Thursday, April 15, 2010

Maglev Shanghai to Hangzhou


The China Daily is reporting some friction between residents and new extension line to Hangzhou.

Its a long article that residents are expressing concerns about how the new extended line is running close (22.5 meters) next to an apartment building.  They also discuss the costs of the extension to tax payers.

The interesting part of the article is the Threat to the air industry. (at the end of article).

Threat to air industry?
If the maglev route goes as planned, Hou Xiaogang’s apartment building will be right next to the maglev line as the proposed buffer zone is only 22.5 meters from the track. In contrast, the buffer zone along the Pudong line is nearly 200 meters, he said.

A report by Caijing Magazine in 2007 quoted an insider from the government as saying the narrow buffer zone was due to the soaring cost of house demolition.

“It is wrong to jump to the conclusion that electromagnetic radiation doesn’t harm the human body outside such a narrow buffer zone,” said Hou, who is a mechanic. “We need years, if not decades of research, especially when we are dealing with a large project that might affect the lives of millions.”

However, Sun said any suggestion maglev trains are radioactive dangers is “groundless”.

“Experiments have shown the electromagnetic radiation of maglev trains is minimal compared with what is emitted by electronic appliances. Onboard, the electromagnetic radiation is only one-fifth of that from a color television,” he said.
Nor are they noisier than conventional trains, as the airborne noise level from a maglev traveling 400 km/h is similar to that of a high-speed train traveling 300 km/h, he said.

In fact, maglev services could even be good for the environment, said Sun.

Although the communities who live beside them may not been keen on the speed, experts believe maglev technology is a green alternative to short-haul flights, much to the chagrin of Liu Shaoyong, China Eastern Airlines general manager, who recently predicted high-speed road and rail links could steal up to 30 percent of all airline passengers.

“They run on electric power that could be produced from renewable energy, while planes burn fossil fuels that are not sustainable,” said railways expert Sun.

Keep Flying On the Ground!
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