Three rail cars that will run on the world's first commercial high-speed magnetic levitation train line arrived at the Shanghai port yesterday, following a 40-day sea voyage from Hamburg, Germany.
The cars and several spare parts that travelled with them were trucked to a maintenance center for the Maglev line in Pudong, about 3 kilometers away from the Pudong International Airport, project officials said.
"The cars and other parts will be assembled together and go through a series of experiments at the center before the Maglev line begins its one-year test run early next year," said Mo Fan, a senior engineer with the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co. Ltd., which is building the 30-kilometer-long Shanghai Transrapid Maglev Demonstration Line on the east of the Huangpu River.
Twelve more cars for the line will be transferred from the German building firm - ThyssenKrupp AG - to the city by the end of September 2003, said Xia Guozhong, a spokesman for the Maglev com-pany.
Each of the first three cars is about 25 meters long, 3.7 meters wide and 3.7 meters high, and capable of carrying about 100 passengers. The three cars are worth about 360 million yuan (US$43.37 million) alto-gether, officials said.
The three-car train will begin conducting test runs next year, and three five-car trains are expected to begin commercial operation in 2004, officials said.
The 10 billion yuan project in Pudong began in March last year, and infrastructure for the Maglev line - including support pillars, two railway stations, a power substation and a repair center - has already been completed.
The line, which will link RT No. 2 (formerly called Metro Line 2) with the Pudong International Airport, will have a top speed of 430 kilometers per hour.
It is estimated the 30-kilometer trip will take only eight minutes, com-pared with the 30 to 40 minutes it takes a taxi to make the journey.
( eastday.com August 10, 2002)