Chinese and German engineers are preparing to debut the world's first commercial magnetic levitation train for the coming new year, officials said Tuesday.
The $1 billion German-made maglev train, which connects Pudong International Airport with the city's new Pudong financial district, has begun trial runs on its 19-mile-long track in Shanghai, said a spokeswoman for the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Corp.
The government-run Xinhua News Agency said the train had reached a speed of 250 mph in a test run last week, nearing its design speed of 260 mph, reported The Associated Press.
It takes seven minutes for the train to reach the airport, while taxis take at least half an hour to cover the same distance.
Although the train's first official run is scheduled for December 31, 2002, the exact date of the unveiling will depend on the tests now underway.