A planned maglev line in Beijing has now begun “comprehensive testing” with plans of making its first trial run later this year. Will the wonders of public transportation in China never cease?
The overhead maglev line, named S1, floats about 1 centimeter above the rails using magnetic levitation technology, reducing friction and making for a faster and smoother ride. It’s China’s second domestically-developed maglev, as well as the country’s first homegrown automated subway system on the mainland.
The maglev line will stretch for 10 kilometers and make eight stops out in the western suburbs of Beijing in Shijingshan and Mentougou districts where there currently isn’t a metro operating. It will also link up with Beijing Metro’s Line 1, allowing people living downtown to make easy trips to tourist spots in the west.
China is already home to two maglev lines. One that connects the Pudong International Airport with downtown Shanghai — the fastest commercial train in the word with a top operational speed of 431 km/h. And another that zips passengers in Changsha from the city’s south railway station to the airport at a not terribly impressive top speed of 100 km/h. This new Beijing line will also run at a leisurely 100 km/h.
Further off in the future, China has announced plans to develop the fastest maglev trains known to man. Trains that can reach 600 km/h and make the trip from Shanghai to Beijing in two hours. Developers hope to have one ready by 2021.
[Images via Raillynews / China Daily]
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