Speed Record Club

- speed on wheels, water and wings

Rail Speed Records


  1. There is no official body or rules to these records
  2. Many of the speeds listed below are unconfirmed
  3. While some speeds are fully documented and recorded, for example by dynamometer cars, others are timed by observers using stopwatch and mileposts
Steam Electric Fuel driven Various



Date Country Stretch/Track Speed kph Speed mph Locomotive/train Wheels remarks
??-??-1848USABoston - Lawrence (Mass)96.560Boston & Maine "Antelope"4-4-0First "mile a minute" Unconfirmed
11-5-1848GBPaddington - Didcot107.867GWR "Great Britain" (Iron Duke Class)2-2-2Unconfirmed
??-06-1854GBBristol & Exeter Railway131.681.8Rothwell & Co. Pearson class4-2-4TUnconfirmed
09-05-1893USANew York - Chicago (NYC)165.4102.8Empire State Express #9994-4-01st 100+ mph World record (Unconfirmed)
11-05-1893USANew York - Chicago (NYC)181112.5Empire State Express #9994-4-0Unconfirmed - recognised as 81,8 mph (131,6 km/h)
??-??-1899USACamden-Atlantic City (P&R)170.6106Atlantic #1027 "Seashore Flyer"4-4-2Unconfirmed
??-??-1902USAAY Tower - Elida Ohio (Pennsylvania)204.5127.1Pennsylvania Special Class E2 #70024-4-2Unconfirmed
??-??-1903GBHullavington - Lit Summerfield (GWR)192.9119.92903 "Lady of Lyons"4-6-0Unconfirmed
GBExeter - Taunton (GWR)164.6102.3#3440 "City of Truro"4-4-0Unofficial but accepted
11/06/1905USANew York - Chicago (PRR)185115E2 7002 "Atlantic"4-4-2Unconfirmed
02/07/1907DMunich - Augsburg154.596Bayerischen S 2/6 #32014-4-4Record in continental Europe
??-??-1907F ?170105.6Chemins de Fer du Nord Unconfirmed record in continental Europe
11/06/1927USAWashington - New York (PRR)185114.9E6 "Atlantic" #4604-4-2Unconfirmed. Loc with 2 coaches only
30/11/1934GBGrantham - Peterborough (LNER)161100A1 #4472 "Flying Scotsman"4-6-2Speed and data exactly registered
05/03/1935GBGrantham - Peterborough (LNER)173.8107.9A3 #2750 "Papyrus"4-6-2Speed and data exactly registered
08/05/1935USAMilwaukee - New Lisbon (MRR)181112.5Class A Nr.2 "Atlantic" (Hiawatha)4-4-2Speed maintained over a distance of 22.5 km
27/09/1935GBLondon - Newcastle (LNER)181112.5A4 #2509 "Silver Link" 4-6-2British record
11/05/1936DFriesack - Vietznitz (Hamburg - Berlin)200.4124.5Borsig 05 0024-6-4World record
??-08-1936GBEdinburgh - King's Cross (LNER)181.8113A4 #2512 "Silver Fox"4-6-2British record
29/06/1937GBEuston - Glasgow (LMS)181.8113#6220 "Coronation"4-6-2114,0 mph (183,4 km/h was claimed
03/07/1938GBGrantham - Peterborough202.8126A4 #4468 "Mallard"4-6-2World record
05/08/1937USAChicago - St. Paul (MRR)206128Milwaukee Class A "Atlantic"4-4-2Unconfirmed
??-??-1938USAChicago - St. Paul (MRR)206128Milwaukee Class F-7 "Baltic"4-6-4Unconfirmed
??-??-1938USAChicago - New York (NYC)263.9164ALCO Class J3 "Hudson"4-6-4Peak speed
15/03/1946USAChicago - Crestline (PRR)227141Class S1 #61006-4-4-6Unofficial world record


