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January 26, 2015

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‘30-minute rail link between city airports’

A NEW rail link will cut the journey between Shanghai’s two international airports to as little as 30 minutes, a top transport official said yesterday.

Options under consideration are an “express Metro” link and a railway line between Hongqiao and Pudong airports, said Sun Jianping, chief of the Shanghai Transport Commission.

The airports are 45 kilometers apart, though the route would be longer and include stops.

Sun was speaking at the 12th Shanghai committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the city’s political advisory body.

“The choice largely depends on the speed of the transport mode,” said Sun.

“It would be meaningless if it takes more than 45 minutes to travel between the two airports. Ideally, the distance should be covered in about half an hour.”

Sun said a faster link needs to be ready within five years. However, he gave no timetable.

Currently, the two airports are linked by either taking Metro Line 2 all the way or splitting the journey between Line 2 and the high-speed Maglev which runs between Longyang Road station and Pudong airport.

The trip can take 90 minutes and means changing train, even if only traveling on Line 2.

Sun was responding to a proposal by political advisor Xue Xingong at yesterday’s session.

Xue, an engineer of the China Railway Shanghai Design Institute Group Co Ltd, said a train could make the journey in 35 minutes, while a fast Metro train would take 50 minutes.

Xue said a high-speed link to the Yangtze River Delta would attract visitors to Shanghai Disneyland, due to open this year.

Sun said a link would also boost passenger numbers at Shanghai’s two airports.

Designed to handle 120 million passengers a year, in 2014 the combined figure at Hongqiao and Pudong was 88 million.

Last year, the Shanghai Airport Authority unveiled plans for a 60km airport link, with stops including Shanghai South Railway Station, Longyang Road Station and Disneyland.

A similar plan announced by the Shanghai Railway Bureau also includes the construction of major new station, Shanghai East Railway Station.


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