Maglev train: China debuts prototype that can hit speeds of 620 kilometers per hour
The train runs on high-temperature superconducting (HTS) power that makes it look as if the train is floating along the magnetized tracks.
Professor He Chuan (vice president of Southwest Jiaotong University, which worked on the prototype) told reporters that the train could be “operational” within 3-10 years.
He added: “Sichuan has rich rare earth resources, which is very beneficial to our construction of permanent magnet tracks, thus promoting the faster development of experiments.”
One possible interior for the new Maglev train.
Liu Kun/Xinhua/Sipa USA
China is home to the world’s largest high-speed rail network, which stretches over 37,000 kilometers, and the fastest commercially operating train — the Shanghai maglev.
The country’s first high-speed Maglev train, it began operating in 2003. Running at a top speed of 431 kph, the train links Shanghai Pudong Airport and Longyang Road in the eastern side of Shanghai.
China has been eager to make further infrastructure improvements ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will take place in Beijing.
This time last year, China unveiled a new 174-kilometer high-speed railway line connecting Beijing with 2022 Winter Olympics host city Zhangjiakou, cutting the travel time between the two from three hours to 47 minutes.
CNN’s Shanshan Wang contributed reporting.