Maglev – Train in approx. 8 min. covers a distance of 30 km

Maglev – Train in approx. 8 min. covers a distance of 30 km

  • Speed: 431 km/h
  • Place: China (Shanghai)
  • Route: Shanghai Pudong International Airport – Shanghai downtown
  • Number of seats: 574
  • Start of operation: 31 December, 2002


Maglev – This high-speed railway is not a traditional rail connection. It is a route connecting Shanghai Pudong International Airport with downtown Shanghai. The train covers a distance of 30 kilometers in about 8 minutes. It is 153 meters long and can carry 574 passengers. What distinguishes it from the others is the fact that it does not run on the tracks, but rises above the “track” due to the repulsive magnetic field. Superconducting electromagnets are not only built into the train, but also into the track itself. The German company Siemens participated in its production.

The main problem with this new mode of transport is the cost. Because for safety reasons, the tracks must be laid over bridges or in tunnels. On the other hand, their speed is not limited by anything. That is why in 2015 a record was broken on the test track when the train reached an incredible speed of 603 km/h. In practice, speed is limited by energy consumption and aerodynamic drag. The advantage of magnetic cushions is also the fact that no harmful exhaust gases or noise caused by the engine or wheels are produced while driving. What’s more, the energy consumption is lower than that of airplanes or cars.
The abbreviated name “maglev” was first used in the 1960s by physicist Howard T. Coffey. In English, this word is used not only for the technology of transport systems, but also to describe a physical phenomenon – magnetic levitation.

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