China rolled out a train prototype with a designed speed of 620 kilometers per hour, which is the world’s first vehicle using the high-temperature superconducting maglev technology, according to its developers.
The domestically developed prototype and a 165-meter maglev test track were unveiled by researchers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
At the launch ceremony, the 21-meter-long silver-and-black locomotive was seen floating slowly along the track. Experts hailed it as a “zero to one” breakthrough in the country’s development of the technology.
China has been a world leader in the construction of high-speed railway. By the end of 2020, the country had 37,900 kilometers of high-speed rail lines in service, the longest in the world, according to China’s railway operator.
Maglev trains, levitated from the tracks and propelled by powerful magnets to avoid wheel-rail friction, are designed to break the speed bottlenecks facing high-speed trains.