China has debuted a high-speed ‘floating’ Maglev train model that travels at 620 km/h. Powered by a high-temperature superconductor, the train looks as though it’s floating while traveling through magnetic tracks.
The train prototype, which is 21-meter long, was revealed to the media in the City of Chengdu, China, on the 13th of January, 2021. To verify how the train would look and feel in transit, University researchers created 165 meters of track.
At the launch ceremony, the train was observed to be floating slowly along the track as though it was on the water. Experts commended the work of HTS technology emerging from laboratory tests in China.
One of the researchers, who is also the vice president of Southwest Jiantong University, told reporters that the train could function fully and effectively within three to ten years. He further said that Sinchuan has rare earth resources, which is an advantage to the construction of permanent magnetic tracks. And this will help to promote the faster development of experiments.
It should be recalled that China has the world’s largest high-speed rail network, which reaches over 37,000 kilometers. It also has the Shanghai maglev, which is the fastest commercially operating train.
‘Floating’ Maglev train in China is first high-speed train, began operations in 2013 with a speed of 431 kilometers per hour. The train connects the Longyang Road and Shangai Pudong Airport in the Eastern part of Shangai.
Preparations have been on-going in China to make improvements in their infrastructure as soon as possible. The infrastructures are being developed to prepare before the commencement of the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will take place in Beijing.
Initially, it takes two to three hours to reach Zhangjiakou, the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics, from Beijing. But after China launched a new 174- kilometer high-speed train, the travel time reduced drastically to 47 minutes.
Recently, the country unveiled its CR400AF-G bullet train, which was designed to resist freezing temperatures. Besides, the train can travel at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour, even if the weather is -40 degrees Celsius. The CR400AF-G train runs on routes between Shenyang, Harbin, and Beijing, even though Harbin hosts an annual snow and ice festival due to its cold weather.
China has been a world leader when it comes to the construction of a high-speed railway. The country had 37,900 kilometers of high-speed rail lines in service by the end of 2020, according to China’s railway operator.
‘Floating’ Maglev trains in China, which are propelled by powerful magnets to avoid rail friction, are designed to break speed restrictions facing high-speed trains.
According to experts, Maglev technologies, HTS tech has a prospect of superfast transportation in vacuum tubes, where trains could travel at over 1000 kilometers per hour.
A senior engineer with the Southwest Jiaotong University, Wu Zili, said the cost of the HTS maglev system is estimated to be more expensive than the high-speed rail. But with time, the cost could reduce if there’s mass production of the main components.