The Shanghai Maglev Train, also known as the Shanghai Transrapid, is a maglev (magnetic levitation train) line operating in Shanghai, China, and is the world’s first commercial high-speed maglev train line. The project began construction on March 2001, taking 2 1/2 years to finish and tagged at ¥10 billion ($1.33 billion) in building costs.
The Shanghai Maglev was given a trial run on the 12th of November in 2003. For the test, it was able to attain a non-commercial top speed of 501 kilometers per hour (311 miles per hour). The line became open to the public on January 1, 2004. The train’s top operational commercial speed is 431 kilometers per hour (268 miles per hour), breaking the record set by France’s TGV at 320 kilometers per hour. This makes the Shanghai Maglev the fastest train in the world, faster than even China’s most recent CRH conventional wheel train, which could run at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour. In fact, the Shanghai Maglev’s top speed exceeds even the top speeds of most production automobile models (with the exception of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, with which it shares approximately the same speed), as well as any Formula One racer or MotoGP bike.
The train line runs from Pudong’s Longyang Road station to the Pudong International Airport. At its maximum speed, the maglev completes a 30 kilometer run in only 7 minutes and 20 seconds, though some of the trains scheduled early in the morning and late in the afternoon can take a bit longer by around 50 seconds. A maglev is capable of reaching a speed of 350 kilometers per hour (220 miles per hour) in just 2 minutes, then reaches the top normal operational speed of 431 kilometers per hour (268 miles per hour) afterwards.
The journey time, maximum speed and average speed of the Shanghai Maglev varies and alternates according to the traveling schedule. The maglev trains scheduled at 06:45-08:45, 11:00-12:45 and 17:00-21:40 (5:00-9:40 PM) have a journey time of 8 minutes and 10 seconds, a maximum speed of 301 kilometers per hour (187 miles per hour) and an average speed of 224 kilometers per hour (139 miles per hour). The trains scheduled at 09:00-10:45 and 13:00-16:45 (1:00-4:45 PM) have a journey time of 7 minutes 20 seconds, a maximum speed of 431 kilometers per hour (268 miles per hour) and an average speed of 251 kilometers per hour (156 miles per hour).