Shanghaiist has used the Maglev probably a dozen times over the past 18 months, usually at the request of visiting friends who come to Shanghai having heard of this unique form of public transport which, in theory, whisks you from a far-flung international airport into the throbbing heart of one of the world’s truly exciting cities in just 8 minutes, but which actually drops you off in the middle of a paddock, nearby a dusty collection of suburban shopping malls, where tumbleweeds bounce across the road and locals stare in disbelief at all the “big noses”.
So we were relieved to discover that the thing is running properly.
We bet the other 4.23 million passengers (or is it 6.5 million?) who have used the Maglev since it opened in May 2004 are also glad to hear that they haven’t been hurtling through the Pudong countryside at 431 km/hr on a train with a dodgy magnet or suspect steering system. We wonder how many millions of passengers would have taken the train if authorities had casually mentioned that it would be a year and a half before they’d figured out if it worked.
Meanwhile, Pudong has come up with a new slogan, “Tomorrow Land of China” (as in: “Wanna go to Pudong?” “Nah. Maybe tomorrow?”). Rumour has it that the successful catchphrase won by just a handful of votes from “The Dark Side”.
The report adds:
The slogan, created by the company that helped form Hong Kong’s successful tourism image, tries to present an image of Pudong as innovative, modern and full of energy.
Love that word “tries”.