November 22, 2002

Germany Begins to Build High-Speed Train for Shanghai

A German consortium officially began construction in Germany's Kassel on Tuesday of a high-speed magnetic suspension Transrapid train which will link Shanghai's airport to the Chinese city itself from 2003.

Transrapid International (TRI), made up of German giants Siemens and ThyssenKrupp, will construct the train at ThyssenKrupp's workshops in the central German town of Kassel.

The German government has contributed up to 200 million marks (US$89 million) to the project, according to Finance Minister Hans Eichel.

The lucrative contract, signed in January and valued at about 1.28 billion euros, looks set to be Transrapid's first commercial success following a string of disappointments at home.

Plans to construct a Berlin-Hamburg link were abandoned last year due to concerns over high construction costs and doubts over the train's eventual profitability.

The 30-kilometre Shanghai airport-to-city link is seen as a test for the development of further projects by the consortium.

TRI, along with a French and a Japanese consortium, is vying for the contract to build a 1,250-kilometre link from Beijing to Shanghai.

(Chinadaily.com.cn 08/01/2001)

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