Beijing, China – Suspension railway proposed, Beijing aims to start trial runs of a new maglev system before the end of this year and China’s rail freight volume continues to grow as China to Europe freight trips hit 5,000.

Chinese academic Wanming Zhai has proposed building suspension railway lines as a solution to traffic and environmental issues.
‘It (the battery powered suspension train) is pollution-free and does not affect ground facilities.’ Zhai said, referring to a planned elevated monorail line being finalized in southwest China’s Guizhou Province. The trains will run on lithium batteries. He added that the construction cost for the suspension railway is around one fifth of the cost of building a subway.
The trains have been tested on a 1.4 kilometre long monorail track built by Zhai’s team. The trains can run up to speeds of 60 kph.
The first suspension trains in China rolled off the production line last year.

Beijing’s first maglev railway, a medium-low speed line just over ten kilometres long, will begin testing before the end of the year. The S1 line will connect the western suburban districts of Mentougou and Shijingshan. There have been multiple tests so far to prove the safety of the technology.
When the line opens it is expected to carry 160,000 people a day.

China’s rail freight volume has increased to 2.8 billion tonnes in the first three quarters of year, representing a 15 per cent increase on the same period last year. The news come as the transport hub of Urumqi sent its 500th freight train to Europe, in total 700 trains are expected to depart for Europe this year. Direct freight rail service began six years ago, since then 5,000 cargo train trips have been made between Europe and China.
The city of Urumqi in northwestern China is a logistics hub, providing a point-to-point service that integrates customs clearing, inspection and quarantine, train transportation, and freight logistics which has helped to cut cost and reduce transport time.