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German president takes Shanghai's maglev line
( 2003-09-15 16:56) (Agencies)

German President Johannes Rau on Monday took a shortcut to Shanghai's Pudong International Airport at the end of his visit to the metropolis.

"I've spent too much time on planes. Now I really want to see how it feels on a maglev train," the president told students of prestigious Fudan University in Shaghai.

President Rau boarded the train at 9 a.m. and was soon traveling at 430 kilometers per hour, or 119 meters per second, prompting a round of applause from the German head of state and other guests.

Eight minutes later, it pulled into airport at the end of a 30- km journey.
The train has been on trial since its completion on Dec. 31, 2002. The 10-billion-yuan (about 1.2-billion-US-dollar) project, in which state-of-the-art German technologies were imported and utilized, is the world's first commercial magnetic levitation.

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