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EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



Magnetic levitation, maglev, or magnetic suspension is a method by which an
object is suspended above another object with no support other than magnetic field .The
electromagnetic force is used to counteract the effects of the gravitational force.
A substance which is diamagnetic repels a magnetic field. All materials have
diamagnetic properties, but the effect is very weak, and usually overcome by the object's
paramagnetic or ferromagnetic properties, which act in the opposite manner. Any material
in which the diamagnetic component is strongest will be repelled by a magnet, though
this force is not usually very large. Diamagnetic levitation can be used to levitate very
light pieces of pyrolytic graphite or bismuth above a moderately strong permanent
magnet. As water is predominantly diamagnetic, this technique has been used to levitate
water droplets.
The minimum criterion for diamagnetic levitation is,


χ is the magnetic susceptibility

ρ is the density of the material
g is the local gravitational acceleration (-9.8 m/s2 on Earth)
μ0 is the permeability of free space
B is the magnetic field

is the rate of change of the magnetic field along the vertical axis.

Assuming ideal conditions along the z-direction of solenoid magnet:

Water levitates at

Graphite at

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor




• Repulsion between like poles of permanent magnets or electromagnets.
• Repulsion between a magnet and a metallic conductor induced by relative motion.
• Repulsion between a metallic conductor and an AC electromagnet.
• Repulsion between a magnetic field and a diamagnetic substance.
• Repulsion between a magnet and a superconductor.
• Attraction between unlike poles of permanent magnets or electromagnets.
• Attraction between the open core of an electromagnetic solenoid and a piece of
iron or a magnet.
• Attraction between a permanent magnet or electromagnet and a piece of iron.
• Attraction between an electromagnet and a piece of iron or a magnet, with sensors
and active control of the current to the electromagnet used to maintain some
distance between them.
• Repulsion between an electromagnet and a magnet, with sensors and active
control of the current to the electromagnet used to maintain some distance
between them.

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor


Basically the construction of the maglev train depends on 3 different

working forces. They are,


The first thing a maglev system must do is get off the ground, and then stay
suspended off the ground. This is achieved by the electromagnetic levitation system. The
levitating force is the upward thrust which lifts the vehicle in the air.
There are 2 types of levitating systems
A. Electromagnetic Suspension (EMS) System
B. Electrodynamic Suspension System (EDS) System
MAGLEV concept using EMS employs attractive force. In EMS system the
electromagnets are attached on the inside bottom of the casing that extend below and then
curves back up to the ferromagnetic rail or track. The rail is in the shape of ‘T’.When
current is passed, the electromagnet is switched on, there is attraction between the
electromagnet and rail, and raise up to meet the rail. This levitates about 1/3 of an inch
(1 cm) above the guideway and keeps the train levitated even when it’s not moving. Other
embedded guidance magnet keeps the train moving from side to side. The electromagnet
use feedback control to maintain a train at a constant distance from the track, by
controlling the attractive force by varying the current. There is no need of wheels.

Levitation System’s Power Supply

• Batteries on the train power the system, and therefore it still functions without
• 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.

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor


Germany developed MAGLEV Train based on similar concept called Transrapid.
Germany has demonstrated that the maglev train can reach 300 mph with people onboard.


In the EDS-repulsive system, the superconducting magnets (SCMs), which do the
levitating of the vehicle, are at the bottom of the vehicle, but above the track. The track or
roadway is either an aluminum guideway or a set of conductive coils. The magnetic field
of the superconducting magnets aboard the maglev vehicle induces an eddy current in the
guideway. The polarity of the eddy current is same as the polarity of the SCMs onboard
the vehicle. Repulsion results, "pushing" the vehicle away and thus up from the track.
The gap between vehicle and guideway in the EDS-system is nearly 4 inches (10 cm),
and is also regulated (by a null-flux system). . One potential drawback in using the EDS
system is that maglev trains must roll on rubber tires until they reach a liftoff speed of
about 62 mph (100 kph). Japanese engineers say the wheels are an advantage if a power
failure caused a shutdown of the system. Germany's Transrapid train is equipped with an
emergency battery power supply. The Japanese said that the EMS-attractive system gap
was too narrow to account for the hilly terrain of Japan, and Japan's occasional

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor


A more advanced EDS-repulsive system, worked on by the Japanese (and
Americans), utilizes a U-shaped guideway, in which the vehicle nestles in between the U-
shaped guideway (this makes the vehicle very stable; it can't overturn). Coils are
implanted in the walls of the U- shaped guideway, called guidewalls. Thus, the guideway
is not below, but out to the sides. Now the repulsion goes perpendicularly outward from
the vehicle to the coils in the guidewalls. The perpendicular repulsion still provides lift.


EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



The Inductrack is a newer type of EDS that uses permanent room-temperature

magnets to produce the magnetic fields instead of powered electromagnets or cooled
superconducting magnets. Inductrack uses a power source to accelerate the train only
until begins to levitate. If the power fails, the train can slow down gradually and stop on
its auxiliary wheels.
The inductrack guide way would contain two rows of tightly packed levitation
coils, which would act as the rails. Each of these “rails” would be lined by two Halbach
arrays carried underneath the maglev vehicle: one positioned directly above the “rail” and
one along the inner side of the “rail”. The Halbach arrays above the coils would provide
levitation while the Halbach arrays on the sides would provide lateral guidance that keeps
the train in a fixed position on the track.

