China's first suspension railway completes test run

China's first suspension railway line finished its test run in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, yesterday. The train, powered by lithium batteries, has a speed of 60kmh. It successfully ran along the 300m test section of the track. The load capa
China's first suspension railway line finished its test run in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, yesterday.PHOTO: XINHUA/ TWITTER
China's first suspension railway line finished its test run in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, yesterday.
China's first suspension railway line finished its test run in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, yesterday.PHOTO: XINHUA/ TWITTER
China's first suspension railway line finished its test run in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, yesterday.
China's first suspension railway line finished its test run in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, yesterday.PHOTO: XINHUA/ TWITTER

CHENGDU - China's first suspension railway line has completed its test run in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.

The train, powered by lithium batteries, has a speed of 60kmh, Xinhua reported. 

It successfully ran along the 300m test section of the track on Friday (Sept 30).

The load capacity will be 120 passengers per train coach, said Mr Zhai Wanming of Southwest Jiaotong University, who is the chief designer of the project.

Based on the current test line, Mr Zhai estimated that the cost of the suspension railway will be one-fifth to one-eighth the cost of an underground railway per kilometre.

He also said that the lithium batteries used by the train were environmentally friendly.

Mr Zhai said the test section of the line will be expanded for further tests to be conducted on performance capabilities, including on manoeuvres such as turning, climbing, and operations at train and charging stations. 

No official opening date for the line has so far been announced.

After Chengdu, Shanghai will also be the next Chinese city to unveil its own suspension railway next year, Daily Mail reported. 

While the trains may appear futuristic, the system goes as far back as 1901, when one of the earliest electrical elevated railways was opened in the German city of Wuppertal.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2016, with the headline 'Hanging by a track'. Print Edition | Subscribe