The world's first commercial magnetic levitation line in the city has passed a test run, with the speed reaching 405 kilometers per hour, close to its designed top speed of 430 kph, local officials said yesterday.
"The successful test reassures us that the maglev line will open to the public on time next year," said Xia Guozhong, a spokesperson for the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co. Ltd.
During the test run last week, the maglev train, for the first time, ran the full distance from Pudong International Airport to Longyang Road Metro Station on RT (rail transportation) No. 2, Xia said.
The project -- Maglev Demonstration Line -- costing 10 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion), was started in March last year in Pudong District and will be completed by the year-end. If the demonstration line runs smoothly, maglev train will be applied to other domestic routes in the country, the company said.
The maglev rail track facilities, including 4-meter-tall support pillars, railway stations, a repair center and transformer sub-stations, are already in place.
Linking RT No. 2 with Pudong airport, the 30-kilometer trip will take only eight minutes, compared to the 30-40 minutes it takes by a taxi, officials said.
They added, however, that prices for tickets on the maglev line have yet to be decided.
Each train, supplied by German firms, can carry 959 passengers and there will be 12 departures every hour from the terminal at the airport, project insiders revealed.
Meanwhile, construction of green space covering 100,000 square meters along the railway has also been completed, according to the Shanghai Gardening-Landscaping Construction Co.
Launched in February, the greenbelt project, which costs 20 million yuan (US$2.42 million), was designed to grow 15 species of plants within a 50-meter-broad area below the elevated rail, said Xi Xiaosong of the gardening company.
(eastday.com November 30, 2002)