Germany to Build High-Speed Transrapid Train
Germany developed the Transrapid monorail 'magnetic levitation' train decades ago but couldn't decide whether to use it. Until now: Bavaria plans to use it for a link between Munich Airport and the city center.
Germany has finally decided to put its Transrapid high-speed monorail train to commercial use for the first time inside Germany in the form of a shuttle between Munich airport and the city center. After months of financial wrangling, the national government, the state of Bavaria and the companies building the link reached an agreement on funding for the €1.85 billion project.
The deal was announced on Tuesday by the Bavarian government and is a parting gift from Bavarian premier Edmund Stoiber, who is retiring on October 9. Scheduled for completion by 2014, the Transrapid will cut the journey time for the 40-kilometer route from the airport to the Bavarian capital to around 10 minutes from the current 40 minutes.
German engineers have been refining the technology since they first developed it in the 1960s. The train is propelled at high speeds by a frictionless electromagnetic system. It was developed by Transrapid International, a joint venture between Siemens AG and ThyssenKrup.