Sky Train: China tested its first suspended Maglev

China is a pioneer in the development of Maglev (magnetic levitation high-speed train): in 2019, the country inaugurated the first section of a Maglev capable of connecting Beijing and Shanghai in just three and a half hours thanks to its top speed of 600 km/h. Now, China is also the first nation to have tested the working prototype of a Suspended Maglev (whose rails are located above the cabins). Here, the objective is not to smash speed records: the prototype is potentially capable of transporting 88 passengers at a speed of 80 km/h, and in the long term, the “sky train” can spin at 120 km/h over a section of about 7.5 km. In short, the metro of the future…

The first suspended Maglev prototype was tested a few days ago in Xingguo, Jiangxi province, and everything went without noticeable problems: the train traveled the 800 meters of the test section without any difficulties. Despite these technological successes, Maglev trains are subject to much criticism in the context of global warming, the magnet propulsion system requiring a huge amount of electrical energy (which would not necessarily be a problem in a country whose electricity comes directly from nuclear power plants). The fact remains that without friction or almost on the rails, this type of means of transport is much less subject to the phenomenon of wear and tear than conventional trains, a crucial point from an eco-responsible perspective.

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