The Shanghai Maglev Train or Shanghai Transrapid () is a magnetic levitation train, or ''maglev'' line that operates in Shanghai, China. The line is the first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world.
Construction of the line began in March 1, 2001,〔(Chronicle of Events ), Shanhai Maglev Transportation Development Co., Ltd.〕 and public commercial service commenced on 1 January 2004. The top operational commercial speed of this train is , making it the world's fastest train in regular commercial service since its opening in April 2004. During a non-commercial test run on 12 November 2003, a maglev train achieved a Chinese record speed of .〔(Shanghai Maglev Train )〕 The Shanghai Maglev has a length of 153m, a width of 3.7m, a height of 4.2m and a three- class, 574- passenger configuration.〔http://magnetbahnforum.de/index.php?en_faf_transrapid_sha〕
The train line was designed to connect Shanghai Pudong International Airport and the outskirts of central Pudong where passengers could interchange to the Shanghai Metro to continue their trip to the city center. It cost $1.2 billion to build. The train set was built by a joint venture of Siemens and ThyssenKrupp in Kassel. The track (guideway) was built by local Chinese companies who, as a result of the alluvial soil conditions of the Pudong area, had to deviate from the original track design of one supporting column every 50 meters to one column every 25 meters, to ensure that the guideway meets the stability and precision criteria. Several thousand concrete piles were driven to depths up to 70 meters to attain stability for the support column foundations. A mile-long, climate controlled facility was built alongside the line's right of way to manufacture the guideways.
The electrification of the train was developed by Vahle, Inc. Two commercial maglev systems predated the Shanghai system: the Birmingham Maglev in the United Kingdom and the Berlin M-Bahn. Both were low-speed operations and closed before the opening of the Shanghai Maglev Train.
The train was inaugurated in 2002 by the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, and the Chinese premier, Zhu Rongji.
The line is not a part of the Shanghai Metro network, which operates its own service to Pudong Airport from central Shanghai and from Longyang Road Station.
The line runs from Longyang Road station in Pudong to Pudong International Airport; The Pudong International Airport station provides a transfer to Line 2, but the Longyang Road station provides access to Line 2 and Line 7. At full speed, the journey takes 7 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the distance of ,〔("Shanghai Maglev GPS Tracking" )〕 although some trains in the early morning and late afternoon take about 50 seconds longer. A train can reach in 2 minutes, with the maximum normal operation speed of reached thereafter.
Hans-Dieter Bott, vice president of Siemens that 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 High-Speed Railway with conventional high-speed technology. Plans for a shorter maglev extension from Longyang Road to Hangzhou, the Shanghai–Hangzhou Maglev Line, have been suspended.
Speculation that a line would be built from Shanghai to Beijing mounted in 2002. It would cover a distance of 800 miles, at an estimated cost of £15.5bn.〔 The chief executive of ThyssenKrupp, Dr Ekkehard Schulz said he was certain that not only Germany, but many countries would follow the Chinese example. The German government along with a selection of German companies sought to win more projects for their maglev technology, and highlighted that a train between Shanghai and the Chinese capital, Beijing remained a possibility. However, no projects have been revealed as of 2014.
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