By Paul Chung
Image credit: Lars Plougmann.
You finally land at Pudong Airport feeling groggy and moist with sweat but wait, your connecting flight (or bullet train) at Hongqiao leaves in two hours! What do you do?
Presently, getting between Pudong and Hongqiao is a time-consuming undertaking regardless of whether you take a taxi, bus, or train.
However, that will soon change (well, in several years) when the city opens a direct airport-to-airport rail corridor. Shanghai is currently in the process of planning a high-speed express railway line that would connect the two airports, with journeys taking under 40 minutes.
Although Shanghai Metro line 2 already provides a direct link between Pudong and Hongqiao airports, the one-way trip can take nearly two hours. Not to mention maintenance delays and overcrowded rush hour trains.
The Shanghai maglev train does shorten the Pudong-Hongqiao trip by a few minutes, but still drops off passengers at Longyang Road Station in the wilds of Pudong-still exceedingly far from Hongqiao Airport [or anywhere you’d want to be, really – Ed.]. Other airport-to-airport transportation options include taxi and an airport bus.
“Only a few stops will be designed along the fast track to shuttle travelers, especially business travelers, between the two airports more quickly,” said Jing Yiming, vice president of the Shanghai Airport Authority.
Since opening in 2004, the Shanghai Maglev Train has become a popular city tourist attraction, which begs the question: will the proposed Pudong-Hongqiao high-speed line also be graced with magnetic levitation trains?
According to the Shanghai Daily, most likely not:
It was once thought a maglev line would be used, but proposals were stymied by locals’ protests. Residents living near the existing maglev say they fear the effects of its powerful electromagnetic force on their health.
The Pudong-Hongqiao high speed railway line is just one of a dozen intra-city subway and train lines currently proposed by the Shanghai government.