WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- China recently unveiled a “levitating” train.
- The train’s “maglev” technology allows it to float above the track, eliminating friction and allowing breakneck speeds.
- With a top speed of 373 mph, it is the fastest ground vehicle in the world.
China unveiled the world’s fastest ground vehicle on Tuesday, a “levitating” train with a top speed of 373 miles per hour.
In comparison, Tesla’s Model S Plaid, which the company calls the fastest production car in the world, has a speed of 200 mph.
China’s levitating train uses “maglev” technology that allows the train to float above the track with no friction between body and rail, making it run at blistering speeds.
For the last two decades, China has been testing maglev technology on a limited scale. The country has yet to build a long-distance line to test the new train. According to state media, the newly-unveiled train will be used for research as a prototype.
With the train’s speed, traveling from Beijing to Shanghai, which has a distance of 620 miles, would only take two and a half hours. The journey usually takes three hours by plane.
Acela Express, America’s fastest train, runs at a speed of 135 mph. At 373 mph, the journey from New York to Washington, D.C would only take less than an hour. The country has also considered maglev lines in the Northeast Corridor, and between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. However, no significant progress has been made on the projects.
For Japan and Germany, the high cost of maglev networks and their incompatibility with current track infrastructure continues to be a challenge.
Elon Musk has proposed the idea of a “hyperloop” to shuttle passengers through an airless tube at up to 600 mph. Last December, Billionaire Richard Branson did a trial of the concept at a speed of 100-mph. He promised that in the future, he would shuttle passengers from New York City to Washington, DC, in 30 minutes.
However, Branson says this type of transportation can accommodate fewer passengers than a train.
Source: New York Post