The manufacture of China’s first permanent maglev suspension train Xingguo reached completion on Tuesday in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province.
The Xingguo train does not rely on rubber wheels for load-bearing runs. Instead, it uses attraction and repulsion in a magnetic field created within tracks to propel itself while being suspended in air with zero friction.
According to the China Railway Liuyuan Group, Xingguo is the first of its kind in China to adopt permanent magnetic levitation technology.
Xingguo is a trial project of the Red Rail program and is being co-developed by the Jiangxi University of Science and Technology, China Railway Liuyuan Group Co Ltd and China Railway Hi-Tech Industry Co Ltd.
“Compared with conventional transportation tools, Xingguo is a new type of small-capacity maglev train that is safer, greener, more cost-efficient and intelligent,” said Chen Guodong, general manager of China Railway Liuyuan Group.
Xingguo marks China’s latest attempt to use cutting-edge technologies to transform the domestic railway industry. Maglev refers to magnetic levitation, the principle applied by certain railroad systems that use magnets to float trains above the tracks.
“By combining suspension railway with maglev technologies, the train uses less energy and less space, and offers low-cost maintenance,” Chen said.
Xingguo’s trials are done on an 800-meter track. The train can carry up to 88 people and achieve a top speed of up to 80 kilometers per hour.
Xingguo also has a relatively smaller turning radius and stronger climbing ability compared with conventional transportation options, which makes it a good choice for shuttle services at tourism spots, Chen said.
The train uses technologies related to permanent magnet materials, railways, artificial intelligence and smart manufacturing. Going forward, wider adoption of the train will promote the development of areas like rare earths, said Yang Jie, director of the Permanent Magnet Maglev Technology and Rail Transit Research Institute at the Jiangxi University of Science and Technology.
By China Daily Photo from China Daily and VCG