New 372-Mph Maglev Train Rolls Off the Assembly Line in China
China's new ultra-high-speed maglev train rolled off the assembly line on Tuesday, July 20, a report by Chinese news agency Xinhua explains.
The train is designed to hit top speeds of 372 mph (600 km/h), making it the fastest ground vehicle today.
That doesn't mean it's the fastest land vehicle to have ever existed. As a point of reference, the land speed record for a supersonic car is held by Thrust SSC, at 763.035 mph (1,277.985 km/h), which is the predecessor to Bloodhound's supersonic car.
HyperloopTT also recently announced that its HyperPort will eventually carry cargo at "airplane speeds" of 372 mph (600 km/h).
According to the High Speed Rail Alliance, the record for the world's fastest operational train is held by the French TGV at 357.2 mph (574.8 km/h).
Ground transport is bridging the gap with airplane speeds
With hyperloop technologies still in the testing phase, maglev trains currently set the operational standard for high-speed grounded public transport. In China and Japan, the fastest maglev trains currently carry passengers at 268 miles per hour (431 km/h).
As rail is also a greener mode of transport than cargo shipping and airplanes — carbon emissions from a mile of railway transport are 80 percent lower than those of the same distance traveled by car — many are predicting a resurgence in rail amid new regulations to tackle climate change.
The new maglev train in China was rolled off the production line in the city of Qingdao, in China's eastern Shandong Province. Traveling at 372 mph, it would only take 2.5 hours to travel the 620 miles (997 km) from Beijing to Shanghai with the new train. As Reuters points out, that's faster than the 3 hours it would take by plane.
The train was fully developed in China, and the country's state media says it is one more example of the high-speed technological advancement being delivered in the region.
A video shared by Touch Shandong (below) shows the futuristic-looking maglev train coming off the assembly line.
"For me, this is the one thing that needs to be done for humans to go to Mars," Franklin Chang-Díaz told Interesting Engineering in an interview.