2000 - today: Alternative routes in Germany and abroad


The first segment of the Berlin-Hamburg route is approved (prerequisite for the construction permits).

February 5
The government, Deutsche Bahn AG and the industrial consortium, though having different opinions about the reasons, state that the Berlin-Hamburg route will not be realised; neither on the basis of the key points paper of April 25, 1997, nor on the basis of the analysis of alternative scenarios carried out thereafter.

February 28
First discussions between the government, the states and Deutsche Bahn AG result in five alternative routes:

  • Connection of the Munich and Berlin-Schönefeld airports to their respective city centres
  • A so-called "Metrorapid" concept for North Rhine-Westphalia
  • A Transrapid connection to the Netherlands via Northern Germany
  • A connection between the airports Frankfurt on the Main and Hahn in the Hunsrück mountains
In the next four or five months, the general conditions such as cost and passenger volume for each route are to be specified.

June - October
The TVE is a satellite exhibition of the EXPO 2000.

June 30
The city of Shanghai and Transrapid International sign an agreement on a feasibility study to be carried out jointly on a 30 km long Transrapid line from the new Pudong International Airport to Shanghai's city centre.

July 2
The Chinese Prime Minister, Zhu Rongji, the Mayor of Shanghai, Xu Kuangdi, and a high-ranking delegation including Federal Transport Minister, Reinhard Klimmt ride the Transrapid 08.

Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji
Federal Transport Minister Reinhard Klimmt

October 10
The German Minister of Transport, Reinhard Klimmt, and his American colleague, Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, sign an agreement in Washington on German-American cooperation in which, among other things, the development of safety and environmental standards for the application of the Transrapid maglev technology in the US is defined. The US Congress allocated $1 billion (€1.2 billion) for the realization of one or more Transrapid routes.

October 27
In Berlin, the Minister of Transport, Reinhard Klimmt, and the Minister-Presidents Edmund Stoiber and Wolfgang Clement sign the agreement on feasibility studies for the 37 km long airport link in Munich and the initial 80 km of the Metrorapid connection Dortmund-Essen-Düsseldorf. The feasibility studies for both routes are to be available in early 2002.


January 18
In the US, Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater selects the Pittsburgh and the Washington - Baltimore routes for detailed environmental and project planning.

January 23
In China, a contract is concluded between the city of Shanghai and the industrial consortium consisting of Siemens, ThyssenKrupp, and Transrapid International to realize the Shanghai airport link.

March 1
Start of construction of the Shanghai Project.

Building site Pudong Airport

May 22
A Transrapid 07 section in "Metrorapid design" arrives in North Rhine-Westphalia where it will be used as a citizen information office and a visible symbol of the "Metrorapid application".

Model of the Metrorapid in NRW

November 2
In the presence of Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, the first guideway beam erected onto its substructure in Shanghai is unveiled.

December 21
The Dutch Cabinet reaches a positive decision on the "Zuiderzee Connection", a fast rail link between the Randstad metropolitan area and northern Netherlands.

The decision on the technology between the ICE high speed rail and Transrapid maglev system is still open. The best alternative for the route technology will be decided via a tendering process and the initiation of the legal planning process.


January 21
Federal Transport Minister Kurt Bodewig (SPD) presents in Berlin the official results of the feasibility study for the two possible Transrapid routes. The result: The Bavarian route from the Munich Main Train Station to the international airport as well as the Ruhr area route which shall connect Dortmund with Düsseldorf, can be economically, environmentally, and technically operated without difficulty.

January 22
Federal Transport Minister Kurt Bodewig (SPD) announces the official decision to divide the federal funding for maglev projects between the States of North Rhein-Westphalia and Bavaria. For the Metrorapid system between Dortmund and Düsseldorf, the Government will contribute 1.75 billion Euro (3.3 billion DM) and for the route between the Munich Airport and Main Train Station, 550 million Euro (1.1 billion DM).

The Government has reserved a total of 2.3 billion Euro for the Transrapid and these funds are to be included in next year's federal budget.

March 1
The State Parliament in Düsseldorf endorsed the construction of the Metrorapid maglev project for North Rhine-Westphalia. Additionally, it released 23 million Euro from the current budget for the next planning phase.

April 23
An original Transrapid-vehicle is set up in the Munich Airport Center. Included is an information center to give details on the planned Munich airport link.

June 20
The first section of the Shanghai Transrapid vehicle is leaving the ThyssenKrupp-plant in Kassel.

German Minister of Transport Kurt Bodewig visits Transrapid in Kassel.

August 9
The first three sections of the Transrapid vehicle for China are arriving in Shanghai.

September 2002
After the re-assembly of the train in the maintenance center near to the Pudong International Airport, the commissioning period on the already completed guide-way starts.

November 2002
During the internal commissioning in Shanghai, the train repeatedly reached a speed of more than 440 km/h thereby exceeding its designed revenue service operation speed of 430 km/h.

December 31, 2002
Maiden trip of the Transrapid Maglev Train on its first commercially operated route worldwide from Shanghais Long Yang Road to the Pudong International Airport.
On board: Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and other high-ranking politicians and business people of both countries

Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji (l), German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder


March 2003
Although commercial operation didn't start yet, more than 80.000 visitors levitated at a speed of 430 km/h from Longyang Road station to Pudong airport and back during the weekends.


May, 2003
In Shanghai the Multiple Train Operations begins.

