Inside Pudong Airport Maglev Train

It is my first time to take a ride of the Maglev train. It is also the first time I was able to choose a flight that departs before the Maglev closes (17:30).

The experience is quite impressive. When the train reaches speed higher of 300 km/h, the image out of the window, especially the cars on the nearby A1 Highway become a little bit blur and my eyes cannot catch them. It is absolutely impossible to recognize how many people on board on each car. It is quite interesting visual experience.

The highest speed during the trip. It lasted for less than one minutes and went back to 430 km/h, 429 km/h….

shanghai.maglev-431.km.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-display.board.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-door-outside.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-jianshuo-seated.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-first.class.seat-yellow.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-luggage.case.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-rail-starting.point.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-rain.cart-seat.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-luggage-over.head.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-roof-train.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-ticket-background.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-ticket-face.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-train.attendant.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-train-from.front.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-two.trains.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.maglev-window-fast.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

36 Comments

  1. Mr. Wang

    Do you think the Maglev is serving a useful purpose for ferrying passagers between the city and PVG?

    Ther are increasing debates in the engineering world that the Maglev in Shanghai could be the first commercial operation of such kind and may be the last. The wheel technology process by Japan, Germany, France and Canada have surpassed Maglev in few aspects. Nevertheless Maglev still suffers from mechanical deficiency.

    At any rate, people in Shanghai must proud to have Maglev in their city rather than a tool to reach airport.

    Stephen

  2. The Maglev train is indeed impressive.

    I read about the maglev train as you mentioned many time in your various posts, but have never associated with the high speed it is capable of travelling.

    When you showed the pictures inside the Maglev, it looks like you are just sitting inside an airplane. When you showed the picture of the speed of the train, it is no wonder there is no space for passengers to stand.

    Up until this moment, I kept associating the Maglev as the MRT in Singapore or Hong Kong. Now I realize it is more like the bullet train in Japan.

    I am looking forward to taking one of these high speed trains and experience the feeling of travelling at about 400 KM/h.

  3. It is indeed impressive. Imagine how usefull the train would be if it left from a central destination instead of the middle of nowhere. I hope I can get a chance to ride it before all of the concrete pillars sink into the mud and render it inoperable.

  4. So beautiful!!!

    I mean the lady by the door…….

  5. They should have extended the MagLev to People’s Square! I bet it will be extremely popular and they can make much more money if they thought of that! Such idiots!

  6. I agree it is not easy to access the Long Yang Road Station. Maybe it is just because it is the first line

  7. Hi there,

    > Nevertheless Maglev still suffers from mechanical deficiency

    What deficiencies?

    > When you showed the pictures inside the Maglev, it looks like you are just sitting inside an airplane. When you showed the

    > picture of the speed of the train, it is no wonder there is no space for passengers to stand.

    Not true, there is quite a lot of space around the exits and where you can store larger pieces of luggage!

    The description of speed by Wang Jian Shuo is a quite bit misleading, actually it´s a very smooth ride, even at 431 km/h, you can easily walk around. The central aisle is wider than what you usually get on an airplane.

    The nice hostestesses are almost always walking around the whole 8 minutes the trip takes! (There are no special crew seats as an airplane) Other People get up and walk to the speed sign to have their picture taken together with the 431 km/h display!

    (Just returned from Shanghai, also yesterday, on October 12!, I got on the first trip from LongYang at 8:20)

  8. I look forward to being on the Maglev on my next trip to Shanghai, especially after seeing the impressive photos taken by JS. My friend’s husband had highly recommended me to give it a try when I was in Shanghai in June, but I didn’t have the chance. He had however, also lamented that it was not his top choice of transport to Pudong Airport as the stations were not very central

    I have one question though: what are roles of the Maglev hostess? Are they similar to the stewardess on airplanes (i.e. serving food, beverage)??

    BTW, i noticed that if you scroll the photos from the bottom, (i.e. start with the ticket photo, and scroll up till you reach the one showing the train’s ceiling), it hits you with a loud WOW. try it!!

  9. Joachim,

    Perhaps you never realize the Maglev needs consistent supply of power from ground, at high speed, the contact point of power supply can easily or prematurely worn out. The same problem also applies other high speed trains currently using overhead transmission.

    The noise pollution generated by Maglev is 2.5 times over other trains associated with high building cost makes Maglev economic unfeasible to build in large scale.

    Twenty-five years ago, British Aerospace built Concord supersonic jet was the proud of the Britain, owing to the economic reason, the jet has now ends up in the museum.

