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 speed 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.
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.
In other news, Japan maglev train sets world record.
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.
Shanghai MagLev Speed, Schedule and Fares
- 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)
For more information, visit the Shanghai Maglev official website.
Last update: December 6, 2016