Did China Just Invent the 21st Century's Coolest Technology?

CRH2 China Railways High-speed bullet train as it arrives from Hangzhou, at the Shanghai South Railway Station.
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CRH2 China Railways High-speed bullet train as it arrives from Hangzhou, at the Shanghai South Railway Station.
Getty Images
Scientists in China say they have successfully produced a model Maglev train that can travel as fast as a plane, according to a report in a Chinese newspaper.

Shuai Bin, a vice dean at the country's Southwest Jiaotong University, told the Global Times that the train would allow passengers to make the trip from Beijing to Guangzhou in under two hours. He said the vacuum magnetic suspension train model reached speeds of between 600 and 1,200 kilometers per hour. By comparison, a flight covering the same distance takes three hours.

If the claim is true, that would mean the Chinese have topped the speed record set by the highest recorded speed of a Maglev train - 581 kilometers per hour - in Japan.

Maglev is industry shorthand for a new class of high-speed trains that use electromagnets to essentially hover over a guideway. The train is propelled by the force of the magnetic field created by electrified coils. Last year, Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Co. finished work on a Maglev train said to reach speeds up to 500 kilometers per hour.

It's still unclear when real-world implementation of the new technology is planned. You can read more about the story here.