New maglev tech research project breaks ground in Datong

( Updated: 2021-05-26


The founding and groundbreaking ceremony for the planned Shanxi provincial laboratory for high-speed maglev vehicles and Datong (Yanggao) test line takes place in Datong on May 24. [Photo/Shanxi Daily]

The founding and groundbreaking ceremony for the planned Shanxi provincial laboratory for high speed maglev vehicles operating in a low vacuum pipeline -- and the proposed Datong (Yanggao) test line project -- took place on May 24 in Datong city in North China's Shanxi province. 

Maglev is a system of train transportation that uses two sets of magnets: one set to repel and push the train up off the track, with the another propelling thee elevated train ahead, taking advantage of the lack of friction.

The technology is already in use in China. But the new high-speed maglev vehicle in a low vacuum pipeline uses the latest superconducting magnetic levitation technology to disengage from the ground to eliminate frictional resistance, while employing internal pipelines close to a vacuum to greatly reduce air resistance, so as to achieve "close-to-ground flight" of 1,000 kilometers per hour. 

It features faster, safer, more convenient, more comfortable, economical and controllable operations. 

The provincial lab is being jointly built by North University of China and the Third Research Institute of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC), to provide a key test platform for low-vacuum pipeline magnetic levitation technology.

The lab will build a full-scale 60-kilometer test track in Yanggao county, administered by Datong city, with the construction to be implemented in three phases. 

As a large project that is said to be serving the national scientific and technological innovation strategy, after its completion, the test line is expected to be of great significance for China, to help lead the world in the field of cutting-edge rail transit. 

"After the line is completed, it will become a new type of ground transportation that surpasses the speed of high-speed rail," said Ni Zhancheng, general manager of Datong High Speed Vehicle Transportation Development Co.

"It has huge market development prospects and is of far-reaching significance to the transformation, industrial structural adjustment and high-end manufacturing development of resource-based regions." 

Lou Yangsheng, Party chief of Shanxi province, said the project partners would jointly complete the task of laboratory construction. 

In addition, they would improve the comprehensive research, test verification and technical equipment system of the high-speed maglev vehicle in a low vacuum pipeline. The goal is to accelerate the establishment of a complete innovation and industry ecosystem from independent R&D, to achieve large-scale manufacturing.

Lou hoped that the project would stimulate the development of discipline, team building and innovation, enhance capabilities and industrial development in materials science, power electronics, automatic controls and equipment manufacturing -- as well as promote the progress of R&D platforms and pilot-scale experiment bases for major scientific and technological projects.

CASIC chairman Yuan Jie told the ceremony his group would give full play to its own technological strengths and expand its cooperation with Shanxi, to build major scientific infrastructure that meets the national strategic needs, by taking the test track in Datong as a model.

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