Wonderful Engineering

New Chinese Magnetic Levitation Train Is Breaking Speed Records

A bullet train that is being developed in China floats above the tracks. Wait, how can a train float? We understand the confusion and have a perfectly justified logical explanation; it makes use of magnetic levitation. The Chinese bullet train could soon be achieving a speed of 373 mph, thus becoming a faster means of travel as opposed to traveling by plane.

Recently a prototype body of the vehicle was unveiled in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao. The bullet magnetic levitation train has been in the news every now and then on account of the claims that were made regarding it and the promise it holds for our future and how it will transform traveling. However, with each day, we are moving closer to a future where this particular train would become a reality.

The magnetic levitation train has been designed by China’s China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation. It is scheduled to enter production two years from now, in 2021. China is not going to be using the maglev – magnetic levitation – trains for the first time, though. It has been using maglev trains ever since 2003. These magnetic levitation trains make use of magnetic repulsion for lifting themselves up off the ground and then using the same principle, propel themselves forward as well.

What makes this particular technology so amazing? This technology is capable of reducing friction with the tracks and thus makes it possible for the trains to travel at speeds that have been unheard of as of yet. Deputy Chief Engineer of CRRC, Ding Sansan, said, ‘Take Beijing to Shanghai as an example — counting preparation time for the journey, it takes about 4.5 hours by plane, about 5.5 hours by high-speed rail, and about 3.5 hours with high-speed maglev.’ An experimental track is slated to be created by CRRC Qingdao Sifand so that the maglev train could be tested.