China's first magnetic levitation (maglev) railway kicked off construction in the Pudong New District, Shanghai, March 1.
At a cost of 8.9bn yuan, the Trans-rapid Maglev Demonstration Route stars from the Longyang Metro Station in the west and ends at Pudong International Airport in the east. It will take passagers only 8 minutes for a 30 km trip.
Running at dual lines between two stations, it is designed for a maximum speed of 430km per hour and a transportation capacity of 959 passengers in 9 compartments.
Every hour 12 trains depart to bring a yearly transport volume of 150m if calculated on 18 hours' operation every day.
As the world fastest ground vehicle, maglev train boasts a maximum speed over 500km per hour. Currently only a few countries as Germany and Japan are capable of its design and production.
The line is believed to play a big role in Shanghai's transportation system.
(People's Daily 03/02/2001)