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Ultra High-Speed Maglev Train Expected to Hit 620 mph

An experimental ultra-high-speed maglev train with a cruising speed of over 620 mph (1,000 km/h) is being readied in China.


The Shanghai Maglev
The Shanghai Maglev | Wikipedia

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. The pace is also significant because, if achieved, it will be faster than a commercial airline can fly.


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 concept plan of the experimental ultrahigh-speed maglev train
The concept plan of the experimental ultrahigh-speed maglev train | World Artery

The new project uses the technology in a low-vacuum transportation tube (which the Shanghai maglev does not have), 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, a Chinese firm involved in the realizing the mission, 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."


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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