China has unveiled a prototype of a train moving through magnetic levitation. This is being developed to achieve speeds up to 600 km /h. China already has a train with the same technology called Shanghai Maglev that reaches 431 km/h.
Since 2003 Shanghai Maglev has transported passengers from Shanghai Airport to the city centre. The train can cover a distance of 30 kilometres in just 8 minutes. However, China wants an even faster train.
One of the engineers of a Chinese railway company says the new Maglev will travel faster than an airplane. The engineer gave the example that a trip from Beijing to Shanghai can take 4.5 hours by plane and only 3.5 in the Maglev.
How Magnetic Levitation Works
This technology uses the opposing forces of magnets to propel the train in the lines. There is no contact between the carriages and the lines, making the train literally floating.
Being that the only friction (resistance) is the air itself, this type of vehicle can achieve impressive speeds. These trains have a low energy consumption and are quite quiet.
However, the technology is quite expensive. Only China has the only commercial line with this technology, the aforementioned Shanghai line.
Japan is also famous for its super fast trains. In 2015, a train was tested with magnetic levitation that managed to reach a speed of 603 km / h .
The fastest commercial trains in the world
Shanghai Maglev (China) 429 km / h
Fuxing Hao (China) 400 km / h
Shinkansen H5 and E5 (Japan) 360 km / h
Italo and Frecciarossa (Italy) 354 km / h
Renfe AVE (Spain) 349 km / h
It is clear that China and Japan are the champions of superfast trains.