China tests new generation of faster, bigger maglev

Published: January 27, 2019 14:20:42 | Updated: January 29, 2019 11:38:20

A maglev train leaves Shanghai's Pudong International Airport. The 30.5km line, opened in 2002, is the world's first commercial high-speed maglev. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

China's major train maker on Saturday tested a new generation of maglev train with a designed speed of 160 km per hour, about 60 per cent faster than the current model, in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province.

Maglev is a system of train transportation that uses two sets of magnets, one set to repel and push the train up off the track, then another set to move the 'floating train' ahead at great speed taking advantage of the lack of friction.

The new model has a 30-per cent increase in traction efficiency and can carry six more tonnes in weight compared with the previous generation, according to Tong Laisheng, head of the maglev research institute of the CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co. Ltd, the developer.

It can carry up to 500 passengers with three carriages, reports Xinhua quoting Tong.

China's first medium-low-speed maglev rail line was put into commercial operation in May 2016 in Changsha.

The new model is expected to lay a technical foundation for introducing medium-speed maglev train systems in the future, Tong said. CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive is also developing a more advanced maglev model with a top speed of 200 km per hour.

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