Shanghai Maglev

Hoping to use the 430kph (270mph) MagLev “train” from Shanghai to PuDong Airport tomorrow.

A somewhat eastern philosophical engineering review here about “being able to run with the wind”.

[Added – a later YouTube video of the full journey – with speedo.]

At 50RMB it’s one eighth the taxi-fare and at 8 minutes it’s under one fifth the travel time too. Scary to think of travelling at that speed only mm from the massive concrete rail, but impressive to see it whizz silently past the freeway traffic on the way here.

Thinking of Prof Eric Laithwaite demonstrating the principles all those years ago at Imperial College, and is my memory playing tricks or were they even earlier black-and-white TV editions of Tomorrow’s World with Raymond Baxter and Michael Rodd ? [James Burke actually.] The principles were first demonstrated by Germans pre-WW2.

[Post note : my flight out left too early, before the MagLev started operating, and my hotel was on the PuDong side of the river away from the downtown LongYang Road terminus anyway, so I missed out. Ah well, next time.]

6 thoughts on “Shanghai Maglev”

  1. I can also remember seeing the prof in black and white on TW., but I think that makes it James Burke with Raymond Baxter not Michael Rodd.

    [for me, TW was Burke and Baxter. I never really enjoyed it after they left. I do remember asking for (and receiving) a steel Parker pen because of the way Burke used it to illustrate points. I’ve still got it somewhere, but how do you use it with powerpoints?]

  2. You’re right, James Burke it was.
    Thanks for the link too.
    (Actually it’s a briliant page …)

    (That you ? Smiffy ? Spooky e-mail address you’ve got there.)

  3. yes, smiffy here.

    i missed out on getting my full name (ian rather than i) by only a couple of weeks. i had selected the isp 2 months before i actually signed up, using the time in between to check that i was doing the right thing. not the first time i have spent ages thinking about something and ending up back at my first choice and in this case a little less procastination would have got me the name i wanted (matching the company one and leading to fewer mistakes when registering or buying). i did toy with the idea of grabbing one of the zmm variants, but i have left them for now in the hope that a bike repair shop will make better use of them.

    i had a fun 10 minutes googling after posting the link and went from there, via a james burke site, to an article that made a strong argument for how the widespread use of ppt is reducing effective communication. you’ve probably already seen the article but in case you haven’t i’ll post the link after this note (why after? because i’m knocking this out on a wireless pda in bed (!) and i can only have one ie window open at a time).

  4. Ah yes Tufte – I blogged his article a couple of years ago ..

    As far as the prof is concerned, he was already a celebrity from TV appearances before I went to Imperial. He was in the physics dept next door to aeronautics. He occasionally gave lunchtime general interest lectures.

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