    Whether the Maglev is a toys or tools to the Shanghai, it has now become an icon of the city. People should use it to her fullness extent for joy or for convenience. The airport and metro should use better signage and advertizing to promote this facility.

    Stephen

  10. Hi Stephen

    > Perhaps you never realize the Maglev needs consistent supply of power from ground, at high speed, the contact point of

    > power supply can easily or prematurely worn out. The same problem also applies other high speed trains currently using

    > overhead transmission.

    I did (not) realize, because it does not work that simple way!! There are two types of Maglevs, the low speed ones indeed work

    like an old fashioned e-tram or e-trolley bus with constant overhead transmission!

    Instead, high speed Maglevs as the German type and the Japanese type derive ALL their energy at higher speed from the AC field that also drives them. At higher speed there is NO mechanical contact to the “rails” in the Shanghai Maglev at all at 431 km/h. In case of energency breaking it can also still make a “soft” landing from battery power in case the contact would fail!

    The “Transrapid” has electrical contacts that allows it to start and to work when stopped. In move these contacts are fully detached! So no mechanical problems from this point!

    At LongYang station there is a very good museum in the base floor that explains all this, I highly recommend the visit.

    All exhibits are explained in Chinese and English, unfortunatelly the movies are only in Chinese.

    I have photographed quite a lot of the posters in that exhibit room, I could post some!

    >The noise pollution generated by Maglev is 2.5 times over other trains associated with high building cost makes Maglev >economic unfeasible to build in large scale.

    Also not true (according to the figures the Maglev people give, maybe they cheat?)! They claim, that at >400 km/h the noise if still just par to the best ICEs or TGVs at 300 km/h, which is about the same noise an old fashioned train already emits at 50 km/h!

  11. Obviously decision of building Maglev is a show conducted by those very few high level officials. They want people to be aware of their achievement of make Shanghai so ‘modern’. As for if it’s worth doing this, that’s not what they care. I recently have been Shanghai and had an experience of taking taxi in an evening rush hour to eat something good. I doubt the average speed of rush hour traffic reached 15 km/h. That was fully disabled traffic – not just traffic jam – you got to witness it to believe how bad that was. However instead of spending money to increase the rush hour traffic speed to just 15 miles/h those desicion makers prefer to use that huge amount of tax money to build such a fancy, useless tourist oriented attraction just to make people ‘WOW’. The real winners are those German companies who previously never thought people may actually buy these stuff :)

  12. High Fei,

    > I have one question though: what are roles of the Maglev hostess? Are they similar to the stewardess on airplanes (i.e.

    > serving food, beverage)??

    Actually, on the short 8 minutes trip there is nothing served and it seems the hostesses are only there to look good and are

    often photograped smiling with the passangers when the speed hits 431 km/h. However, they will announce when another train

    going the other way is passing (the Shanghai line has two “rails”). IMHO THE MOST EXCITING experience, especially the first

    time when you do not know what to expect (I wonder why WJS did not mention it, maybe there was no such train on his trip, I

    had it in 3 of 4 trips): In a sudden you experience two not too loud bumps on the train at at an interval less 1sec, and both

    ends of the other train have already passed. WOW!! On my 2nd trip I took care to grab the moment visually, but its only a

    shadow that passes at > 600km/h

    (Actually they seem to prefer to do it in an area where both trains are not at maximum speed, yet the German website claims

    they already tested the passing while one train already hit 501 km/h and the other one was around 430

    km/h)

    I think they also have the hostesses to demonstrate and “test drive” that you really could savely serve food and stuff at 430

    km/h, as I said above, no problem walking around at max. speed, the center aisle is wider than one might think, because the

    seats are pretty wide, in airplane “economy class”, they would probably cramp 6 or even 7 seats in the same space!

    Joachim

  13. Joachim

    I cannot verify your technical reply on Maglev which is contrary to the article from a magazine, will revert.

    Stephen

  14. Stephen,

    >I cannot verify your technical reply on Maglev which is contrary to the article from a magazine,

    >will revert.

    Those arguments apply to the type of Magle were the “rail” is dumb and passive, but the drive is in the vehicle. Just BECAUSE this might cause big problems at high speed, as the whole power has to be fed to vehicle, the situation is reversed on high speed Maglevs, where the “rail” is active (hence so expensive) and the carriage only does the levitation (actually they say on the website, they can stay levitated up to an hour on the on board battery alone!). In fact, that means that the carriage is not really “driven” by the vehicle directly but it only sends commands to the control room, who accordingly controls the respective parts of the “rail”way (not all are energized at the same time) and controls the vehicle speed via the AC frequency! They say this is an extra factor of savety, if two train on the same rail come so close that they enter the same “segment”, they only can run at the *same* speed because they see the same AC frequency, hence no back-on collisions possible!

