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March 17, 2010

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Shanghai's 2 airports on maglev fast track

THE traveling time between Shanghai's two airports will be shortened to about 20 minutes, with just three stops, when a new magnetic levitation line is completed.

Li Derun, vice president of the Shanghai Airport Authority, said it had not yet been decided when construction of a major extension to the existing maglev line would begin to link the airports.

Allowing for switching trains, it now takes about 90 minutes to travel between Hongqiao and Pudong international airports by rail.

A trip by car takes about an hour in smooth traffic.

The city government was still discussing detailed plans for the maglev line extension, Li said in an interview after a new terminal at Hongqiao International Airport was put into use yesterday.

Li is also a vice director with the construction group of the Hongqiao Transport Hub, which will be a key point for people traveling by planes, trains and buses.

Shanghai has China's only maglev route which is 31 kilometers long and runs between Metro Line 2's Longyang Road Station, and Pudong International Airport.

According to initial plans for the express route between the two airports, three new stations, including one at the Expo site, will be added to the existing line in Pudong.

The inter-airport maglev line is a part of a 199.5km-long line that is expected to connect Shanghai with Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, by 2014.

Zhejiang officials have ruled out this year for starting construction of the maglev service between Hangzhou, and Shanghai, Xinhua news agency said.

A statement from the provincial development and reform commission yesterday said the project had no timetable and was still undergoing extensive feasibility studies.


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