China unveils its fastest train, capable of reaching speeds of up to 600kph

The train will be able to take passengers from Beijing to Shanghai in three and a half hours

A high-speed maglev train, capable of a top speed of 600kph, pictured in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China, July 20, 2021. Reuters
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China has revealed its newest magnetic levitation train, which is capable of speeding across the tracks at up to 600 kilometres per hour.

Unveiled on the coast of Qingdao City, in China’s Shandong Province on Tuesday, the 'maglev' train uses magnetic levitation to remove friction with the rails, allowing the vehicle to reach high speeds.

The tracks that the train will run on are yet to be built. However, developers said passengers will be able to go from Beijing to Shanghai aboard the train in only three and a half hours.

Currently, rail travel between two of China’s most populous cities takes a minimum of four hours and 18 minutes, plus waiting time, aboard the Shanghai Maglev, the current fastest train in the world, which can get up to speeds of 430kph.

The new maglev train will be able to travel with anywhere from two to 10 carriages, each holding more than 100 passengers, said Ding Sansan, chief engineer of the project.

It is is being proposed as an alternative solution to air travel for trips spanning distances of up to 1,500 kilometres.

Developed by state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation, the train, the company says, will be the fastest in the world. However, this could be a close call, as Central Japan Railway previously unveiled a Japanese maglev train designed to reach top speeds of 603kph.

Xinhua, the official news agency in China, reported that CRRC said the unveiling of the train shows “the country has mastered a complete set of high-speed maglev train engineering technologies, including system integration, vehicle production, traction power supply, rail trails, and transport control and communication".

Work on the project has been ongoing since October 2016, when plans were launched for the train's development. A successful test run was completed in June last year.

Test lines inside CRRC's factory have been supporting a five-carriage version of the vehicle, Xinhua reported.

Further plans on when and how people will be able to travel on the high-speed train have yet to be revealed.

Updated: July 21, 2021, 3:15 PM