China Starts Building Double Speed Maglev Test Track

China is building new faster prototype maglev train line. China existing high-speed trains are almost all faster versions of conventional steel wheels on steel rail trains. China only has one 19-mile long high-speed maglev train line from Pudong to the Shanghai International Airport.

China has the longest network of conventional high-speed rail in the world. They have 29,000 kilometers of high speed rail.

China has completed a feasibility study for a new network of double to triple speed maglev from Guangzhou to Beijing on which trains could travel at between 600km/h and 1,000km/h. The higher speed would require building a lower pressure tube (partially evacuated of air) to enable higher speed.

A 600km/h maglev train prototype will be ready for trial runs in 2020. Hubei will start work on a 200-km section made of vacuum tubes to conduct experiments to verify the cutting-edge, high-temperature superconducting maglev theory and ultimately push the speed limit to 1,000km/h.

In May, 2019, China revealed the body of the new maglev train. The construction of a train body with ultra-lightweight, high-strength materials was a challenge, Ding said. Complex physical problems created by high speeds also needed to be solved in new ways if the Qingdao prototype was to reach peak performance.

The faster maglev would eliminate the advantages jet passenger planes had over a distance of 1,500km (900 miles).

Traveling from Beijing-to-Shanghai takes about four-and-a-half hours by including preparation time for the journey. It takes about five-and-a-half hours by China’s existing high-speed rail. It would take about three-and-a-half hours by 600kph maglev. It would take 2 hours with 1000 km/hr maglev with partial vacuum tube.

China might build a lot more maglev lines in the next one to two decades between the affluent Yangtze River Delta (Shanghai area) and the Pearl River Delta (Hong Kong-Guangzhou area). Business travelers may choose to hop on maglev trains instead of planes if they can travel from one major city to another within an hour.

More maglevs would join the development project in the coming months, the team leader was quoted as saying, while mass production of the technology was likely by 2021.

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