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China Unveils World’s Fastest 600kph Maglev Train
A high-speed maglev train, capable of a top speed of 600 kph, in Qingdao, Shandong province, China. Photo: China Out

• ‘Levitating’ loco would take just 2.5 hours to travel from Beijing to Shanghai

• Chengdu also reported to be looking at developing maglev line

 

China has unveiled a maglev train capable of speeds of up to 600kph, according to its state media on Tuesday. 

The maximum speed would make the train, self-developed by China and manufactured in the coastal city of Qingdao, the fastest ground vehicle on the planet. 

Using electro-magnetic force, the maglev train “levitates” above the track with no contact between body and rail. 

 

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China has been using the technology for almost two decades on a very limited scale. Shanghai has a short maglev line running from one of its airports to town.

While there are no inter-city or inter-province maglev lines yet in China that could make good use of the higher speeds, some cities, including Shanghai and Chengdu, have started to look into their options. 

At 600 kph, it would only take 2.5 hours to travel from Beijing to Shanghai by train – a journey of more than 1,000 km (620 miles). 

 

HIGH COSTS

By comparison, the journey would take 3 hours by plane and 5.5 hours by high-speed rail. 

Countries from Japan to Germany are also looking to build maglev networks, although high costs and incompatibility with current track infrastructure remain hurdles to rapid development. 

 

  • Reporting by Reuters

 

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