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New maglev lines to cut travel time to Guangzhou

By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-02-23 09:35

The prototype locomotive is rolled out in Chengdu, Sichuan province on Jan 13, 2021. The domestically developed maglev train boasts a quoted speed of 620 kilometers per hour. [Photo/Chinanews.com]

Territorial space has been reserved in Guangdong province to build two high-speed maglev lines, according to a local territorial spatial plan.

The plan, issued in early February by the Guangdong Provincial Department of Natural Resources, outlines land use arrangement for the next 15 years in Guangdong, an economic powerhouse in South China.

The space will be used for construction of two maglev lines linking Beijing and Shanghai to the province respectively. Both maglev lines will be converged in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong, helping to facilitate the city's leading position in high-speed railroad network in South China.

The maglev lines are expected to cut travel time between Shanghai and Guangzhou to not more than three hours, and less than four hours between Beijing and Guangzhou, helping save more than half of the time compared to current high-speed trains.

The plan also pointed to the line linking Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, which has not entered the planning and construction stage. However, according to early official information, the section between Guangzhou and Shenzhen will most likely be the first to begin construction.

The new maglev intercity railway between Guangzhou and Shenzhen will be built to ease operational pressure of regular and bullet trains in the area, according to a feasibility study by the Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission released last year.

Shenzhen and Guangzhou are currently connected by an intercity rail and an express rail linking between the two cities and Hong Kong.

The maglev railway is to be built in 2025 and is expected to be completed in 2030, according to information released by the Guangzhou government in 2019.

Guangdong's blueprint to build maglev lines is part of China's plan to add more magnetic levitation railroads of more than 1,000 kilometers in total length into its service network in the long term.

The railroads will consist of a tourist railway line in Yunnan province, intercity passenger lines and urban mass transit lines in places such as Shanxi province, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Sichuan province in the nation's southwestern region.

"The maglev lines will help boost regional connectivity and high-end equipment manufacturing," said He Huawu, academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, during an emerging industrial forum held early last year.

Compared with standard bullet trains, high-speed maglev trains have advantages which include reduced noise and vibration, and lower maintenance costs because they do not ride on rails with wheels but hover centimeters above the track through the use of magnets, avoiding slower speeds caused by friction.

According to He, the maglev trains on the planned line between Guangzhou and Shenzhen, with a length of 110 km, will run at a designed top speed of 600 km per hour.

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