China debuts superconducting maglev train prototype
A prototype high-speed train that uses high-temperature superconducting (HTS) maglev technology was unveiled in Chengdu, capital of China's southwest Sichuan province. The prototype marks a breakthrough in China's HTS high-speed maglev technology.
With a cutting-edge design including a lightweight carbon fiber body and low-drag head shape, the HTS high-speed maglev train is capable of reaching speeds of 620 kilometers (385 miles) per hour, which is expected to set a new land speed record when launched proper.
Next, it is theorized that the same HTS technology can be integrated into futuristic super-fast transportation vacuum tubes, where trains could hit speeds of over 1,000 kph.
The HTS maglev train technology, a revolutionary innovation, was developed in Southwest Jiaotong University. Besides being free from chemical byproducts and significant noise pollution, the technology also boasts the advantage of being stable, energy-efficient, safe, and having low-operating costs. This makes it ideal as a new form of railway transport and is especially suited for high- and ultra-high-speed lines.
Yang Dan, president of Southwest Jiaotong University, said that the completion of the HTS high-speed maglev train prototype and test line project is an important step to promoting the technology's general application in engineering.
In a later stage of research and experimentation at the university's maglev train model test facility, researchers will conduct reliability tests for the long-term operation of the high-speed superconducting maglev train, Yang said.