A Train That will Run at Half the Speed of Sound
China and Japan are in the race to roll out a train that can run at
around 600 kmph – half the speed of sound. But Elon Musk’s concept train
can run at the speed of sound, if it becomes a reality.
China has commenced work on a new magnetic levitation train that can rocket
at nearly half the speed of sound at 600kmh.
The China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation or CRRC has started work on
construction of a 5km track to test its new magnetic levitation – or maglev
The China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation is the largest train
manufacturer in the world.
With this new train, China will compete with Japan’s Lo Series train to
operation and stake claim to the title of the fastest train in the world.
Both trains are likely to hit operation in 2027.
The Lo Series hit speeds of 603 kmh in tests in 2015.
Maglev trains use electrically charged magnets to lift and move carriages
above the rail, causing the train to hover a few millimetres above the
track and thereby eliminating friction.
At 268 mph, China’s Shanghai Maglev Train is currently the world’s fastest
passenger service in operation.
However, there is a third player. The Hyperloop, the conceptual
transportation system proposed by Tesla / Space X’s Elon Musk, will
theoretically be capable of moving trains through its low-pressure tubes at
approximately 745mph, that is nearly 1200 kilometres per hour – close to
the speed of sound.