Look out Japan
-- your neighbor to the west might just steal your thunder. Years after the Land of the Rising Sun proudly boasted plans to create a maglev
train that could soar along at 500km/h
, China is now claiming that they'll have similar ones ready in just three years. Oh, but they'll travel at twice
the aforesaid speed. According to the laboratory at Southwest Jiaotong University, a prototype is currently being worked on that'll average 500km/h to 600km/h, with a far smaller train to hit upwards of 1,000km/h in "two or three years." The trick? Tossing the maglev train inside of a vacuum tube, enabling greater velocity due to decreased friction. If you're scoffing at the mere thought of how much such a setup would cost, you're probably not alone -- it's bruited that the tunnel would cost "10 to 20 million yuan ($2.95 million) more than the current high speed railway for each kilometer
." Pony up, taxpayers!