Maglev train: a prototype capable of reaching speeds of up to 620 kilometers per hour is presented in China

(CNN) – China unveiled a prototype of a new high-speed maglev train capable of speeds up to 620 kilometers (385 miles) per hour.

The train runs on high-temperature superconductivity (HTSC), which gives the impression that the train is floating on magnetized rails.

The sleek 21-meter (69-foot) long prototype was unveiled to media in Chengdu city, Sichuan province on Jan. 13. and feel on the go, according to the state Xinhua News.

Professor He Chuan (vice president of Southwestern Jiaotong University who worked on the prototype) told reporters that the train could be “operated” for 3-10 years.

He added, “Sichuan has rich resources of rare earth elements, which is very beneficial for our construction of permanent magnet tracks, which contributes to the faster development of experiments.”

One of the possible interiors of the new maglev train.

One of the possible interiors of the new maglev train.

Liu Kun / Xinhua / Sipa USA

China has the world’s largest high-speed rail network, with over 37,000 kilometers, and the fastest commercial train, the Shanghai maglev.

The country’s first high-speed maglev train began operating in 2003. With a top speed of 431 km/h, the train connects Shanghai Pudong Airport and Longyang Street in eastern Shanghai.

China is committed to further infrastructure improvements ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing.

This time last year, China unveiled a new 174-kilometer high-speed rail line linking Beijing to 2022 Winter Olympics host city Zhangjiakou, cutting travel time between the two from three hours to 47 minutes.

Earlier this month, a bullet train specially designed for withstand negative temperatures. The CR400AF-G train can reach speeds of up to 350 kilometers per hour in temperatures down to -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit).
It will run on routes between Beijing, Shenyang and Harbin, the latter of which is so cold that it hosts an annual snow and ice festival.

Shanshan Wang CNN contributed to the report.