www.xinhuanet.com
XINHUA online
CHINA VIEW
VIEW CHINA
 Breaking News Urgent: Bush urges Congress to pass CAFTA    Urgent: UK postpones referendum on EU constitution    BRITAIN WILL POSTPONE A REFERENDUM ON EU CONSTITUTION: STRAW     Shanghai stock index slumps below 1,000 points to new low since 1997    Libya joins COMESA     Chopper overturns at Mt. Qomolangma Base Camp, crew safe     
Home  
China  
World  
Business  
Technology  
Opinion  
Culture/Edu  
Sports  
Entertainment  
Life/Health  
Travel  
Weather  
RSS  
  About China
  Map
  History
  Constitution
  CPC & Other Parties
  State Organs
  Local Leadership
  White Papers
  Statistics
  Major Projects
  English Websites
  BizChina
- Conferences & Exhibitions
- Investment
- Bidding
- Enterprises
- Policy update
- Technological & Economic Development Zones
Source Manufacturers and Suppliers from China and around the world
   News Photos Voice People BizChina Feature About us   
Shanghai-style Maglev train may fly on London line
www.chinaview.cn 2005-06-07 08:18:44

    BEIJING, June 7 -- Described as "flying on the ground," Shanghai's 270mph magnetic floating railway has impressed British ministers.

    Known as the Maglev (magnetic levitation) train, China's flagship transport system takes 8 minutes to hurtle the 30 kilometres from Shanghai airport to the city's outskirts - a journey which takes up to an hour by car.

    A magnetic charge lifts the train's sleek white carriages, first of their kind in the world, one centimetre above the track.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair has held a seminar to consider building a Maglev route along the spine of Britain through Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh.The project would pay huge environmental dividends making domestic air travel virtually obsolete.

    Finance minister, Gordon Brown, rode Shanghai's Maglev in February.

    The German company behind Shanghai's Maglev, Transrapid International, has spent 18 months on a "pre-feasibility" plan which reckons on a basic cost of GBP20 million (US$37 million) a kilometre. The entire 800-km route would cost GBP16 billion (about US$29 billion) even before taking into account land purchase.

    Jochen Kruse, Transrapid's project manager in Shanghai, said: "We've had discussions with Mr Blair's office - now we'll be going to the Department for Transport." He said Britain's hilly terrain was ideal for the Maglev, which can be angled at a gradient of up to 10 per cent.

    The Shanghai system has been open for 18 months and has carried more than 2 million people. But critics question the durability of the technology - one of the two tracks has been shut for long periods while engineers adjust cables which spark the train's magnetism.

    Furthermore, the entire system is sinking into the Pudong, Shanghai's marshy outpost of land used as an economic boom zone.

    The Chinese Government is considering an extension into the city and possibly to the neighbouring city of Hangzhou in time for Shanghai's hosting of the World Expo in 2010.

    The Maglev is attracting followers around the world: Germany wants one for an airport link in Munich. The US Government is to choose between three Maglev schemes: a Baltimore to Washington railway, an airport link in Pittsburgh or a 50km track through the Nevada desert linking Las Vegas with casinos on the Californian border, which could be extended to Los Angeles.

    Mr Kruse said a green light from Mr Blair would enable Transrapid to come up with a detailed scheme in 18 months. But construction could take many years: "How long does it typically take to build such things in England? If you could import a thousand Chinese workers, it could be built in a year."

    (Source: China Daily)

  Related Story
World's most beautiful women
Nepal bus mine blast kills 38, injures 72
Zhang Ziyi shows up at MTV Movie Awards 2005
- Shanghai-style Maglev train may fly on London line
- Nestle China apologizes for unsafe iodine content
- Floods in China leave 180 dead or missing
- Pants exports show folly of US quotas: experts
- Pakistan hands over top al-Qaeda suspect to US
- 50 civilians, 3 security men killed by landmine in Nepal
- Hollywood needs China factor to attract viewers
- China seeks gradual yuan convertibility
- US may take DPRK nuke issue to UN
- Japan to develop anti-missile defense
- US running secret jails worldwide: Amnesty
- US, Venezuela clash at OAS meeting
- Saddam Hussein will be charged with 12 counts
- Switzerland joins in passport free Schengen Accords
- US embassy denies tapping conversation of Arroyo
- S. Korea, Japan sound off on talks
Copyright ©2003 Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.