Experiencing Maglev Shanghai

Thanks to Spanky, who posted the following comment under my article: Maglev – A Failure?. I found the information very valuable and quoted the comment in this seperate post. Of cause all credit goes to Spanky.

I’ve just returned from a 3-days’ trip in Shanghai. As I had heard so much about the Maglev when I was living in this city one year ago, I decided to hop onto one for my transfer from Pudong to town. Following is a brief summary of my encounter:

1330 Hr: Pudong Airport Arrival Hall (1st Floor)

1335 Hr: Found the Maglev schedule on the 3rd Floor – next train @ 1350 Hr

1340 Hr: Bought ticket for the ride (¥50/way on economy class or ¥40 for passenger with air ticket of the same day) and board the train

1345 Hr: Maglev took off from Pudong, 5 minutes before scheduled time

1351 Hr: Arrived at Longyang Station

1400 Hr: Got into a taxi at the fourth attempt. (The previous three drivers claimed that they didn’t know where Tomorrow Square is. One of them even claimed ignorant of People’s Square when I told him that the destination is close to it!)

1430 Hr: Arrived at JW Marriott at Tomorrow Square

This new mode of traveling (Maglev + taxi) reduces the amount of time on the road and costs for transfer from Pudong airport to the hotel in Puxi. My total transfer costs came up to ¥80 (¥40 for Maglev + ¥40 for taxi). However, it will cost more than taxi fare (¥120-150) if there are three or more passengers traveling together. There won’t be much time saving if the passenger misses the connecting Maglev and has to wait about 15-20 minutes for the next one.

I must say that this mode of traveling is also not suitable for passengers with more than a carry-on luggage. This is because there are about five flights of escalators and some walking involved (no trolley available at the tunnel connecting airport to Maglev station and Longyang station).

The Maglev currently runs between Longyang and Pudong from 8.30 am through 5.30 pm at every 20 minutes interval. There are racks above the seats and between cabins for luggage. I do not think it’s necessary to pay twice as much to travel on first class as it is a very short ride and there are few users now (more Maglev tourists than transfer passengers).

I agree that an official website should be set up fast to create more awareness among travelers and encourage higher usage. Some advertisements at the airport will certainly attract arriving passengers to use the service. The overall experience was good and I will still ride on Maglev the next time I go to Shanghai.

Posted by: Spanky on April 20, 2004 11:07 PM

End of quote.


25 thoughts on “Experiencing Maglev Shanghai

  1. The MagLev should really reach downtown, or at least some place close to Century Avenue in Pudong. in few years there’ll be a spot where 3 or 4 subway lines will cross. Traffic-wise it might make sense to extent the MagLev there.

    Putting the tracks underground for that leap shouldn’t be a problem…

    Or better still: there should be a subway or local train reaching Pudong Airport. The only practical means to reach PVG from “anywhere” inside the inner ringway are still Taxi and Bus.

  2. I’m surprised that a “futuristic” city such as Shanghai does not have more convenient public transportation to its main international airport. Both Hong Kong and Tokyo have excellent train service to their airports (and both airports are far from the city, just like Pudong). It is ironic that China touts Shanghai as the most modern and explosive metro area, but the transportation infrastructure to something as basic as airport is so lacking.

  3. why didn’t you take the metro to go to peoples square from the end station of the maglev? This should be the fastest and cheapest way, even it might be a problem with the luggage.

  4. He probably didn’t feel like dragging his luggage up and down the stairs and through the trains.

    Like previously said, very bad planning on Shanghai’s govt part. It would have been perfect if it extended into the inner ring. Same with #2 subway line…it should extend to Hong Qiao airport.

  5. They are extending the metro 2 to Hongqiao Airport, I believe this Maglev+Metro system will be the best transportation, for both cost and timing. I know I will pick it if the metro extension construction is complete, and the Maglev will be fully occupied soon, I believe.

  6. My wife and I have just returned from a group tour to China with China Focus.

    Our last transport before flying home was on the maglev.

    It was an amazing and thrilling trip. I took a video of the time and speed clock onboard the train, we clocked 431 Km/Hr maximum speed (~ 269 mph).

    We also experienced the shock wave of the train in the other direction, that was wild!

    Our tour guide informed us that the the train and controller was made in Japan. Now if only we could install similar systems in the US….

    It is a demonstration of how fast and how far China is moving into the 21st century.

  7. The low ridership of the Maglev was unexpected. Perhaps one way to raise the ridership is to develop theme amusement parks around the airport district. A theme park will be something like a Disneyland with attractions and amusement rides. Theme parks are low density, low height non residential developments that will not interfere with airport operations. The structures can be easily dismantled should the land be required for othert uses in the furure.

  8. We are doing a China roundtrip starting in Shanghai on June 3. We arrive at Shanghai Pudong Airport, but unfortunately, the tour operator will take us to the hotel by coach. I hope I can do a roundtrip on the maglev on my own during the stay in Shanghai.

    Is there a website where I can look up the train schedules and operation hours?


    Zurich, Switzerland

  9. I am trying to look up some information on whether the Shanghai Maglev Train is already OFFICIALLY in commercial operation. Some sources said that they started full day operation since 29 March 2004, but it’s still in the trial run stage.

    I tried to look up their website to see if I could confirm the information, but they only posted information up to 31 Dec 2002 when the line was just completed.

    Hope someone knows the answer to my question. Thanks.

  10. appreciate all the info on the Maglev,however, the times are very inconvenient, especially when international flights leave by 9am most of the times, and arrive in Shanghai from the US around 9pm.

    Something needs to be done to make the Maglev more accessible to passengers arriving from US,and other international flights, and not in a tour where coaches pick them up.

    Some one needs to approach the city officials about this.

  11. I want to take the Maglev and I am carrying one suitcase with me…will I make it?? I just want to have the experience

  12. Has there been any change in the schedule or is the last ride to PVG at 5:30pm?

  13. Dear Jian Shuo Wang,

    I have been, and continue to be, an ardent supporter and fan of MAGLEV: it is the only way to the future, for high-speed mass-transport. Everything about it shows that this is the way forward, and that the sooner governments and the citizens of nations around the world recognise this, and dedicate themselves to the long-term programme of development and construction of intercity, nation-wide, continent-wide, Maglev networks, the sooner the world will experience the long-desired economic uplift.

    It is sometimes disheartening to read of the struggle for acceptance, for governments and citizens alike to be made aware of the great advantages inherent in a commitment to Maglev. I also do what I can to promote the wonderful idea of the Eurasian Land Bridge, the necessary motor for the economic development and upliftment of the whole of Eurasia, as envisioned by the great statesman and economist, Lyndon LaRouche.

    The implementation of this long-term project, is the necessary precursor to the restoration, upliftment and development of the nations of Africa, and of Africa as a whole, which will virtually ensure that justice will be finally established in that continent, as well as elsewhere, after the continuous looting by the imperial colonial powers, to this day.

    Briefly, LaRouche’s Eurasian Land Bridge necessitates the construction of transport/communications “corridors”, linking all major cities, and secondary towns, with parallel highways, high-speed conventional rail, canal, and Maglev in a mutually sustaining system.

    Thank you,

    Best wishes and regards,

    Paul Buckmaster paulbuckmaster@sbcglobal.net

  14. Arriving at Pudong Airport, can I take the Maglev to Longyang and then catch the Metro, or do I still need to take a taxi. I have seen one hotel website that suggest I can do this now??? Thanks.

  15. I must say that I really enjoyed reading all of Your posts. It’s interesting to read ideas, and observations from someone else’s point of view… it makes you think more.

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