Developed by the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) in Qingdao, this one car prototype is the state-owned transportation giant’s latest step toward making a viable maglev train that can reach a maximum speed of 600 kph.
For comparison, China’s fastest conventional bullet trains at the moment have a top operational speed of 400 kph while the Shanghai Maglev whisks travelers to the Pudong Airport at speeds of up to 431 kph. The typical cruising speed of a passenger plane is around 880 to 926 kph.
While 600 kph might seem like an absurd goal, in fact, we already know that maglev trains are capable of reaching such speeds. In April 2015, Japan broke its own speed record with a maglev that topped out at 603 kph. However, commercial operation for such trains is still a long way away with concerns about the infrastructure cost of building lengthy maglev tracks, not to mention safety issues.
Ding Sansan, deputy chief engineer at CRRC, isn’t letting the naysayers get to him though, proudly touting how this new breed of maglev could transport people from Beijing to Shanghai in record time.
The prototype is the result of work and research that began back in 2016. If all goes according to plan, full 600 kph maglev trains will be tested and rolling off the production line by 2021. And, if that happens, expect to see many more an astonished laowai.
[Images via Xinhua]