The Shanghai Transrapid

We’ve arrived safe and sound in Shanghai. The flight took 12 hours and was pretty uneventful. There is a 15 hour time difference between Vancouver and Shanghai. It’s pretty easy to adjust to if you don’t sleep on the plane. We landed at 5PM Shanghai time (2AM Vancouver time) and just stayed up until 9PM and went to bed and got up at 6AM. Feels like I’m back on normal time now.

We got in from the Shanghai airport via the Shanghai Transrapid. The Transrapid is one of the fastest trains in the world. It has a top speed of 430KM/H and can blast passengers from the Shanghai airport to the city of Shanghai in just 12 minutes. By comparison, if you were to take a car or bus, you can expect the trip to last a full hour. Time is money, right? Enjoy the video.

49 thoughts on “The Shanghai Transrapid”

  1. Binary Ant says:

    OMG, I don’t want to think about if the train has to do an emergency stop! 😯

    And for the jet lag, well I supose some people stand with it better than others…I think for me it would be like a nightmare 🙂

    1. Yeah it feels like the train is racing against time, can’t help it but laugh when those cars looks like they didn’t move at all! Nice video John!

      1. This video has been photoshopped!! jk

        Nice video, John. I’ll look forward to your many more.

        1. Syed Balkhi says:

          Nah john is not that good with photoshop

    2. Syed Balkhi says:

      I have never had issues with Jet Lag when I went to PK though my mother faced some serious issues she would stay up the nights….

  2. I’ve ridden that, it doesn’t even feel like it’s moving fast. Crazy stuff 😀

    1. MoneyNing says:

      Yeah it’s really very smooth and comfortable inside. It’s very nice. Too bad it’s not available in more places around the world so we don’t have to suffer with the airlines.

      1. It sure would be nice if the United States would get on the ball and get something like this.

  3. Stephen says:

    That’s a good magnitude faster than the Taiwan High Speed Rail. The Taiwan one only goes up to 300 KM/h.

    1. Flimjo says:

      What about the Ave in Spain?

    2. Yes, it is. But the THSR runs between real places (for the most part) is integrated to a larger transport network, and shuffles thousands of people from north to south comfortably and quickly. The island isn’t really that big for a 300km/h train to make that much of a difference… It would run into the sea. Now a THSR to Shanghai.. that would be good! 😀

    3. Michael Kwan says:

      To my knowledge, both the Shanghai and Taiwan trains are built/designed by Japan.

      1. Stephen says:

        So, essentially, they are rebranded bullet trains.

  4. broalex says:

    😈 That train is especially for people that don`t have the patience to sit for 2 long boring hours in a cab. Business people would also save a lot of time. What`s the cost for a 12 minute ride to Shanghai John ? 😆

  5. Pyjammez says:

    hmmm 20 000 rss readers?? what happened to the 400 extra that were there a few days ago?
    haha, i guess he has been concentrating more on dot com phos and dot com lifestyle than making money online lately…

    1. John Chow says:

      Feedburner decided not to count the RSS by Email today. I’m sure it’ll be fixed by tomorrow.

    2. Cronus says:

      I also noticed this, yestarday I had nearly 50 subscriber on my blog, and today only 6. I was really hoping to see my number rise but when I saw only 6 I about burst into tears. Luckily I looked into it and everyone is having the same problem.

    3. Syed Balkhi says:

      feedburner is weird … the number on big blogs fluctuate daily because some people might not check their email and so on.

  6. John,
    How did you upload these videos to Youtube from Shanghai? I thought China’s government censorship team filters out Youtube and other sites that contain so-called politically sensitive material?

    1. John Chow says:

      Since when is a video of the Shanghai Transrapid sensitive political material? 😈

      1. DeboHobo says:

        I posted your video on my blog, hope you don’t mind. I would also really like for you to do a guest post about your trip for my blog. Please!!!!

        1. Stephen says:

          Be careful what you ask for from John. He might bill you 😆

      2. Hmm…oh well I guess I always figured China censored entire sites but I guess they only filter out potentially sensitive keywords like Tiananmen etc.

  7. GilaBabi says:

    Phew !! Bloody hell fast !! 😮

  8. F1Wolf says:

    The whole Shanghai Maglev is one expensive publicity stunt. The train goes from airport to middle of nowehere. From there you still have to take taxi or bus to get to the city … Yes it saves some time in the traffic jam on the highway between Pudong airport and Pudong-middle-of-nowehere. But remember you have to wait for the train and then wait for the taxi or bus … At the end it does not save that much time. It is fun experience though to travel at that speed, even if the train has only 2 minutes at the top speed before it has to start slowing down …

    Such a stupid expensive project with no economic viability is only possible in China …

    Well the Germans are happy, they have a test track for their train that someone actually paid them for 🙂

    It cost about USD15 at current exchange rate I think. They have some discount 20 or 30% if you have a boarding pass with you (if you just landed)

    1. Stephen says:

      Didn’t it also catch on fire back in 2006?

