CSR Zhuzhou's prototype Wind Chaser urban maglev.

CHINA: A prototype maglev trainset for medium-capacity urban transport applications has been unveiled by CSR Zhuzhou.

The manufacturer envisages the 'Wind Chaser' design being used in cities of less than 2 million people, where a full metro might not be required. The company has confirmed that negotiations are underway with a potential customer in China.

The three-car prototype unveiled on January 20 is 46 750 mm long with a capacity of 598 passengers, a service speed of 100 km/h and a top speed of 120 km/h.

The train is powered by short-stator induction motor drives, with the primary windings mounted on 'flexible suspension frame modules' supporting the vehicle and a reaction plate attached to the guideway.

Curves down to 100 m radius can be negotiated, and the elevated track is predicted to have a maintenance-free life of 30 years.

The maglev is expected to be quieter in operation than a steel-wheeled metro trainset, according to CSR Zhuzhou President Xu Zongxiang, offering advantages in an urban environment. However, it would have a higher energy consumption than an equivalent conventional vehicle.