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Chinese Researchers Use High-Temperature Superconductors in New Prototype for Maglev Train

Jan. 14 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Researchers at China’s Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu have presented a prototype for a maglev train, using high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, which they say could be made commercially available in six years, reported Xinhua. The researchers revealed their prototype at a test track in Chengdu on Jan. 13. The train is designed to travel at up to 620 kph, but researchers said they were working to stretch the speed to 800 kph. The Japanese are also working on a new generation of maglev using superconducting technology. The Japanese, however, are using liquid helium to achieve a low temperature for their maglev, while the Chinese will use liquid nitrogen, which is a much cheaper coolant. Involving an investment of 60 million yuan ($9.3 million), the HTS maglev project was jointly developed by Southwest Jiaotong University, China Railway Group Ltd. and CRRC Corporation Ltd.

Compared with other maglev technologies, high-temperature superconducting is more suitable to the concept of superfast transportation in vacuum tubes, in which, according to experts, trains could hit speeds over 1,000 kph. China is intent on using maglev technology for inter-city travel. The present maglev prototypes are scheduled for travel between Shenzhen and Guangdong, or between Shanghai and Hangzhou, and Hefei and Shanghai, which would decrease the travel time in the new city-clusters that are being envisaged as a part of the new Five-Year Plan.

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