  9. Abuyahya says:

    Well, when we move fast and no worry about anything, it means that the vehicle is VERY comfortable…

    But for me, there’s no other more comfortable vehicle than our EARTH , lol…

    Imagine how fast we move on the earth’s surface? 24 hour a day around the world which is about 40000 km distance..means 1650 km/hour.

    Thx for showing us to realize how we should very thankful to God for placing us in this comfortable “vehicle”, our Earth, 😀

  10. BuSy says:

    Thanks for the post. I also made virtual tour with Transrapid through your video.

  11. 😯 oooh, that train is fast! But what we really need are cars that can drive this fast without any legal trouble….

    1. Cronus says:

      Unless you plan on creating a device that enhances people so they aren’t horrible drivers, I hope they never come out with a car that drives that fast lol.

  12. John,
    Thanks for sharing. What type of camcorder are you using?

    1. It’s a flip camera, I think. He posted it about it a while ago.


  13. Flimjo says:

    I always feel like jet lag is not as bad when the time difference is way more.

  14. MacRookie says:

    Nice to see that fine German engineering is at least used somewhere. In its home country, the Transrapid is going to waste because of politics.

  15. Thiago Prado says:

    Next year Brazil is planning to build a bullet train as well. I hope by the 2014 world cup we have it done.

  16. Tyler Ingram says:

    I remember watching a documentary about the MagLevTrain system and the test track they have in Germany. Sure 400km/hr is crazy fast and the train sits like an inch off the track (unlike our skytrain system here in Vancouver) but did you hear about when the train collided with a maintainence train? KABOOM! Well not really a kaboom but it was pretty messy clean up.

    Though it was human error that caused that collision and I hope they have a system in place to stop that from happening again. Imagine zooming past at 400km/hr and then hitting an object coming from the other direction. Ouch!

    Anyway if I am ever in Shanghai I do want to try out the train, or Germany since they allow tourists to ride the test track.

    The amount of concrete they used for the shanghai track is impressive, as are the pillars that support the track, they are buried in the ground higher than most skyscrapers. So if an earthquake happens the track won’t fall over 😉 If I keep typing, I’ll end up turning this into a blog post…

  17. That looks like it’d be a lot of fun to ride on! You seem to be really flexible with the time change… I know friends who travel and they take days to adjust to new timezones! (sometimes weeks!)


  18. Cronus says:

    Glad to see you made it safely John! We are all very relieved. Keep us updated and don’t forget to bring back that samurai sword! 😛

  19. Jay says:

    Human error? Is there another kind? 😈

  20. James Wilcox says:

    I take a “baby bullet” train from San Jose to San Francisco for work that takes about an hour…I wish it was as fast as this thing!

  21. Joe says:

    I wish more people would embrace rapid rail here in the States. We’d be much better off.

  22. Joe says:

    Oh, I also meant to say really cool video John.

  23. James says:

    Thanks for sharing the video…very nice
    Hope one day i can do the same thing like you… 😆

  24. Joy Smith says:

    Wow. Impressive. When you first said VIP I was sitting there thinking about how expensive that would I guess not!!! LOL BTW, thanks for the somewhat tour of Shanghi. It is wonderful to be able to see other parts of the world even if it is through video.

  25. Wow, the Transrapid is crazy fast! I’d love to take a ride in that puppy.

  26. Syed Balkhi says:

    Your flight was short … I remember when I travelled to Pakistan, it took about 24 hours in all 3 planes together …….. YIKES

  27. Terry Tay says:

    I think they need fast transportation like this everywhere. Why spend an hour traveling if you can get there in 12 minutes 😆

    Actually, is there something like that for posting? I need something that can help me write plenty of quality posts in 12 minutes. 😆

  28. Mo says:

    Incredible! I was on a bullet train years ago when I first started my career in IT. We were on a contract in Japan for NTT and took a weekend off (one of a few) and rode the bullet train back into Tokyo. It was an amazing experience! It wasn’t going 430KM/H — but pretty damn fast! It was also around that time that the first digital cameras were coming out, and a friend of mine spent $1,000 US on it… times have changed.

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