June 27, 2003
North Rhine-Westphalia resigns from building the Metrorapid from Dortmund to Düsseldorf.

July 14, 2003
During the commissioning phase of the Shanghai Transrapid a world record for commercial Maglev systems was set up as two trains each travelling at 430 km/h passed each other on adjacent tracks.

September 19, 2003
The Legal Planning Phase for the first application of Transrapid in Germany, the airport connection in Munich, is initiated.

September 25, 2003
The Systems engineering contract for the first maglev application in Germany is signed in Munich.

November 12, 2003
With 501 km/h (311 mph) the Shanghai Transrapid sets up a new world record for commercial railway systems.

December 2003
Already before the start of the commercial operation in Shanghai, several hundreds of thousands visitors have glided at a speed of 430 km/h from Longyang Road station to Pudong airport and back during the weekends.

2003 December, 29:
The world's first commercial Transrapid route starts scheduled operation in Shanghai.


July 3, 2004:
SMTDC welcomes its one-millionth passenger on the world's first commercial Transrapid route in Shanghai.

December 20, 2004:
Otto Wiesheu, Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Transport and Technology, and Hartmut Mehdorn, CEO and Chairman of Board of Management of Deutsche Bahn AG, announcing that from now on Deutsche Bahn AG will be the sole supporting authority of the Transrapid Project in Munich. The Free State of Bavaria will transfer its 50 percent stake in BMG, the Bavarian Magnetic Levitation Railway Preparatory Company Ltd., to Deutsche Bahn AG.


Deutsche Bahn AG submits application for planning approval of the Munich maglev line.

July 2005
More than four million Transrapid passengers in Shanghai.

August 2005
The Bavarian Magnetic Levitation Railway Preparatory Company Ltd. (BMG) becomes a 100% subsidiary of DB AG.

On August 19, 2005, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp and Transrapid International signed a contract with the German Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Affairs establishing the further development program for the Transrapid technology.


November 2005
The Grand Coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD includes the construction of at least one Transrapid reference line in Germany in its coalition agreement.

December 2005
Shanghai Transrapid: Five million passengers meanwhile carried. Operating hours extended to 14 hours daily.


February 2006
The project application for the extension of the Transrapid line from Shanghai to Hangzhou is approved by the Chinese State Council.


March 2006
The hearing procedure for the Transrapid link from Munich central train station to Franz-Josef Strauss International Airport is initiated with the handover of the planning documents by DB Magnetbahn on March 30, 2006 to the communities and interest groups affected by the project.

May 2006
Together with representatives of Deutsche Bahn, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp Technologies and Munich Airport, Erwin Huber, Bavarian Minister of Transport, holds a press conference on the current status of the Munich Transrapid project.

High-ranking participants at the press conference held by the Bavarian State Ministry for Industry, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology (STMWVT) in Munich on May 16, 2006: from left to right: Dieter Wellner, STMWVT department manager; Dr. Hans-Christoph Atzpodien, member of the managing board of ThyssenKrupp Technologies; Jörn F. Sens, Group Vice President of Siemens Transportation Systems; Klaus-Dieter Josel, authorized representative of Deutsche Bahn in Bavaria; Dr. Michael Kerkloh, chief executive of Flughafen München GmbH; and Erwin Huber, Bavarian Minister of Transport

June 2006
Just over seven million passengers have meanwhile traveled with the Transrapid in Shanghai. The system has achieved an availability rating of 99.92 percent.


September 22, 2006
Tragic accident involving the Transrapid 08 at the Transrapid Test Facility Emsland (TVE).

October 2006
In Shanghai, 8 million passengers have traveled on the Transrapid.

October 24, 2006
At an event organized by the Transrapid parliamentary discussion group, politicians and industry confirm their belief in the Munich Transrapid project.



April 2007
Delivery of the 1st Section of the Transrapid 09 to the Transrapid Test Facility in Emsland, Germany on April 19, 2007.


April 24, 2007
Federal Railway Authority (EBA = Eisenbahn-Bundesamt) approves safety concept for the Munich Airport Link

September 24, 2007
Implementation agreement for the Transrapid project in Munich: On September 24, 2007, the implementation agreement for the Transrapid project in Munich was signed by Edmund Stoiber, Minister President of Bavaria, Erwin Huber, Bavarian Minister of State, the CEO of the German Railways (Deutsche Bahn AG) and the CEOs of the manufacturing consortium, so that signals are now set on green.


March 27, 2008
The German Federal and the Bavarian State Government cancel the Munich project due to an tremendous rise in the infrastructure cost, mainly caused by increased tunnelling.


May 8, 2008
Siemens und ThyssenKrupp restructure their Transrapid activities and close the offices of their joint subsidiary. Transrapid International in Berlin. Project development and technical support will be provided directly by the parent companies. Transrapid International-USA continues the marketing and project development in the United States.


July 2008
Start of test operation of the new TR09 on the Transrapid Test Facility.


January 29, 2009
Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for extended licensing of the Transrapid technology for projects in China.


June 30, 2009
Completion of the test program of TR09 on the TVE.


November 28, 2011
Last ride of Transrapid 09 in Lathen, Test facility is shut down


December 2013
40 million passengers have traveled on the Transrapid in Shanghai. In total the trains have covered a distance of 11 million kilometers (7 million miles) with a punctuality of 99.9%.