Connecting the World: China Gives Green Light for Maglev Extension
May 9 (EIRNS)--The German Transrapid International consortium is close to getting final approval to build a 30-kilometer extension of the Shanghai-Pudong magnetic levitation rail line to Hongqiao airport, the China Daily reported.
The Transrapid system uses magnetic repulsion and linear induction motors to propel trains without friction at speeds up to several hundred miles per hour.
Christian Wulf, First Minister of the German state of Lower Saxony, made the announcement on his visit to Shanghai, where he is leading a 20-member delegation.
The current maglev line, built by Transrapid, runs 33 km from Pudong district east of Shanghai to the Pudong international airport. The extension to be completed by 2010, would run about 30 km to the older Hongqiao airport. After 2010, the Hongqiao line may be extended to the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, some 175 km west of Shanghai.
Nationally, China plans to rely on conventional high-speed, rather than maglev, rail technology for the current period, although local projects such as Shanghai-Hangzhou have been approved by the National Development and Reform Commission.
China's railways have incorporated French, Japanese, Canadian, German, and U.S. technology. The new bullet trains, which have been running up to 200 kmph since April 18, use French and Japanese technology, but some 70% of the high-speed trains are built by domestic manufacturers. Also, a Chinese-designed 300-kmph bullet train will be produced by the end of 2007, for the Beijing-Tianjin, Wuhan-Guangzhou and Beijing-Shanghai lines.