Date Country Stretch/Track Speed kph Speed mph Locomotive/train remarks
??-??-1901DMarienfelde - Zossen test track162101Siemens & Halske RailcarThree-phase current trials
23/10/1903DMarienfelde - Zossen test track206.7128.5Siemens & Halske RailcarThree-phase current trials
28/10/1903DMarienfelde - Zossen test track210.2130.5AEG RailcarThree-phase current trials
21/02/1954FDijon - Beaune243 Alstom Electric loc CC7121 
28/03/1955FLamothe - Morcenx326 Alstom Electric loc CC7107 
29/03/1955FLamothe - Morcenx331 Alstom Electric loc BB9004 
25/02/1981FPasilly - Tonnerre371 TGV-PSE 16"Camouflaged" as TGV-PSE 33
26/02/1981FMoulins en Tonnerois380.4 TGV-PSE 16 
28/04/1988DHohe Wart - Mottgers387 ICE-V BR-410-001 
01/05/1988DRohrbach - Burgsinn (Wuerzburg - Fulda)406.9 ICE-V BR-410-001 
12/12/1988FPasilly - Tonnerre408.4 TGV-PSE 88 
18/05/1990FCourtalain - Tours515.3 TGV-A (Atlantique) 325 
03/04/2007 FParis - Strassburg574.8 TGV V150 (LGV Est) 4402wheel dia. 1092mm (standard = 920mm) / 19,6MW (standard = 9,3MW)


Date Country Stretch/Track Speed kph Speed mph Locomotive/train remarks
21/06/1931DLudwigslust - Wittenberge230.2142.9Kruckenberg SchienenzeppelinBenzol engine (Propeller)
??-??-1932DBerlin - Hamburg198.5 DRG "Fliegender Hamburger" test runDiesel record
26/05/1934USADenver - Lincoln181 Budd "Pioneer Zephyr"Diesel record
24/10/1934FLe Mans - Connérré-Beillé (test track)192 Bugatti 800 HP AutorailPetrol engine (Axle-driven)
17/02/1936DLudwigslust - Wittenberge205 Linke-Hofmann SVT 137 153 Bauart LeipzigDiesel record
23/06/1939DHamburg - Berlin215 Linke-Hofmann SVT 137 155 (Kruckenberg)Diesel record
23/07/1966USAButler (Indiana) - Stryker (Ohio) (NYC)295.8183.8Budd experimental railcarJet driven
04/12/1967FGometz-la-Ville (Essone, France)345 AerotrainJet driven
20/05/1972EAzuqueca - Guadalajara222 Talgo III 353 005Diesel record
08/12/1972FLamothe - Morcenx318 TGV 001Gas turbine
12/06/1973GBNorthallerton - Thirsk230.5 HST Class 41 PrototypeDiesel record
14/08/1974USAPueblo (Colorado)410 Garrett experimental railcarLinear engine - jet driven
13/11/1987GBDarlington - York238.9 HST InterCity 125 - Class 43Diesel record
??-??-1997RUSMoscow - St. Petersburg271 Locomotive TEP 80-002Diesel record (Diesel-Electric)
12/06/2002ELerida - Zaragoza256.4 Talgo XXIDiesel record (Diesel-Hydr.)


Date Country Stretch/Track Speed kph Speed mph Locomotive/train remarks
??-12-1978SAMidway - Westonaria245 Union Carriage Electric loc Class 6E1 Fastest narrow gauge (Cape gauge 1067mm / 3'6'') (modified E1525 with fibreglass nose)
??-01-1988DEmsland test track412.6 Transrapid 06Maglev record
02/12/2003JPNYamanashi test line581 Maglev MLX-01Maglev record
31/01/2008USAHolloman AFB high speed test track106046589Unmanned rocket sledMach 8.656


Records Index
Outright Land Speed Record Two-Wheel Land Speed Record Outright Water Speed Record Outright Air Speed Record

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