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Traveler shares experience riding the world's fastest maglev train: 'We just had to try'

"I can't believe I took a taxi when I could have taken this."

"I can’t believe I took a taxi when I could have taken this."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Maglev trains seem like something out of the future. One traveler documented their journey while on a trip to Shanghai.

TikToker Jeia (@jauntyjeia) shared her experience on the world's fastest magnetic levitation train, which traverses a roughly 19-mile route from Longyang Road Station to Pudong International Airport.

@jauntyjeia We just had to try the world's fastest maglev train #trains #tech #fyp ♬ original sound - Jeia - Jeia πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­

In 2004, the rail became the first commercially operated high-speed maglev line.

"It's a technology that makes use of electromagnets that lift the train up and move it along the track at incredibly high speeds," Jeia said.

On a visit to Shanghai, Jeia and another traveler "got curious" and took the train "just for the fun of it."

"We just had to try the world's fastest maglev train," she wrote.

A one-way ticket cost 50 yuan (roughly $7), and a roundtrip fare was 80 yuan (just over $11).

"There are storage areas for your luggage, and the train is clean and spacious," Jeia said. "You get so much legroom. The windows are wide. It even has overhead lights as if you're on a plane. There's also a VIP ticket if you're willing to pay more."

The train reached a speed of 187 miles per hour, and the trip took just eight minutes, much shorter than traveling by car.

"Compare that to the regular 27-minute trip," Jeia said.

High-speed rail also reduces pollution produced by vehicles and traffic congestion, and businesses and the economy can benefit, too.

As Jeia noted, China, Japan, and South Korea have well-known high-speed rail systems, as well as many European countries. The United States is developing its first major project in California and Nevada, though the Acela that runs on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor is technically a high-speed train. Other plans in Florida and Texas are in the works. 

High-speed train networks would help reduce the country's dependence on oil while increasing mobility and safety.

"Weirdly enough the track is wayyy too short to take full advantage of maglev," one TikToker said. "By the time you're at full speed you gotta slow back down again."

Another replied: "The tech's more practical for routes a couple hundred kilometers long so this is in a way just a proof of concept."

"I can't believe I took a taxi when I could have taken this," someone else wrote. "Stuck on the highway, the train flew past, it was just a blur!"

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