Authorities have given the green light to begin construction of a magnetic-levitation train route in Zhejiang province on east China's seaboard in 2010, three years later than planned, the official Xinhua news agency reported Monday.
The section linking the eastern cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou was approved by Beijing in March 2006; however, protests by residents over radiation concerns had put the project on hold, dpa reported.
Construction of the Shanghai-Hangzhou line was expected to start in 2010 and be completed by 2015 at a cost of 22 billion yuan (3.14 billion US dollars).
The length of the so-called maglev line, the first commercial maglev line in the world, would be extended to 199.43 kilometres, 25km longer than previously planned, including a section that connects the two cities and a minor section that links Shanghai's two international airports.
Trains on the maglev track are expected to hit speeds of 450kmh, meaning a one-way Shanghai-Hangzhou trip would take 30 minutes. Bullet trains now take 90 minutes.
German Transrapid, the consortium consisting of Siemens AG and ThyssenKrupp AG, developed the initial Shanghai maglev line, which runs between the airport and the city centre and began operating in 2003. The 30km trip takes seven minutes, 21 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 431 kmh.