Shanghai–Hangzhou maglev line

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Transrapid Shanghai maglev train at Longyang Road terminus

The Shanghai–Hangzhou maglev train (Chinese: 沪杭磁悬浮交通项目) is a proposed maglev train line from Shanghai to Hangzhou, to be built by Germany's Transrapid consortium (mainly ThyssenKrupp and Siemens). Originally planned to be ready for Expo 2010, the controversial project was repeatedly delayed, with final approval being granted on August 18, 2008. Construction was scheduled to start in late March 2009,[1] with the target for completion having been 2014.[2] According to China Daily as reported in People's Daily Online on February 27, 2009, the Shanghai government was considering building the maglev line underground to allay the public's fear of electromagnetic pollution[*], and a final decision would need to be approved by the National Development and Reform Commission. In March 2009, the project was reported to be "suspended", although it had not been officially cancelled.[3] The October 26, 2010 opening of the Shanghai–Hangzhou high-speed railway makes construction of this line unlikely.


The high-speed line would run between the two Chinese cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou. The total length would be 169 km (105 mi), of which 64 km (40 mi) would be within the City of Shanghai and 105 km (65 mi) in the province of Zhejiang. Four stations would be built: at the Expo 2010 site in east Shanghai; in south Shanghai; Jiaxing; and east Hangzhou. The proposed design speed is 450 km/h, which would allow the train to travel the 169 km total distance in just 27 minutes. The total budget of the project was to be 35 billion RMB (about US$5.0 billion as of April 2008).

If built, the line would become the first inter-city maglev rail line in commercial service in the world and also the fastest inter-city train. The line would be an extension of the only maglev line in China (and the only commercial service high-speed maglev line in the world) so far, the Shanghai maglev train at Pudong International Airport.


Media reports on 26 May 2007 said the Shanghai city government announced that the project had been suspended, citing "radiation concerns",[4] despite an environmental assessment by the Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences saying the line was safe and that it would not affect air and water quality, and noise pollution could be controlled.[5] An environmental assessment report released 2 January 2008, for citizens to comment on until 15 January, says the link would have minimal impact on the local environment.

In January and February 2008, hundreds of residents demonstrated in downtown Shanghai against the line being built close to their homes. The residents were reportedly concerned with potential health hazards, noise, and loss of property value. The Shanghai scheme has a buffer zone around the track that will be 22.5 m wide, which compares unfavourably with German standards that require houses to be 300 m away from the line.[6] Representatives of the residents filed a formal request to demonstrate with the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, which was rejected.

In October 2010 the Shanghai–Hangzhou high-speed railway was opened, bringing the travelling time between the two cities down to 45 minutes. An official revealed that the maglev link was to be shelved.[7]


  1. ^ "China to launch controversial maglev extension in 2010". AFP. Aug 18, 2008.
  2. ^ Maglev finally given approval -
  3. ^ "Shanghai Suspends Maglev Project". Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  4. ^ "China suspends work on magnetic levitation train over radiation fears". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
  5. ^ "Hundreds protest Shanghai maglev rail extension". Reuters. Jan 12, 2008.
  6. ^ "Hundreds protest Shanghai maglev rail extension". Reuters. 12 January 2008.
  7. ^ "Report: Maglev link plan is suspended". Shanghai Daily. January 19, 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2011.

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