Space has been reserved in Guangdong province to build two high-speed magnetic levitation railroad lines, according to a local territorial spatial plan.
Maglev trains can run as fast as 600 kilometers per hour, several hundred km/h faster than current conventional bullet trains.
The plan, issued this month by Guangdong’s Department of Natural Resources, outlines land uses for the next 15 years in the province, which is an economic powerhouse.
The space will be used for construction of two maglev lines, linking the province to Beijing and to Shanghai. The two lines will converge in Guangzhou, the province’s capital, helping to facilitate the city’s leading position in South China’s high-speed railway network.
The maglev lines are expected to cut travel time between Shanghai and Guangzhou to less than three hours, and between Beijing and Guangzhou to less than four hours. That’s less than half the time of current high-speed trains.
The plan also made reference to a line linking Shanghai, Shenzhen, also in Guangdong, and Guangzhou. That line has not entered the planning and construction stage. However, according to officials, the section between Guangzhou and Shenzhen will most likely be the first to be built.
The intercity maglev line between Guangzhou and Shenzhen will be built to ease pressure on regular and bullet trains in the area, the Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission said in a feasibility study last year.
Shenzhen and Guangzhou are currently connected by an intercity rail line and an express railway that link the two cities and Hong Kong.
Construction of that maglev line is to start in 2025 and is expected to be completed in 2030, the Guangdong provincial government said in 2019.
Guangdong’s blueprint for maglev lines is part of China’s plan to incorporate the technology into its transportation network over the long term.
“The maglev lines will help boost regional connectivity and high-end equipment manufacturing,” said He Huawu, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, during a forum last year on emerging industries.
High-speed maglev trains have advantages over standard bullet trains that include reduced noise and vibration and lower maintenance costs. The trains do not use wheels that ride on rails but hover centimeters above the track through the use of magnets, which also allows higher speeds by avoiding friction.
The maglev trains on the 110 km planned line between Guangzhou and Shenzhen will have a designed top speed of 600 km/h, He said.