SOURCE / ECONOMY
Construction of 1,000 km/h high-speed maglev railway project starts in North China’s Shanxi
Published: May 26, 2021 11:48 AM
People visit a prototype of a domestically developed superconducting maglev train that rolled off the production line on Wednesday in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province. The train, dubbed the

People visit a prototype of a domestically developed superconducting maglev train that rolled off the production line on Wednesday in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province. The train, dubbed the "super bullet maglev train," allegedly has a maximum speed of 620 kilometers per hour. Photo: VCG



China's pursuit of high-speed maglev trains has taken a further step with the start of construction of a test line that can handle speeds of up to 1,000 kilometers per hour in North China's Shanxi Province. 

This was the latest step by China following the commissioning of maglev trains that run at up to 620 kilometers per hour earlier this year, while other nations such as Japan and US are also ramping up efforts on the research and development (R&D) and trials of vacuum maglev trains. 

The high-speed maglev railway, undertaken by North University of China and the Third Research Institute at China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, leverages low vacuum and magnetic suspension processes. 

These technologies mean trains will have the potential to travel far faster than the current 350 kilometers per hour high-speed trains, Chinese media reported, citing Ma Tiehua, dean of North Central University's School of Electrical and Control Engineering.

Ma predicted that the speed of this futuristic transport mode is likely to exceed 1,000 kph, and reach three or four times that level in the future.

Like something out of science fiction, US-based Virgin Hyperloop conducted a test of its ultra-fast transportation system with human passengers last year. 

The company was founded in 2014 on the premise of making Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's vision of an ultrafast transportation system of magnetically levitating pods traveling through nearly airless tubes a reality.

While multiple companies and institutes are working on the niche transport design, some academics have different ideas. 

This technology can be used for experiments but it is unlikely to be adopted for commercial and engineering projects, Zhao Jian, a professor with Beijing Jiaotong University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

In addition, safety is the key issue for mass transportation, so it's unclear how a person can operate vehicles with such high speeds under a close-to-vacuum state, a Shanghai-based industry observer told the Global Times. 

The "super bullet maglev train" with a maximum speed of 620 kilometers per hour, is designated to fill the speed gap between the current high-speed railway trains and airplanes that fly at 800 kilometers per hour. 


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