China has unveiled a prototype of a new magnetic levitation (maglev) train designed to reach speeds of up to 600 km/h. Maglev technology uses strong electromagnets which lift and propel the train forward on a cushion of air. Without the problem of friction between wheels and rails, maglev trains are able to hit greater speeds than conventional locomotives, and with less noise and vibration. China already has the world’s fastest commercial maglev service. The Shanghai Maglev, with a top operational speed of 431 km/h, has been carrying passengers on a 30 km stretch between Shanghai’s Pudong airport and the city centre since 2003.