Shanghai Attractions: Maglev Airport Train
Shanghai Maglev 上海磁浮示范运营线
The world's fastest train with passenger service is not France's TGV or the Japanese Bullet Train, Germany's high speed service or Taiwan's new ultra-fast lines. It is the maglev train from Shanghai's Pudong International Airport into Longyang Road, in Pudong. Here you can transfer to a subway line that will take you farther into the city center.
The airport express covers 30 km (18.6 miles) in under 8 minutes at speeds that hit 431 km/hour (268 mph). The ride is so short, however, that the train only stays at the top speed for a very short amount of time before beginning to slow down prior to arrival.
The system cost more than one billion USD to build, and it began operation in 2004. There are plans to extend the line to Shanghai's other airport, Hongquio International Airport, and to the area of the city where Expo 2010 was held.
Maglev train leaving Pudong International Airport, Shanghai
Maglev trains employ technology that uses electromagnetic force to guide and move cars forward. Problems with cost and safety notwithstanding, it is technologically possible for these trains to run at speeds comparable to passenger jets.
The system in Shanghai uses German technology.
Pictured below is the waiting area in the maglev terminal station at Pudong International Airport.
Fare and Schedule Information
A one-way trip costs 50 Chinese yuan. VIP seats go for 100.
Trains run every 15 minutes from 6.45 am to 9.30 pm.