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What are MagLev trains? Where are such trains running in commercial operation?  
6 Answers
Aug 06 2011 (10:23PM)

Entry# 560     
What are MagLev trains? Where are such trains running in commercial operation?

Jan 21 2012 (10:29AM)
News Entry# 54621  China rolls out low-cost maglev trains  
Posted by: rdb*^   Added by: rdb*^  Jan 20 2012 (8:18PM)
CHANGSHA - A locomotive producer in central China's Hunan province on Friday rolled out a low-cost magnetically levitated (maglev) train that is more environmental-friendly than conventional ones.The three-carriage train is designed to run at a maximum speed of 100 km per hour and carry 600 passengers, said Xu Zongxiang, general manager of Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. Ltd. of China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation (CSR).Xu said the new train was much quieter than conventional ones.While a conventional train moves forward by using friction between its wheels and the railway tracks, the maglev train replaces wheels by electromagnets and levitates on the guideway. According to Xu, his company's has minimized the risk of the new maglev train derailing or overturning."It's ideal for mass transportation, as it is quiet and environmental-friendly. Its manufacturing cost is about 75 percent of a conventional light-rail train," said Xu.The maglev train has a minimum turning radius...
of 50 meters and can easily run in residential communities or on hilly slopes. "It's an ideal public transport option for Chinese cities and major tourist destinations," said Xu.Railway transport specialist Liu Youmei, also an academician with Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the new train is green, economical and safe. "It can be used for public transport in populous areas and at scenic spots with fragile environments."Liu said China is one of a few countries that have applied maglev technology.Beijing is building a maglev route, the Daitai line (S1), which starts at its IT center in Haidian district, passes through Shijingshan district, and ends in Mentougou district on its western outskirts. The line will be operational next year.The eastern metropolitan of Shanghai runs the world's first commercial maglev system on a 30-km stretch between the downtown business district and Pudong airport. The German-made maglev went into operation on December 31, 2002.

Nov 16 2011 (4:54AM)
News Entry# 45731  FUTUREWATCH: Maglev Trains  
Posted by: rdb*^   Added by: rdb*^  Nov 16 2011 (4:55AM)
Transportation management is always a debatable topic among the city planners across the globe. Today we are living in an era where we are facing with traffic problem each and every day. It’s caused by numerous vehicles on the narrow roads which were caused by improper planning.Also as today we are no longer able to grow our city scapes horizontally, city planners, designers, and architects are looking for vertical growth. So today it is a biggest challenge in front of the engineers to design a mode of transportation which is safe, reliable, and very fast so that common man can spend more time with their family and work and less worried about the pollution and transportation. To overcome this mind-boggling problem engineers have designed Maglev trains for mass transition which uses the property of magnetic levitation and can attain a speed of over 600 km/h. Maglev mode of transportation means a...
flying train which is guided by a magnetic track and with the application of magnets the entire train will run through the route few inches above the track. As these trains don’t have any wheels or axle, they are easier to maintain and they will not face friction from the tracks as well so commuters can expect a smooth and quite ride throughout their journey.
