China on Tuesday July 20, launched the world’s fastest high-speed maglev train with a top speed of 600km per hour. According to the high-Speed Rail Alliance, the French TGV train is the one that held the world’s record running at a maximum speed of 357.2 kilometers per hour. For China this is a great step towards realization of the four modernizations as well as making the Chinese dream a reality.

The technology owned and full developed in China brings a transport revolution in the transport industry where rail transport is going to compete favorably with air transport especially for long distance travels. The new maglev transportation system made its public maiden journey in the coastal city of Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province.

The cutting edge maglev train technology is China’s homegrown scientific achievement which was developed by China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) since 2016. Travelling at 600km/h, the maglev train it is said, can cover the distance of 997km between Beijing and Shanghai in 2.5 hours. By comparison, according to a media story by Reuters, the same journey would take 3 hours by plane and 5.5 hours by high speed conventional bullet train. The new maglev technology uses magnetic levitation a method by which an object is suspended in the air with no support other than magnetic fields. Maglev can create frictionless, efficient, far-out-sounding technologies, according to scientific studies. To a layman, it sounds like a low flying train along the rails!

In 2019, Martin Raiser, the World Bank’s country director for China said that China had built the largest high-speed rail network in the world. At the time, China Railway Corp (CRC) was said to have constructed over 25,000km of high speed track in a decade, accounting for two-thirds of the world’s total length of high speed rail lines. A World Bank report titled “China’s High-Speed Rail Development”, mentioned that the impact of high speed railway development goes beyond the railway sector to spur other economic developments.

“The impacts go well beyond the railway sector and include changed patterns of urban development, increases in tourism, and promotion of regional economic growth…. the network has laid the groundwork for future reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.” The WB report also reveals that China has managed to build its high-speed network at an average cost of $17m-$21m per km – about two-thirds of the cost found in other countries. This cost-effectiveness is attributed to the standardization of designs and procedures.

Dr. Olivia Cheung, research fellow at the China Institute of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) connects the development of high speed railway networks to President Xi Jinping’s vision on development of China. “The building of these new railways forms part of Xi Jinping’s grand plan of ‘integrating the vast national market,’” says “It is also meant to be reflective of his ‘new development philosophy,’ of which ‘coordinated development’ is a key concept.”

Dr. Cheung further talks about president Xi Jinping plan in these words. “His scheme is grand in that it extends beyond just simply connecting existing towns, but existing towns with new mega-towns that are being constructed from scratch. A famous example in which Xi takes a lot of pride is the Xiong’an New Area in Hebei province, around 60 miles southwest of Beijing.”

The launch of the world’s fastest high-speed maglev train that is fully made in China keeps the CPC centenary celebratory mood in the air as another big milestone achieved in advancement of science and technology.

The Express News


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