Magnetrain

4953 views
32 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 322 posts
Magnetrain
Posted by ontheBNSF on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 2:12 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kaXi6DeuoM

http://www.qhappy.com/mwg/

http://larouchepac.com/node/14730

A proposed maglev system for carrying both passengers and freight. It uses an elevated guideway rather than an at grade guideway. Such a system could be built along existing right of ways.

Railroad to Freedom

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 8,156 posts
Posted by henry6 on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 8:46 AM

This has been floating around for almost 30 years now but has not caught on.  I believe the Chinese and or Japanese built a test bed but the actual costs of building...including purchase of right of way...far outways the return at least for the moment.  Even rededicating a ROW to it has not appeared to be cost effective.  So despite its supposed "good science" and "good economics", it has not been accepted as yet and is quesitonable as to when it might be.

RIDEWITHMEHENRY is the name for our almost monthly day of riding trains and transit in either the NYCity or Philadelphia areas including all commuter lines, Amtrak, subways, light rail and trolleys, bus and ferries when warranted. No fees, just let us know you want to join the ride and pay your fares. Ask to be on our email list or find us on FB as RIDEWITHMEHENRY (all caps) to get descriptions of each outing.

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 8:53 AM

There was a proposal two years ago to build a Maglev system in northern Germany, but the cost of building it killed the idea very quickly.

An experimental system is supposedly in operation at a college campus somewhere in the U.S., but the cost of it was something like $1 million per half a mile..

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 9,610 posts
Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:30 AM

The passenger Maglev in Shanghai connects the new city across the river, Pudong (literally "east of the Pu river") with the new international airport. for about 10 years.  It is a German system.   It is short, very fast and elevated, but even the Chinese have not elected to build more, even on small scales because the cost is so high.  I enjoyed the ride, probably the fastest speed I will ever travel on land, but it seems impractical.

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,912 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:37 AM

Could one magnetic levetation technology handle light rail, rapid tansit metros, commuter rail, high speed intercity corridors, interplant frieght switching, freigiht of various kinds, truck trailers, containers, and special  oversized loads like nuclear power plant cores and aircract fusalages?

Do you realize that one railroad track could, if needed, and if properly signal protected, handle all of the above at the same location?

Conventional railroad technology may be some 200 years old, but it is still cost effective and very efficient and almost as flexible as the public highway, and way more efficient than the public hiighway.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 8,327 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:54 AM

If you look at the cost noting will ever happen.

We sent men to the moon. What was our return?

Do you try to tell me we cannot get people from Laguardia to Midtown ins some convenient, cost effective way.

The ONLY reason we were able to go to the moon is because there were no NIMBYS there.

ROW is NOT an expense: You already own the interstates, just build long them.

There are other things to spend money on at the moment.

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 8,156 posts
Posted by henry6 on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 10:04 AM

daveklepper

Could one magnetic levetation technology handle light rail, rapid tansit metros, commuter rail, high speed intercity corridors, interplant frieght switching, freigiht of various kinds, truck trailers, containers, and special  oversized loads like nuclear power plant cores and aircract fusalages?

Do you realize that one railroad track could, if needed, and if properly signal protected, handle all of the above at the same location?

Conventional railroad technology may be some 200 years old, but it is still cost effective and very efficient and almost as flexible as the public highway, and way more efficient than the public hiighway.

Dave, you hit on something that I've often said, especially of American railroading: we have not fully explored nor applied what we know to the appliances, equipment, and operations of our railroad system.  We have been bogged down in status quo thinking operators, political agendas, quick buck investors, and public apathy.

RIDEWITHMEHENRY is the name for our almost monthly day of riding trains and transit in either the NYCity or Philadelphia areas including all commuter lines, Amtrak, subways, light rail and trolleys, bus and ferries when warranted. No fees, just let us know you want to join the ride and pay your fares. Ask to be on our email list or find us on FB as RIDEWITHMEHENRY (all caps) to get descriptions of each outing.

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 19,489 posts
Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 10:36 AM

Monorails never caught on, either.

Maglev does sound like a good idea - fast, virtually frictionless movement of whatever.

