Fenghuang maglev (8)

CHINA: A maglev line has opened to provide a scenic connection to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative Listed Fenghuang Ancient Town, which attracts 30 000 visitors a day.

The maglev runs for 9·1 km between the old town and Fenghuang station on the Zhangjiajie – Jishou – Huaihua high speed line which opened in December 2021.

The line was built by China Railway Engineering Corp for Hunan Maglev Group Corp in two years at a cost of 2·37bn yuan.

Phoenix stations

Fenghuang maglev (5)

The maglev officially opened on July 30 with four stations, with two more stations to open later.

The station designs are inspired by local culture and traditions, including the fenghuang, a mythical bird similar to phoenix which the area is named after.

Lansheng station is inspired by the bird’s eyes, and includes a three-story viewing platform overlooking the old town and scenic lift to walkways alongside the River Tuojiang.

The line’s support pillars are in the shape of petals, and the tunnels feature audiovisual entertainment.

Tickets cost 58 yuan four four days of unlimited travel, with an end to end journey taking 30 min.


Fenghuang maglev (4)

CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co supplied the 100 km/h three-car trains, which have large windows to provide scenic views and natural lighting.

The styling and champagne gold livery aim to combine modern technology with folk culture.

Fenghuang maglev (6)

The DY-1 hydraulic braking system was developed by CRRC Brake Technology Co to meet the requirements for rapid starting and stopping and operation on long and steep gradients.

Control system

Fenghuang maglev (2)

The line is controlled by a Train Autonomous Circumambulate System which allows the trains to share their position, speed and route status by direct broadcast rather than via a central control centre.

This was developed by the Beijing National Railway Research & Design Institute of Signal & Communication and supplied by China Railway Signal & Communication Co, with Ricardo acting as independent safety assessor.