China has recently unveiled a prototype for a new high-speed ‘floating’ maglev train that is capable of hitting speeds of 620 kilometers per hour.
The magnetic levitation train, created by scientists at Southwest Jiaotong University, has no wheels. The Independent reported that the train has been developed with high-temperature superconducting (HTS) technology, which uses magnets that allow it to ‘hover’ above the track.
These properties make it look like the train in China is floating along the magnetized tracks and allows for faster, frictionless travel.
Superfast! A domestically developed maglev train prototype has been unveiled in Chengdu, China. The superconductor technology the train employs could make it faster and lighter than its peers pic.twitter.com/51waWPX66E
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 16, 2021
At the launch of the 69-foot prototype in Chengdu, the train was seen floating slowly along the track.
“The superconductor technology the train employs could make it faster and lighter than its peers,” state-run Xinhua News said in a tweet while sharing footage of the prototype.
As per CGTN, the debut of the ‘floating’ train has been hailed as a “zero to one” breakthrough in the country’s development of HTS technology.
#China unveils 'super bullet #maglev #train' that can travel at 385mph (the equivalent of London to Paris in 47 minutes)
A prototype of the cutting-edge train debuted in Chengdu on Wednesday
Engineers expect its top speed to be 385mph, but trials are yet to be done pic.twitter.com/om72Ba3MMW
— Hans Solo (@thandojo) January 15, 2021
Although the train has been unveiled already, it could take quite some time before it is operational. Researchers say that they are hoping it would become fully operational in the next three to 10 years.
The new maglev train, designed to travel at 620 kmph, is part of China’s plan to create faster links between its cities. The speed could reduce the travel time between London and Paris to a mere 47 minutes.
Researchers are already working to stretch that speed to 800 kmph.