The 700 series Nozomi Shinkansen has a duck-like appearance to reduce drag at high speeds

If getting there is half the fun, these three futuristic high-speed trains will whisk you to your destination in maximum style and a big ole’ smile on your face.

You’ve probably heard of the first two. Doubtful  for the third. Yet there’s good reason to believe that high-speed rail is catching on in Asia and even here in North America as gas becomes so stupidly expensive. The Acela is presently the only high speed train on this continent, serving passengers along the eastern seaboard. And though it’s very likely that high speed rail will eventually make inroads in Canada and the United States, you haven’t really lived until you’ve ridden these three high trains you’ve gotta do at least once in your life:

1) The Skinkansen – The Bullet Train of Japan is the original bad boy of high speed trains. While it’s no longer the only kid on this block, it’s still the original, the most cutting edge and, in this guy’s humble opinion, the best. Plus it looks like a duck. Quack Quack.

2) The TGV – The French have a strange infatuation with the fastest and the coolest, and to see this, look no further than the TGV, planned and developed at the same time as the ill-fated but very impressive concorde. The TGV held the record as the fastest train on earth for many years until being gobsmacked by a 500 mile per hour Chinese rocket on rails in 2009. Still, a must-do when you’re in Europe.

3) The Shanghai Maglev Train – Clocking in just shy under 300 miles per hour, the Shanghai Maglev Train will whisk you from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to the city centre of Pudong in less than 8 minutes. And unlike its more famous high speed cousins, the train doesn’t even ride on rails. Magnetic levitation spurs the train forward at stupidly high speeds. They’re so high, in fact, that at the present time this is the fastest train on Earth.

A little history of high speed rail for nerds like myself. Thank you Modern Marvels.