The Shanghai Maglev - fastest train in the world?
The 30 km ride takes less than eight minutes and reaches speeds up to 433 km/h.
What does "Maglev" mean?Maglev is short for "Magnetically Levitated". Basically, the train is propelled upwards by powerful magnets that provide the propulsion and lift. There are tracks to "guide" the train, but there are no wheels touching the track surface as the train lifts up and "floats" on this magnetic field.
The main advantage is that the train can achieve very high speeds because it is essentially "flying" at a low altitude, and unlike regular trains or cars, there is no surface contact to slow it down.
Riding the Maglev in Shanghai...We rode the Maglev on our last day as we headed over to Pudong International Airport. We took a taxi from our hotel and arrived at the Maglev terminal in about 20 minutes.
When buying the tickets, make sure you show your airplane tickets, as this will give you a small discount.
I think we paid about $5 or $6 for our one-way ticket. This is a huge amount for Chinese standards and when adding the cost of the taxi to get there, probably more expensive altogether if there are several in your group, but anyhow, it's for the experience!
Trains run continuously, we did not have to wait long for ours. We boarded and soon after our train took off. In less than 8 minutes we were at Shanghai's Pudong Airport.
It was a very smooth ride:
Pre-book your Maglev Airport Transfers
If you would like to be met at the airport upon your arrival to Shanghai and arrange for your Maglev transfer into the city and then by private car to your hotel, or viceversa, from your hotel to Pudong International Airport, you can pre-book your one-way or round trip transfers before you leave home:
Book Your MagLev Transfers
Beijing-Shanghai Rail Link
The Shanghai Maglev was the "test-run" for the high-speed-link that now provides the world's fastest intercity train between Shanghai and Beijing.
The line construction started on April 18, 2008 and was completed in mid-2011. This is the biggest infrastructure project taken on by the People's Republic ever.
Trains travel up to 350 km per hour, making the trip between Shanghai and Beijing in less than 5 hours, shaving six hours of the previous time!
As for the absolute fastest train in the world, I believe the honor belongs to Japan's Shinkansen Maglev, the MLX01 which has reached a speed of 374mph or 603 km/h in 2015 on a trial run.
Top 10 World's Fastest Trains in Operation
Source: TMW, updated April 1, 2017
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