Trains that fly on air.
How Transrapid works.
Application information about Transrapid
magnetic lift trains.
Transrapid magnetic lift projects.
How Chuo Shinkansen works.
Application information about Chuo
How Transrapid Works
•The electromagnets on the
underside of the train pull it
up to the ferromagnetic
stators on the track and
levitate the train.
•The magnets on the side
keep the train from moving
from side to side.
•A computer changes the
amount of current to keep
the train 1 cm from the This means there is no friction
track. between the train and the track!
Levitation System’s Power Supply
Batteries on the train power the system, and therefore
it still functions without propulsion.
The batteries can levitate the train for 30 minutes
without any additional energy.
Linear generators in the magnets on board the train
use the motion of the train to recharge the batteries.
Levitation system uses less power than the trains air
•The system consists of
aluminum three-phase cable
windings in the stator packs
that are on the guideway
•When a current is supplied
to the windings, it creates a
traveling alternating current
that propels the train
forward by pushing and
•When the alternating current is reversed, the train brakes.
•Different speeds are achieved by varying the intensity of the
•Only the section of track where the train is traveling is
•The trains are virtually impossible to derail because the train is
wrapped around the track.
•Collisions between trains are unlikely because computers are
controlling the trains movements.
• There is very little maintenance because there is no contact
between the parts.
•The ride is smooth while not
•The initial investment is similar to
other high speed rail roads. (Maglift is
$20-$40 million per mile and I-279 in
Pittsburg cost $37 million per mile 17
•Operating expenses are half of that of
•A train is composed of sections that
each contain 100 seats, and a train can
have between 2 and 10 sections.
•The linear generators produce electricity for the cabin of the
•The train can travel at about 300 mph. (Acela can only go 150
•For trips of distances up to 500 miles its total travel time is
equal to a planes (including check in time and travel to airport.)
•It can accelerate to 200 mph in 3 miles, so it is ideal for short
jumps. (ICE needs 20 miles to reach 200 mph.)
•It uses less energy than existing transportation systems. For
every seat on a 300 km trip with 3 stops, the gasoline used per 100
miles varies with the speed. At 200 km/h it is 1 liter, at 300 km/h
it is 1.5 liters and at 400 km/h it is 2 liters. This is 1/3 the energy
used by cars and 1/5 the energy used by jets per mile.
•The tracks have less impact on the environment because the
elevated models (50ft in the air) allows all animals to pass, low
models ( 5-10 ft) allow small animals to pass, they use less land
than conventional trains, and they can follow the landscape better
than regular trains since it can climb 10% gradients (while other
trains can only climb 4 gradients) and can handle tighter turns.
•The train makes little noise because it does not touch the track
and it has no motor. Therefore, all noise comes from moving air.
This sound is equivalent to the noise produced by city traffic.
•The magnetic field created is low, therefore there are no
China is building a 20 mile
system between Shanghai
Pudong and Pudong
International Airport. It will
open in January of 2004,
and it will reach speeds of
over 250 mph. If the project
is successful, then China
will build a system from
Beijing to Shanghai, a
journey of over 800 miles.
•The United States Congress is planning to spend $1
billion for a test project that either connects Pittsburgh’s
suburbs with its airport or Baltimore to the Washington
•Germany was going to build a magnetic lift system
between Berlin and Hamburg (200 miles) in 1996, but
never did because a new political party came in and
decided that the improvements over ICE was not worth $7
How Chuo Shinkansen Works
Type of Magnet Uses
•This train uses superconducting electric magnets in the vehicle to
levitate and propel the train. These magnets are cooled by liquid
helium or liquid nitrogen. This means that once electrified these
magnets do not require additional energy.
•An alternating current is ran through electromagnet coils on the
guide walls of the guide way. This creates a magnetic field that
attracts and repels the superconducting magnets on the train and
propels the train forward.
•Braking is accomplished by sending an alternating current in the
reverse direction so that it is slowed by attractive and repulsive
•The passing of the superconducting magnets by figure eight
levitation coils on the side of the tract induces a current in the
coils and creates a magnetic field. This pushes the train upward
so that it can levitate 10 cm above the track.
•The train does not levitate until it reaches 50 mph, so it is
equipped with retractable wheels.
•When one side of the train nears the side of the guideway, the
super conducting magnet on the train induces a repulsive force
from the levitation coils on the side closer to the train and an
attractive force from the coils on the farther side. This keeps the
train in the center.
This system is not ready for use now, but it should be
ready in a few years.
It’s top speed with people aboard is 350 mph.
The super conducting magnets create a strong
magnetic field that could be a problem for some
•The train is earthquake proof because the greater space
(10 cm) between the track and the train leaves more room
for track deformation
•Linear generators will produce all the electricity needed
in the train’s interior.
•Only the part of the track that is used will be electrified
so no energy is wasted.
Maglev trains use magnets to levitate and
propel the trains forward.
Since there is no friction these trains can reach
It is a safe and efficient way to travel.
Governments have mixed feelings about the
technology. Some countries, like China, have
embraced it and others like Germany have
balked at the expense.