China’s fastest suspension railway line has been put in trial operation in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong province.
Nicknamed the ‘Skytrain’, the elevated monorail is already breaking records, while still in its testing phase. Engineers say it can perform nearly three times better than regular subway trains and can ascend gradients of 100 meters over a distance of 1,000 meters, according to Chinanews.com.
Designed as a lightweight, intermediate speed, medium traffic volume, and low-cost transport system, it’s expected to have huge market potential in scenic areas, mountainous regions, and major cities.
Made by CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co. Ltd, the suspension train will be able to carry up to 510 passengers in three to five carriages, with the maximum running speed of 70 km per hour.
“This monorail train uses the latest permanent magnet motor technology, which enables it to have the advantages of larger power, smaller physical volume, lower noise, and lighter weight, thus realizing better operating efficiency,” says Liu Yuwen, technical director of the project.
Through steep and rugged mountainous regions, the sky train will still be able to provide passengers with a safe and comfortable ride, he added.
Elevated rail networks can also be cheaper to build and maintain, and can be set up quickly.
China is now the third country in the world to have developed this kind of technology, after Germany and Japan.
One of the earliest electrical elevated railway systems, built in the German city of Wuppertal, opened in 1901 and is still in operation today.