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China’s CRRC unveils first maglev train, capable of 373 mph

By | July 20, 2021

Top speed would make train the fastest ground transportation in world; no lines for it to operate currently exist

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Streamlined blue and silver train with long nose
Streamlined blue and silver train with long nose
China’s CRRC has unveiled its first maglev train, capable of a reported 373 mph. (CRRC)

QINGDAO, China — Rail manufacturer CRRC has built its first maglev train, capable of a top speed of 600 kilometers per hour (373 mph). The train was unveiled this morning in the coastal city of Qingdao.

Reuters reports the top speed would make the Chinese train the world’s fastest ground transportation, and could make possible a Beijing-Shanghai trip of 620 miles possible in 2½ hours — faster than airplane (3 hours) or high-speed rail (5.5 hours).  However, no long-distance rail lines currently exist for the train, which uses electro-magnetic force to allow the train to travel with no physical contact between the train and rail. Shanghai does have a short line operating between the city and an airport.

State-run news agency Xinhua reports a five-car train has been operating on a test track at CRRC’s factory, and quoted CRRC as saying the train “demonstrates that 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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “China’s CRRC unveils first maglev train, capable of 373 mph

  1. This is very interesting. I wonder how the costs compare with air and HSR options. I have read that maglev can have steeper grades than traditional HSR which might provide a cost advantage in mountainous regions. On the other hand, many HSR trains in the world travel part of their journey on conventional lines, which would not be possible with maglev.

  2. The economics of it don’t pencil out. Energy consumption accelerates enormously, the faster you go (with trains as with planes) and it just doesn’t make sense. So much research has been poured into Maglev for 50 years and it doesn’t exist anywhere because of this problem.

    SNCF has demonstrated that conventional HSR can approach this speed (357 mph on a specially prepared train and track) so why use HSR? But the problem is the same. Energy consumption is enormous and the speed increases don’t make up for it.

  3. I wouldn’t doubt this being built in the near future. Communist China has a robust transportation system and this would be another feather in the cap of the Communists.

  4. Don’t hold you breath. CRRC signed an agreement in 2017 to build 45 bi level cars for SEPTA. Even after asking for a six month delay to fix welds in the car shells. they have yet to even deliver the two prototypes.
    Maybe they can build in china; but, they apparently have a tough time meeting USA standards.

  5. Kinda reminds me of a modern restored steam locomotive in the US with nowhere to run except museum and shortline trackage.

    1. George you mean like all dressed up and no place to go. Maybe they can get a right of way on the west coast with all the fires there will be no forest left so a clean shot from Ca. to Canada.

  6. Isn’t there a short Maglev airport shuttle line in Shanghai ? – (not sure about that, but I recall that there is some sort of very high speed line there covering a short distance.)
    Maglev does not use RR track so they really aren’t the real rail trains that we like.

    1. Yes, there is. It goes from Longyang Road subway station to the airport, about 18 miles. Top speed is about 267 MPH.

  7. Maybe CRRC can market this to MBTA/MassDOT for the Red and Orange Line. They don’t seem to be having much luck with the cars from the Springfield plant /s

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