New maglev line to connect western Beijing

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China's first medium-low speed maglev line using Chinese technology is scheduled to launch in Beijing before March 2013, China Daily reported.

The medium-low speed maglev train.[File photo]

The medium-low speed maglev train.[File photo]

The medium-low speed S1 Line will make China only the second country, after Japan, to have such a line, said Chang Wensen, a chief project scientist who led the research team that developed the magnetic levitation, or maglev, technology.

As one of eight rail transit lines under construction in Beijing designed to form an urban transit network and help ease traffic gridlock, the S1 Line will extend from the western Mentougou district to Pingguoyuan subway station, the western terminal station of Line 1.

Construction is expected to cost about 6 billion yuan (US$1 billion) and be completed in 2013, according to earlier reports.

Construction on the project was slated to begin last year but was postponed several times because residents living near the proposed route raised concerns about exposure to radiation.

But Chang said, "The radiation is much less than a hairdryer or an electric razor. Earlier tests show the low speed maglev train emits almost no radiation."

Besides concerns over radiation, power consumption of the maglev line is another problem facing Chang's research team.

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