The world’s fastest train is finally here2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
Trains are fast. But they’re also a great space to sit back and watch the world go by (literally) for at least some time. Well, it looks like that aspect of it is quickly changing.
China recently unveiled its new Maglev train, self-developed in the coastal city of Qingdao. This train, which can travel at a speed of 600 kph, is now the fastest in the world. At that speed, the train can travel from Beijing to Shanghai in 2.5 hours, covering a distance of 1,000 km in that time.
Maglev trains are some of the fastest in the world. They use a technology akin to Hyperloop, that helps them travel at speeds greater than 1100 mph (700 mph). Japan has already been building maglev trains for a while but China recently decided to rival their creations, especially in terms of speed.
Like the Hyperloop, maglev trains are designed to reduce friction. They have one magnet on the train, which repels another magnet on the track to generate a lift. This creates what could be seen as ‘levitation’. Hence the name Maglev, which is short for magnetic levitation. The trains also have another magnet that propels them forward.
Which was the fastest train in the world before this one?
Japan previously had the fastest Maglev train in the world, which traveled at nearly 500 kmph. This was already as fast as some commercial flights! In fact, China’s new train would reach Shanghai from Beijing faster than a plane!
China had already been developing Maglev trains, but on a very small scale. Now, with the success of this one, they’ll definitely be planning to scale.
Why aren’t other countries working on Maglev trains?
There are other countries, like Germany, who are also trying to build Maglev trains. But to do this, the countries would have to incur a high infrastructure cost. The rail systems in place right now aren’t compatible with Maglev technology. Hence, pulling everything apart and beginning anew is a long and tedious process that most countries don’t have the ability to do right now.