Sorry about the lack of updates of late. Have been having some family time in Australia and during our stopover in Shanghai, well, they don’t much like Facebook there…or Twitter…or our blog it seems. Well, not just ours but certain hosts in general. In any case, it makes me feel better about the lack of clicks from mainland China.
While our visit was short, 20 hours to be exact, it was enough to say hello to this booming country of 1.2 billion once more. For any short transit stop, especially after hours on a plane to get there, sitting on another mode of transport for more long hours is the least desirable thing on your mind.
Shanghai’s Maglev (short for magnetic levitation) Train is convenient and quick, connecting Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport with the outskirts of the city, a distance of 30.5kms, in 8 minutes. The line has been running since 2002 and is the fastest commercialized maglev train line in operation in the world.
Shanghai’s Maglev runs between the airport and Longyang Road Station, reaching speeds of between 300 and 430km per hour depending on the time of day (compared to a maximum of around 300km per hour for Japan’s commercial shinkansen or bullet trains). From there, you can connect with Metro lines 2 and 7.
The line operates daily from 06:45 to 21:40 at intervals of 15-20 minutes.
A single trip ticket costs 50 yuan (40 yuan if you show an airline ticket for the same day) or 80 yuan for a round trip ticket (valid within seven days of purchase). VIP class tickets are double the price, although not sure why you’d want to pay more for an 8-minute journey, especially when the seats in the economy cars are more than adequate.
Shanghai’s Maglev Train is now often referred to as a city attraction in itself. I’m not sure about an “attraction”, the scenery is not particularly pretty and goes by too fast to really take much in. But for the time and energy it saves, and just to be able to say you have been on it, it is definitely worth your $12US or so for the return trip.
Thanks to the Maglev, we were tucking into some steaming Shanghai noodles in a suitably dodgy eatery in a dark side street by 10pm. Enough said.
For more info: http://www.smtdc.com/en/index.asp
See below for a video of our return journey.