‘World’s first’ high temperature maglev train

By Leila Steed18 January 2021

A design graphic of Southwest Jiaotong University's 21-metre-long prototype The 21-metre-long prototype was launched at a ceremony in the city of Chengdu, China. ©Southwest Jiaotong University

Southwest Jiaotong University (SJU) in China has unveiled the ‘world’s first’ high-temperature superconducting (HTS) maglev train, which has been designed to reach speeds of up to 620km an hour.

According to reports from Chinese news site Xinhua, the 21-metre-long prototype was launched at a ceremony in Chengdu, Western China, where it was seen floating slowly along a 165-metre test track.

Deng Zigang, deputy director of Southwest Jiaotong University’s research center for super-high-speed maglev transport, said, “The HTS technology can make the train float without electricity, and it can be moved with just one hand.”

The prototype, which was cost an estimated US$9.3 million (60 million yuan), was developed in partnership with China Railway Group and CRRC Corporation.

Inside the HTS maglev prototype. ©Soutwest Jiaontong University Inside the HTS maglev prototype. ©Soutwest Jiaontong University

According to SJU, the maglev prototype comprises a lightweight carbon-fibre body, a low-resistance aerodynamic shape and a high-load capacity. The education institution said, “At the design speed of 620 km/h, the vehicle is expected to create a new speed record for land transportation in atmospheric environment and in future bring proactive and disruptive changes to rail transit industry.”

The HTS maglev technology is just the latest advancement in China’s high-speed rail projects. The country’s first commercial maglev system, which uses electromagnetic suspension based on German technology, was put into operation in 2003 in Shanghai.

Around the world, other countries are also making strides in this sector of the rail industry. Japan’s US$84 billion super-fast maglev railway is currently being built between Tokyo and Osaka in Japan. While the project has been delayed, upon completion it is expected to reach speeds of around 500km an hour.

MAGAZINE
NEWSLETTER
Delivered directly to your inbox, World Construction Week Newsletter features the pick of the breaking news stories, product launches, show reports and more from KHL's world-class editorial team.
Longer Reads
Is electric equipment the answer?
Construction equipment is rapidly evolving to become greener and cleaner
Why ESG-linked loans are impacting construction finances
A way to help fight the climate crisis or a pile of greenwash? How ESG-linked loans are entering the corporate mainstream 
Meeting productivity demands: new compaction equipment
How new roadbuilding and compaction equipment is meeting productivity demands, while keeping emissions low
CONNECT WITH THE TEAM
Andy Brown Editor, International Construction Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 224 E-mail: andy.brown@khl.com
Simon Kelly Sales Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 223 E-mail: simon.kelly@khl.com
CONNECT WITH SOCIAL MEDIA