Transrapid - Technical Maturity & Cost

Transrapid is not necessarily more expensive than traditional HSR.

Given similar route lengths and terrain, both German High Speed Rail (HSR) and Transrapid routes would have similar levels and types of civil structures. Under such conditions, planning comparisons would favor the construction and operation of a Transrapid route since, with similar investment costs per route mile, Transrapid achieves a significantly shorter travel time than HSR. Transrapid would also be favored in comparable routes since Transrapid has significantly lower maintenance costs than HSR systems (30% lower at least, maybe as much as 50% in rugged terrain) due to its grade-climbing ability, offboard propulsion system and basic non-contact running operation.

The technology is very mature.

Germany has developed full-scale prototype Maglev vehicles and specialized operation control systems and proven the operational reliability through years of high-speed running on its Emsland/Lathen test track, itself a commercially licensed facility. Transrapid Maglev is the safest, most-tested full-scale Maglev system in the world. It is ready for commercial operation. The three-section TR08 prototype vehicle - designed to the German railway operator's (Deutsche Bahn's) specifications in 1999 - carried 70,000 paying passengers during the four-month World Expo 2000 at the test facility in Emsland, Germany, bringing the total number of passengers carried to date to 330,000 and the total mileage at the facility to more than 450,000 miles.

In Germany, a maglev to connect downtown Munich with its airport may be built.

In the U.S., FRA embarked on a Maglev Deployment Program (MDP) in 1999 to conduct pre-construction planning for five or six Transrapid Maglev routes around the country.

In China, a construction contract was signed in January, 2001 to introduce the Transrapid Maglev into Shanghai city by connecting the international airport with a downtown transit station, a route of about 19 miles with two endpoint stations. The system-featuring everyday running speeds of 270 mph- opened to commercial operation in 2004.

Other locations in North America (Canada, Florida, mid-west) and elsewhere are contemplating Transrapid Maglev as a viable means of transport in tomorrow's environment.

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