According to Mr Tong Laisheng, director of CRRC’s Maglev Research Institute, the maglev train completed a series of test runs during which the maximum speed was increased in stages from 100km/h to 120km/h, 150km/h and 155km/h. At each stage, the train’s status and dynamic performance was monitored to ensure it was safe to increase the speed to the next level.

The achievement of 160km/h marks the completion of the Hunan Provincial Party Committee and provincial government’s Middle Speed Maglev Technology Research IV programme aimed at developing a maglev train for inter-urban services.

The Changsha Maglev Express Line, which links Changsha South station with Huanghua Airport, opened on May 6 2016. It is operated with Version 1.0 maglev trains which have a maximum speed of 100km/h. Apart from its higher maximum speed, the Version 2.0 train has an increased suspension capacity of 6 tonnes and 30% more traction power.

The Version 2.0 maglev train team celebrate the milestone.

The development of the Version 2.0 train started in June 2018 with CRRC and Hunan Maglev Technology Research Centre leading a team of more than 20 organisations. The 10-month testing programme was carried out by CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, Hunan Maglev Technology Research centre, Hunan Maglev Transportation Development, Tongji University Maglev Transportation Engineering Technology Research Centre, China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group, Hunan Transportation Planning Investigation and Design Institute, Southwest Jiaotong University, and Changsha University of Science and Technology.

CRRC is now leading a project to develop a Version 3.0 train with a maximum speed of 200km/h, which will be suitable for the operation of inter-city services.