By Tamsanqa W Johnson | MDC leader Nelson Chamisa’s “Bullet Train” concept has proved real after China moved ahead with plans to develop an even faster train, dubbed under the title, “maglev”.
2 months ago, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), that country’s largest rail transportation equipment maker, announced that its plans for a 600 km/h magnetic levitation train had been approved.
The train will be capable of making the trip from Shanghai to Beijing in just two hours. The long stretch is 1,207 km long meaning it will accomplish 300km in just 30 minutes.
The MDC’s Acting President, Nelson Chamisa at the weekend announced that once president he will facilitate a train that will take 35 min to reach Bulawayo. Chamisa was mocked by critics who labelled him a sensationalist. They said it is impossible and there is neither technology nor infrastructure at present to handle the demands for such a train.
Convicted fraudster Wicknell Chivayo attacked Chamisa saying his claim was fake. Perhaps Chivayo in his critique was right on the absence of infrastructure to handle the high speed train, but on the possibility of the innovation, he was wrong.
China’s plan, according to the medium.com publication, will involve the first 600 km/h variety which will be ready by the year 2020 for testing along a 5-kilometre track.
A source is quoted saying “in fact, we already know that maglev trains are capable of reaching speeds of 600 km/h plus. In April 2015, Japan broke its own speed record with a maglev that topped out at 603 km/h. However, commercial operation of these trains is still a long way away, with concerns about the infrastructure cost of building lengthy maglev tracks, not to mention safety issues.”
The report continues unrolling that: China is already currently home to the fastest commercial train in the world — the Shanghai Maglev, built with German technology, which takes travelers to the Pudong International Airport. Its top operational speed is 431 km/h.
In 2016, China introduced its first homegrown maglev line in Changsha, transporting passengers from the south railway station to the airport at a not terribly impressive top speed of 100 km/h. Last year, Beijing’s first maglev train, also homegrown, went into trial operation, it also runs at a leisurely 100 km/h.
Of course, this is all a bit less impressive when you remember that another Chinese company announced its intentions last year to build a futuristic “flying train,” capable of hitting a maximum speed of 4,000 km/h, while apparently not being a danger to passengers.