Shanghai Maglev Leaving Pudong Airport Station

2007 National Geographic Documentary On The Shanghai Maglev - This documentary was based upon my November 2004 Civil Engineering cover story on how the Shanghai maglev was built. My information came from the international group of engineers directly involved the project. These were all people I came to know during and after my time working for Transrapid, the technology provider for the project. This documentary aired in every National Geographic television market EXCEPT in the U.S. - I was told by the producers that the U.S. channel could not find sponsors. Makes you wonder who is blocking this technology from being deployed in the U.S.

Some Eye Opening Videos...

TGV Wheels, Brake Calipers & Axle

HSR Maintenance Is No Joke - NHK video on maintaining Japan's famous Shinkansen system. All the maintenance procedures you will see in this ten-minute video ARE ELIMINATED if high-speed maglev transport technology is deployed instead. This video reveals how maintenance considerations are part of the reason why the Central Japan Railway is building their Chuo Shinkansen with new high-speed superconductor technology.

Linimo, Nagoya, Japan

LINIMO Maglev - Nagoya, Japan - Deployed March 2005

Video that clearly demonstrates the superior ride quality and extremely low noise level of the low-speed (60 mph) maglev in Nagoya, Japan. Deployed in conjunction with the launch of the 2005 World Expo, this 5.6-mile line has 9 stations and has a 99.97% on-time availability over the last 11 years. Its maintenance facility looks like it belongs to the lonely Maytag repairman. There are few moving parts to replace, with the notable exception of the vehicle power pick-up pads.

China Wenzhou-Hangzhou crash 7-2011

What Happens When HSR Maintenance Is Not Perfect - Seconds From Disaster video of the June 3, 1998 German ICE Eschede derailment. The accident was caused by a combination of mechanical, material, and human misteps, all of which are cited in this documentary. As the later Emsland maglev accident in October of 2006 proved, maglevs do not derail. Both accidents were at speeds of 125 mph.

Shanghai Maglev & Guideway

Superiority Of Maglev Over HSR Explained - Presentation from High-Seed Rail World conference, Washington, DC 2010. Conference chairman Kevin C. Coates explains the operational and maintenance advantages of high-speed maglev over traditional high-speed rail.

Wheel vs. Magnetic Force

Animation Explaining EMS Maglev Suspension & Propulsion Technology

There are several methods for achieving controlled magnetic levitation. This video reveals the basic methodology behind the Electro-Magnetic Suspension (EMS) technology used for magnetic levitation transport. This is the technology that has been in operation in Shanghai since 2003, routinely reaching speeds of 267 mph on the relatively short 19-mile run. Despite 115 daily runs, maintenance on the system's dual track guideway remains negligible due to the non-contact technology.

Beneath Chinese HSR Viaduct

HSR Construction Is Not Cheap

November 2010 video showing the construction of the Chinese Shanghai-Beijing HSR line. This clip was shot from a southbound Chinese "D" train as it passed beneath the HSR viaduct.

Chinese HSR Viaduct Girder Launcher

Chinese HSR Viaduct Construction

While the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration and Amtrak talk and talk about high-speed rail initiatives sharing tracks with the freight railroads, the Chinese were busy building over 10,000 miles of dedicated HSR lines using elevated viaducts. This video shows one the the ways they sped up construction and lowered construction costs. Notice these are prefab beams, which means they were built off site where temperature and humidity were controlled to ensure superior strength and durability - something not shown in the video.

Shanghai Maglev Leaving Longyang Rd. Station

Shanghai Maglev To Pudong Airport: 19 Miles In 7-1/2 Minutes - Real time video with narration, clock and speedometer where you can get a sense of the speed, ride comfort, and ease with which this technology reaches remarkable ground speeds (267 mph) at  0.1 Gs.

Acceleration is not limited by technological limitations, but a desire to provide maximum passenger comfort while maintaining adequately fast acceleration. Commissioned for commercial service in April of 2003.

Shanghai Maglev Leaving Pudong Airport Station

Return Maglev Ride To Longyang Rd. Station: 19 Miles In 7-1/2 Minutes - Real time video with narration, clock and speedometer that gives a better sense of the speed and ride comfort than the previous video. This clip also shows people standing in the cabin while the maglev hits 267 mph. Commissioned for commercial service in April of 2003.

Maglev Arrives Longyang Rd. Station

Ultra Quiet Maglev Arrival At  Station - The audio on this November 2010 video speaks volumes about the low noise levels of a maglev transport system. The car horn from the street blares (after just 10 seconds), but you still cannot hear the maglev, even though they were both about the same distance from the microphone. Commissioned for commercial service in April of 2003.

Maglev Noise Profile Near  Station -This video was shot near Longyang Road Maglev Station in Shanghai, China. The video enables the viewer to hear the noise levels of the maglev compared to local road traffic. The design of the Chinese guideways actually create higher decibel levels than existed at the German test track. New guideway designs incorporate sound absorbing materials and can include sound deflection panels for use in urban environments.