China maglev rail in doubt

15th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 January 2004 , BEIJING/BERLIN - A spokesman for the German consortium that built China's magnetic-levitation railway denied a report Thursday that China had decided against the system for a new high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai. "That is a false report from a Chinese newspaper," said Peter Wiegelmann, spokesman for the Transrapid consortium. "No decision has been made". The Jinghua Times reported that conventional, rather than the German-developed maglev technology would be used for a pr

15 January 2004

BEIJING/BERLIN - A spokesman for the German consortium that built China's magnetic-levitation railway denied a report Thursday that China had decided against the system for a new high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai.

"That is a false report from a Chinese newspaper," said Peter Wiegelmann, spokesman for the Transrapid consortium. "No decision has been made".

The Jinghua Times reported that conventional, rather than the German-developed maglev technology would be used for a prestigious new line between China's two most important cities.

The world's first commercial maglev line, a 30-kilometre link to Shanghai's main airport, formally opened to passengers last month. The USD one billion (EUR 1.27 billion) project used a system from Transrapid, which is led by Siemens and Thyssen-Krupp.

According to the newspaper Premier Wen Jiabao chaired a meeting on 7 January on the long term development of the rail network.

The State Council accepted experts' suggestions that conventional technology was more suitable than maglev for the 1,300-kilometre Beijing-Shanghai line, it said.

Wang Derong, vice director of the China Transport Association, said a maglev line would be too expensive and hard to integrate with conventional lines.

A conventional line would cost only about half as much as a maglev, Wang told the newspaper.

He said the next step for the government would be to decide which conventional technology to use and how to fund the project.

Railway ministry officials said late last year that Japanese Shinkansen technology was "90 percent certain" to be used for the Beijing-Shanghai line.

Reports on Thursday said the railway ministry would invite international bids for the provision of key technology for the project, with French, German and Japanese firms expected to lead the way.

 

DPA
Subject: German news

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