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   Undertoad  Wednesday Jan 1 12:47 PM

1/1/2003: Maglev debut



Yesterday the first commercial maglev train was tested. It's a deal between Germany and China, in which German firms were so keen to win the contract that they roughly promised to give them the train for almost nothing if China agreed to build the rails.

The rails, you see, are special; made of earth magnets powerful enough to keep the train suspended in midair. That, in turn, allows the train to go real fast. Real real fast. As in, the successful test had it going 270 mph. It's meant to connect Shanghai to its out-of-town airport.

Even at such high speed, its journey is 19 miles long and takes 14 minutes to complete. I don't understand... shouldn't it take 4 minutes and change? If it takes long to get up to speed, can't it be out-run by more traditional and much less-expensive solutions? Can't the people of a poor country wait another 10 minutes to get to the airport?



MaggieL  Wednesday Jan 1 03:25 PM

Re: 1/1/2003: Maglev debut

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
Can't the people of a poor country wait another 10 minutes to get to the airport?
What makes you think any of them can afford to fly?

CNN says: <i>" The 30-kilometer (18-mile) Transrapid Maglev Line, a high-speed transport system, links the downtown area with Shanghai's Pudong International Airport in just eight minutes. That compares with an hour for a trip by road."</i>


wolf  Wednesday Jan 1 03:30 PM

I would think that the reason for the length of time on the trip is more related to the need to STOP the maglev train. Accelleration should be a relatively smooth and quick process, but you can't stop one of those things on a dime ... However, I am having a good chuckly imagining all the passengers squished up against the front of the car following a sudden stop. *ick*



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jan 1 09:41 PM

China, like most communist countries and two-bit dictatorships spends a fortune on show off projects while the people suffer.



juju  Thursday Jan 2 03:17 AM

Didn't they paint grass green during the Olympics one year?



dave  Thursday Jan 2 06:33 AM

They painted grass green in a bid for the Olympics.



Jacque Strapp  Thursday Jan 2 10:04 AM

I would imagine that the reason it takes longer than you'd think for the trip is that the train can't accelerate and decelerate (sp?) instantly, it has to do it gradually or risk injuring or killing its passengers and crew, or shaking the train to pieces.

I presume that on a longer-distance trip, the advantage in travel time would be more pronounced, since the train would be spending more time at its top speed and less time accelerating/decelerating.

If only those German engineers had developed an inertial damping gizmo, like they have on Star Trek to prevent the crew from being pulped by warp speed acceleration...



43% Burnt  Thursday Jan 2 12:22 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
China, like most communist countries and two-bit dictatorships spends a fortune on show off projects while the people suffer.
That's not just limited to communist dictatorships my friend.


jaguar  Thursday Jan 2 05:57 PM

Quote:
Yesterday the first commercial maglev train was tested. It's a deal between Germany and China, in which German firms were so keen to win the contract that they roughly promised to give them the train for almost nothing if China agreed to build the rails.
I misread that as between CHina and Germany the first time, was thinking shit thats a long line.

China is neither communist (except by name), not has a 2 bit distatorship. Your views on wealth there are also rather outdated, go there, it's an eye opener. A city like Shanghai is as rich as any major US city.


MaggieL  Thursday Jan 2 06:43 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by jaguar
Your views on wealth there are also rather outdated, go there, it's an eye opener. A city like Shanghai is as rich as any major US city.
A comment based on your extensive vists to US cities?


Urbane Guerrilla  Friday Jan 3 05:45 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Jacque Strapp
. . . accelerate and decelerate (sp?) . . .
You've spelled them both right. Decelerate with confidence.


Urbane Guerrilla  Friday Jan 3 05:51 PM

Oh, nobody's arguing whether China is still a dictatorship -- it is. However, it does have a budget considerably larger than two bits. China would manage to be a much bigger economic player were the Chinese to junk their dictatorship and get libertarian -- but that's going to take a while and probably take some blood too. At 1.2 bil and counting, bloodshed is something China can afford.



jaguar  Friday Jan 3 07:18 PM

Maggie, well unless all major US cities have lost 90% of their worth in the last 48 hours.... I think I can infer a rough standard of living on par with western Europe, if you have information to the contrary please do tell.. If you want to get anal I’ll change it to any major European city but that defeats the purpose which was to penetrate a few people's myopia in the first place.



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