China unveils "cutting-edge" superfast maglev train: UK media

LONDON, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) — China has unveiled the prototype of a domestically developed superfast maglev train whose designed speed can reach 385 mph (about 620 km per hour), boasting more than twice the speed of the Eurostar fleet, British media have reported.

The “cutting-edge train” could cover the distance between London and Paris in 47 minutes with its maximum speed, the Daily Mail newspaper has reported.

Dubbed as the “super bullet maglev train”, the model rolled off the production line and made its debut at a launch ceremony in southwest China’s city of Chengdu on Wednesday.

The Chinese developed train uses high-temperature superconducting (HTS) maglev technology which makes it the first of its kind in the world, the Daily Mail quoted Chinese experts from the Southwest Jiaotong University as saying.

The maglev train boasts a designed speed of 620 km per hour, according to Southwest Jiaotong University, one of the train’s designers.

“The aim is for the vehicle to be a next-generation magnetic levitation train that will be cheaper and much faster than current train options,” another British newspaper the Sun commented.

“The new maglev train in China relies on superconductor technology which could make it faster and lighter than its rivals,” the Sun reported, adding that “lighter train means the cost of building new lines, tunnels and bridges should also be reduced.”

China has been a world leader in the construction of high-speed railway. By the end of 2020, the country had 37,900 km of high-speed rail lines in service, the longest in the world, according to China’s railway operator.

Maglev trains, levitated from the tracks and propelled by powerful magnets to avoid wheel-rail friction, are designed to break the speed bottlenecks facing high-speed trains.

China’s first commercial maglev system was put into operation in 2003 in Shanghai. The 30 km stretch between downtown and the city’s Pudong airport is based on German maglev technology of “electromagnetic suspension” (EMS). 

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