Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : Reporters Liu Yang, Wan Lin, Ren Chong Page No. : NA

Editor’s Note: On July 20, China’s 600 km/h high-speed magnetic levitation transportation system, developed by China CNR with full independent intellectual property rights, was successfully launched in Qingdao. It is the world’s first high-speed magnetic levitation transportation system with a designed speed of 600 km/h, marking China’s mastery of high-speed magnetic levitation technology and engineering capabilities. What are the advantages of high speed maglev technology and what does 600 km/h mean?

How fast is the 600 km/h magnetic levitation train

On the 20th, when the 5 engineering trains sounded their whistles, people used their cell phones to record this moment destined to be written into the history of global transportation development.

According to the high-speed magnetic levitation project Technical Director, Deputy Chief Engineer Ding San San, the high-speed magnetic levitation is the world’s first 600 km per hour speed class high-speed magnetic levitation transportation system. The basic principle is to use electromagnetic suction to levitate the train on the track to achieve contactless operation. It has the technical advantages of high efficiency, safety and reliability, sturdy capacity, flexible grouping, punctuality and comfort, convenient maintenance and green and environmental protection.

According to the introduction, 600 km per hour high-speed magnetic levitation is the fastest ground transportation achievable at present. According to the “door-to-door” actual travel time, it is the fastest mode of transportation in the 1500 km range. Currently, high-speed rail operates at a maximum speed of 350 km/h and aircraft cruises at 800-900 km/h. The 600 km/h high-speed magnetic levitation can fill the speed gap between high-speed rail and aviation, which can help form a multi-dimensional transportation framework of aviation, high-speed rail, high-speed magnetic levitation and urban transportation, and enrich the speed spectrum of China’s transportation systems.

So why does China need to develop high-speed magnetic levitation technology when it has high-speed rail? According to the Huan Qiu Shi Bao, high-speed magnetic levitation is used for long-distance transportation and can form high-speed “corridors” between large hub cities or between urban clusters and city groups. According to the actual travel time from Beijing to Shanghai, for example, plus the journey preparation time, it takes about 4.5 hours by air, about 5.5 hours by high-speed rail, while the high-speed maglev only takes about 2.5 hours.

How to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle at such high speed? According to the introduction, high-speed magnetic levitation transportation system uses “car holding rail” operating structure, which is safe and reliable. The traction power supply system is arranged on the ground, with the train location segment power supply, adjacent to the subdivision of only one train running, basically no risk of tailgating. The GOA3 level fully automatic operation control is realized, and the system safety protection meets the highest safety level requirement of SIL4. Spacious and comfortable ride. The passenger capacity of a single section can exceed one hundred people, and can be flexibly grouped within the range of 2 to 10 vehicles to meet different passenger capacity requirements. At the same time, because the vehicle does not come into contact with the rail during driving, there is no wheel and rail wear, and the maintenance is low, so it has the advantages of long overhaul cycle and good economy of the whole life cycle.

How good is the high-speed magnetic levitation technology?

The company’s newest product, the “High Speed Magnetic Levitation Technology”, is a keyword in the official press release of the China Motor Bus Group on the 20th, in addition to the 600 km/h speed. The company’s main goal is to develop a new technology that can be used in the future.

Lu Huapu, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at Tsinghua University, said in an interview with the Huan Qiu Shi Bao that a maglev train is a train propelled by magnetic levitation, which uses electromagnetic force to achieve contactless levitation and guidance between the train and the track, and then uses the electromagnetic force generated by linear motors to tug the train. High-speed maglev trains can reach speeds of over 400 km/h, while most low and medium-speed maglevs are in the range of 100-200 km/h.

As an international cutting-edge technology, high-speed magnetic levitation is a major “high point” in the world of rail transportation and a strategic high ground for global transportation technology competition. Many countries have carried out long-term continuous research and development along different technical lines, and have built or planned test and operation lines.

