The first Chinese maglev railway, developed without help from foreign companies, will enter testing before the end of the year according to officials from Changsha city.
According to People’s Daily, the 18.5 kilometer track will link the city’s south railway station with Huanghua airport. Trains will run at a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour.
Work on the project began in May 2014, with Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. Ltd constructing the rolling stock for the railway. A total of 3.5 billion yuan ($565 million) has been spent so far.
Maglev, or magnetic levitation, works by using a series of magnets to both lift and propel the train along a guideway, thereby reducing friction and allowing for higher speeds.
The company said its maglev trains are safer, quieter, and have a smaller turning radius, making them more environmental friendly.
China is already host to the world’s first commercial maglev system, which operates along a 30 kilometer stretch of track between downtown Shanghai (well… not quite) and Pudong International Airport.
The project marks a significant step forward for China’s domestic rail industry, as unlike its counterpart in Shanghai which was built by a German consortium, the Changsha maglev has been developed entirely by home-grown companies.
[Image via People’s Daily]