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Sky Train Maglev in China: The World's First Train to Use Permanent Magnets to Suspend Above the Track

Sky Train Maglev in China: The World's First Train to Use Permanent Magnets to Suspend Above the Track
photo: Xinhua / Public domain/PML Maglev Line
08 / 02 / 2024

Have you ever heard of the world's fastest trains? It's no coincidence that all of these trains come from Asia. And if you're doubting it, there's a train that runs in the air under the track. Read about the new technology in our article.

The Shanghai Maglev, also known as the Shanghai Transrapid, is the world's fastest train that uses magnetic suspension technology. Its maximum operating speed is a whopping 431 km/h. The train was built in collaboration with the German company Siemens. The first run took place back in 2001. It achieves its high power precisely because of the use of electromagnetic force.

N509FZ / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia commons

This train of the future is 153 meters long, its width reaches 3.7 meters, and its height exceeds just over 4 meters. It is divided into three classes and provides comfort for 574 passengers. The journey between Pudong Airport and Longyang Road Station in Shanghai, 30 kilometers away, takes 8 minutes and 10 seconds. This train is considered the most advanced technology in the world, and its technology is also used in other countries.

Harmony CRH 380A is a fast train developed by CSR Corporation Limited. What is interesting about this train? It is equipped with a vibration system that minimizes noise and vibration. Its maximum speed is 380 km/h. Its length is 203 meters, and its width is 3.38 meters. It can carry up to 480 passengers at a time. It was put into service in 2010 and is currently being manufactured in China.

The AGV Italo was developed by Alstom, but today this train is also produced in China. Its operating speed is 360 km/h. It entered service in 2012 and is now considered one of Europe's most modern trains. It is 133 meters long and less than 3 meters wide. This train is also equipped with a vibration system to reduce noise. The train can accommodate a little less than previous trains, about 450 passengers.

Michael Khan / Flickr

An incredible 500 km/h can be traveled by the HEMU-400X, a train developed by Hyundai Rotem in South Korea. It entered service in 2012. The train is 147 meters long, 3 meters wide, and has a capacity of 300 passengers.

Interesting Fact

A new test track, the Sky Train, was unveiled in China, which debuted the world's first maglev transit system that uses permanent magnets instead of electromagnets. The system allows the overhead vehicles to be kept in suspension above the track without the use of a power source. Its speed is 80 km/h, and it can accommodate 88 passengers. The train is suspended under the track and moves without contact with it. This makes the train's ride silent and unsupported. Permanent magnets have several advantages over electromagnets. The magnetic forces go nonstop and do not require a power source.

The train is a great example of how technology can improve transportation and make it faster and more efficient.