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China’s space-age rail network could be in pipeline

China’s space-age rail network could be in pipeline

Designers are investigating a revolutionary system that would employ magnetic levitation and hyperloops.

A poll recently conducted by Beijing Foreign Studies University showed that the speed and convenience offered by high-speed rail, online shopping, shared bikes and mobile phone-based payment apps are the four things young expats in China view most favorably. And of those four items, it seems likely that high-speed rail will remain on the list for a long time as the country works to retain its place as the home of the world’s fastest trains. Now, Chinese designers are developing a bullet train capable of achieving a top speed of 400 kilometers per hour on conventional tracks, along with a magnetic levitation, or maglev, a train that is expected to run at 600 km/h.

The country is even considering the possibility of building a system based on a transnational tube that would allow specially designed trains to travel at 4,000 km/h. Last month, designers at China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, one of the country’s biggest space contractors, announced that they had started research and development work on a futuristic ultrafast transportation system popularly known as a hyperloop. The CASIC hyperloop will see maglev lines running in partially elevated tubes or tunnels along which streamlined, engineless trains will travel at speeds of 1,000, 2,000 and 4,000 km/h, according to Mao Kai, chief designer of the system at CASIC. So far, there is no indication of how much such a system would cost.  Source: Nation