CHINA / Regional

China to build first domestically developed maglev
Updated: 2006-07-31 11:47

A port city in China's northeast plans to build the first commercial Chinese-made magnetic-levitation train this year, a news report said Monday.

The system in Dalian, east of Beijing, would be China's second maglev line, following a system in Shanghai that was built with German technology.

Construction of a line from Shanghai to the nearby city of Hangzhou is due to start in 2009.

Maglev technology uses powerful magnets to suspend a train above its rails and drive it forward at high speed.

The Dalian maglev will be smaller and slower than the one in Shanghai, covering three kilometers (two miles) at top speed of 218 kph (135 mph), the China Daily said. The Shanghai system, which links one of the city's airports with its financial district, covers 30 kilometers (19 miles) at up to 430 kph (270 mph).

The report didn't give a price for the Dalian train. But it cited Li Lingqun, chief engineer of the team that developed it, as saying it will cost half the price of foreign-made systems.

The Dalian city government began financing Li's research in 2003, the report said.

Li said "this technology has proven successful in the workshop ... as the train moved soundlessly through the air above the rails," according to the newspaper.

Li's team also has developed a second maglev engine capable of a top speed of 536 kph (335 mph), the report said.


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