The Chinese capital's first medium-low speed Maglev line is scheduled to start its operation by the end of the year, the line operator said today. Beijing Subway said it was preparing for test runs. Trains will stop at seven of the eight stations in the initial period as the Pingguoyuan interchange station is still under renovation, the operator said. A total of ten trains will be put into use in the first stage of operation. With a maximum speed of 80 km per hour, the train is designed to carry a maximum of 1,032 passengers, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The line, with a total length of 10.2 km, will help improve transport for the suburban Mentougou district and optimise the industrial structure in Shijingshan district, it said. Maglev trains are safer and cheaper compared to the current metro and light rail cars, the report said. Electromagnets and specially designed tracks prevent the trains from overturning or derailing.
They can also operate in severe weather with much less noise and zero emissions, it added. China started operation of its first Maglev Line in Shanghai, the financial capital of the country, in 2004.
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