Story at a glance
- The magnetic levitation train is propelled forward by powerful electromagnets and hovers about the rail.
- The concept allows trains to hit speeds of hundreds of miles per hour because there’s no rail friction.
- China has been using so-called maglev trains for nearly two decades but has yet to construct long-distance lines that could utilize the new train.
China on Tuesday unveiled the prototype of a superfast magnetic levitation train it says is capable of reaching top speeds of 373 miles per hour, making it the fastest land-based transportation vehicle in the world, according to Reuters.
The train self-developed by China and manufactured in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao hovers above the track with no contact between the train and the rail and is propelled forward by powerful electromagnets.
The concept allows trains to hit speeds of hundreds of miles per hour as there’s no rail friction.
China has been using so-called maglev trains for nearly two decades, but the country has yet to construct long-distance lines that could utilize the new train, according to Reuters. The country’s Shanghai maglev train can reach speeds of up to 267 miles per hour, but is just about 19 miles long.
With the prototype maglev train introduced Tuesday, it would take less than three hours to travel from Beijing to Shanghai, a trip of more than 750 miles.
But it will still be a while before the bullet train speeds passengers around the country. There’s no track line yet for the high-speed train, and engineers estimate it is likely to be in service some time in the next five to 10 years, according to The South China Morning Post.
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