Ricardo helps prepare new Maglev line to serve the city of Beijing

Ricardo helps prepare new Maglev line to serve the city of Beijing
16 October 2017

Ricardo helps prepare new Maglev line to serve the city of Beijing

It can be revealed that Ricardo expertise is playing a key role in the final preparations for Beijing’s new maglev line. 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, Ricardo’s Beijing team 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.

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.

“It was fascinating to watch the team at work on this unique and exciting project,” commented Ricardo CEO Dave Shemmans during a recent visit to Beijing to observe some of the team’s 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.”

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.