The devil does seem to be in the construction.  I suspect that building the concrete structure wouldn't be any more expensive than building an elevated highway (not that that's cheap).  It's all that wire required for the electromagnets, not to mention the control circuits and other appurtenances that's likely the budget buster.

Standard railroad infrastructure is probably cheaper, never mind the cost of the elevated structure.

Then there's the power - anybody have any idea of how maglev rates in relation to, say, conventional electric traction regarding power usage?

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    September, 2007
  • From: Charlotte, NC
  • 6,095 posts
Posted by Phoebe Vet on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 11:03 AM

I am always suspicious when people use so many words to say so little.  Every time the minister bragged about the person who worked on the Apollo project, he illustrated it with a picture of a space shuttle, which did not exist during the Apollo project, and was incapable of achieving even high Earth orbit, much less going to the moon.  Until the LaRouche document, all they did was brag about how smart they are and said virtually nothing about the technology.  The description they finally got around to, does not describe maglev technology, it talks about levitating the train with two permanent magnets mounted on some kind of hydraulics and makes no mention of the thrust that is supposed to propel it to 600 MPH.

It sounds like a daydream or an investment scam to me.

I would love to see maglev trains in revenue service, but some really smart people, in some really big high tech companies, with some really big budgets have not been able to make it happen.  They have built the trains, but they have been unable to make it fiscally feasible.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

  • Member since
    January, 2001
  • From: Atlanta
  • 11,524 posts
Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 11:13 AM

tree68

Monorails never caught on, either.

Maglev does sound like a good idea - fast, virtually frictionless movement of whatever.

The devil does seem to be in the construction.  I suspect that building the concrete structure wouldn't be any more expensive than building an elevated highway (not that that's cheap).  It's all that wire required for the electromagnets, not to mention the control circuits and other appurtenances that's likely the budget buster.

Standard railroad infrastructure is probably cheaper, never mind the cost of the elevated structure.

Then there's the power - anybody have any idea of how maglev rates in relation to, say, conventional electric traction regarding power usage?

I don't have any specific, real numbers, but the basic physics of it are helpful.  When you are trying to go really fast, the resistance to motion is nearly all air resistance.  It goes up with speed squared.  So, to get from 100 mph to 200 mph, you have to quadruple the energy.  To get from 100 to 400 mph - x 16!

It is also proportional to air density, sotrains are at a disadvantage to planes in this regard - but this is balanced to some extent by the drag from the wings.

Given that Amtrak is only a bit better that air on overall energy efficiency, I'd suspect ultra high speed ground transport would consume more energy than flying.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 322 posts
Posted by ontheBNSF on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 2:39 PM

Since people keep bring up costs in terms of cost it varies. The Chinese Shanghai maglev system was built for 18 million per mile, the maglev-2000 system can be built for 12 million dollars per mile, the Orlando Maglev is being built for around 20 million dollars per mile, et3 can be built for 1/4 the cost of highway and 1/10 the cost of high speed rail, Swissmetro's estimated costs were 1/4 the cost of a similar rail project, the proposed Chuo Maglev project is less expensive then many HSR projects despite its use of advanced construction techniques, and the Chinese Vacuum tube maglev only costs 20% more to build then conventional HSR. In terms of cost Maglev is similar and in many cases less then rail technology. I really wish people would stop spreading that myth that Maglev is somehow expensive, compared to other modes of transport it really isn't.

The main problem with Maglev is not cost but a lack of standardization many systems work quite differently some use pods others use trains some airplane type vehicles, some have their own track types, and so on. When ever you buy a maglev you are buying a proprietary system. There is a general lack of knowledge of it in the general public as well as a dislike of it by existing transportation interests.

Railroad to Freedom

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 9,610 posts
Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 7:03 PM

In fact, the Shanghai Transrapid project cost $1.33 billion for an 18.95 mile right of way.  That works out to $70,184,696 per mile, which is almost 4X the number you mentioned.  Ridership numbers remain low; about a 20% occupancy.  That was also my impression also when I rode in 2006. At one point plans were made to build a Maglev line connecting Shanghai with Hangzhou.  The plan was dropped because a HSR line could be built for half the cost of Maglev, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of railways in 2007. The HSR line was built and completed in 2010 and makes the 105 mile run in 45 minutes  

So when you make the claim that cost is not a barrier,  "I really wish people would stop spreading that myth that Maglev is somehow expensive, compared to other modes of transport it really isn't"  it turns out it really is.

