China unveiled a travel innovation this week of a maglev bullet train capable of reaching speeds of 600 km/h per hour (373 mph), according to Reuters.
The new maglev train rolled off the production line Tuesday in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao. Maglev trains have been used in China for nearly two-decade but only at a limited scale.
Over this decade, Beijing has plans to expand maglev track networks across the country. There is only one maglev line in commercial use, connecting Shanghai's Pudong Airport with the Longyang Road station in the city. The 19-mile route takes just seven and a half minutes, with the train hitting speeds in excess of 430 km/h (267 mph).
The new superfast train is expected to bridge a gap between airplanes and high-speed rail between major metro areas.
China unveiled a 372 mph (600 kph) maglev train, the state media said. The train ‘levitates’ above the track with no contact between body and rail using electro-magnetic force https://t.co/Tz7zTu7mHD pic.twitter.com/Tf8hgTJMaj— Reuters (@Reuters) July 21, 2021
Reuters notes the new maglev train is the fastest in the world as it's propelled by electromagnetic forces that levitate it above the track, making no contact between the train car and rail.
Future service of the train is expected between Beijing to Shanghai and halve the typical rail travel time from four hours to about 2.5 hours.
China's high-speed maglev train project is all domestic and may one day link up cities along the Belt and Road Initiative.
Countries like Germany and Japan are considering building or expanding maglev networks, although costs are expensive. Maglev is incompatible with the current track infrastructure, and there could be many challenges to build out new networks in densely populated areas.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Democrats have promised high-speed trains and supersonic planes in the latest infrastructure plan though talks with Republicans have stalled.