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Laboratory working on train to run at 1,000kph
2010-08-03 07:23

China is developing a vactrain which will travel at 1,000 kilometers per hour through maglev lines in tubes underground.

According to a national laboratory specializing in the study of traction, the technology could be in daily use in the next 10 years.

The laboratory at Southwest Jiaotong University told Beijing-based Legal Evening News that it was working on a prototype with an average speed of 500 to 600kph.

A much smaller model train traveling at 600 to 1,000kph in a vacuum tube will be introduced in two or three years, it added.

Shen Zhiyun, a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences and one of the lab's research fellows, said a maglev train could ride at astonishing speeds in an airless tube because of zero air friction.

Shen's colleague Zhang Yaoping is a friend of Daryl Oster, who holds the United States patent for Evacuated Tube Transport (ETT) technology.

Zhang, Shen and maglev expert Wang Jiasu launched their study in 2002. Oster came to China the same year to join the university's ETT institute.

Shen said the US proposal was for a highly evacuated tunnel. The Chinese version reduces air pressure, making the tunnel easier and cheaper to build.

The tunnel would cost 10 to 20 million yuan (US$2.95 million) more than the current high speed railway for each kilometer but the train would be able to travel at 600kph, Shen estimated.

Source:Shanghai Daily