Facebook Twitter

This country just unveiled the world’s fastest train — and it floats

No, Japanese bullet trains are not the fastest trains in the world. At least, not anymore

SHARE This country just unveiled the world’s fastest train — and it floats
A Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail train in China.

A Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail train is seen at West Kowloon Terminus at the first day of service of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, in Hong Kong, China Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018.

Tyrone Siu/Pool Photo via Associated Press

Move aside bullet trains — and fast! — because China has just unveiled its new maglev train capable of traveling 373 miles per hour, reported USA Today.

  • The maglev train is named for its magnetic levitation propulsion system, reported CNN.
  • Unlike other trains, the maglev does not actually touch the track. Instead, the train hovers above the rail — essentially, making it a levitating train, reported The Hill.

China plans to build a network of maglev trains connecting major cities, reported CNN.

How fast can China’s maglev train go?

China’s new maglev train can reach a top speed of 373 miles per hour, reported USA Today. This makes it the fastest ground transportation vehicle in the world.

  • Japan’s famous bullet trains have a max speed of 249 miles per hour, per USA Today.
  • Airplanes fly anywhere from 497 miles per hour to 559 miles per hour, reported CNN.

Maglev trains could significantly shorten travel across China. Right now, traveling the 754 miles from Beijing to Shanghai takes 4.5 hours on one of China’s bullet trains, per USA Today. On a maglev train, that same trip will take only 2.5 hours.

  • Maglev trains are key to China’s goal of reducing the time and expense of domestic travel, reported CNN.

How does the maglev train work?

Maglev trains can reach high speeds because they have no rail friction, reported The Hill. Instead, maglev trains hover above the rail and are propelled forward by powerful electromagnets.

  • Because of their design, maglevs emit less noise pollution and have less maintenance than other high-speed trains, per CNN.

When can people start riding China’s maglev trains?

China may have a super-fast maglev train, but they don’t have the track for it to run on — yet, reported CNN. Maglev railways are under construction across the country, primarily between major metropolitan areas.

  • Engineers estimate that maglev trains will be in commercial service in the next five to 10 years, reported The Hill.