The world’s fastest train is no more the pride of the developed world. The fastest train that does’nt even run on tracks is actually running at this moment in China . It has almost been a year since the first commercially run Magnetic levitation train (Trans rapid Shanghai) has been put into service from Shanghai Airport to Shanghai city.
With a heart stopping speed of 431km/hr , the Maglev cruises on a cushion of air and covers the 25km journey within a mere 10 mins. The noiseless train is a marvel that has been created with the help of stalwarts from the German train manufacturers. The Irony is that Germany itself does’nt yet have a commercially running Maglev train although it is in the forefront of this astonishing technology that can give the airlines a run for its money.
It was way back in the early 2000’s when the Chinese ministers had visited Germany to sample the maglev technology ‘s feasibility for a commercial plan. And the Chinese were so very satisfied that their government immediately sanctioned the project to built the Maglev to connect the Shanghai Airport. With the project running into Billions of Dollars and with meticulous construction that ran at breakneck speed, the Maglev was built within a span of just 3-4 years .
Such is the operating speed of this Maglev train that the TGV , ICE and the Japan’s Shinkansen have not yet been able to achieve an operating speed of 432km/hr. Although the latter have achieved sppeds of over 500 during the test rides. The Magnetic Levitation (Mag lev) uses a special superconductivity , electromagnetic technology to make the train virtually float over a magnetic field. hence there is almost zero resistance to propel the train and one can completely automate the train ride. But one has to agree thatmaglev technology does’nt come under the conventional train technology that uses rails/ tracks .
Whatever be the case ,the Chinese have made their mark by bringing the Maglev to a feasible reality that has remained a test technology for a long time.