Shanghai maglev rail route may detour to avoid residences 2007-12-13 16:57:47   Print

    SHANGHAI, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The planners of the Shanghai-Hangzhou magnetic levitation (maglev) rail project will design the proposed route to avoid residential buildings and lessen the impact of radiation upon people, according to a municipal government official.

    "The maglev project has basically two environmental effects: noise and magnetic radiation," said Zhang Quan, deputy director of the Shanghai Environmental Bureau.

    "Based on many scientific tests and appraisal of the completed maglev rail, we found it posed almost no radiation impact beyond three to five meters," Zhang told reporters at the municipal government's regularly scheduled press conference on Wednesday.

    A maglev train generates high levels of noise at speeds exceeding 200 kilometers per hour. "A possible solution for the noise problem may be slowing the train in downtown areas and speeding it up when it leaves urban districts," said Zhang.

    Zhang said that the project was still in the planning phase and the final design was subject to approval.

    Approved by the central government in March 2006, the 175-km Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev rail project is estimated to cost 35 billion yuan (4.5 billion U.S. dollars). Trains will be able to reach a speed of 450 km per hour.

    The basic design specifies that the maglev will run southwest from the existing maglev station in Shanghai's financial center. It will go to the Shanghai World Expo venue and cross the Huangpu River, then travel to the Shanghai Southern Railway Station.

    From there, a double track is planned, with the northern route leading to Hongqiao International Airport and the southern route linking Jiaxing and Hangzhou cities by following the Shanghai-Hangzhou expressway.

    Work was suspended in May after residents along the proposed route raised concerns about possible health effects. Scientists and various organizations have also questioned the environmental impact.

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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