    See here (and around that website):

    http://www.transrapid.de/en/index.html

    Respectively the noise I really would like to experinece it myself from the outside. Also the German enviromentalists heavily argue(d) against the Maglev because it´s so “loud”. However, in the Maglev, the only noise will come from the air friction with the vehicle, the drive does not make noticeable noise. (As from the info I got, its from 0 to 300 Hz, a very audible region, and I did not notice any low frequency, sine-like sound on the trips!). SO, it can only be QUITER than any other system at the same speed which will also cause noise from vibrations etc. in the wheels.

    Joachim

  15. I am much interested in the noise issue. There should not be much mechanical noise, but what about the noise from the drive and the air friction? Even if the noise is loud it should be extremely short. So it would be interesting to know what people walking or living underneath hear. It would be extremely interesting to hear it under the passing point of two opposite Maglev trains but that would be too rare to catch. One difference from the a railtrain is that there would not be the vibrations assocated with a regular train.

    Has anyone reported dead birds being shot off of Maglev like bullets?

  16. I’m a frequent user of the maglev.

    (Could be more if they would dare to run it in the night, but see my previous comments elsewhere here on WJS’s blog.)

    They clean the rails with the yellow working train from time to time – guess for what…

    About the noise, both passing at 430 is no problem, I’ve tried.

    Just a short shake, but if you have your nose stuck on the glass, it will of course be felt more !

    The same phenomenon actually happens when two “normal” trains pass, but the effect is far more on the normal train, if they both pass at 180 due to the bad aerodynamic shape of both.

    The farmers living under the track will not notice the noise, 2 sec’s is nothing against the usual noise from machines and airplanes.

    They just look up on the track and nod their heads, not understanding a bit of it.

    But what a contrast, poor farmers below and a maglev above.

    This is truly a showoff from one of the “big guys”.

    The buildings in Shanghai are build on same ground base material as the maglev, and they crack from time to time, that is an evidence of sinking – but only a few millimeter, even for a high rising building.

    I think the track can be adjusted, they had to do that during the construction.

  17. >>I think the track can be adjusted, they had to do that during the construction.

    yes, the track has been designed so that it can be adjustable from time to time according to the designer words.

    Joachim is quite right on the issue of emergency landing of maglev train. One can easily get all the basic knowledge of maglev technology from the website given by Joachim.

    As for the noise issue, germans should be blamed for choosing the shape of the maglev train. For a so high speed train, the head of the maglev train should be duckbill-like rather than the shape it is now.

  18. Hi magz,

    > As for the noise issue, germans should be blamed for choosing the shape of the maglev train. For a so high speed train, the

    > head of the maglev train should be duckbill-like rather than the shape it is now.

    I think they invested in many wind-tunnel test as the energy consumption (air friction) and hence also the noise was optimized

    over the subsequent generations (at least they claim in their documets). The best shape for a given cross-section (usable

    width and height in the rear part of the body) is a drop-like shape with the FLAT end towards the wind and the sharp edge at

    the rear. As the vehicle needed to be symmetric (rides back without turning around) and will also ride on a flat surface, the

    given shape was probable the best they could get.

    Very sharp, needle like edges (front of fighter jet planes) are probably only relevant when approaching or even exceeding the

    speed of sound. (Also commercial airplanes at 900 km/h still have pretty “flat” front parts!)

    Joachim

  19. Would any body tell me why Maglev is only running at the office hours and not matching the operating hours of the airport.

    How come the accessibility from both station is so poor and is totally user “unfriendly”. After all it has spend over 10 billion to build and improvement of such kind is minimal.

    When I was in Shanghai last january, I have a feeling that the authority want to keep the Maglev under “wrap”.

    Stephen

  20. My trip was great! Even a non-speaker of mandarin, I made it from the far end of a bus line to Subway # 1, transferred to #2 at Peoples Square and found the Maglev terminal without problems. Ride was very smooth, no problems with sightseeing out the windows either. No sound or vibration that would compare with even the Shinkansen.

    But the bus rattled, the brakes squealed and it took awhile. The subways were jammed tight wuth people in midafternoon. Would be a problem to take much luggage that way. Went by taxi later when we left with luggage, a nice trip for us but not for folks merging onto the highway-at one point backed up behind an accident.

    Note the picture of the switch (turnout) connecting the two roadways. It looks like they have bendable sections to accomplish this!

