Magnetic levitation

Magnetic levitation, maglev, or magnetic suspension is a method by which an object is suspended with no support other than magnetic fields. The electromagnetic force is used to counteract the effects of the gravitational force.

The concept of this break through technology in transportation system was put forward by the American rocket scientist Robert Goddard in 1904. His hypothesis that by the sheer use of electromagnetic rails, the trains could be lifted off the tracks gained popularity with many nations of the world. Intense investigations and plans were charted out by Japan and Germany by the 70’s on this notion on flying trains.

The movement of maglev train is based on the concepts of magnetism and magnetic fields, formed by the utilization of high-powered electro-magnets. Wheels and other moving parts causing friction with air are removed from this flying train, which helps both in lifting the train off the track and its smooth movement in air. The suspension systems that give the maglev train this leverage are the Electromagnetic Suspension and Electrodynamic Suspension. Another recently developed suspension system called the Intuctrack is in the phase of research and design.

Maglev trains are the ideal choice for both the low speed and high speed transportation. Between 1984 and 1995, Birmingham, in England used the low transportation facility for short distance travels. Engineers always preferred to create high speed maglev trains, which can travel at a speed of 343mph, or 552km/h compared to the low speed trains.