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Museum Shows Maglev Magic
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Shanghai's first Maglev Museum opened yesterday, where visitors can explore the history and technology behind the magnetic levitation train and play interactive games.

The museum, at Longyang Road Station by the Shanghai Maglev Line, is ideal for adults and children, said You Qingyong, a manager at Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Company Ltd which operates the museum.

On the ground floor of the station, the museum has five sections covering 1,250 square meters, documenting the technology's birth, the Shanghai line, technology, advantages and future prospects.

To explain the Maglev technology to ordinary people, museum designers display real and model components of tracks and the train. Visitors can find bilingual information beside each of the exhibits.

They have also created a unique video game that encourages children to "assemble" a section of the Maglev line in a simulated program.

Visitors can also try two gym bicycles to test their speed, and calculate how much faster the Maglev train runs than pedal power.

With regard to environmental concerns about the technology, managers have installed two devices to test magnetic field strength. Visitors can compare the magnetic fields of a cell phone and the Maglev train - tests showed that a cell phone produces a field 20 times stronger than that of the train.

The museum also compares the Maglev's noise level with other means of transport. Models are also shown of most Maglev trains around the world, and a documentary is screened about the technology's development.

Entrance is 10 yuan (US$1.30) per person, and the museum is open from 9 AM to 5 PM every day. Students and Maglev passengers pay half price.

Shanghai's Maglev line was launched in 2003. It covers the 30-kilometer distance from Longyang Road Station to Pudong International Airport in eight minutes, with a maximum speed of 430 kilometers per hour.

(Shanghai Daily August 17, 2007)

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