China’s Newest ‘Sky Train’ Appears To Float 32 Feet Above The Ground

Image via Xingguo Government


In an incredible feat of innovation, China has recently unveiled the world’s first suspended maglev railway line, using the power of permanent magnets that are said to be able to keep this “sky train” floating 32 feet above the ground forever. 

The country is so confident of the 2,600-foot Red Rail, which runs through Xingguo county in Jiangxi province, that it believes the astonishing magnets—comprising of rare earth elements, which is said to significantly increase its lifespan—will continue working in the event the power supply’s switched off. 


Image via Xingguo Government


According to China Central Television, the state’s news outlet, the repelling force used to move the railway is strong enough to “float” a train filled with 88 passengers in the air. This isn’t China’s first maglev train, with the nation launching the “fastest ground vehicle in the world” last year.

South China Morning Post, which first broke the story, noted that the latest train, which is operated by artificial intelligence, never comes into physical contact with the rail, even as it chugs along at a respectable speed of 50 mph. 

Interestingly, because of the lack of friction and “floating” mechanism, the Red Rail has proven to be an energy-efficient alternative to the usual railway, requiring only a small amount of electricity to operate it, as per researchers at Jingaxi University of Science and Technology. 


Image via Xingguo Government


Plus, the scientists praised the maglev technology for generating minimal electromagnetic radiation, with its construction cost reportedly only 10% of what it typically costs to build a subway line. 

Following more test runs, transport authorities are planning to expand the line to cover 4.7 miles of ground, and will increase its top speed to a much quicker 120 km/h (74 mph).

Could this quieter, more futuristic railway be the gateway to better public transport in crowded cosmopolitan cities?


Image via Xingguo Government




[via Interesting Engineering and South China Morning Post, images via Xingguo Government]

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