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This article was published on January 29, 2021


Forget Hyperloop, check out China’s new 620kmph maglev prototype

Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Transport concepts like Hyperloop are getting many people hot under the collar. The idea of being able to travel between major cities in minutes rather than hours is certainly an exciting idea. But that’s just it, it’s an idea, and a long long way from reality.

If you need something a little closer to reality to keep your high-speed train/tube travel whistle wet, check out this new magnetic levitation — maglev — train from China.

The prototype unveiled by researchers at Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China, and is unlike other maglev trains. Rather than using liquid helium superconductors at -269 degrees Celsius, researchers have implemented high-temperature superconductors, which operate at -196 degrees Celsius and are a heck of a lot cheaper to produce and run.

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It could bring high-speed intercity train travel to even more people in the country. A commercially viable version of the new maglev train is expected to be released within the next six years.


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