All-aboard for Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev project

13:22, March 15, 2010      

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The Ministry of Railways gave the go-ahead on March 13 for a high-speed magnetic levitation railway project, or maglev for short, which would traverse a distance of nearly 200 kilometers between Shanghai and Hangzhou, including a branch line already in existence in Shanghai. Detailed research on the project is underway, said Zheng Jian, chief designer of the Ministry of Railways. As of now, this is the only maglev railway line in China's medium and long-term railway development plan.

"As the extension of the maglev line connecting Pudong Airport with Shanghai's downtown area, the Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev line will promote the integration of Shanghai and Hangzhou and create a one-hour economic circle. After it is put into operation, the line will help tap idle assets and improve resource allocation between Shanghai and Hangzhou," said Sun Zhang, a professor from the Institute of Railway & Urban Rail Transit under Tongji University.

Currently, the 31-kilometer maglev railway line linking Shanghai's Pudong Airport and its downtown area is the only one of its kind in existence in the country.


Maglev train coming out of the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai.

After the Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev project is completed and put into operation, it will connect with the existing Pudong Airport maglev line to realize the seamless linking between the Shanghai South Railway Station, Hongqiao Airport, Pudong Airport and Hangzhou.

The Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed maglev line will allow trains to run at speeds of 400 kilometers per hour, while ordinary railways only allow a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour. Tongji University has already built a prototype high-speed maglev line.

"Maglev trains have a maximum speed of 500 kilometers per hour, nearly comparable to aircraft. These trains can help reduce energy consumption greatly, as they are specially designed for to run on battery power," said Sun.

The Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev project mainly adopts technologies imported from Germany. Some of the related technologies are now being absorbed by China. So far, an ordinary maglev train model completely designed and manufactured by China has made its debut in Beijing and trial railways have been built in Changsha and Tangshan, with 30,000 kilometers of safe operation.

By People's Daily Online
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