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 322 posts
Posted by ontheBNSF on Monday, July 01, 2013 12:53 AM

In fact, the Shanghai Transrapid project cost $1.33 billion for an 18.95 mile right of way.  That works out to $70,184,696 per mile, which is almost 4X the number you mentioned.  Ridership numbers remain low; about a 20% occupancy.  That was also my impression also when I rode in 2006. At one point plans were made to build a Maglev line connecting Shanghai with Hangzhou.  The plan was dropped because a HSR line could be built for half the cost of Maglev, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of railways in 2007. The HSR line was built and completed in 2010 and makes the 105 mile run in 45 minutes  

In shanghai the maglev line was never built directly to the center of town so you get lower ridership due to the lower convience, this never happened due to bogus magnetic radiation reasons. Also rail lines were built over longer distances in China thus giving them economies of scale.

So when you make the claim that cost is not a barrier,  "I really wish people would stop spreading that myth that Maglev is somehow expensive, compared to other modes of transport it really isn't"  it turns out it really is.

Here you are being really stupid you point out one area where I got it wrong not addressing my other examples. One area you are wrong thus you must be wrong in all areas fallacy. I gave several examples of where maglev was more cost efficient. I made an error on one example but that doesn't refute my other examples nor does it prove that rail is more cost efficient. 

Railroad to Freedom

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 9,610 posts
Posted by schlimm on Monday, July 01, 2013 8:53 AM

You were in error on the cost to build the only operational Maglev line by ~400%.   Even China, which seems to have money to burn, realized maglev was very expensive and not worth the extra speed.  45 minutes Hangzhou to Shanghai  (compared to 4 hours in 1990) is very fast.  To make the run non-stop with Maglev in 25-30 minutes was not judged to be a sufficient improvement to warrant the cost.

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: S.E. South Dakota
  • 12,206 posts
Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, July 01, 2013 9:05 AM

ontheBNSF

In fact, the Shanghai Transrapid project cost $1.33 billion for an 18.95 mile right of way.  That works out to $70,184,696 per mile, which is almost 4X the number you mentioned.  Ridership numbers remain low; about a 20% occupancy.  That was also my impression also when I rode in 2006. At one point plans were made to build a Maglev line connecting Shanghai with Hangzhou.  The plan was dropped because a HSR line could be built for half the cost of Maglev, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of railways in 2007. The HSR line was built and completed in 2010 and makes the 105 mile run in 45 minutes  

In shanghai the maglev line was never built directly to the center of town so you get lower ridership due to the lower convience, this never happened due to bogus magnetic radiation reasons. Also rail lines were built over longer distances in China thus giving them economies of scale.

So when you make the claim that cost is not a barrier,  "I really wish people would stop spreading that myth that Maglev is somehow expensive, compared to other modes of transport it really isn't"  it turns out it really is.

Here you are being really stupid you point out one area where I got it wrong not addressing my other examples. One area you are wrong thus you must be wrong in all areas fallacy. I gave several examples of where maglev was more cost efficient. I made an error on one example but that doesn't refute my other examples nor does it prove that rail is more cost efficient. 

   I dunno man.  Every time I do the math, $70,000,000 per mile is still about 4 times the $18,000,000 you quoted. (3.89 times, to be exact).  It's gotta be pretty easy to make wild assertions when you simply make up the numbers.

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • 1,139 posts
Posted by Falcon48 on Monday, July 01, 2013 9:11 AM

ontheBNSF

In fact, the Shanghai Transrapid project cost $1.33 billion for an 18.95 mile right of way.  That works out to $70,184,696 per mile, which is almost 4X the number you mentioned.  Ridership numbers remain low; about a 20% occupancy.  That was also my impression also when I rode in 2006. At one point plans were made to build a Maglev line connecting Shanghai with Hangzhou.  The plan was dropped because a HSR line could be built for half the cost of Maglev, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of railways in 2007. The HSR line was built and completed in 2010 and makes the 105 mile run in 45 minutes  

In shanghai the maglev line was never built directly to the center of town so you get lower ridership due to the lower convience, this never happened due to bogus magnetic radiation reasons. Also rail lines were built over longer distances in China thus giving them economies of scale.

