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Maglev takes turn for the better
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The planned Maglev line from Longyang Road Metro Station to Hongqiao International Airport has a new route, planners announced yesterday.


The plan for the new route has been placed on the official Website of Shanghai Urban Planning Administrative Bureau and the city's environment hotline website, to assess the public's reaction over the next two weeks.


The new extension part - or as called in the plan a "branch of the Shanghai-Hangzhou Maglev Line" - will run 31.8 kilometers, three kilometers shorter than an earlier plan. The name indicates that planning for a Maglev line to Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, is under way though no details are as yet forthcoming.


The map on the Website shows that the new Maglev line will run from the Longyang Road Metro Station, through the Bailianjing Area in Pudong, the entrance for 2010 World Expo site, and travel under the Huangpu River to reach Puxi.


In Puxi, it will link with the Shanghai South Railway Station and the Lianhua Road Metro Station before reaching the Hongqiao station interchange.


In Minhang District in Puxi, the line will run along the Dianpu River, a tributary of the Huangpu River. In an earlier plan, the line covered a longer distance.


The Website plan does not talk about the budget for the line or when work on it will begin. The project headquarters had no comment.


"The new route will reduce the impact of noise on nearby residents," Sun Zhang, a professor of rail transport of Tongji University who participated in the Maglev planning, said yesterday.


He said the major purpose of the revised route was to keep the line away from residential areas as much as possible, particularly the section in Minhang District.


To limit the noise in the downtown area, the speed of trains on the extension line will be kept to between 200kmh and 300kmh, Sun said.


The current Maglev runs at a maximum speed of 431kmh over the 30 kilometers between Pudong International Airport and the Longyang Road Metro Station and takes eight minutes.


He said the Hongqiao station interchange, where the western terminal is located, will also include the Shanghai-Beijing high speed terminal.


(China Daily by Wang Ying January 3, 2008)


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