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Test Train Sets Speed Record; New Model Breaks Down with VIP Aboard

December 9, 1993

TOKYO (AP) _ Japan’s vaunted ″bullet″ trains had a day of both triumph and embarrassment Thursday.

Officials reported a Japanese rail speed record of 252 mph by an experimental version, while one of the fastest trains in regular service broke down with China’s railway minister aboard.

A six-car ″Star-21″ train, in tests Wednesday night, bettered the record of 244 mph set two days earlier, East Japan Railway Co. said Thursday.

The speed was still well below the world record of 322 mph set by the TGV in France in May 1990 and the 254 mph record set in Germany in May 1989, both on test trains, said Mitsuyuki Takano of East Japan Railway.

One of the high-speed versions broke down for about three hours Thursday near Nagoya, central Japan, stranding 900 passengers, including Chinese Railway Minister Han Zhubin, said Takahiro Shirai of Central Japan Railways Co.

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