China’s new high-speed maglev train rolled off the production line on Tuesday. It has a designed top speed of 620 km per hour — currently the fastest ground vehicle available globally.
The new maglev transportation system made its public debut in the coastal city of Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province.
It has been self-developed by China, marking the country’s latest scientific and technological achievement in the field of rail transit, according to the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation.
The maglev train project began in October 2016. A prototype of the train was manufactured in Qingdao and testing started in Shanghai in June last year.
Maglev trains generate less noise due to the absence of wheel-rail friction. Besides, their minimum turning radius is only half that of a subway, allowing it to better bypass buildings in route planning.
China has been a world leader in the construction of high-speed railways. 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).