Need for change
Maglev technology was invented almost a century back in 1907 when F.S. Smith proposed a plan for electromagnetic transportation system. Then in 1959 G.R. Greenfly described the Maglev train in his article Magnetic System of Transportation. But earlier it was a dream and difficult to built as necessary technology was not there. In 1984 the first commercial Maglev system was introduced in a low speed shuttle that ran from Birmingham International Airport, UK to Birmingham International Railway terminus. Maglev train is the first successful implementation of Magnetic Levitation technology. This technology is able to carry million of people from one place to another in a very short time, with high safety and reliability. A Maglev train can travel at almost at a speed of a flight but at a much lower cost as compared to the air travel. There are only three basic components needed for a Maglev train to work. A large electrical power source, metal coil lining a guideway, large guidance magnets attached to the underside of the train.With the help of the electricity the magnetic coils at the guide way gain the magnetic property. It has to ensure that the polarity of both the metallic coils at the guideway and the metal under the train. The same polarity will repel each other and thus helps to lift the train from the track at a height of 1 cm to 10 cm. At the same time the electricity keep changes the polarity of the magnetic coil along the guide way and create a magnetic field through which the train is constantly pulled forward and pushed by the action of the magnetic field behind the train to help its gain the momentum. Using this theory Maglev train was created and the first train used this technology is in Shanghai, China in the year of 2002. The Shanghai transrapid line runs from Longyang Road to the Pudong airport. This train running at a speed of 430 km/h and the 30 km journey takes only 10 minutes in this Maglev train. If one take a taxi, this journey can stretches upto an hour due to the traffic.As the Maglev trains are running through the guided line and in a specially build track, there is no scope for traffic to slow down the train. Also as the train is glided through the guideway, it is free from metallic friction and can rum faster and smoother. Only friction that it encounters with is the air friction but the specially built metallic body of the train and the aero dynamic design helps the Maglev train to overcome this and run at a very faster speed.
What’s next?
1. Bombardier Eco 4 train
Bombardier Eco 4 TrainThe Bombardier Eco 4 is a sustainable train that aims to make public transportation more attractive.Eco 4 is a technology launched in 2008 by Bombardier to give cost-effective, efficient, economic and sustainable mobility option. Eco 4 technology is able to save 50% energy in the high speed trains by providing solutions ranges from lighter weight, lower maintenance compartments, comfort driven interior and intelligent climate control with aerodynamic design. This design is incorporated in a Maglev train designed by Francisco Lupin to use the solar energy. There are solar panels in the roof of the train and they get the solar power from the sun to power the train. This train has automated pilot system which takes the train through the guide way. Also commuters can stop the train in a particular place by put the switch in the side of his/her seats. This train also has projector system built inside the train’s interior which provides lots of important information. The train is also transparent in nature and it uses all the natural power such as solar energy to get the momentum.
2. EOL Maglev train
EOL maglev train conceptThe EOL maglev train, designed by Vanja Valencak, is an outstanding concept that is going to provide a true eco-friendly solution in the field of transport.EOL Maglev train will give an eco-friendly train that will reduce the pollution during transportation from one place to another. The super fast train can run at a speed of almost 500 km/h and mainly they are meant for long distance journey. This EOL Maglev train will get its necessary power from the solar panels placed in the roof top. The interior is nicely designed and will give a very nice and cozy feeling to the commuters. This train is completely designed using aerodynamics in mind and to minimize air friction. Also each of the compartments has two sliding doors through which the commuters can aboard the train or leaves the train smoothly.
3. China is developing a 1000 km/h airless Maglev high speed train
China High Speed TrainThe train will travel in a vacuum tube that enables greater velocity due to decreased friction.Researchers from National Power Traction Laboratory are working on a 1000 km/h super fast Maglev train and this technology can be commercially available within next ten years. The Maglev train is exposed to air friction only and thus at high speed this friction plays a huge role. To remove this air friction, researchers are planning for a tube guideway where there will be no air inside the tube and the train will run by this airless tube and due to this; the Maglev train will achieve almost 1000 km/h of speed. But inside the train there will be air. One of the main applications of this technology is in transoceanic travel. If engineers are able to build such tube over the ocean water, then one can travel from one country to another using this airless Maglev high speed train. Also as the tunnels have their own area and dimension, one can also create another tunnel over the existing tunnel and can create a network of tunnels. So at the same time multiple trains can be operated.

