The race is on for even speed­ier rail travel

China Daily European Weekly - - CHINA NEWS - By LUO WANGSHU lu­owang­shu@chi­nadaily.com.cn Zhao Lei con­trib­uted to this story.

China’s com­mer­cial bul­let train will be able to go even faster if the vi­bra­tion noise it gen­er­ates is brought un­der con­trol, a mem­ber of the Chi­nese Acad­emy of En­gi­neer­ing said.

“China has tested a wheeled bul­let train at speeds up to 420 kilo­me­ters per hour in op­er­a­tion. ... The safety index is to­tally fine — in­clud­ing the de­rail­ment co­ef­fi­cient, shock ab­sorp­tion, ver­ti­cal ac­cel­er­a­tion and hor­i­zon­tal ac­cel­er­a­tion — leav­ing the vi­bra­tion noise (unsolved),” He Huawu said in a China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion pro­gram on June 10.

He, a mem­ber of the Chi­nese Acad­emy of En­gi­neer­ing, is the chief en­gi­neer of China Rail­way Corp, the na­tion’s rail­way op­er­a­tor.

Re­solv­ing vi­bra­tion noise re­quires spe­cial struc­tures. China will be able to han­dle some of the eas­ier as­pects in four or five years, but ex­tra work is needed for the long-term goal, he said.

Long-term goals are more com­pli­cated, and in­clude build­ing a low­pres­sure un­der­ground tube, the en­gi­neer said.

China’s fastest wheeled train in com­mer­cial use, the Fux­ing, or Re­ju­ve­na­tion, runs daily at 350 km/h be­tween Beijing and Shang­hai.

In the test men­tioned by He, two bul­let trains passed in op­po­site di­rec­tions, both trav­el­ing at 420 km/h, in July 2016. It was done to col­lect data on fac­tors such as en­ergy costs and vi­bra­tion noise that oc­cur at high speeds.

“The suc­cess of the ex­per­i­ment demon­strates that China has mas- tered com­pre­hen­sive knowl­edge of the bul­let train’s core tech­nolo­gies,” Zhou Li, a China Rail­way Corp of­fi­cial, said in an in­ter­view in July 2016.

He, of the acad­emy, also spoke about China’s fu­ture ul­tra­fast train. “China al­ready has a ma­glev line. ... By per­sist­ing in de­vel­op­ment, China is ex­pected to build an ul­tra­fast train in 10 years,” he said.

The world’s fastest com­mer­cially op­er­ated in­te­gral rail ve­hi­cle, pow­ered by Ger­many’s Tran­srapid ma­glev, trav­els on the Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port Ma­glev Line, with a max­i­mum op­er­at­ing speed of 430 km/h.

He also re­ferred to the an­nounce­ment by Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, that he was work­ing in Cal­i­for­nia on build­ing an ul­tra­fast trans­porta­tion sys­tem pop­u­larly known as hy­per­loop. A hy­per­loop is a sealed tube through which a ve­hi­cle can travel at ul­tra­high speeds, un­in­hib­ited by air re­sis­tance.

“Musk is rais­ing money world­wide to turn his con­cept into a project. ... Musk only has a con­cept, but China al­ready has a ma­glev line,” He said.

China Aero­space Science and In­dus­try Corp, one of the na­tion’s ma­jor space con­trac­tors, be­gan hy­per­loop re­search and de­vel­op­ment, in Wuhan, Hubei prov­ince, in July 2017.

The CASIC hy­per­loop will be a ma­glev line on which a stream­lined, en­gine­less train will travel on partly el­e­vated tubes or tun­nels at speeds reach­ing 1,000 km/h.

“In the fu­ture, we will de­velop tech­nolo­gies that al­low a train to travel at 2,000 and even 4,000 km/h,” says Mao Kai, chief de­signer of the sys­tem at the com­pany. “Once our de­vel­op­ment is suc­cess­ful, we plan to con­struct a short-dis­tance line for trial runs.”

“China has tested a wheeled bul­let train at speeds up to 420 kilo­me­ters per hour in op­er­a­tion.” HE HUAWU a mem­ber of the Chi­nese Acad­emy of En­gi­neer­ing

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