Ricardo to assist in final phase development of Beijing's maglev line


Engineering firm Ricardo is set to be involved in the development of the final phase of the new maglev S1 line in Beijing, China.

The company was previously appointed as the independent safety assessor (ISA) for the line’s signalling technology earlier this year.

Ricardo’s Beijing team will be responsible for carrying out a series of assessments and on-site audits to ensure the safety of the new line as part of the project.

It will also evaluate the design, installation, testing and documentation of the system-critical safety components, including automatic train supervision and protection, automatic train operation and the computer interlocking subsystem.

The 10km-long S1 line is set to run through the western districts of Shijingshan and Mentougou. It will be the first railway project in the Chinese capital to operate via magnetic levitation technology.

During a recent visit in Beijing, Ricardo CEO Dave Shemmans said: “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.”

"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."

The Ricardo team has also conducted workshops to identify and resolve various potential challenges as the maglev technology features unique track and switch layout and axle counter configurations, which are operate differently from conventional infrastructure.

Initial service trials are expected to be conducted along the S1 line later this year.

A fleet of ten locally manufactured, six-car maglev trains are slated to begin operating on the line upon the commencement of commercial operations.

The vehicles can run at a speed of up to 80km/h and will be capable of carrying nearly 1,000 passengers.


Image: Maglev trains. Photo: courtesy of Ricardo.