I rode superfast bullet trains in China, Japan, Korea, and Russia, and one is better than the rest

On a recent trip through Asia and Europe, I had the opportunity to ride bullet trains in China, Korea, and Russia. Last year, on a trip to Tokyo to launch Business Insider Japan, I rode a bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. China's bullet trains stood out for their speed and the extensive network; Japan's trains were notable for their cleanliness and comfort; Korea's trains were easy to navigate and had great WiFi; and Russia's trains had the best food options. While China's and Japan's bullet-train systems were exceptional, and Russia's Sapsan felt luxurious, I think China has the edge. Here's why.  As Business Insider's international correspondent, I have spent a lot of time over the past four months on any number of trains, planes, and metros. But my favorite thing to do in any country is ride a high-speed bullet train, if there is one. Why? They just aren't available in the US. Amtrak's Acela Express, which travels from Boston to Washington, DC, is the closest thing Americans have to a high-speed train. But with a speed that tops out at 241 kilometers per hour (150 mph), it pales in comparison to train systems in China and Japan, which are both faster and more extensive. On recent trips to China, Japan, Korea, and Russia, I made sure to ride the high-speed bullet trains so that I could get a sense of how they compare from country to country. In each instance, the train systems were impressive and efficient. But which is the best? Let's find out. (Disclaimer: This is based on my personal experience. For a more numbers-based comparison, go here »)SEE ALSO: I rode China's superfast bullet train that could go from New York to Chicago in 4.5 hours — and it shows how far behind the US really is First, let's look at the trains. Given that China's high-speed rail has developed over the past 15 years, you would expect the trains to be new. While China's rail used to rely on technology from Europe and Japan, it unveiled its newest Chinese-designed and -made Fuxing-class train last year. While Japan's bullet train, the Shinkansen, was introduced in 1964, the country has continually updated the trains, as the technology is a major Japanese export. The latest trains, the E5 and the slightly modified H5, have been in service since 2011 and 2016, respectively. Korea's Korea Train Express launched its services in 2004. The initial trains were developed with Alstom, one of the main companies behind France's high-speed train system. In recent years, Korea has developed its own trains, primarily with Hyundai Rotem. See the rest of the story at Business Insider

 
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