Really Fast Trains in and from China

August 13, 2010

Devin Coldewey at Crunch Gear writes about plans for future-trains in China that may run at speeds of 1000 kilometers or 620 miles an hour.

China is looking into increasing speeds for longer distances by using maglev trains without air resistance by building vacuum-sealed tunnels. Today’s maglev trains with air resistance are capable of hitting speeds of about 500 km/h.

Darren Murph at also wrote about these super-fast trains.  Darren mentions that China says they will have maglev trains ready in three years.  In fact, they have one now outside Shanghai. I have ridden the maglev train that runs from Pudong Airport to Shanghai. It seldom hits its top speed for the short trip, but it is smooth and fast—a few minutes compared to more than forty in a taxi or bus.

To reach speeds of 1000 km/h means more money. Each kilometer to build these vacuum tubes will cost an extra $2.95 million American. I have a question. What happens if the vacuum tube springs a leak?

Darren ends with “Pony up, taxpayers!”, but that’s not how the Chinese raise money.  Most money in China comes from the profits of state-run banks, industries and duties on imports and exports not on income or property, although that may be changing as China studies how the US government raises money.

China is also planning to build high-speed rail from Beijing to London. Source: The Sydney Morning Herald Traveller

See China On the Fast Track


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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March 15, 2010

The first time I flew into Shanghai, the jet landed at Hangqiao Airport.

There was no Pudong with its Maglev Train, which can move 150 to 200 km/h, running eighteen miles to the city.

Even with the larger Pudong, Hangqiao still handled 25 million passengers in 2009, but more fly into Pudong.

Model of Shanghai

China’s leaders are finishing the job Qin Shi Huangdi started twenty-two hundred years ago, and it’s not easy.

The first emperor unified China with one written language.

Now, the country is being stitched together with one language, Mandarin. It may take several generations.

People are used to speaking the language they grew up with.

There are fifty-six with more dialects, like Shanghainese. Learning English is also mandatory in the public schools.

Old Shanghai – I’ve shopped here.

One-hundred-fifty years ago, Shanghai was a sleepy fishing town.

Then England and France started two opium wars with China to force the emperor to allow them to sell the drug to his people.

The treaty that ended the first opium war made Shanghai a concession port and part of the outside world bringing expats, who are still arriving.

Today, there are twenty million residents and 4,000 high-rises with more on the way. They sprout like mushrooms.

The 101-story World Financial Center is China’s tallest building.

Visit the Shanghai World Expo

The next four Shanghai photos are courtesy of Tom Carter, photo journalist and author of China: Portrait of a People

Tom Carter, photo journalist

See the Shanghai Huangpu River Tour

See more at National Geographic, Shanghai Dreams

See more about Shanghai at Eating Gourmet in Shanghai

Discover Hollywood Taking the “Karate Kid” to China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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