China starts work on $1.5bn maglev train factory

China Railway Construction Corporation began work yesterday on a $1.5bn project to build an industrial complex to make parts for a maglev test line.

The park will be in the city of Changsha in south-central Hunan province. It will cover 15ha and, when complete in 2020, is expected to have an annual output of $1.5bn. The line itself is expected to stretch 5.4km and will operate at a maximum speed of 200km/h.

China already has one maglev line operating in Shanghai that travels between Shanghai Pudong International Airport and an interchange with the Shanghai metro. This runs at more than 430km/h, making it the world’s fastest commercial train service. This was built with German technology.

It has another, low speed line in Changsha (pictured) that began operation in May 2016, and which used Chinese know-how.

The possibility of a maglev link between Beijing and Shanghai was discussed in November 2016, when the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper reported that a link could cut travel time to two-and-a-half hours.

Image: The Changsha maglev arriving at Langli station (Baycrest/Creative Commons)

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