City plans to build maglev test line
By Zhu Chengpei
Updated: 2006-07-31 09:13 DALIAN: Engineers in Dalian,
a port city in Northeast Liaoning Province, say they plan to build a magnetic
levitation (maglev) train test line later this year.
With core technologies developed by a permanent magnetic levitation team, a
newly-invented magnetic engine will drive the train on a 3-kilometre-long
railway to be built in the city's development zone, said Li Lingqun, chief
engineer of the team.
Li said they are currently considering the exact site of the line.
Different from electromagnetic suspension and superconducting magnet
technology as used in Germany and Japan, the Dalian maglev will use the newer
permanent magnet (permagnet) mechanism.
This technology has proven successful in the workshop, Li said, as the train
moved soundlessly through the air above the rails.
The team has made two types of engines: One has a top speed of 218 kilometres
per hour and an optimum speed of 140 kilometres per hour, making it suitable for
metropolitan services. The other has a maximum speed of 536 kilometres per hour.
The test line will be built for the low-speed train, Li said, adding that
they are seeking counterparts for a high-speed test line in another part of the
"Combined with the abundant resources of permanent magnetic materials in
China, our technology will be about 50 per cent cheaper than that of foreign
countries'," Li said.
Li began his studies 18 years ago when he worked in the Xinjiang Uygur
Autonomous Region in Northwest China. He and his team invested their own money
in the project before they gained support from the Dalian municipal government
In December 2004 they tested their first train with satisfactory results.
So far they have applied for more than 50 patents, with three authorized in
China and another three in the United States and Germany.
(China Daily 07/31/2006 page3)