The first Chinese commercial middle-low speed magnetically levitated (maglev) rail and the world’s longest of its kind is going on trial in Changsha. Operated by Hunan Maglev Transport Co, the maximum speed is 120 km/h, although the normal speed is limited to 100 km/h. On average, a single course takes approximately 23 minutes.
Construction of the Maglev line began in May 2014, and the guideway was completed in mid October 2015, at a reported cost of 195m yuan per route-km. The 18.5 km track, linking the South Railway Station of Yuhua District with Huanghua International Airport of Changsha County, allows Maglev trains to run with a maximum passenger capacity of 363.
To begin the milestone journey, the low-speed Maglev rail officially went into trial run on Dec 26 in the provincial capital of Hunan. After the successful trial, the rail is expected to open to the public in three months’ time at best. It will do numerous tests without passengers according to the operation standard, such as the system trial operation and safety test.
Revenue service is expected to begin in early 2016 giving Changsha a distinctive identity as far as having the first low-speed Maglev line in China that has independent intellectual property rights is concerned. Notably, the project will transform Changsha into a comprehensive transportation hub, ensuring seamless transfer among air traffic, Maglev, subway, high-speed rail and highways.