Guangzhou-Shenzhen Commute in Under 20 Minutes by 2030?

By Ryan Gandolfo, November 21, 2019

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A new high-speed railway will be built to link Guangzhou Baiyun Airport and Shenzhen Bao’an Airport, according to a report by Southern Daily, cited by Xinhua. It is estimated that the trip between the two transportation hubs could take less than 20 minutes.

Guangzhou-Shenzhen’s (otherwise known as Guangshen, or 广深) second high-speed railway was officially put on the government’s agenda in June, and is expected to alleviate the insufficient amount of transportation between the two cities, according to the Shenzhen Internet Information Office. (We can attest to that, as it is seemingly harder and harder to purchase train tickets between Guangzhou and Shenzhen on the day of your trip.)

The Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality recently issued a feasibility study that is looking into the possibility of using high-speed magnetic-levitation (maglev) trains for the infrastructure project. 

maglev-train.jpgImage via @深圳发布/WeChat

For a quick and easy primer on maglev trains, we’ll refer to the folks at How Stuff Works:

[Maglev] trains float over guideways using the basic principles of magnets to replace the old steel wheel and track trains. There’s no rail friction to speak of, meaning these trains can hit speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. Yet high speed is just one major benefit of maglev trains. Because the trains rarely (if ever) touch the track, there’s far less noise and vibration than typical, earth-shaking trains. Less vibration and friction results in fewer mechanical breakdowns, meaning that maglev trains are less likely to encounter weather-related delays.

After China debuted a high-speed maglev train testing prototype in Qingdao in May, which has a designed top speed of 600 kilometers per hour, the technology may be used here in South China. The train was developed by state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation, and is expected to go into commercial production in 2021. It’s hoped that the second Guangshen railway line will begin operation by 2030, according to GRT Radio.

READ MORE: Maglev Train to Cut Guangzhou-Wuhan Journey to 2 Hours

Proposed routes show that the second Guangshen high-speed railway will depart from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, with stops in Dongguan and Guangzhou’s Huangpu district, as well as Baiyun International Airport and Guangzhou North Station (which is currently undergoing renovations). A second branch shows the railway would also link Huangpu Station to Guangzhou’s Science City. The proposed high-speed railway is also expected to extend to Hong Kong, although it doesn’t appear that the rail will extend to the city’s international airport.

In 2003, Shanghai’s 30-kilometer maglev train line officially started commercial operations, linking Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport to the downtown area in eight minutes. With a maximum design speed of 430 kilometers per hour, it’s no match for the new maglev prototype that may be headed to the Greater Bay Area.

READ MORE: 5G Coming to GZ-SZ-HK High-Speed Railway

[Cover image via @Lars Plougmann/Wikimedia]

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