Chinese high-speed trains currently have a top operating speed of 350 km/h, while the cruising velocity of commercial aircraft is about 900 km/h. 600 km/h maglev trains could bridge the speed gap between aviation and high-speed railways.
The world’s first commercial maglev line, capable of speeds reaching 430 km/h, was launched in Shanghai in 2002. It uses German technology, connecting a subway station with Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
In 2021, Qingdao Sifang Co Ltd, a Shandong province-based subsidiary of CRRC, rolled out a high-speed maglev train with a designed top speed of 600 km/h. According to the CRRC’s press office in Beijing, the government has been asked to authorize operational performance tests at speeds below 500 km/h be conducted during night-time operations at a high-speed maglev line in Shanghai.
A Japanese maglev train reached 603km/h on an experimental track in Yamanashi prefecture in 2015, and Japan plans to put maglev trains running at a maximum speed of 505 km/h into operation on the Chuo Shinkansen, a new rail line connecting Tokyo and Nagoya, in 2027,
China and Japan have been competing fiercely for train orders and railway-related projects in markets like India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia over the past several years.
A 600-kilometer-per-hour magnetic levitation train rolls off a production line in Qingdao, Shandong province. ZHANG JINGANG/FOR CHINA DAILY