The state media had reported around May of this year that the proposed Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev was canceled. In the report just linked to, it says that the official reason why the thing was canceled was because of health and environmental concerns, while the supposed “real reason” was that residents in the maglev’s path were starting a petition. Reading over this report reminds of how this issue has been ping-ponging back and forth for years. We thought perhaps that the ginormous cost of the thing, including some behind-the-scenes bickering between Zhejiang province and Shanghai regarding the division of construction costs, was the final nail in the coffin, but if you think about it, since when can a few petitioners writing letters to their National People’s Congress “reps” can hardly hold back the ineluctable forces of progress?
In any case, the maglev has circumvented some of those nasty environmental problems by changing its route to avoid residential buildings and reducing its speed in downtown areas. As for the radiation risk—well, their scientific tests show that there is no radiation impact beyond 3-5 meters, which is good, because that means that none of the folks living ten meters from the maglev will have to worry about the higher risk of getting cancer (we wonder what this means for people sitting IN the trains!). As for noise levels, the current maglev track from Pudong airport to Longyang seems to be at about acceptable international standards.
On the other hand, since the new proposed route is actually a double route, with one track heading south towards Jiaxing and Hangzhou while the other heads towards Hongqiao airport, we wonder what will happen to the people or buildings along the path to Hongqiao.
Photo by HKmPUA.