Monday, March 10, 2008

Shanghai Maglev Train

Maglev speed上海磁浮示范运营线

The world's fastest train with passenger service is not France's TGV or the Japanese Bullet Train, Germany's high speed service or Taiwan's new ultra-fast lines. It is the maglev train from Shanghai's Pudong International Airport into Longyan Road, in Pudong, where you can transfer to a subway line that will take you farther into the city center.

The airport express train covers 30 km (18.6 miles) in under 8 minutes at speeds that hit 431 km/hour (268 mph). The ride is so brief, however, that the train only stays at the top speed for a very short amount of time before beginning to slow down prior to arrival.

The system cost more than one billion USD to build and began operation in 2004. Plans are afoot to extend the line to Shanghai's other airport, Hongquio International Airport, and to the area of the city where Expo 2010 will be held.

Trains that have maglev technology use electromagnetic force to guide and move cars forward. Problems with cost and safety notwithstanding, it is technologically possible for these trains to run at speeds comparable to passenger jets.

The system in Shanghai uses German technology.

Shanghai MaglevFare and Schedule Information

A one-way trip costs 50 Chinese yuan. VIP seats go for 100.
Trains run every 15 minutes from 6:45 am to 9:30 pm.

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