Professor Chen Xiaohong, Director of the Institute of Railway and Urban Rail Transportation of Tongji University and Director of the (National) Magnetic Levitation Transportation Engineering Technology Research Center, said in a previous interview with the media that the high-speed magnetic levitation transportation system can be broken down into four subsystems: one is the line track system; the second is the vehicle system; the third is the traction and control system; and the fourth is the operation control system. According to her, there are now three major types of high-speed magnetic levitation systems around the world. The first is of German origin, which can be seen in Shanghai’s long-conducting subsystem.  The 600 km/h high-speed magnetic levitation system China is developing also belongs to this type of system. The second type is Japan’s low-temperature superconducting system. Japan is building Tokyo to Osaka design speed 500 km/h high-speed magnetic levitation. The third type is pipeline magnetic levitation, which is currently being developed in the United States and the United Kingdom, and is designed for higher speeds, such as capsule trains.

According to reports, in 1922, German scientist Hermann Kemper first proposed the idea of “electromagnetic levitation railroad”, breaking the conventional concept of “car” must have “wheel”. After nearly half a century of waiting, in the early 1970s, Germany developed the world’s first magnetic levitation principle prototype car, built a 660-meter-long test line, proving the feasibility of magnetic levitation trains. Japan, the United States, Russia and other countries followed suit and started the research and development of magnetic levitation transportation technology. China’s entry into the field of magnetic levitation transportation research began in the 1980s, initially carrying out research on low and medium speed magnetic levitation transportation technology.

On December 31, 2002, the world’s first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation transportation demonstration line was opened in Shanghai. This was the first commercial line built with German technology and the first high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world to be put into commercial operation. The line set a new speed record for human ground transportation with a speed of 430 km/h. After that, in 2005, Japan opened the world’s first low-speed magnetic levitation line, and in 2016 and 2017, China opened two low-speed magnetic levitation lines in Changsha and Beijing.

After nearly 20 years of continuous research and technology accumulation, China has basically realized the independent development capability of the whole system of high-speed magnetic levitation transportation, formed a complete set of engineering technology, and realized the independent and controllable industrial supporting capability. Development stage. The successful launch of the 600 km/h high-speed magnetic levitation transportation system signifies that the conditions for advancing the line test and engineering demonstration are in place.”

What is the major significance

Since high-speed magnetic levitation technology has so many advantages, why is it not commercially available on a large scale in the world at present? The company’s main goal is to provide a comprehensive solution to the problem of high speed magnetic levitation. And a new technology that will enable it to be used in the future.

In terms of economics, Chen Xiaohong believes that the cost of high-speed magnetic levitation is not much higher than that of wheel tracks. The cost includes not only the construction cost, but also the long-term operation and maintenance cost. She said, for example, the Tokyo-Osaka Maglev Shinkansen was carefully studied before construction, and the overall cost of Maglev was only around 10% higher than that of rail. “From this point of view, high-speed Maglev can not be considered a very expensive and unacceptable system, although the overall construction and operation costs are higher, the reduction in the time for a round-trip time has social and economic value too. Take Beijing-Shanghai as an example, if the future Beijing-Shanghai using magnetic levitation operation, the time can be shortened to three hours”.

Ding San San revealed that the next plan is to build an actual line for testing, and the line length needs to be at least 50 kilometers. “Contacts are being actively made with various places and will be integrated with local governments and national Ministries to choose where the line will be located”.

Currently, the “Outline of the construction of a strong national transport” clearly proposed “reasonable coordination of arrangements for 600 km per hour high-speed magnetic levitation system”. Guangdong, Hainan, Anhui, Chengdu. Many provincial and municipal governments have proposed high-speed maglev planning.

According to Lu Huapu, the development of 600 km high-speed maglev system has much significance. Firstly, it helps to realize the goal of “123 traffic circle” in the building of a “strong transportation country” and supports the goal of “3-hour traffic loop” between major cities and realization of the development goal of 2-hour traffic loops in city clusters. Secondly, it helps to achieve world-class transportation services. The 600 km/h magnetic levitation transportation system can greatly improve the speed, comfort and convenience of people’s long-distance travel, and change the characteristics of economic and geographical location, regional competitiveness and lifestyle. Third, it is conducive to consolidating the leading position of new technology and equipment such as high-speed railroad technology in China, which is of great significance for promoting scientific research and cutting-edge engineering technology in China aimed at leading and driving development and upgradation of related industries.

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