One of the most unique, and uniquely fastest, trains comes to Train Simulator, courtesy of Union Workshop – the Shanghai Maglev.
The Shanghai Maglev Train, also known as the Transrapid, uses magnetic levitation to move without the need to touch the ground or use wheels on rails, giving it a much smoother and quieter ride than wheeled mass transit systems. The Transrapid is also the fastest commercial train currently in operation, with a top operating speed of 430 km/h (270mph), although the train recorded 501 km/h (311mph) during testing.
Unhampered by intermediate station stops or any other kind of traffic on the line, Maglevs operate a regular service at 15 minute intervals from morning to night, with a capacity for 574 passengers in each consist. The built-in ATO system, which allows the driver to hand complete control over to the Maglev’s electronic control systems, allows the service to operate automatically over the entire journey, including switching lines at the end and returning on the opposite track. This all means that the Transrapid can manage without certain commonplace railway items such as colour light signals, a horn or even windscreen wipers.
Despite years of development and many failed Maglev projects, only three commercial systems operate today. Shanghai’s Transrapid began operations in April 2004, with Japan’s introduction of a low-speed line coming less than a year later; most recently, in February 2016, South Korea introduced the Incheon Airport Maglev.
The Shanghai Maglev for Train Simulator, developed by Union Workshop, recreates the 30km (19 mile) route from Pudong International Airport to Longyang Road station, Pudong, complete with realistically recreated switching junctions. The train itself features a detailed cab and passenger view, and a simulation of the ATO system allowing automatic train control if required.
- 30km (19 mile) Maglev route from Pudong International Airport to Pudong, Shanghai
- LCD instrument panels showing train speed and functions
- Cab lighting and reading light
- ATO automatic train control
- High quality passenger view, including passenger speedometer readout
- Quick Drive compatible
- 6 scenarios for the route