Maglev Operates in Shanghai

Image Courtesy of Transrapid

A super high-speed transport system with a non-adhesive drive system that is independent of wheel-and-rail frictional forces has been a long-standing dream of railway engineers. Maglev, a combination of superconducting magnets and linear motor technology, realizes super high-speed running, safety, reliability, low environmental impact and minimum maintenance.

Source: Overview of Maglev R&D

The Maglev (magnetic levitation) railway project started 700 days before and on the Dec 31st, 2002, it was launched. This event is covered by lot of medias.

I don’t care about the news part. I just want to write down my observation about the maglev from my personal perspective.

Hard start

The maglev project was started with a lot of doubts and uncertainty. I heard both positive and negtive comments on newspaper about the maglev project two years ago before the project actual started. As always, I am on the side to support the project since it seems so cool!

Fast construction speed

I have to say, the speed is very fast to build the railway. It seems so to me since I frequently take flights in Pudong airport in the last two years. I saw the extension of the railways everyday and it is also very soon between the rail is ready and the first trail train went online.


One of the most frequently asked question is “how much does it take?”. According to major medias in Shanghai, the standard price is 50 RMB single trip. This is reasonable since it takes about 80-100 RMB for the same distance by taxi. By bus, it is 18 RMB, but it takes much longer. It costs about 40 minutes to go by bus but it only takes 8 minutes to take the maglev. After all, the speed of 430 KM/Hour on land is very attractive.

Currently, it opens for tour only. The price is 150 RMB for normal seats and 300 RMB for VIP seat. This is round trip. The train starts from Longyang Rd. Station, speed up to 430 km/hour and arrives at Pudong Airport. After very short break, the train returns without open the door.

Even when it is purely for tour, people still cannot easily get the tickets. According to local newspaper, the tickets of 2 weeks later has been selt out.


Maglev will open to public for business operation at the end of this year. The speed, the fastest speed available on land, will keep attractive for visitors and tourist for a long time. I hope I can have a try later and report my feeling of the high speed to you in my future blog. I did saw the maglev train from outside. I was on the car heading Longyang Rd. Station and saw a maglev training rushing for the opposite direction. It looks really fast. It seems it disappeared from my eyes in 2 seconds.

Updated Maglev Pictures Aug 14, 2003

I took a lot of Maglev train pictures by myself and shared it here. Here are some.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Updated Maglev Begin to Pickup Passeger at Airport Oct 21, 2003

Starting from Oct 11, 2003, the Maglev will pickup passengers at Pudong Airport on every Saturday and Sunday. Then it drops them off at Longyang Road Station. The price is 75 RMB.

See more at PVG: Maglev Started Carry Passengers.

More Information:

PVG: Has Maglev Started Operation?

Pudong Airport Maglev in Depth

Tickets for Maglev Tour


27 thoughts on “Maglev Operates in Shanghai

  1. i am dreaming about maglev trains since there are many accidents occuring in trains.finally man made it.i hope man can make anything he wants but should have a strong determination to achieve it.however congrats to maglev

  2. In the 8th grade i thought of this. I created one in my mind. I didn’t know one existed. Anyway I’m in 9th now and I’m trying to build a model similar to the maglev only on a cheaper and much smaller scale. I’d say about a 5 ft circular track. Could you help me? Because their isn’t very much info on this. Well there is but not on how to build one. I’d appreciate the help.

    P.S. It’s for my science fair project. If you think it’s wrong to tell me all about it at least guide a bit please.:)

  3. i have been asked to presant a seminar on MAGLEV, could you please send me the history,working principle with some pictures of the same

  4. With a group of Belgian students visiting China, we had a ride on the Maglev last year in april. It was fantastic how fast the train got to the 430km/h!!

    This year we’ll be there again. And hopefully, we’ll enjoy the Maglev again too!

  5. this article is very nice and informative. will you help me about the working principle and techological things of the magnetic lavitation and its use in the trains?

  6. This is nice artcal. i want its basic ann technical please send it to me.

  7. please send be a basic theories. and information about this tech.

    i will trying this on some other mechanical movement

  8. please! teel me about the working principle of maglev train. I will be thakfull to you.

  9. Its cool but dumb , they should have it in the US not in the middle of nowhere like china . Asia is a myth it dosnt even exist , like the lochness monster

  10. i choose seminar topic on maglav & want to present in college seminar day. can you show me how to make a model of a maglev & please give some more information about this train.

  11. I got amazed to see this Electro-Mechanical Miracle. I was so much impressed to read about its speed. A very keen desire has developed in me to ride it and I would love to have a go in it if I ever got a chance to visit China.

  12. i have to present magnetic levitation as my seminar,can u plz,give some basic fundamental about how this type of train operates,its history, its future with some pics.

  13. Hi Jianshuo,

    This “celline” (if it’s her real name, or if it’s even a “she”) is spamming your blog… anyway to ban her or block her comments?

    Warm regards to you on a nice Sunday afternoon in Singapore,

    Ling *:)

  14. @Ling, thanks for your reminder. I watch closely on my comments and just deleted celline’s three comments on my three blog entries. I still believe in free posting, but I have match the right attention to clear the bad comments.

    A warm greeting from late afternoon from Shanghai.

  15. Nice pictures! Actually the top speed of Shanghai maglev is 431 km/h not 430 km/h, not a big difference, but still. I’ve just read some promising news at , hope they will be reality in the near future.

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