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China’s Railway Rolling Stock Corp. Tests ‘Faster than Flying’ Maglev Prototype

May 29, 2019 (EIRNS)—Global Construction Review on May 28 reported big news on magnetic-levitation rail from China. “Work has been completed in the Chinese city of Qingdao on the body of a prototype maglev train [five carriages] that can reach speeds of 600 kmh, the Xinhua news agency reported last week. The project is being carried out by China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), the world’s largest supplier of rail equipment, which hopes to begin serial production of the unit some time in 2021,” Global Construction Review wrote.

The prototype is testing train technology and systems. “So far, it has achieved static levitation. Ding Sansan, CRRC’s deputy chief engineer and head of the maglev R&D team, said: ‘Take Beijing to Shanghai as an example. Counting preparation time for the journey, it takes about 4.5 hours by plane, about 5.5 hours by high-speed rail, but would only take about 3.5 hours by maglev.’ ”

“Faster than flying”—up to the threshold of international trips—was maglev’s original promise in the mind of its first inventor, American physicist James R. Powell. Should this prototype, constructed with new stronger and lighter metal composites, go into operation in two years, that promise would start to be fulfilled.

CRRC is also developing a new low-speed maglev, reports Global Construction Review, with a 160 kmh top speed, for short-distance and commuter travel.

Xinhua reported today that China’s first medium- and low-speed maglev commercial operation line has reached a total mileage of 2.735 million kilometers and carried approximately 9.1654 million passengers since its opening three years ago in Hunan province, connecting the 18.55 km between Changshanan Railway Station and Changsha Huanghua International Airport. It is designed to run at 100 kmh.

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