China plans to run a new generation of self-developed driverless magnetic-levitation trains with a designed speed of 200 kmph by early 2020, its lead developer said on Monday. Magnetic-levitation (maglev) trains are capable of clocking a speed of 600 kmph while running 10 cm above the ground.
Once put into operation, they will be the fastest maglev trains for commercial use in China, CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co.,Ltd which leads the efforts to develop the trains was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.
Zhou Qinghe, chairman of the company, told reporters that new technologies are being used to enable the trains to travel faster and have greater hill climbing power.
The latest maglev trains are also equipped with a “powerful brain” to realise safe and reliable autonomous operation. Zhou said the new trains are suitable for inter-city or urban transit between 50 and 200 kilometer in distance. They will also be the world’s first maglev trains to run at 200 kmph, he added.
China currently has the world’s longest high-speed rail network, with 22,000 kilometers within the country linking various key cities. China has already built about 29,000 kilometers network of high-speed trains which travels at about 350 kmph. The country is aggressively trying to export its bullet train technologies.