Nov 14 2011 (7:10PM)
News Entry# 45574  Maglev trains allow for fast travel  
Posted by: rdb*^   Added by: rdb*^  Nov 14 2011 (7:11PM)
Despite huge technological advances in the past several decades, common alternatives to air travel are relatively slow. A trip that would take a few hours on a plane could take days (or be impossible) by car, bus, or engine-powered trains. Enter the maglev train.The term maglev is derived from “magnetic levitation,” a powerful technology that can accelerate trains up to 361 mph. This is comparable to the average speed of a commercial airplane, which, according to Boeing, is 565 mph. To achieve such high speeds, most maglev trains utilize EMS, or electromagnetic suspension.EMS works on the basic principle that opposite magnetic poles attract while like poles repel. Inside the track is a long series of magnetized coils known as the guide way. An electromagnetism research exhibit at Northeastern University explains that these coils generate a large magnetic field of the same type as the magnets attached to the underside of the...
train. Since the track and the train have like magnetic poles, they repel, causing the train to actually levitate between one and 10 cm above the guiding coils. The maglev remains levitated for the duration of travel, meaning that the negative impact of friction is effectively zero. This allows the train to maintain its speed for larger distances with a relatively small energy output.The lack of friction raises an important question: Without anything to push off against, how does the maglev train accelerate? The answer, once again, lies in the power of electromagnetism. The power supplied to the coils of the track alternates at a rapid pace, causing the portion of the track behind the train to have one magnetic polarization and the portion in front to have the opposite. Calculated precisely, this allows the track to magnetically yank the train from the front (since opposite forces attract) and push the train from behind (since like forces repel). This constant magnetic system of push and pull allows the train to achieve high speeds without an engine.Currently in development, a Japanese alternative to the EMS maglev system uses EDS, or electro-dynamic suspension. While tracks in EMS require a constant source of energy to keep the magnetic field fluctuating, EDS tracks use super-cooled conductors, which allow for a magnetic field to exist even when the energy supply is shut off.Professor Eric Hellstrom of Florida State University’s Magnetic Field Laboratory demonstrated this process with a modified train set, showing that once a conducting material drops below the critical temperature of –294°F, it becomes a superconductor, allowing for levitation. While cooling the tracks saves energy and allows the train to levitate higher, it is much more expensive than the EMS method.In terms of speed, energy efficiency, and maintenance, maglev trains far exceed the limits of other types of land travel. As researchers around the world improve the technologies of trains, costs, —which are currently around $45 million per mile of track — will reduce as well. A group known as American Maglev Technology (AMT) has developed a “smart vehicle” that requires only $20 million per mile — a significant improvement from conventional models.Thanks to that oft-repeated principle of “opposites attract,” we may soon see the day when maglev replaces cars, buses, and conventional trains as the most efficient form of transport on land.

Sep 26 2011 (9:21PM)
News Entry# 40220  Maglev : The Future Of Trains  
Posted by: rdb*^   Added by: rdb*^  Sep 26 2011 (9:33PM)
With excessive price of gasoline and congested airports, we know for a proven fact that traveling right now is expensive. Airfare has skyrocketed ever since oil costs went up and airways are also implementing new charges to cope with the excessive oil price. Because of this, individuals at the moment are in search of another method to travel. At the moment, scientists at the moment are researching new kinds of trains that may be nearly as fast as airplanes however a lot cheaper.The Maglev trains at the moment are being researched and developed everywhere in the world to supply low-cost and fast strategy to travel for people. In truth, Maglev is now being used in some international locations, resembling China as part of their public transportation system. Maglev is a kind of train that can change the way in which you suppose how trains work. Though Maglev trains have tracks, the...
vehicles itself won’t touch the tracks. In reality, Maglev trains don’t even have any wheels. So, how does such a train journey if it has no wheels?
Principally, the precept behind that is to use magnets to propel the train. This know-how takes advantage of magnets to attain elevate and motion. Principally, Maglev stands for magnetic levitation. The Maglev trains used right this moment can go as quick as 450 kilometers an hour. Because of this in lower than 8 minutes, it is possible for you to to go 30 kilometers. Think about having this type of technology to get you to journey from Los Angeles to New York? Although it is going to be a bit slower than air journey, it’s going to nonetheless be capable of get you to your destination at a really quick rate.Maglev trains use magnetic polarization with a purpose to obtain elevate for the prepare cars in addition to to achieve motion. Because the train itself just isn’t on the tracks or is just not touching the tracks, it can take away friction caused by gravity. Which means it is going to be capable of go quite a bit faster. Also, it means safer travel as it can reduce the incident of metallic fatigue or monitor and wheel failure. Because the prepare will glide by the air utilizing electromagnets as cushion, you should have a far smoother ride than you’ll ever get on typical trains.In China, the fare to trip on Maglev is sort of cheap. Relying in your vacation spot, it might probably cost you a little bit bit over US$10.00. As you’ll be able to see, Maglev will certainly change the best way we see trains today. With this technology, it will not be lengthy until we see Maglev trains cruising from state to state within the US.In actual fact, there are already plans of using Maglev trains that may take folks from one city to a different in a single state.So, if you see Maglev trains cruising at a very high speed in your state, then do not be shocked if it turns into highly regarded among a variety of people. With this kind of transportation, it is possible for you to to get fast, cheap, and dependable way of traveling.Maglev trains are undoubtedly the future of traveling. Many countries at the moment are having a look at this technology as the reply to high oil prices and declining economy. With trains like this, you may make sure that traveling might be cheaper and a lot quicker than ever before. And, as a result of this expertise is now obtainable right now, it’s only a matter of time that we will be able to see Maglev trains cruising around our cities.

Aug 07 2011 (7:34PM)
News Entry# 33119  Maglev Trains Technology – The Future and India : By emge  
Posted by: rdb*^   Added by: rdb*^  Aug 07 2011 (7:34PM)
Trains fascinate most people both young and old. The conventional train has been overtaken by a new technology that is both revolutionary as well as innovative and has opened up exciting possibilities.The technology to run trains has advanced from the conventional rail track to a track where the wheels are not used in the conventional sense. The basic aim is to do away with friction which is part of the existing train systems and thus generate greater speeds. Such trains can run 3 to 4 times faster than a conventional train.They are also much faster than the new high-speed trains put into use in USA and China.
Current and Magnetic Field : We are all aware that when a current is
passed through a coil it generates a magnetic field. This is referred to as Electromagnetic force. It means a magnetic field that is induced by an electric current. The only major condition that must be satisfied is that the coil must be a good conductor. It stands to reason that a bad conductor will not generate a magnetic field as the current will not pass through it.When the two ends of the coil are connected to the source of the current like an accumulator or battery the magnet field that is generated will have will behave like a normal magnet and will have North and south poles. This is similar to a permanent magnet, with the exception that once the electric current is switched off; the magnet field will also lapse.We are all aware of the Magical tricks of Houdini and our own Sorcar, both famous magicians who levitated human beings in full view of audiences. The human body floated in the air. In Maglev trains also the train floats in the air on a predetermined path. The predetermined path is not like a conventional rail track but something that is referred to as a guide way. A guide way is the path the train will follow while running. It will dispense with conventional wheels and as such with friction reduced to zero; the train is capable of much higher speeds.
Maglev Trains and Basics : Maglev trains have superconducting magnets on the train and the guideway has coils embedded in it. Thus the basic principle of creating magnetic force through an electric current is established.The coils that are installed in the guide way have an 8 configuration and heavy current is passed through these coils. These generate a powerful magnetic field and interact with the super magnets on the train and allows the train to move ahead by lifting it few centimeters from the guide way or travelling path.As I have written the electromagnets behave like permanent magnets and have the property of like poles and unlike poles. The repulsion force generated lifts the train and it glides forward.
Thus the basic ingredients to run a Maglev train is
a) A Source of electricity and its uninterrupted supply.
b) Metal coils to be embedded in the drive or guide way
c) Large magnets for guidance under the train.
India and Maglev Trains : Maglev trains will not have an electric or diesel engine as we understand, but it may have a control cabin that monitors the guide way, magnet force and measurement of resultant parameters.
The first Commercial use of a maglev train was in 2003 and rails all over the world are experimenting with this new technology. The Indian erstwhile Railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav had received a proposal for a maglev track in India. Though it was costly proposition, yet it appealed to the rustic mind of the rail minister.However after he left the rail ministry the matter has gone in Limbo. But recently a NRI consortium has proposed a Maglev train between Panvel and Pune and it is expected that this train will do the run in 20 minutes.
Maglev Trains and Aircraft : However Maglev trains though operating without friction cannot match aircraft as these fly at 30,000 ft and as such face no air resistance, which is not the case with Maglev trains which will have to deal with friction from the air. Hence they have to design to keep the drag coefficient low.The fastest speed achieved on an experimental run by a Maglev train is 591 km per hour in Japan and that is well below the speed of an airliner and new generation super sonic transports that are on the anvil.
The Future and Limitations : All technology basically benefits the common man, like Duranto and the other superfast trains in India. One hopes that this technology is given due weight age in India and once again India does not become a laggard in this field as well.However Maglev trains do have some limitations and that concerns their size. Presently the technology does not permit multiple car trains and of more than 4/5 carriages. But perhaps the smaller trains can be offset by greater frequency.

Aug 06 2011 (10:22PM)
News Entry# 33018  Maglev: Train Technology Of The Future  
Posted by: rdb*^   Added by: rdb*^  Aug 06 2011 (10:23PM)
Magnetic levitation or maglev for short is the method of making a vehicle, more frequently than not a train, hover above the 'track' and move by the use of magnets. Magnetic levitation has the potential to move trains more quickly and more quietly than traditional wheel-based trains. Surprisingly, most of the power consumed is used to conquered wind resistance at high speed, not to keep the train hovering in mid-air.You would be forgiven for imagining that maglev is new technology, but in fact the first American patent was filed by a German inventor in America in 1907. It then took 74 years before the first commercial maglev train came into service in 1984 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. However, that particular installation became quite unreliable and it was taken out of service in 1995.The highest recorded speed of a maglev train under test conditions was in Japan in 2003. It ran at...
an inspiring 361 mph, but that is just 3.5 mph faster than France's TGV, which has been in existance for four decades. The TGV's top speed of 357.2 mph was surpassed by the Chinese Harmony Express in 2009.However, these latter day wheeled services are based on tried and tested technology on which hundreds of billions of dollars has been spent during nearly 200 years. If more attention and money were lavished on the maglev, it would exceed conventional train speeds fairly easily.The most flourishing maglev train in operation nowadays runs to Shanghai airport like the British one ran to Birmingham Airport. However, the similarity between the two ceases there. The British maglev travelled at up to 26 mph, whereas the Chinese, but German built, maglev runs at a top speed of 160 mph.Much of the early research and development was carried out in Britain by Professor Eric Laithwaite from after the Second World War to 1973, but Germany is the main influence on the maglev train now, although Germany is working closely with the Chinese and the Japanese to develop the technology.One of the main stumbling blocks for maglev trains is infrastructure. Maglev trains are incompatible with conventional rail rack so they have nowhere to go. Laying new maglev track is not horribly costly, but it is dear and would involve having two sets of incompatible rails running alongside each other for several decades, which would obviously take up two times as much land.Having said that, some advancement was achieved in designing rails that could be used by both technologies but the project was allowed to fall fallow.So, the story of magnetic levitation trains started with a German inventor over a hundred years ago and although they lost track of the project for thirty years or so during and after the War, German scientists and engineers are back at the forefront of this fascinating technology, which will surely replace our conventional train and track technologies in the future.If the electricity required to run them were manufactured by methods other than fossil fuel, these very quiet trains would go a long way to decreasing pollution in both inner cities and the countryside.
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