  21. > Would be a problem to take much luggage that way.

    Actually, the Maglev is often critiziced for not being good for luggage. Actually I had NO problem, INSTEAD, the Metro has a BIG problem, you cannot get through the barrier (that rotating “spider” where the ticket is checked!) with big luggage especially with trolleys! The first time I managed to lift my stuff over it, the second time I was smarter and could “slide” the stuff below the barrier before getting trough! But no good solution at all!

    > Note the picture of the switch (turnout) connecting the two roadways. It looks like they have

    > bendable sections to accomplish this!

    Yep, they have, actually there are to different types differing in the max. speed you can go over it (in the bended state) and radius of curvature. In the straight-through setting there is no limit (> 500 km/h). All can be learned in the “museum” at LongYang Zhan!

    Joachim

  22. I took the MagLev from LongYang to PVG when I left Shanghai and had no problem with luggage, the train was nearly full (mostly tourists doing a round trip) and it was a great experience. Next time I’m in Shanghai I’m taking a video camera and will record the trip.

    Very strange taking the taxi from Najing Road all the way out to LongYan to get on an “airport train”, though. However, I’ve spent more than 20 mins in a Taxi trying to get across London for the Heathrow “Express” so it’s not too bad.

    Shame the hours aren’t longer. I arrived in Shanghai about 23:00 after flight delays and ended up shelling out RMB500 for a hotel car as I was too exhausted to try and explain (gesture and point) my destination to a taxi driver.

  23. We just took the Maglev about 3 weeks ago to PVG. We enjoyed the ride very much. But if the Maglev is really extended then they have to work at the stability at top-speed. The ride was kind of raff at 430. I had problems to take a sharp photo from free hand. This is no problem for this short distance. But when the ride goes half an hour then some people may get sea sickness.

    Emil

  24. i am cool, and the maglev is 2

  25. All,

    Just arrived back from Shanghai and tried the maglev there, it was an amazing experience. I went to the shop at the exhibition center and saw some some of models for around 300Y, and promised to go back and get one. Alas, I ran out of time and didn’t, does anyone know if I can pick one up on the net somewhere?

    Thanks,

    A.

  26. Eric van Rhijn

    July 19, 2005 at 1:02 pm

    Arrived in Shanghai at about 1200 from Hong Kong Was met at the airport by our tour guide who showed us to “coach”, an older model Toyota People mover van.

    When going along the freeway I noticed the MAG LEV train going at incredible speed, it did not make much noise, the noise of the “coach” was much loudder than the train!!!

    I would have loved to have a ride on the MAG LEV train but did not have the time available as we were only in Shang Hai for “4” days, the four days were taken up with the afternoon of day one free, day two, was a tour of Shanghai and the “Bund” with lunch at a floating restourant on the Yangze river, day three was a trip on a “normal” train to SZuShou and then a tour of some of the templesand a visit to a working silk factorywith lunch at the silk factory’s restaurant. Then we returned by the same train back to Shanghai. Day four we left the hotel at 0800 to fly back to Hong Kong. Arrived back in Hong Kopng at about lunch time.

  27. This is a corrected version of the previous posting

    Arrived in Shanghai at about 1200 from Hong Kong Was met at the airport by our tour guide who showed us to “coach”, an older model Toyota People mover van.

    When going along the freeway I noticed the MAG LEV train going at incredible speed, it did not make much noise, the noise of the “coach” was much loudder than the train!!!

    I would have loved to have a ride on the MAG LEV train but did not have the time available as we were only in Shang Hai for “4” days, the four days were taken up with the afternoon of day one free, day two, was a tour of Shanghai and the “Bund” with lunch at a floating restourant on the Yangze river, day three was a trip on a “normal” train to SZuShou and then a tour of some of the templesand a visit to a working silk factorywith lunch at the silk factory’s restaurant. Then we returned by the same train back to Shanghai. Day four we left the hotel at 0800 to fly back to Hong Kong. Arrived back in Hong Kong at about lunch time.

  28. can anybody tell me how a maglev utilizes its power supply during motion

  29. it is very beautiful pictures.

    please give me information about maglev train.

  30. Prem P Malhotra

    April 5, 2007 at 4:03 am

    Great experience at 431km/hr. Enjoyed.

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  32. …if you want to feel like Superman for a few minutes this is your chance…GREAT! and quite an accomplishment with the joint effort of those involved….

  33. I EAT BIG PUSSY AND EAT SHIT

  34. Can some one tell me if there s a train to down town if I arrive at 02 am in the morning ??

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