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Shanghai maglev to be extended

The world’s most prominent maglev train line, China’s 18 mile (30 km) route running from downtown Shanghai to the regional airport, is about to get a 125 mile (200 km) extension. When completed in around 2015, the line will connect Shanghai with neighboring Hangzhou, capital of the Zhejiang province. From the China Daily:

In accordance with an action plan of the provincial government regarding construction of key projects for 2008-2012 period, this affluent Chinese province is determined to complete the Zhejiang part of the maglev project in five years starting 2010 at a cost of 22 billion yuan ($3.14 billion).

In accordance with an early construction schedule, the maglev project would begin construction in 2007, get completion in 2008 and start trial operation in 2009 before a formal operation by 2010, when Shanghai plays host to the World Expo.

The action plan, which was distributed to government departments at lower levels inside Zhejiang over the weekend, also set a timetable for construction of another high-speed railway line, reserved for passenger transport only, between Shanghai and Hangzhou.

Impressive considering that ridership hasn’t exactly been impressive on the currently rather limited route. This seems to be the train that American politicians tend to gawk at and reference when talking about such projects on this side of the world, so a more comprehensive rail line couldn’t be a bad thing for the future of this technology over here.

Filed under: International High Speed Rail, , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Wasn’t the Shanghai Maglev extension stopped because of public outcry?

    Is this the most recent news about this or is this “for sure” going to be extended now? As of earlier this year, the project was 100% dead.

  2. logannash says:

    From what I can tell (PRC politics being as they are), the government has given the project the go ahead after stalling for years because of the public radiation concerns. Not sure if this is Final with a capital F… no telling what will happen if there’s another outcry.

    It’s interesting.. I had never heard of radiation concerns with maglev technology before now. Transrapid claims that the effect on humans is negligible. I know we have some maglev wonks that read this blog, I’d be curious to see what they say about the issue.

  3. Allan says:

    The radiation concern was a first for me but it does appear that the government has addressed those concerns has given it the go ahead.

    The original line from the airport was really overkill for the distance. This longer distance should really highlight the maglev capability. This is the one that could make or break the use of the technology. If it turns out to be successful, then maybe, just maybe, some of the proposals here in the US will finally get off the drawing boards.

  4. […] first item relates to the Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev extension we talked about last week. According to the mayor of Hangzhou, the maglev line may face delays due to a conventional HSR […]

  5. As one of the “maglev wonks” who reads this excellent blog, I can speak to the topic of Transrapid’s magnetic field effects.

    Two series of expert field tests have been done on-site in Emsland/Lathen, Germany under FRA supervision — in the late 1980s on the TR07 pre-production prototype vehicle and again (by the same investigators) in 2001 on the TR08 vehicle, which was bought by the Chinese — and both found the same results. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) generated by the Transrapid are negligible for negative health effects on humans, whether they’re passengers inside the vehicle, standing on the station platforms or employees working around the system. Further, EMF from the Transrapid system is roughly equivalent to the Earth’s natural magnetic field. By comparison, due to their exposed sources of high voltage, a typical electrified conventional train and a subway system have approximately four and eight times the field strength, respectively, of the Transrapid system.

    The actual reports of the 2001-era field tests — covering noise, vibration and EMF — can be downloaded from the FRA Web site at

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August 2008


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