Gallery: China Developing Maglev Train That Can Go 1000kph


Get ready for some high speed transport action – Chinese researchers are currently developing a vacuum maglev train that they believe will run at speeds up to 620 miles per hour. This just a few years after Japan announced their — then totally awe inspiring — plans for a maglev train that would run at 310 mph. The train will run on magnetic levitation tracks built into vacuum tubes underground and will be sucked along at an average speed of almost 400 miles per hour. What’s the cost for this zippy technology, you ask? A mere $2.95 million more than the current high speed rail for each kilometer of track.

Maglev trains utilize a system of very large magnets to lift and propel train cars. The magnetic system is able to move at high speeds while being quieter and smoother than a traditional wheeled mass transit train. The current world record for speed on a maglev train is 361 miles per hour and was set in Japan in 2003. The Chinese plan to blow this record out of the water by coupling their maglev technology with underground tunnels that will act as vacuums.

The most common problem facing high speed transit is air friction that slows train cars down. The Chinese plan to eliminate this problem with their vacuum tunnels and say their trains will not have to compete with air friction while they travel. Researchers say that the trains could be ready for action in ten years. Though this high speed wonder seems like a great idea, the economic cost of the technology is staggering. With the added price tag of the vacuum tunnels to make these trains extra speedy, we’re wondering if the time saved traveling on these record breaking trains will really be worth the impact of their construction.

Via Engadget


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  1. iwonit March 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    INDIA Developing Maglev Train That Can Go 1500KMPH……lol
    USA show interest to buy it by 2018 from india…..
    china also already order 10 such trains from india by 2020…

  2. Pratyay March 25, 2011 at 8:42 am

    wont the passengers suffocate in long journeys?
    and how will they prepare vacuum stations??

  3. December 30, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    1.The Train Crusing at 310 Miles Per in Cities & Towns too! In open areas is 630 Miles Per Hour too:, Or 1000 Kl/n per hour too!

  4. chenyh October 15, 2010 at 12:14 am

    loquat, perhaps your last visit to China was many years ago, or you have never been to China at all. China is not the China you ever knew.

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  8. ko August 9, 2010 at 5:26 am


    I think you are a bit out of date on China’s rail technology.

    China is presently producing the fastest HSR line using designs co-developed with Siemens and Hitachi and will have the HSR largest system by 2015.

    Furthermore, China has the only commerical Maglev (also with Siemens) and has been develping plans for other Maglevs to run on several high density medium distance corridors.

    I personally question the need and practicality of Maglev systems but my point is simply that China’s rail technology, particularly it’s rail construction technology is world-class and in the later case, world leading (faster, cheaper, most modern and systematic in design and construction).


    I tend to agree Maglev is prohibitively expensive in most cases except very high density medium range lines.

    However, the cost of building these lines is likely to be much cheaper that what Switzerland had planned for various reasons including the terrain, methods and labor costs, and the potential ridership many time higher than any line running in Switzerland. Let’s see how far it goes, a conventional maglev connecting Shanghai Pudong and Hongqiao airports is not planned to be built.

    BTW, Shanghai now has 14 metro lines built in 12 years, a majority in the past 6, so don’t underestimate Chinese ability to dig fast and cheap by using fast-track tunneling & tube construction methods.

  9. misanu August 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I love it!! I wish the USA would stop spending billions on stupid wars over oil and use this magnet technology. Better than gettin on a plane. I could go from L.A. to N.Y. by train in 5 hours that is awesome. I could live in L.A. and work in Texas during the summer with just a 2-1/2 hour commute. Just freakin’ awesome!!!! Wish the USA would get their act together.

  10. jacquesp August 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    So, what’s the harm in trying?

  11. JacquesP August 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Sorry; trying.

  12. JacquesP August 7, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    So, what’s the harm in tryng?

  13. loquat August 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    The above pictures are all from Japan. China is a long way away from anything that fast.

  14. Philomelius August 6, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    This is quite inaccurate. This project will (would) cost an arm and a leg : building vacuum tunnels like that requires very strong magnetic fields and, for the record, Switzerland had a similar project but r but dropped it because the first estimate was…. €50bn between Bern and Geneva!

  15. Cristian Raicu August 6, 2010 at 6:36 am

    WTF ????
    In China Daily they wrote 600 km/h !!!

    How in the hell you reach now 1000 km/h ???
    What kind a news release is that ?

  16. xenosilvano August 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    1 magemeter

  17. YMB August 5, 2010 at 10:34 am

    An underground metro line costs 10 times more than a high speed rail track per km. So I really can’t believe that a vacuum underground maglev line would cost 1/7 that of a metro line (per km).

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