So, the first treat for the day is the high-speed magnetic train, something we only learned about after arriving in China and was not on any of the pre-tour documentation.
The train line connects Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Longyang Road Station (in the outskirts of central Pudong). It is the oldest commercial maglev still in operation, and the first commercial high-speed maglev with cruising speed of 431 km/h (268 mph). At full speed, the journey takes 7 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the distance of about 30 km.
Construction of the line began on March 1, 2001 and public services commenced on 1 January 2004. It was built by a joint venture of Siemens and ThyssenKrupp from Kassel, Germany.
But, like visiting anything from a hotel, first we have to drive to the station and because we are leaving at 8, its peak hour traffic, and it takes 1 hour 10 minutes to get there.
The train also has a practical use and that is to take passengers from Shanghai to Pudong international airport as well as for those train enthusiasts, which is what we are.
On the train, it has the same sleek look as the bullet trains, but it is completely different, and you are able to see from the front of the train to the back.
Reputed to travel at 431 kph we take a seat and it is not long before the doors shut, and a loud humming noise is soon replaced by what sounds like an engine, then we start moving. It sounds just like a normal train, and is a lot noisier than a normal bullet train.
It didn’t take long before it hits the advertised speed of 431 kph. This is not sustained for very long, because the distance is on 40 odd kilometers, and the whole trip takes about 7 minutes.