China begins work on 105 KMH Maglev Trains

By: | April 5th, 2013

Following on from our reports of Japanese rail authorities looking into the construction of high speed magnetic levitation (Maglev) trains, construction will soon begin in neighboring China on their very own Maglev trains.

All proposals and evaluations, including safety and environmental concerns, for the high speed trains are completed with approval of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) all that remains pending.

The Line S1 train will serve between Mentougou’s Shimenying and Pingguoyuan in the Shijingshan District, a line that spreads 10.24 kilometers in length and will include eight station stops. Reaching speeds of 105 kilometers per hour, the train will cut down rail journey times drastically.

If completed without major issues, China’s accomplishment for high speed Maglev trains could potentially be a huge step for the widespread use of magnetic levitation technology for rail networks, and especially if Japan catches up, a country that already has one of the fastest rails speeds in the world.

The only major issue that could hamper China’s Maglev plans lie in the recent changes to government departments. China’s rails ministry was scrapped and merged with the transport department in early March after years of corruption allegations and mismanagement that dogged the ministry. The change was part of wider cuts and mergers of government departments.

If this axing of the ministry will hinder construction on new Chinese Maglev trains remains to be seen. However any construction is likely to be under much scrutiny due to previous controversies and safety concerns, most notably the fatal train crash in 2011 that took 40 lives and seriously injured over 200 people.

Jonathan Keane

Irish journalist writing on business, tech and engineering.


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