Beijing: China has unveiled what it hopes will be the world’s fastest train, capable of reaching speeds of more than 370 miles per hour.
The new train, developed by China and manufactured in the coastal city of Qingdao, uses maglev technology to travel at such high speeds.
Using electro-magnetic force, the maglev train “levitates” above the track with no contact between body and rail.
China has been using the technology on a small scale for nearly two decades. Shanghai has a short maglev line that connects one of its airports to the city centre.
The debut of the superfast train could reduce travel time from Beijing to Shanghai to only 2.5 hours. That’s a 754-mile distance and a 4.5-hour train ride on one of China’s bullet trains.
The blue and black locomotive left the Qingdao manufacturing facility of the state-owned CRRC Qingdao Sifang, China’s official train builder, today.
‘Welcome to the high-speed maglev train that travels at 600kph,’ read a digital screen inside the train, according to Xinhua news agency video.
According to Liang Jianying, CRRC Qingdao Sifang’s deputy general manager and chief engineer, the train will be operational in five to ten years.
According to Ding Sansan, the project’s chief engineer, the locomotive can travel with two to ten carriages, each holding more than 100 passengers.
Train technology has advanced dramatically in recent years, with Japan developing a bullet train capable of reaching 249 mph.
Countries ranging from Japan to Germany are interested in constructing maglev networks, though high costs and incompatibility with existing track infrastructure remain barriers to rapid development.
China’s newest train is expected to be commercially available within the next decade.