Have we just witnessed a very great moment in the history of transport? In any case, this is what an article published by the South China Morning Post. China has just started tests on the first suspended blue maglev, called “Sky Train”, or sky train. The latter rolls under the rails and without physical contact with them and thus floats while requiring very little energy.
A “Sky Train” instead of the metro or tram?
800 meters long, this train is propelled by very powerful magnets made up of rare earth elements. It is capable of carrying 88 passengers at a speed of around 80 km/h and could reach 120 km/h.
According to its designers, researchers from Jiangxi University of Science and Technology, it requires only a tiny amount of electricity. As for its construction cost, it would represent only about a tenth of that of a metro, report our colleagues. What to give why not give ideas to certain municipalities which would like to acquire a cheaper and less energy-consuming means of transport.
China is banking heavily on maglev technology and is working on lines where trains could reach speeds of 600 km/h. However, these are very energy-intensive, unlike the “Sky Train”.
It should also be noted that the dissemination of this technology on a large scale could be a boon for the Middle Kingdom, which already has a fairly large stock of rare earths. the South China Morning Post moreover specifies that China controls more than 80% of the production capacity of permanent magnets in the world.
Scientists have been working on this project since the early 2000s. But it seems that the development of artificial intelligence has enabled researchers to make great progress in this area in recent years.