PVG: Has Maglev Started Operation?

Dear Mr. Wang:

I came across you website and found it quite helpful. Thank you for all the information.

You mentioned that the Maglev train to airport will be operating in October 2003.

1. Do you have any updated information as to if it is already in service, if not when exactly.

2. Where does the service run between? both ways, or only one way from the airport.

3. If I stayed in a downtown hotel, like the Peace hotel, Is it a good idea to ride the train and transfer to a taxi after the train? or I’d be better off just getting a taxi from the airport.

Thank you.



Thanks for the questions. Maybe infected by the recent accident in the construction of the maglev, the operation date has been postponed. There is no settled operation date yet. So the date Oct, 2003 is no longer accurate.

Below are the photos of the Maglev I took before. I personally love the photos very much.


For the second question, the designed service is, of cause, both way – from the airport to Longyang Rd. and return. But currently, it opens for tourists only and not formal operation.

According to Sina.com, two trains were put into operation in the National Holiday. One has 5 carts and the other has 6 carts. The capacity is 10,000 people per day.

However, don’t expect to take a ride if you come to Shanghai Pudong Airport. It opens for tourists only. That is, it will start from the Longyang Rd. Station, rush to Pudong Airport and return immediately without opening the door. People will get onboard the train and leave the train at the same place – Longyang Road Station.

So the answer for the third question is no. The plan is just impossible since you cannot get on board the Maglev at Pudong Airport Station. You need to wait until the Maglev start formal operation.

Note: This entry is created on Oct 7, 2003, not on the date displayed.

Pudong Airport Maglev in Depth

Believe me. This article is the most in depth one on the topic of Maglev of Shanghai Pudong Airport. I have talked about Maglev before in these two articles: Maglev Operates in Shanghai and Ticket for Maglev Tour. Here are the Maglev pictures I always planned to take.

Below: Before I see the real Maglev train on the rail, the large advertisement of Maglev on the way out of PVG (Pudong Airport) has attracted my attention. SIEMENS is famous in China but the name of ThyssenKrupp was heard only when Maglev is mentioned. I believe most passengers will see this Maglev advertisement when they just get into a cab or his car and drive out of PVG.


Maglev Advertisement © Jian Shuo Wang

Maglev Leaving Station

I walked across a long way from the Departure Hall of PVG to the rail road of the Maglev line. Below is the entrance of the station for the Maglev trains. The two guard asked me to stay away from the rail road politely. They said there will be no train today. Obviously, they were lying just to keep me away from the Maglev rail.


Gate of the Maglev Station. © Jian Shuo Wang

Just before I turned and started to go away, a Maglev train started from the station and headed to downtown Shanghai. I quickly pointed the camera and took the picture below (My first Maglev picture). The head of the train just got out of the station.


Maglev Train with Head Just Out of Station. © Jian Shuo Wang

Below is a series of pictures showing the Maglev train moving away.


Maglev head out of Station. Photo 2. © Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang

The startup speed of Maglev is not very fast, but it just disappeared before I can see the train clearly.


Maglev left station – far away from where I stayed. © Jian Shuo Wang


Maglev almost out of sight. © Jian Shuo Wang

Maglev On Railway

Later, I found the train would pass the station and reach the other side of the station, stay there for about 2 minutes and then move back into the station, take the passenger and go for the downtown direction. So I have plenty of time to take more pictures for this most advanced train in the world. You can see the Maglev train is parking near the tower of the airport.


Maglev and the control tower of the Pudong Airport. © Jian Shuo Wang

The same picture with horizontal view.


Maglev and the control tower of the Pudong Airport – horizontal version © Jian Shuo Wang

The above two Maglev pictures were quoted in some books and TV commercials (in Japan).

From the picture below, you can clearly see the head of the train and the “Shanghai Transrapid” mark on the Maglev train.


Maglev with Shanghai transrapid on the train. © Jian Shuo Wang

This is the cart for the train. It seems the seat in it is very comfortable. I didn’t get into the cart yet since the ticket price for the tour (before it officially operate) is just too high. (Update: The price was cut twice and now it is 40 RMB for single trip if you hold the ticket of the flight of the same day. Aug-2007)


© Jian Shuo Wang


The over head bridge connecting Pudong Airport and the Maglev station.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: This is the end the Maglev’s railway. The huge installation and testing cart was parked on the right railway.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: More details about the huge machine.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Looking from the other side of the railway. A big german guy was working on the electronic equipment near the train, but I forgot to take a picture for him.


© Jian Shuo Wang

The lovely tree before the Maglev station.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Fantanstic Train

I hope the Maglev train will operate as scheduled despite of the recent technical difficulties.

Note: Please give credit to this site if you want to use any of the picture. Yes. I grant anyone the permission to use the pictures on this page as long as 1) It is for non-commercial use. 2) Links back.

Updated Aug 18, 2003

According to this letter from the CEO of American Maglev,

The German train is a testament to great technological innovation, but it is indeed very expensive. Based on the experience in Shanghai, the cost of the German Maglev technology would be much closer to $60 million a kilometre than the $2 million suggested previously.

Wow. Is it true? The cost of Maglev seems to be a national secret right now and I cannot find any information on it.

Updated Oct 10, 2003

According to the Morning Post, the MagLev will begin trial business operation from tomorrow (Oct 11, 2003).

Although the sightseeing tour of Maglev has been operating for about half year, tomorrow is the first time the Maglev drop passengers at Pudong Airport – which means passengers will be able to use the Maglev for transportation propose only, not just for tour.

More Information

Updated April 21, 2004

Maglev started daily operation already. It operates from 8:30 to 17:30 at interval of 20 minutes. The ticket price for single trip is 50 RMB and 80 RMB for round trip.

Also on this Site


Update Inside Maglev

Inside Pudong Airport Maglev Train

Tickets for Maglev Tour

I am watching TV and just head of the news of the Maglev Train Tour.

Before the Maglev trains are put into production at the end of this year, they offer tour for the train at price of 150 RMB and 300 RMB. However, the tickets are still hard to buy. According to the news, they issue 2000 tickets every day, but the tickets were completely sold out before the Spring Festival on Feb 1, 2003. Individuals cannot book the tickets for the future, since the booking services only apply to large accounts with 20+ tickets a time.

Meanwhile, it is even harder to buy train tickets here in Shanghai. I am not sure if people outside China understand this, people will try to return home no matter where they are in the Spring Festival, just like Christmas in the western countries. The train tickets are very hard to buy since there are too many people want to buy the limited number of tickets. According to the OTV news, the lines for buying tickets has been winding from the ticket counter, to outside the ticketing building, and extended to about 10 blocks away. Most of them came to buy the tickets before 12:00 AM yesterday and has standed in the line for 10 hours during the night — poor people!

It is also interesting to see people in Shanghai begin to tour to Hai Nan and other areas of China during the Spring Festival. Air tickets to Hai Nan have been sold out for Feb 1 to Feb 8.

Fortunately, I have booked my air tickets back to Luoyang one week ago. :-)

Updated Maglev Ticket is Set to Be 75 RMB 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. This is not the final price yet, since it will continue to drop after formal business operation.

See more at PVG: Maglev Started Carry Passengers.

More Information:

PVG: Has Maglev Started Operation?

Pudong Airport Maglev in Depth


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