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May 6, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Maglev airport express dawdles

ABOUT 70 commuters in Shanghai on the very first Maglev train to Pudong International Airport early yesterday missed their planes due to a breakdown.

The train was supposed to arrive at the airport in 7 minutes and 20 seconds but the 269 passengers, including the 70 who eventually missed their flights, ended up being stranded aboard for nearly an hour before repairs were completed.

The train broke down about a minute after it left the Longyang Road Maglev Station at 6:45am, the first Maglev to undertake the 30-kilometer airport trip.

Maglev traffic was not fully halted due to the breakdown as the second track operated normally during the repairs, a Maglev management company official said.

"The breakdown was caused by a malfunction in the power-supply network, a very rare situation," he said.

All affected commuters received refunds upon arrival at the airport and Maglev staff members helped people who had to book new flights.

"We stayed in touch with the airport throughout the emergency and asked officials to fast-track flight procedures for the affected passengers," he said.

However, for roughly 70 of them it was all too late.

The Maglev operator said it paid the renewal charges incurred by the affected passengers as part of an emergency compensation policy.

"Some passengers had a really tight schedule and missed their flights," the official said.

It was the first time that a Maglev service breakdown influenced such a big number of passengers, according to the operator.

The Shanghai Maglev line is the first commercial service of its kind in the world and was launched in 2004.

A short breakdown also occurred on another fast-speed transport link to Pudong's airport yesterday morning.

A train on Metro Line 2's newly launched eastern extension that takes in the airport broke down for about 10 minutes at 9:42.

The train in question suffered mechanical problems, the Metro operator said.

The train broke down between Chuansha Station and Yuandong Avenue Station, about the half-way mark.


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