A research team in China has successfully tested a new high-speed train called the super-maglev, which could potentially travel up to 3,000 kilometres (1,800 miles) per hour, according to its developers.
Gizmodo gives the run-down on the madness:
The concept, put forth by the Applied Superconductivity Laboratory of Southwest Jiaotong University, uses the same technique proposed for Elon Musk’s Hyperloop: run the train inside a vacuum tube, removing air resistance and enabling super high speeds uninhibited by wind resistance. Research shows that, for vehicles traveling faster than 250 MPH, up to 83 percent of the energy used goes toward fighting aerodynamic resistance.
But with a (highly theoretical) top speed of 1,800 MPH, super-maglev would blow the doors off of Musk’s 300 MPH trains. That’s because the train inside the Evacuated Tube Transport loop only encounters one tenth of the air resistance of the outside environment.
The head of the project, Dr. Deng Zigang, believes that the technology could pave the way for a new wave of high-speed trains, although he admits that this vision is far-off and needs much further development, according his correspondence with The Daily Mail.
His test vehicle is currently running inside a six-meter-diameter vacuum loop, which limits it to a humble maximum speed of 50 kilometres (30 miles) per hour.
“At this moment, we are conducting evacuation tests on the new system. We will release our achievements after the successful running in the near future,” he told MailOnline.
For now, we still have the world’s fastest passenger-carrying train, the Shanghai Maglev Train, which can reach speeds of 431 kilometers (268 miles) per hour.
[Image via Maglev.net]