China Shanghai

Shanghai Maglev Speed: Faster than a speeding arrow

April 19, 2008

One time when I had to fetch someone from Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, a colleague advised me to take the newly operational maglev train line in Shanghai. According to him, the Shanghai Maglev travels at the speed of 400 km/h and directly connects Longyang station to Pudong Airport.

Curious and eager to prove the presumed Shanghai Maglev speed, I took his advice and went to the airport via the new maglev train but to my dismay, I was watching the speed meter display inside the train and it did disappoint.

The Shanghai maglev speeds up only to 301 km/h.

On my way back, however, as indicated on the speedometer inside the train, the maglev train was able to peak at 431kph.

Shanghai Maglev Speed - 301 km/h
Shanghai Maglev Speed - 431 km/h
Shanghai Maglev speed at 301 km/h and 431 km/h. Click on the image to enlarge.

I was checking the maglev train ticket and noticed the front print saying “30km 8min.”

Let’s geek out here a little bit. Remember the distance-speed-time problems in College Algebra? Now is your chance to put it to good use. Here goes your math problem.

Pressed for time, a commuter took the Shanghai Maglev train to meet a friend at the Pudong International Airport at 6:53 in the morning. In what speed should the maglev travel if it leaves at exactly 6:45 AM? What is the maximum speed it needs to attain?

I’m afraid I’d bore you to death if I continue with all the algebraic details so allow me to just give you the answer. The maglev speed must be 3.75 km/min or 225 km/h, and if it is to travel at constant acceleration, it must reach a peak speed of 450 km/h in four minutes somewhere in the middle of the track.

Nerding out further, I wanted to compare the Shanghai maglev speed to that of a speeding bullet but this is not about Superman. So let’s compare it to an arrow fired from a composite bow, instead. These two websites assert the average speed an arrow travels is about 250 km/h.

Which leads us to our title – Shanghai MagLev Speed: Faster than a speeding arrow.

Maglev Train Station at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai
Shanghai Maglev at Longyang Road Station, Shanghai

Having said all that, I still recommend the Shanghai MagLev as one of the better airport transfer options, and it’s a must experience when in Shanghai.

Ready to try the MagLev? Here are places to see and things to experience while strolling around Shanghai from the MagLev Station.

Shanghai MagLev Speed, Schedule and Fares

MagLev Schedule

  • Pudong International Airport – Longyang Rd Metro Station: 7:02 AM – 9:42 PM
  • Longyang Rd Metro Station – Pudong International Airport: 6:45 AM – 9:40 PM
  • MagLev Train Intervals: 15 mins. before 7:02 PM; 20 mins after 7:02 PM

MagLev Ticket Fare (RMB)

  • Single Trip: 50 (Economy), 100 for VIP
  • Round Trip: 80 for Economy, 160 for VIP

MagLev Maximum speed

  • 300 km/h (7:02 AM – 8:47 AM, 11:02 AM – 2:47 PM, 5:02 PM – 9:42 PM)
  • 430 km/h (9:02 AM – 10:47 AM, 3:02 PM – 4:47 PM)

Shanghai MagLev Speed

For more information, visit the Shanghai Maglev official website.

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