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February, 2004 - Nr. 2


The Editor
Sweet Surrender
Herz und Rose
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Ham Se det jehört?
Health Newsletter
At the Berlinale
Movies made in Berlin
Movie "Das Parfum"
"Wunderkind" Phenomenon
Cars fight AIDS
Canada Day Poster
High-Tech Rail Running
Made in Germany vs. EU
Mars Exploration
Engineers Award Nominations
German/US Ties
Munich After All

High-tech rail link up and running

  TWIG - The world’s first magnetic levitation train last week began regular operations in Shanghai, China, as officials said that the German-built Transrapid train is poised to make its European debut in 2010.

In Shanghai, the one-year test phase for high-speed Transrapid train system ended three days ahead of schedule and with little fanfare — but with carriages filled to the brink.

Since German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji were on board for the train’s maiden run on New Year’s Eve 2002, about half a million commuters, tourists and thrill-seekers have used the $1bn rail link.

And with regular operations now up and running, some 10 million passengers per year are expected to ride on a bed of air as the sleek three-car train silently barrels down along the 19-mile stretch from Shanghai to its airport in just eight minutes.

In a taxi, the same journey takes over an hour.

The Transrapid consortium, a joint venture owned by steel maker ThyssenKrupp and engineering giant Siemens, hailed the start of regular operations as a international breakthrough for German-designed railway technology.

With a maximum speed of 270 mph, the Transrapid is the culmination of 30 years of research work in Germany to develop an electromagnetic levitation system.

Meanwhile, construction on a $2bn high-speed rail link between downtown Munich and the city’s international airport is scheduled to begin in 2006, with service expected to start in 2010, said officials.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


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