So when you make the claim that cost is not a barrier,  "I really wish people would stop spreading that myth that Maglev is somehow expensive, compared to other modes of transport it really isn't"  it turns out it really is.

Here you are being really stupid you point out one area where I got it wrong not addressing my other examples. One area you are wrong thus you must be wrong in all areas fallacy. I gave several examples of where maglev was more cost efficient. I made an error on one example but that doesn't refute my other examples nor does it prove that rail is more cost efficient. 

   I'm not an engineering person, but one technical issue I see with Maglev is how it would deal with snow and ice.  As I understand the technology, the vehicles float a fraction of an inch above the guideway on a magnetic field.  Snow or ice would eliminate this gap and add a huge amount of friction to the system, or stop it completely.  The solution would probably be to add heating elements to the entire guideway, but that would add even more costs to the system.  The other solution, of course, is not to build it in places where they have snow and ice..

One other thing on relative costs.  A major cost advantage of conventional two rail is that it can be built on the ground.  To my knowledge, most (although not all) HSR trackage is constructed this way.  Maglev would require an elevated structure.  While it could be close to the ground, it would still have to be a continuous bridge structure.  Big bucks. 

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 1,409 posts
Posted by Victrola1 on Monday, July 01, 2013 9:20 AM

Researchers in Germany have claimed a breakthrough: a material that can act as a superconductor — transmit electricity with zero resistance — at room temperature and above.


http://www.nature.com/news/tantalizing-hints-of-room-temperature-superconductivity-1.11443

The miracle of superconductive materials is just around the corner. This miracle has been just around the corner for 25 years.

If superconductive materials ever do become a commercial reality, what effect on magnetic levitation and propulsion? The construction costs would still be astronomical.

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 322 posts
Posted by ontheBNSF on Monday, July 01, 2013 10:31 AM

schlimm

You were in error on the cost to build the only operational Maglev line by ~400%.    

I was in error on one point however this does not refute my other points. For one thing the Transrapid is not the only operational maglev line there are two operational maglev lines in Japan. The transrapid is also no longer in development and has to my knowledge

schlimm

Even China, which seems to have money to burn, realized maglev was very expensive and not worth the extra speed.

This is simply not correct China is still developing maglev technology. China will have a Vacuum tube maglev technology by 2015 so presumably they have some sort of use for it or they have customers for it. Also maglev is more than extra speed it also does away with wheel friction thus significantly lowering labor costs as well as allowing greater train frequency as well as other benefits. Maglev also has less operating costs.

Railroad to Freedom

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 322 posts
Posted by ontheBNSF on Monday, July 01, 2013 10:44 AM

Falcon48

I'm not an engineering person, but one technical issue I see with Maglev is how it would deal with snow and ice.  As I understand the technology, the vehicles float a fraction of an inch above the guideway on a magnetic field.  Snow or ice would eliminate this gap and add a huge amount of friction to the system, or stop it completely.  The solution would probably be to add heating elements to the entire guideway, but that would add even more costs to the system.  The other solution, of course, is not to build it in places where they have snow and ice..

Ice doesn't really affect Maglev and it is actually very negative to rail operation. The very nature of maglev reduces interference by weather.

http://www.transrapid.de/cgi-tdb/en/basics.prg?a_no=72&r_index=2

http://old.post-gazette.com/maglev/maglev01.asp

Falcon48

One other thing on relative costs.  A major cost advantage of conventional two rail is that it can be built on the ground.  To my knowledge, most (although not all) HSR trackage is constructed this way.  Maglev would require an elevated structure.  While it could be close to the ground, it would still have to be a continuous bridge structure.  Big bucks. 

This is not true maglev can be built at ground the transrapid allows this as does the Maglev-2000 system. Even though you can build rail at ground you will a large number of HSR systems build above ground.

Railroad to Freedom

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • 1,139 posts
Posted by Falcon48 on Monday, July 01, 2013 6:13 PM

oltmannd

tree68

Monorails never caught on, either.

Maglev does sound like a good idea - fast, virtually frictionless movement of whatever.

