New Chinese magnetic levitation train ‘is faster than going by plane’

A bullet train which 'floats' above the tracks using magnetic levitation could soon hit 373mph in China - making it faster than travelling by plane.

A prototype body of the science fiction vehicle was shown off in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao this week.

The machine, designed by China's China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), is slated to go into production in 2021.

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QINGDAO, CHINA - MAY 23: China's first high-speed maglev train testing prototype is seen on May 23, 2019 in Qingdao, Shandong Province of China. China rolled off the production line of a prototype maglev train with a maximum speed of 600 kilometres per hour on Thursday in Qingdao. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
QINGDAO, CHINA - MAY 23: China's first high-speed maglev train testing prototype is seen on May 23, 2019 in Qingdao, Shandong Province of China. China rolled off the production line of a prototype maglev train with a maximum speed of 600 kilometres per hour on Thursday in Qingdao. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
QINGDAO, May 23, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on May 23, 2019 shows China's first high-speed maglev train testing prototype in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province. China on Thursday rolled off the production line a prototype magnetic-levitation train with a designed top speed of 600 km per hour in the eastern city of Qingdao. The debut of China's first high-speed maglev train testing prototype marks a major breakthrough for the country in the high-speed maglev transit system. The engineering prototype is scheduled to roll off the production line in 2020 and go through comprehensive tests to finish integrated verification in 2021. (Xinhua/Li Ziheng) (Xinhua/ via Getty Images)
QINGDAO, CHINA - MAY 23: China's first high-speed maglev train testing prototype is seen on May 23, 2019 in Qingdao, Shandong Province of China. China rolled off the production line of a prototype maglev train with a maximum speed of 600 kilometres per hour on Thursday in Qingdao. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
QINGDAO, May 23, 2019 -- A guest takes photos inside China's first high-speed maglev train testing prototype in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province,on May 23, 2019. China on Thursday rolled off the production line a prototype magnetic-levitation train with a designed top speed of 600 km per hour in the eastern city of Qingdao. The debut of China's first high-speed maglev train testing prototype marks a major breakthrough for the country in the high-speed maglev transit system. The engineering prototype is scheduled to roll off the production line in 2020 and go through comprehensive tests to finish integrated verification in 2021. (Xinhua/Li Ziheng) (Xinhua/ via Getty Images)
QINGDAO, May 23, 2019 -- Guests visit China's first high-speed maglev train testing prototype in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province,on May 23, 2019. China on Thursday rolled off the production line a prototype magnetic-levitation train with a designed top speed of 600 km per hour in the eastern city of Qingdao. The debut of China's first high-speed maglev train testing prototype marks a major breakthrough for the country in the high-speed maglev transit system. The engineering prototype is scheduled to roll off the production line in 2020 and go through comprehensive tests to finish integrated verification in 2021. (Xinhua/Li Ziheng) (Xinhua/ via Getty Images)
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China has used 'maglev' (magnetic levitation) trains since 2003, using magnetic repulsion to 'lift' trains up off the ground and to propel it forward.

The technology reduces friction with the tracks and makes it possible for the trains to travel at unheard-of speeds.

CRRC deputy chief engineer Ding Sansan said, 'Take Beijing to Shanghai as an example -- counting preparation time for the journey, it takes about 4.5 hours by plane, about 5.5 hours by high-speed rail, andabout 3.5 hours with high-speed maglev.'

CRRC Qingdao Sifang will now build an experimental track to test the train.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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