China has a prototype maglev train which can go nearly twice as fast as regular high-speed trains. China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) built the prototype will be capable of speeds of up to 600 km/h and will be completed in 2020 and will have heavy testing in 2021.
China has a maglev on a short line in Shanghai from the airport to Pudong. It has a top speed of 430 kilometers per hour (267 miles per hour). Regular high-speed rail in China operates at 250–350 km/h (155–217 mph).
Passenger planes have a cruising speed of about 900 km/h so maglev’s at 600 km/h would have the similar trip times out to 2000 miles after factoring in the longer times to board and exit planes. Airports tend to be outside of cities while high-speed rail terminals are usually near downtown areas.
High-speed maglev at 400 mph (650 kph) would be far closer to the planned speed of hyperloop technology. The fastest planned Hyperloop’s would be in the 900-1000 kph speed range.
A big difference for deployment is that China has state support for tens of thousands of miles of high-speed rail network. China already has committed the land for long and straight lines which can accommodate high-speed rail. China can put even higher speed maglev lines alongside the existing high-speed rail. They clearly have the ability to complete massive construction projects.
Japan has plans to operate 500 km/h maglev trains by 2027.
Brian Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com, the top online science blog. He is also involved in angel investing and raising funds for breakthrough technology startup companies.
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