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
"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,"
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.