Shanghai-Hangzhou Maglev project shelved

Extension of current metro line postponed for a second time

China and Japan (pictured) both have maglev trains.
China and Japan (pictured) both have maglev trains.

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A high-speed magnetic-levitation (maglev) train due to link China's financial hub Shanghai with neighbouring city Hangzhou has been shelved.

A Chinese news website reported today that the US$5.3 billion project - which would cut the journey time between the two cities to just 38 minutes - would not go ahead as planned.

The official declined to comment on whether the decision was due to the recent construction of a high-speed railway between the two cities that has cut the travel time to 48 minutes, just ten minutes longer than the Maglev.

"It was a decision made by the central government after research by Zhejiang Provincial Development and Reform Commission," Liu Ting, deputy director of the commission, told China News Service.

First approved by the State Council in 2006, the 175-kilometer maglev line - which would be an extension of Shanghai's maglev route - was suspended in 2007 as residents along the line feared it would emit radiation and were concerned about noise.

Shanghai's current maglev, which runs from the Shanghai's international airport to a station on the outskirts of the city, is 30km long and capable of speeds up to 400km an hour. It has cut the travel time down to just eight minutes.

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