China has unveiled a prototype maglev train with a top speed of 373 mph (600 km/h). CNN reported that the train was developed by the state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC). The train will undergo a period of further testing before scheduled production in 2021.
The commercial maglev train will carry passengers between Shanghai and Beijing. This journey takes approximately 12 hours by car, 4.5 hours by plane, or 5.5 hours with high-speed rail – but with the new train will take only 3.5 hours, CRRC’s deputy chief engineer Ding Sansan told CNN.
How can the train go so fast?! Essentially, it floats. Strong magnetic repulsion can both lift the train off of the ground and propel it forward with minimal friction in contrast to traditional trains using wheels on a track. It’s also important that the train body is designed to be lightweight and high strength.
China already has a commercial maglev train in operation which can hit speeds of 267 mph (431 km/h) between the Shanghai airport and city center. And with this new train, China still won’t have the world’s fastest maglev train – that record is held by Japan’s magnetic levitation bullet train which has hit speeds of 603 kilometers per hour (375 mph). China is racing to catch up, and now with CRRC’s construction of an experimental center devoted to research and development of high-speed maglev trials and production, it looks like that is getting closer and closer.
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