India considers ultra-high-speed Maglev trains

The Maglev train in Shanghai
The Maglev train in Shanghai

India is considering the possibility of using ultra-high-speed Maglev (magnetic levitation) trains to connect key cities.

The Economic Times reported this week that the Indian government has requested proposals for Maglev technology, and that three companies – two from the US and one from Japan – have so far shown an interest.

If the project is realised, overland transport in India could be transformed, with Maglev trains travelling at speeds of up to 500kph and slashing journey times between major cities.

An Indian railway official, Hemant Kumar, told the Economic Times that a 15km stretch of Maglev track would be construction for the trials. If successful, further stretches of elevated Maglev track would cost approximately INR1.5 billion (US$22 million) per kilometre.

A Maglev train currently holds the land speed record for rail vehicles, with a Japanese train having clocked a speed of 603kph in April 2015.

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