China once again has publicized its plans to take the lead in the new global race to make bullet trains travel even faster. By harnessing the power of magnetic levitation, it is thought that Maglev trains in China could have the ability to accelerate from the current top speeds of 350km/h on conventional tracks to between 600 and 1,000km/h. Changjiang Daily, the official news reporter of Wuhan, which is the capital city of Hubei, stated that experimental maglev tracks would be laid in the central province early in early 2020 however due to the current global pandemic, this project was brought to an abrupt halt. The news report cited a key survey carried out by a design institute for the China Railway Group Limited. The China Railway Group Limited was tasked with conducting a feasibility study for a sprawling new network stretching from Guangzhou to Beijing on which trains could travel at between 600km/h and 1,000km/h.
The prodigious high speed means that once operational, a 2,200-km journey from Wuhan to Guangzhou could be reduced to about two hours. A 600km/h Maglev train prototype was reported to be ready for trial runs in 2020 and Hubei was to start work on a 200-km section made of vacuum tubes to conduct assessments to verify the cutting-edge, high-temperature superconducting maglev theory and ultimately push the speed limit to 1,000km/h. What is setting in motion this ambitious new project is Beijing’s latest policy paper on nationwide transportation developments publicized in September 2019. It contains a chapter on running new maglev lines between key urban centres to complement the existing network of high-speed railways.