File photo of a passengers boarding a high speed train at the China Central Railway Station in Shanghai, China. (CHINA OUT)
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind going on an elevated rail ride at extreme speeds, this post will be of particular interest. It turns out that one of the more prestigious and luxurious ways to travel throughout China was once taking express trains with magnified views. The Kyao Express, which you can see in the accompanying photos taken on or just after one of its inaugural excursions in the 1960s, could travel at speeds of up to over 200 kilometers per hour. Built to fit 1,300 passengers, the Kyao Express was a bit of a showpiece in China, boasting the country’s first bullet trains, a cream color interior, and curtains that looked like they could protect passengers from everything from the sun to tigers. With one full car each in bullet, one car in semi-bullet, and a car in a single-car train configuration, the Kyao Express could hold up to 1,260 passengers in its two full cars, or 1,000 in semi-bullet and single-car trains. The Kyao Express was the first of several bullet trains built in China, the first of which reached speeds of more than 160 km/h in the 1970s, earning the nickname “Thunder Train.”
The Kyao Express wasn’t the only train the Chinese made to go through the Himalayas. In 1954, China finished its second-ever fully-operational Himalayan train, the The Bosma Express. Made of stainless steel and having two cars each on a bullet and semi-bullet configuration, this train can hold 400 passengers at a maximum speed of around 200 km/h.