fastest train, which is 375 kph (210 mph) for a Dutch train made by a German company and operated by the Dutch state railway operator in Poland.
The manufacturers expect the train to be operating by the early 2020s, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The railroad locomotive, being touted as a “prototype of the next generation of high-speed rail technology,” will start operations this year as a commercial service between the capital, Beijing, and the central city of Wuhan, company officials said at the show.
The high-speed trains have a range of more than 2,100 kph (1,290 mph) and can travel up to 600 kph (373 mph) on both tracks of the line.
Construction on the line was recently completed, according to state media.
The Chinese state rail agency has said it is upgrading the country’s high-speed rail network to more than 15,000 kilometers (9,500 miles) from the current 9,400 kilometers (6,200 miles).