Back to the Future

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Today, I was finally granted the future I was promised as a child. Today, I rode the Mag Lev.

Linking the Airport and the city – or at least a parking lot in the middle of nowhere kind of near the city – it covers the 40km run in 7 minutes! Half the time is spent accelerating, and the other half braking. The most efficient way, of course – perhaps the Shanghai taxi drivers understand physics better than I realised.

The whole experience was however slightly provincial, and rounded off with a very slow, frustrating and badly organised airport. Strange, considering the epic world class proportions of the exterior. Perhaps it is an ideal analogy of my whole China experience so far.

Anything with red glowing lights gets my vote

For those of you that are interested, this is a mag-lev track. Where is the dry ice and lasers?

Fast! But not quite as smooth as I expected

My plane to Hong Kong, and after back to Taipei and *cough* civilisation

As an interesting note, the MagLev was constructed using German know-how and is the only commercial example existing in the world, saving the technology from becoming a white elephant. The Germans are now up in arms because the Chinese are planning their own version, but cheaper this time. However, as some observers have pointed out this may be the only way to recoup costs – by supplying key components. That the Chinese copy the system and make it cheaper, could open the door for it in other locations.

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