Testing has officially begun on Beijing’s first ever maglev train. Maglev trains operate using magnetic levitation, meaning they actually hover above the track which enables them to run smoother and faster than traditional trains.
Engineers started testing the new line this week, and Beijing is expected to hold a trial run of its premier maglev train, called S1, by the end of this year.
S1 will also be the first domestically built maglev train, according to a spokesperson for the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
The line will travel in western Beijing, stretching 10.2 kilometers from Pingguoyuan (Shijingshan District) to Shimenying (Mentougou District) and stopping at eight stations.
There is currently no subway connecting these two areas, and current travel time by bus takes approximately one hour. However, the new maglev train will cut travel time down to only 20 minutes. The train will run at a maximum speed of 100km/h.
S1 will also connect with Line 1 and the western part of Line 6, which is currently being built.
These new lines are all part of Beijing's massive subway expansion. Over 350 kilometers of new lines will be worked on this year alone.
By 2020 it is expected that 90 percent of the main Beijing area will have one subway stop with 750 meters.
[Images via RallyNews.com]