New Speed Record for China’s Maglev Train

Photo by Ryunosuke Ide on Unsplash

The Chinese T-Flight vacuum-tube maglev train from China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) achieved the fastest speed for a superconducting maglev vehicle by exceeding its own previous record of 623 kph (387 mph). Furthermore, the target speed is set to reach at least 1,000 kph (621 mph). The exact speed reached on the latest test is still not disclosed. The train uses maglev technology, which as a result of magnetic forces, the train levitates above the tracks and therefore eliminates rolling resistance.

For testing purposes, CASIC built a 2 km (1.2 miles) test section of a low-vacuum tube in Yanggao County, Datong, Shanxi province. The next phase would include an expansion of the track to 60 km (37 miles) in order to test the train at the target speed of 1,000 kph (621 mph), which is significantly faster than aircraft. As an example, the distance for a connection between Datong and Beijing of 346 km (215 miles) would be covered in less than half an hour using the hyperloop ride in comparison to the over four-hour drive.

Mao Kai, the project’s chief designer, said “Science and technology progress step by step and some aspects of this project are still in uncharted territory in China. Every step is challenging, and it’s a complex system,

Previously, the record for the fastest hyperloop speed was 463 kph (288 mph) achieved by the Technical University of Munich in 2019. However, although the efficiency is maximized in such vacuum-tube systems, building the required infrastructure would be extremely expensive, as the air would be constantly sucked by vacuum pumps.

CASIC is a state-owned company that designs, develops, and manufactures launch vehicles, spacecraft, missiles, and satellites. Headquartered in Haidian District, Beijing, China, the company was founded in 1999.

Ashton Henning

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