Shanghai Maglev Train

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Shanghai Maglev Train

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Review of "Shanghai Maglev Train"

published 29/09/2009 | garymarsh86
Member since : 11/09/2004
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"Flying to the Airport!"

Maglev Train

Maglev Train

Maglev train. Shanghai

While in Shanghai and not wanting to go on a shopping trip we decided instead to take the Maglev train from the Longyang road station out to Shanghai’s Pudong international airport which was far more interesting for me than going on yet another shopping trip.

What is so special about the Shanghai Maglev train?

The train travels on a monorail type structure about fifty feet above the ground. Yet it is not a monorail it is a train that levitates above the central magnetic rail and is propelled at very fast speeds by magnetic force by magnets along the side of the walls. The distance from this station out to the airport is about 19 miles away. The maglev train completes this journey in an incredible 7 minutes and 20 seconds.

Where to get the train.

Longyang road station is situated in downtown Shanghai above the underground station on line two of Shanghai’s metro system. The station has an exhibition area on the ground floor showing how the construction took place and different speeds of various forms of transport as a comparison and how the maglev train works.

The station is new and modern and very clean. You can buy your tickets from a kiosk despite not understanding Chinese it was easy to buy the tickets at the kiosk as they understood English. A return ticket costs 80 Yuan and a return VIP ticket costs 160 Yuan. When we were there it was equivalent to £7 return and £14 respectively. At today’s exchange rate it is £8 and £16. The trains depart roughly every 15 minutes.

Once you have purchased your ticket you are let through the barriers and can go up onto the platform to await the next available train. Along the platform there is a glass barrier to keep passengers back until the train pulls into the station and stops completely. There is no noise at all as there is no engine and the braking is through lowering the magnetic current. The train approaches the station at speed and slows down as it enters the station. The design of the train is very modern and sleek looking. Passengers on the train are let out on the opposite side and once the train is clear the glass door barrier goes back and you can enter the train. Gloved staff are on hand to supervise passengers getting on and off the train.

Once we were on the train it felt very comfortable from Shanghai’s humidity as the train is air-conditioned and the seats are all leather and very comfortable. In the VIP carriage there were no other passengers and it is right at the front of the train. The driver was a nice cheerful lady who was quite happy to let us see into the driver’s compartment.

When the power is turned on you can feel the slight elevating of the train carriage, the train rises approximately 10 centimetres in the air and then it gently starts to move off becoming faster and faster as it is propelled forward soon reaching a speed of 220 miles an hour in about 2 minutes. The ride is extremely smooth and there is a digital speed display at the front of the carriage showing just how fast you are travelling. It gets even faster reaching a speed of 268 miles per hour passing the returning train on the other track midway at an incredible speed. Then it gradually slowed down slowly and without any feeling of jolting or braking.

This was a joint venture by a German and Chinese consortium and there was talk of extending the Maglev train to other cities but there have been recent demonstrations about the possibility of radiation and certainly about the cost of the project. It cost over one billion pounds to build. This is what has been the main drawback of building this type of transport in other countries namely the cost.

As for the experience.

It was well worth missing the shopping trip for. It was such an interesting experience and unbelievable watching the train speed through the country side. I would definitely recommend anyone with a spare morning to giving it a go. It’s quite exciting watching the train reach its fastest speed and amazing seeing things whizz past in front of your eyes so fast especially being nearer the ground at such speed normally associated with flying.

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Comments on this review

  • Deesrev published 06/04/2013
    '268 miles per hour...over one billion pounds to build', yikes! But what a train. Excellent coverage as usual Gary :~) xXx
  • JEFFJEN published 12/10/2009
    Great review Gary :)
  • pennywa published 12/10/2009
    Great review with lots of info xxxxx
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Product Information : Shanghai Maglev Train

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Listed on Ciao since: 26/09/2009