This ultra high-speed maglev train will top 621 mph

The experimental project will be built in China's Heilongjiang province.
Jijo Malayil
Clean energy with Hyperloop innovation
Clean energy with Hyperloop innovation


In transportation, the possibilities seem limitless as technology continually pushes boundaries. An experimental ultra-high-speed maglev train with a cruising speed of over 621 mph (1,000 km/h) is being readied in China. 

The pace is significant as it is twice as quick as the fastest train in service, the Shanghai Maglev, which clocks a top speed of 286 mph (460 km/h). The new project will be tested in Harbin, the capital city of the country's Northeast Heilongjiang province.

World Artery, a Chinese firm involved in the realizing the mission, told Global Times that the experimental project would also boost local tourism in the province.

Uses magnetic levitation technology in a vacuum tube

Ultra-high-speed trains operate 'Maglev', short for magnetic levitation, which allows trains to hover and move at extraordinary speeds, propelled by powerful magnetic fields. Unlike traditional trains that rely on friction-based wheels, maglev trains float above the tracks, eliminating friction. Only China, Japan, and Korea have such trains in service.

The new project uses the technology in a low-vacuum transportation tube, which becomes the most crucial part of the program, enabling the train to gain high speeds at comparatively moderate costs and without compromising safety.

President of World Artery, Zheng Bin, told Global Times that "construction of the trial route will be a breakthrough in the field, which is also a great leap in technology in translating the concept into reality."

Challenges in sustaining such high-speeds

Speeds exceeding 621 mph (1,000 km/h) will bring problems, which can question the passengers' and infrastructure's safety. Challenges like maintaining the low vacuum conditions of the tube and passengers having to deal with such high speeds and strong accelerations will have to be addressed. 

Furthermore, the cost associated with developing and implementing maglev train systems will also have to be considered. The construction of maglev tracks, stations, and related infrastructure requires significant investment. 

According to Global Times, the low-vacuum tube and the concerning manufacturing plants will be built in partnership between World Artery and the Harbin Industrial Investment Group Co, for which an agreement has also already been reached. The former will take care of construction technology, related patents, and other inputs, while the latter being responsible for construction registration of the program and provide services, including attracting investment and conducting policy consultancy.

If the technology becomes viable for commercial use, this rapid transit system will potentially transform long-distance travel, shrinking distances and bringing regions closer like never before.

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