Yesterday, I hurtled across 800 miles of eastern China at a speed of 302 kph (188 mph). It was fast.
Today I rode on an even faster train — the maglev train that runs from the eastern suburbs of Shanghai 30 km (18 miles) out to the Pudong airport. We hit a top speed of 430 kph (276 mph)!
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that if something is going that fast it should be in the air.
Here’s the description of the technology from the Shanghai Maglev Official Website:
Electromagnetic levitation: controllable electromagnetic field is generated by exciting the on-board levitation magnets and the magnets and stator packs of long stator linear motor along the guideway attract each other, thus pulling the train upward and a stable levitation gap being guaranteed by controlling the levitation excitation current. Levitation gap between magnets and guideway is normally controlled to the range between 8 and 12mm. High-speed maglev system consists of four major components, i.e. guideway, vehicle, power supply and operation control system.
Got that? Even if that explanation were in plain English, I wouldn’t understand it. I just know that it has no wheels (or at least I couldn’t see any).
Quite impressive indeed.