China launches maglev train with a top speed of 600 kmph
China has launched a maglev train which is capable of attaining a top speed of 600 kmph. The maximum speed would make the train, the fastest ground vehicle globally, self-developed by China and manufactured in the coastal city of Qingdao.
The maglev train levitates above the track with no contact between body and rail using electromagnetic force.
China has been utilising the technology for almost two decades on a minimal scale. Running from one of its airports to town, Shanghai has a short maglev line.
Some cities, including Chengdu and Shanghai, have begun to conduct research while there are no inter-city or inter-province maglev lines yet in China that could make good use of the higher speeds.
It would only take 2.5 hours to travel from Beijing to Shanghai, a journey of more than 1,000 km, by train at 600 kmph.
The journey would take 5.5 hours by high-speed rail and three hours by plane by comparison.
Although high costs and incompatibility with current track infrastructure remain hurdles to rapid development, countries from Japan to Germany are also looking to build maglev networks.