China Travel Guide
Shanghai Travel Guide & Tours Information - Maglev Train
The Shanghai Maglev Train or Shanghai Transrapid is the first commercial high-speed maglev line in the world. The system and trains were built to the Transrapid standard. Construction began in March 2001, and public service commenced on 1 January 2004.
During a test run on 12 November 2003, a maglev vehicle achieved a Chinese record speed of 501 km/h (311 mph). The train set and tracks were manufactured using German technology.
The line runs from Longyang Road station in Pudong, on the Shanghai subway line 2 to Pudong International Airport. The journey takes 7 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the distance of 30 km. 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.
The line is operated by Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co., Ltd. As of May 2008, the line operates daily between 06:45–21:30, a one-way ticket cost ¥50 (US$7.27), or ¥40 ($5.81) for those passengers holding a receipt or proof of an airline ticket purchase. A round-trip return ticket cost ¥80 ($11.63) and VIP tickets cost double the standard fare.
The service operates once every 15 minutes. It can be easier and faster for those passengers with destinations in west (Puxi) Shanghai to use a taxi directly from Pudong International Airport—although missing out the "thrill factor" of riding on the high-speed Maglev.
When discussing the practicality of other means of transport to the airport it is important to remember the name of the line , partially translated as Demonstration Operation Line. 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.
Of all the world's Airport rail links, the Demonstration Operation Line is by far the fastest. In comparison the Heathrow Express link is a nonstop 26.5 km from central London to Heathrow airport. This distance is similar to the Shanghai link, but the Heathrow Express takes 15 minutes (average speed 66 mph and top speed 100 mph). The Shanghai train is more than twice as fast, but it takes a full 4 minutes to reach its top speed of 431 km/h, and then must immediately begin slowing down for the final 3 minutes and 20 seconds. Because the Shanghai maglev was built before the connection to the local mass transit subway, it is often described as of little benefit to many people trying to get to the airport.
In 13 June, 2007, Asia Times reported that it "could hardly be called a commercial success", in part because "it virtually goes nowhere"
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 station at the upmarket financial hub of China in Pudong at Longyang Road Terminus.
In normal operation, the speed and journey time vary depending upon the time of day. Considering the short length of the track, increasing the maximum speed from 300 km/h to 431 km/h only saves 10% of the travel time (or 50 seconds).
|Journey time||8:10 minutes||7:20 minutes||8:10 minutes||7:20 minutes||8:10 minutes|
|Maximum speed||301 km/h (187 mph)||431 km/h (268 mph)||301 km/h (187 mph)||431 km/h (268 mph)||301 km/h (187 mph)|
|Average speed||224 km/h (139 mph)||251 km/h (156 mph)||224 km/h (139 mph)||251 km/h (156 mph)||224 km/h (139 mph)|
|Interval||15 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||20 minutes|
In January 2006, the Shanghai-Hangzhou Maglev Train extension project was proposed by the Shanghai Urban Planning Administrative Bureau. The extension would continue the existing line towards Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, running via Shanghai South Railway Station and the Expo 2010 site, with a possible continuation towards Hangzhou. If built, the extension would allow transferring between the two airports—located 55 km (34 mi) apart—in approximately 15 minutes.
The plan for the extension to Hangzhou was first approved by the central government in February 2006, with a planned date of completion in time for 2010. Work was suspended in 2008, owing to public protests over radiation fears.According to China Daily, as reported on People's Daily Online February 27, 2009, the Shanghai municipal government is considering building the maglev line underground to allay the public's fear of electromagnetic pollution, and the final decision on the maglev line has to be approved by the National Development and Reform commission.