The devil does seem to be in the construction.  I suspect that building the concrete structure wouldn't be any more expensive than building an elevated highway (not that that's cheap).  It's all that wire required for the electromagnets, not to mention the control circuits and other appurtenances that's likely the budget buster.

Standard railroad infrastructure is probably cheaper, never mind the cost of the elevated structure.

Then there's the power - anybody have any idea of how maglev rates in relation to, say, conventional electric traction regarding power usage?

I don't have any specific, real numbers, but the basic physics of it are helpful.  When you are trying to go really fast, the resistance to motion is nearly all air resistance.  It goes up with speed squared.  So, to get from 100 mph to 200 mph, you have to quadruple the energy.  To get from 100 to 400 mph - x 16!

It is also proportional to air density, sotrains are at a disadvantage to planes in this regard - but this is balanced to some extent by the drag from the wings.

Given that Amtrak is only a bit better that air on overall energy efficiency, I'd suspect ultra high speed ground transport would consume more energy than flying.

  Since (as I've often said in these forums) I don't have an engineering background (I know just enough to be dangerous), I'm a little hesitant to attempt to answer the question of how maglev rates in relation to conventional electric traction regarding power usage.  But there is one feature of maglev which would seem to make its power consumption much higher than conventional electric traction. 

Maglev requires an electrical field powerful enough to levitate the train.  That's going to require a whole lot of electricity.  The trade off is that maglev won't have the rolling friction of a steel wheel train, so it should take less electricity to move the train at any given speed than conventional rail. So, what uses more power - levitating the train or overcoming rolling resistance?   Now, maybe there's something in the engineering that has escaped me.  But I suspect that the required to levitate the train is exponentially greater than the electricity required to overcome rolling resistance.  

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Denver / La Junta
  • 9,590 posts
Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, July 02, 2013 6:38 AM

"But OH, it's so clean and efficient" ....WRONG.HmmHmmHmm

-all you did was move the point source of the emissions and waste energy pushing it along a wireline to get energy where it needs to go.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 11,443 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:03 AM

The two posts above make valid points about Maglev.  The gee-whiz futuristic aspect of maglev seems to be its greatest appeal, the reality of making it work is a major negative.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:58 AM

There was a PBS show a couple of years ago about Maglev technology.  The "guideway" has huge electromagnets embeded in its entire length, and electromagnets of opposite polarity are mounted under the train.  These magnets are turned on and off in a sequence that not only levitates the train, but pulls or pushes it along the guideway. 

They didn't mention power consumption, but it seems to me that it would be considerable.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 10,150 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, July 02, 2013 11:11 AM

cacole

There was a PBS show a couple of years ago about Maglev technology.  The "guideway" has huge electromagnets embeded in its entire length, and electromagnets of opposite polarity are mounted under the train.  These magnets are turned on and off in a sequence that not only levitates the train, but pulls or pushes it along the guideway. 

They didn't mention power consumption, but it seems to me that it would be considerable.

It is quite interesting, indeed, that the people who are so gung ho about Maglev technology seldom, if ever, bring in information about the power that must be consumed to run the trains. I would like to talk with my friend (whom I have not seen since 1956) who was in a group that was working on Maglev. Maybe he will be at our college's next alumni reunion? I asked our Physics professor about it a few years ago, but he could not give me any real information.

How far does the magnetic field extend? What are its effects on nearby users of magnetic energy, especially in cities and towns?

Johnny

  • Member since
    July, 2010
  • From: Louisiana
  • 1,807 posts
Posted by Paul of Covington on Tuesday, July 02, 2013 12:10 PM

   One thing I keep wondering about maglev:   what happens if someone throws a beer can on the track?  (Or guide-way, or whatever you call it.)   Or worse, a steel can?

_____________

   "A stranger is just a friend you ain't met yet."  ___ Dave Gardner

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 322 posts
Posted by ontheBNSF on Tuesday, July 02, 2013 12:49 PM

Deggesty

cacole

There was a PBS show a couple of years ago about Maglev technology.  The "guideway" has huge electromagnets embeded in its entire length, and electromagnets of opposite polarity are mounted under the train.  These magnets are turned on and off in a sequence that not only levitates the train, but pulls or pushes it along the guideway. 

They didn't mention power consumption, but it seems to me that it would be considerable.

