The first commercial maglev line made its debut in December of 2003.
A few countries are using powerful electromagnets to develop high-speed trains, called Maglev Trains. Maglev is short for MAGnetic LEVitation which means that these trains will float over a guide-way using the basic principles of magnets to replace the old steel wheel and track trains.
Electromagnetic Suspension (EMS)
If you’ve ever played with magnets, you know that opposite poles attract and like poles repel each other. This is the basic principle behind electromagnetic propulsion. Electromagnets are similar to other magnets in that they attract metal objects, but the magnetic pull is temporary.
There are three components to this system:
- A large electrical power source
- Metal coils lining a guideway or track
- Large guidance magnets attached to the underside of the train
The big difference between a maglev train and a conventional train is that maglev trains do not have an engine, at least not the kind of engine used to pull typical train cars along steel tracks. The engine for maglev trains is rather inconspicuous. Instead of using fossil fuels, the magnetic field created by the electrified coils in the guide-way walls and the tracks combine to propel the train.
In Maglev high speed vehicles are lifted by magnetic repulsion, and propelled along an elevated guide-way by powerful magnets attached to the vehicle. The vehicles do not physically contact the guide-way, do not need engines, and do not burn fuel. Instead, they are magnetically propelled by electric power fed to coils located on the guide-way.
Maglev is a completely new mode of transport that will join the ship, the wheel, and the airplane as a mainstay in moving people and goods throughout the world. Maglev has unique advantages over these earlier modes of transport and will radically transform society and the world economy in the 21st Century. Compared to ships and wheeled vehicles—autos, trucks, and trains—it moves passengers and freight at much higher speed and lower cost, using less energy. Compared to airplanes, which travel at similar speeds, Maglev moves passengers and freight at much lower cost, and in much greater volume. In addition to its enormous impact on transport, Maglev will allow millions of human beings to travel into space, and can move vast amounts of water over long distances to eliminate droughts.
Why is Maglev important? There are four basic reasons.
First, Maglev is a much better way to move people and freight than by existing modes. It is cheaper, faster, not congested, and has a much longer service life. A Maglev guide-way can transport tens of thousands of passengers per day along with thousands of piggyback trucks and automobiles. Maglev operating costs will be only 3 cents per passenger mile and 7 cents per ton mile, compared to 15 cents per passenger mile for airplanes, and 30 cents per ton mile for intercity trucks. Maglev guideways will last for 50 years or more with minimal maintenance, because there is no mechanical contact and wear, and because the vehicle loads are uniformly distributed, rather than concentrated at wheels. Similarly, Maglev vehicles will have much longer lifetimes than autos, trucks, and airplanes.
Second, Maglev is very energy efficient. Unlike autos, trucks, and airplanes, Maglev does not burn oil, but instead consumes electricity, which with Maglev Movers W2E system means our systems will be self-sufficient in energy (in fact we will produce a surplus to sell on the public) . At 300 miles per hour in the open atmosphere, Maglev consumes only 0.4 megajoules per passenger mile, compared to 4 megajoules per passenger mile of oil fuel for a 20-miles-per-gallon auto that carries 1.8 people (the national average) at 60 miles per hour (mph). At 150 mph in the atmosphere, Maglev consumes only 0.1 of a megajoule per passenger mile, which is just 2 percent of the energy consumption of a typical 60-mph auto. In low-pressure tunnels or tubes, like those proposed for Switzerland’s Metro system, energy consumption per passenger mile will shrink to the equivalent of 10,000 miles per gallon.
Third, Maglev vehicles emit no pollution. When they consume electricity, no carbon dioxide is emitted. Maglev Movers is very high energy efficiency.
Maglev has further environmental benefits. Maglev vehicles are much quieter than autos, trucks, and airplanes, which is particularly important for urban and suburban areas. Moreover, because Maglev uses unobtrusive narrow-beam elevated guideways, its footprint on the land is much smaller than that of highways, airports, and railroad tracks.
Fourth, Maglev has major safety advantages over highway vehicles, trains, and airplanes. The distance between Maglev vehicles on a guide-way, and the speed of the vehicles, are automatically controlled and maintained by the frequency of the electric power fed to the guide-way. There is no possibility of collisions between vehicles on the guide-way. Moreover, since the guideways are elevated, there is no possibility of collisions with autos or trucks at grade crossings.