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Shanghai Maglev Train

Shanghai Maglev Train

Shanghai Maglev Train

The Shanghai Maglev Train or Shanghai Transrapid is a magnetic levitation train (maglev) line that operates in Shanghai, China. It is notable for being the first commercial high-speed maglev line in the world-during a test run on November 12, 2003, a Maglev vehicle achieved a Chinese record speed of 501 km/h (311 mph) (non-commercial top speed). The journey was designed to connect Shanghai Pudong International Airport quickly to the outskirts of central Shanghai where passengers could interchange for their final destinations in the city centre. Construction of the line began in March 2001 and public service commenced on January 1, 2004. The top operational commercial speed of this train is 431 km/h (268 mph), making it the world's fastest train in regular commercial services since its opening in 2004, faster than previous record holder at 320 km/h with TGV in France, and also faster than the latest CRH conventional wheel train in China at 350 km/h. The top speed of 431 km/h (268 mph) is also faster than the top speed of any production automobile (except for the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which has roughly the same top speed), Formula One car, or MotoGP super bikes.

The train set and tracks were manufactured using the German-originated Transrapid technology. Two commercial maglev systems had predated the Shanghai system-the Birmingham Maglev in the United Kingdom and the Berlin M-Bahn-both were low-speed operations and had closed before the opening of the Shanghai Maglev Train.

Shanghai Maglev Train

Shanghai Maglev Train

The line runs from Longyang Road station in Pudong to Pudong International Airport; both stations provide transfers to Line 2 of the Shanghai Metro. At full speed, the journey takes 7 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the distance of 30 km, although some trains in the early morning and late afternoon take about 50 seconds longer. A train can reach 350 km/h (220 mph) in 2 minutes, with the maximum normal operation speed of 431 km/h (268 mph) reached thereafter.

Hans-Dieter Bott, vice president of Siemens when they won the contract to build the rail link, stated that "Transrapid views the Shanghai line, where the ride will last just eight minutes, largely as a sales tool. This serves as a demonstration for China to show that this works and can be used for longer distances, such as Shanghai to Beijing".However, the decision was eventually made to implement the Beijing-Shanghai Express Railway with conventional high-speed technology.

Operation and Tickets

The line is operated by Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co., Ltd. As of May 2008, the line operates daily from 6:45 AM to 9:30 PM, with services every 15 to 20 minutes. A one-way ticket costs 50 RMB (US$7.27), or 40 RMB ($5.81) for those passengers holding a receipt or proof of an airline ticket purchase. A round-trip return ticket costs 80 RMB ($11.63) and VIP tickets cost double the standard fare.

Shanghai Maglev Train

Shanghai Maglev Train

Following the opening, overall maglev train ridership levels were at 20% of capacity. The levels were attributed to limited operating hours, the short length of the line, high ticket prices and that it "virtually goes nowhere", terminating at Longyang Road in Pudong another 20 min by subway from the city center.

Official Website: http://www.smtdc.com/en/