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The next fastest train in China is set for testing in 2020

The new train is designed for a top speed of 600kph

Photograph: Reinhold Möller, CC BY-SA 3.0
China seems to be at the forefront of building new trains and railways, especially with the recently opened high-speed line connecting Hong Kong to the mainland, and the recently announced plans for lines connecting Antwerp to Shanghai and Shanghai to Suzhou.

Last Friday, China's state-owned rail corporation CRRC Qingdao Sifang announced that designs for the country's first homegrown maglev train have been completed and is aiming to have the first model ready for testing in 2020, according to SCMP.

You might be thinking, 'Wait, China already has a maglev train... in Shanghai. It connects Shanghai's outer ring to its airport in the extra-outer ring.' Yes, but that train was actually developed by German companies Siemens and ThyssenKrupp. Fun fact: a plan to expand that maglev line to Hongqiao Airport and Hangzhou has been in limbo since 2006, even though the plan was to have the expansion operating by 2010.

As for the new maglev, there have been no announcements on where it will travel, only statements that it will have a top speed of 600kph and a max operating speed of 550kph. In comparison, the max operating speed of Shanghai's maglev is 431kph.

Again, no hard news on when or where exactly we will be floating over an electrified rail at hyper speed, but at the very least we can probably not worry about it getting stuck in development limbo like Shanghai's maglev expansion, since this new maglev was a part of China's 13th five-year plan. Perhaps this train could even be the beginning of the end for China's crazy travel rushes.

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