Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


China Is Moving Into the ‘Post-High-Speed Rail Age’ with Maglev Train Development

Jan. 27, 2018 (EIRNS)—An entire generation of medium- to low-speed maglev trains that can run at a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour (100 mph), is being developed in China, with plans to operate 5 to 12 magnetic levitation rail lines in cities including Chengdu, Wuhan, and Guangzhou by 2020. Altogether 12 Chinese cities, including Tianjin, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen, are planning to launch maglev services by 2020, especially between their city center and airports, the city and suburban areas, and the city and surrounding counties.

Sun Bangcheng, Deputy Director of CRRC Industrial Research Institute, explained that this project is one of 18 national key research and development plans set by the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2016, researching both high-speed passenger and freight trains. The project will be completed by 2021 at a total investment of over 9 billion yuan ($580 million). The project includes six types of trains—three for freight, one high-speed passenger train, and two types of maglev trains. Freight trains with speeds of 250 kmh (155 mph) can transport seafood from Haikou in South China’s Hainan Province to Beijing in north China in one day, according to a project officer at China’s rail transportation powerhouse, CRRC.

Research into maglev includes a train that can reach 600 kmh (372 mph) and another that travels at 200 kmh (125 mph). Research is to prepare for “the post-high-speed rail age” in technology, said Sun. The cost of a 600 kmh maglev train is almost the same as a 400 kmh (250 mph) version. The first Chinese-made high-speed maglev train will roll off the operation line in 2018, the report said. Design and construction will begin immediately. A sample carriage will be built in 2018, and a complete train will be ready for a 5-km test run in 2020, said Ding Sansan, Deputy Chief Engineer of CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co.

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