China tests world's fastest new high-speed maglev train

The magnetic levitation transport system developed in China rolled off the assembly line on Tuesday in Qingdao, eastern Shandong province, where it was presented to the public. With a top speed of 600 kilometers per hour, the new high-speed train “maglev” (an acronym for magnetic levitation in English) could be the fastest land transport in the world and mark an international milestone.

The Maglev project was jointly developed by Southwest Jiaotong University, China Railway Group Limited y CRRC Corporation Limited.

The Maglev method is the fastest in terms of surface transport within the 1,500 kilometer range, according to a CRRC report. The travel from Shenzhen in southern China to Shanghai than the current high-speed train that connects those cities does in 10 hours it can be reduced to just 2.5 hours.

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It is the latest scientific and technological achievement of the country in the field of rail transit and could shorten the speed gap between the high-speed train and the plane. It will also allow the route between Beijing and Shanghai in approximately 3.5 hours, which is currently about 5.5 hours in high speed or almost 3 hours by plane.

How does the maglev train work?

The train with this technology glides without contact with the track thanks to the effect of the electromagnetic force, a modality that the Asian country has been testing for two decades on a limited scale. It should be noted that it does not constantly levitate, but only when it reaches sufficient speed (approximately from 100 km / h) and begins to produce enough energy to lift it.

China, a world power in trains

Japan currently holds the record for the speed of maglev-powered trains, with a mark of 603 kilometers per hour, recorded at the Yamanashi test line on April 21, 2015.

China’s foray into magnetic levitation technology began in October 2016, with a prototype vehicle successfully developed in 2019 and tested in June 2020. Shanghai, China’s financial center, is the only Chinese city to operates a commercial high-speed magnetic levitation line, with a maximum speed of 430 km per hour.

China has the largest high-speed rail network in the world, covering 95 percent of cities with a population of more than one million. The Asian powerhouse aims to build 200,000 kilometers of railways, 460,000 kilometers of roads and 25,000 kilometers of high-level seaways by 2035.

In world patents related to the maglev train, China ranks first in terms of cumulative number of patent applications by 2021, at 43.52 percent. This is significantly higher than the 20.57 percent of Japan that ranked second, according to the report published in the Global Times.

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