It is quite interesting, indeed, that the people who are so gung ho about Maglev technology seldom, if ever, bring in information about the power that must be consumed to run the trains. I would like to talk with my friend (whom I have not seen since 1956) who was in a group that was working on Maglev. Maybe he will be at our college's next alumni reunion? I asked our Physics professor about it a few years ago, but he could not give me any real information.

How far does the magnetic field extend? What are its effects on nearby users of magnetic energy, especially in cities and towns?

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2010/ph240/ilonidis2/

See PG. 180

http://www.500kmh.com/UKU_Factbook2.pdf

This compares both the Transrapid and ICE3 train in terms of power consumption. At higher speed the transrapid has lower power consumption and at lower speeds it has higher power consumption. That said this is an older technology (transrapid) and newer maglev technology should improve in efficiency as should newer rail technology.

Railroad to Freedom

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 9,610 posts
Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, July 02, 2013 12:52 PM

Johnny:  I read that before it was canceled, the Chinese line from Shanghai to Hangzhou was to have a green belt on each side about 22.5 meters wide.  And that was less than the recommendation by the German supplier.

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

  • Member since
    September, 2019
  • 1 posts
Posted by Magnetrain Registered on Saturday, September 07, 2019 1:52 PM

The Magnetrain is the only feasible high speed rail system in development today.  This system was introduced at the 1992 High Speed Transportation Conference in San Francisco by the inventor Roy Vinson along with his team, including me.  Among all the giants in industry at that time, Siemens, Shikansen, Bechtel, Parsons, etc.  we presented our system on a two 8 foot long tables with only engineering models but we had alot of attention.  America, Germany and Japan had already committed to the Electro Magnetic Maglev train.  in 2003 I believe Germany had the opportunity to build their system in China in Shanghai.

It runs, most of the time when it is not in maintenance, for 19 miles a 3-5 minute ride to accelerate and decelerate.  Back and forth.  It is electro-magnetic and for that reason, there is a lot of maintenance issues.

Don't give up on this system. It is still the most feasible one in existence on paper and someday maybe in the 22nd century, they will have enough courage to fund the physicists and engineers to design and build a test model and track.

Dr. Adelle McKInney

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 8,227 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 08, 2019 11:16 AM

Musta missed this topic before.  Interesting that all the discussion up to this point has very little to do with the system actually cited in the thread title and original post.

See patents US4307668A and US4324185A for background. (These are unexpectedly difficult to find in a Google search, and I recommend downloading as PDFs for best reading).  There is a rather good introductory article on this here, which covers some of the essential difference between this and more 'ordinary' sensorless approaches like Bachelet's Austrian patent and then US 1020942/943.  Since the early '80s the technology of permanent magnets, including that of Welbach arrays, has grown dramatically and the necessary infrastructure to produce the suspension magnets is essentially in place and costed down (the problem now being a relatively cheap and assured source of the necessary rare-earth constituents in an evolving competitive market for the materials).

I always chuckle a bit when I see the press try to describe the purely-PM cpmpensation system because I developed something very similar in the mid-70s (the equivalent of a multipole magnetic chuck cross-activated by fast-acting proportional mechanism for both ride height and trim in a repulsive levitation configuration to operate at high speed) and appreciate the key difference between this and the various electromagnetic systems.

Note that most of the 'practically buildable' competition for the Magnetrain is not suspensive at all; see what Elon Musk and Arnold Miller propose for their 'high speed' suspension and guiding.  In fact, I think there is a sizable functional symmetry between the approach used by the Interstate Traveller people and the Vinson technology, even though ITC has chosen what is essentially a 'repulsive birail technology' without attempting to make it flanged-wheel-compatible.

We should be honored to have Adelle Kuwaye McKinney on the forums, and make her welcome.

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,869 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, September 08, 2019 11:50 AM

Yes indeed!  Welcome aboard Dr. McKinney!

And don't feel you have to confine your comments to Maglev technology, here we have fun commenting on just about everything "railroady," from the reasonable to the ridiculous.  And trust me, a good sense of the ridiculous goes along way here!   Whistling

For example, check out the "Song Of The Trolley" discussion under "Transit."

Sound off on whatever you like!

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy