Final preparations for Beijing’s new maglev line

Final preparations for Beijing’s new maglev line
20 October 2017

The S1 line will be first in the Chinese capital to operate with magnetic levitation, serving a 10km route through the western districts of Shijingshan and Mentougou.

Appointed earlier this year as the Independent Safety Assessor of the line’s signalling technology, the Beijing office has been closely involved throughout the final stages of the project, making every effort to assure the new line’s safety through a series of assessments and on-site audits. Under particular scrutiny has been the design, installation, testing and documentation of the system critical safety components such as the automatic train supervision and protection, automatic train operation, and the computer interlocking subsystem.

“It was fascinating to watch the team at work on this unique and exciting project,” said Dave as he observed the team undertaking their on-site audits. “Projects like this show that maglev technology is becoming an increasingly viable option for major international cities like Beijing looking to reduce their reliance on car usage. Alongside conventional steel wheel/steel rail tram and metro systems, this is an area in which Ricardo is ideally placed to assist.”

The unique characteristics of maglev technology – for example, the special track and switch layout, as well as axle counter configurations – requires specialist consideration. As such, the Ricardo team has hosted workshops with stakeholders to apply a risk-based approach, ensuring potential challenges are identified and resolved as the project moves towards completion.

Initial service trials of the S1 line commenced in the early autumn of 2017. Once launched, services will operate with an initial fleet of ten locally manufactured 6-car maglev trains, each with the capacity for around 1,000 passengers and capable of operating at speeds of up to 80 km/h.