China builds world’s fastest train, going 600 km/h

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China unveiled a maglev train capable of a top speed of 600 km/h, state media said Tuesday. 

The maximum speed would make the train, self-developed by China and manufactured in the coastal city of Qingdao, the fastest ground vehicle globally. 

Using electro-magnetic force, the maglev train “levitates” above the track with no contact between body and rail. 

China has been using the technology for almost two decades on a very limited scale. Shanghai has a short maglev line running from one of its airports to town.

While there are no inter-city or inter-province maglev lines yet in China that could make good use of the higher speeds, some cities including Shanghai and Chengdu have started to conduct research. 

 At 600 km/h, it would only take 2.5 hours to travel from Beijing to Shanghai by train — a journey of more than 1,000 kilometres (620 miles). 

By comparison, the journey would take three hours by plane and 5.5 hours by high-speed rail. 

Countries from Japan to Germany are also looking to build maglev networks, although high costs and incompatibility with current track infrastructure remain hurdles to rapid development.
 



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