There are two Inductrack designs: Inductrack I and Inductrack II. Inductrack I is
designed for high speeds, while Inductrack II is suited for slow speeds. Inductrack trains
could levitate higher with greater stability. As long as it's moving a few miles per hour, an
Inductrack train will levitate nearly an inch (2.54 cm) above the track. A greater gap
above the track means that the train would not require complex sensing systems to
maintain stability.
Permanent magnets had not been used before because scientists thought that they
would not create enough levitating force. The Inductrack design bypasses this problem by
arranging the magnets in a Halbach array. The magnets are configured so that the
intensity of the magnetic field concentrates above the array instead of below it. They are
made from a newer material comprising a neodymium-iron-boron alloy, which generates

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor


a higher magnetic field. The Inductrack II design incorporates two Halbach arrays to
generate a stronger magnetic field at lower speeds.
Dr. Richard Post at the Livermore National Laboratory in California came up with
this concept in response to safety and cost concerns. The prototype tests caught the
attention of NASA, which awarded a contract to Dr. Post and his team to explore the
possibility of using the Inductrack system to launch satellites into orbit.


There are different benefits to the EMS-attractive and the EDS-repulsive system.
The EMS-attractive system has had more testing, and appears more ready to go. It also
does not require a secondary suspension system, which the EDS-repulsive system does.
But there are two features of the EDS system, which make it very attractive and
promising. First, the EDS-repulsive system employs superconducting magnets (SCMs),
so there is no resistance means no loss of energy through heat dissipation. It has been
estimated that superconducting magnets for maglev will only have to be recharged after
about 400 hours of use, or every 2 weeks, if the vehicle ran continually. By contrast,
electromagnets of the EMS-attractive system require a continuous input of current to
create the magnetic fields. However, the cryogenic system uses to cool the coils can be
expensive. Also, passengers with pacemakers would have to be shielded from the
magnetic fields generated by the superconducting electromagnets.
Second advantage of EDS-maglev is that it has a larger air gap than EMS-maglev,
meaning that the system should handle wind- gusts, or hilly terrain, or earthquakes, or
other disturbances, much more smoothly. It is also believed, that hypothetically, EDS-
maglev will be able to attain higher speeds in the long-run.


This is a horizontal force which causes the movement of train. It requires 3
• Large electric power supply
• Metal coil lining, a guide way or track.
• Large magnet attached under the vehicle

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



However, this raises a frequently asked question: where is the motor or engine in
the maglev system? There is a motor. The motor of a maglev system is the interaction
between the electromagnets/superconducting magnets (SCMs) and the guideway; the
package of the two, and their interaction is what constitutes the motor. Otherwise, there is
no standing motor aboard, as in the case of train locomotive or automobile engine.
In a normal conventional motor, there are two principal parts: the stator, which is
stationary; and the rotor, which can rotate as a result of action from the stator.
But whatever the motor, in a maglev system, it is linearized, meaning that it is
opened up, unwound, and stretched out, for as long as the track extends. Usually, the
straightened stators, whether they be long or short, are embedded in the track, and the
rotors are embedded in the electromagnetic system onboard the vehicle; but on occasion,
in some systems, the roles can be reversed. This becomes important in the propulsion
Maglev vehicles are propelled primarily by one of the following options:
1. A Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM): In which coils in the guideway are excited by a
three phase winding to produce a traveling wave at the speed desired.
2. A Linear Induction Motor (LIM): In which an electromagnet underneath the vehicle
induces current in an aluminum sheet on the guideway.


EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



In the attractive-EMS system, electromagnetic attraction is also used to power the
train vehicle forward, but it uses a electromagnetic system dedicated for propulsion and
separate from the electromagnetic system used for levitation. For propulsion purposes,
there are ferromagnetic stator packets (with three-phase mobile field windings) attached
to the guideway. When activated, they attract the electromagnet onboard the maglev. A
three-phase current, of varying frequency, is used, and generated through different stators
in different segments of the track. The stators that are excited are always just in front of
the maglev vehicle. As the stators are excited sequentially, the electromagnets onboard
'chase' the current forward along the track, providing forward motion, or propulsion.
The EMS-attractive system maglev surfs with its support magnets on the alternating
magnetic field generated in the roadway. The created electromagnetic wave is actually a
mobile or traveling electromagnetic wave. The EMS-attractive system is sometimes
labeled a "pull" system: the vehicle is pulled forward.
Braking is done by reversing the magnetic field. Some trains also have air flaps,
like airplanes, to slow down, as well as wheels that extend downward or outward to the
guideway for emergency braking in the unlikely event that everything else fails.


EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



The propulsion of the EDS-repulsive system can be described as "pull- then
neutral- then push." (EDS-repulsive also usually uses a linear synchronous motor or a
locally commutated motor). In the EDS system, coils or an aluminum sheet in the
guideway are used for providing drive, although they also are different than the coils
dedicated for the function of levitation.
The coils in the guideway are excited by an alternating, three-phase current. This
produces an alternating magnetic field, or standing magnetic wave. As with EMS-
attraction, sections of the guideway are excited sequentially, with the excited section
being immediately in front of the maglev vehicle. Superconducting magnets onboard the
maglev vehicle are attracted to the section of the guideway immediately ahead of it,
pulling the vehicle forward. Then, when the vehicle is directly overhead, the direction of
the current (and thus the polarity) of the particular guideway segment is changed. During
the fraction of a section in which the polarity is being changed, there is effectively neither
an attractive nor repulsive interaction. But once the change in polarity occurs, and while
the front of the vehicle is moving forward to the next excited portion of the guideway, a
repulsive force is created, pushing the vehicle from behind. This occurs-- the vehicle's
movement-- in coherence with the alternating magnetic field.


So, if the EMS-attractive drive system is a "pull system," the EDS-repulsive drive
system is a "pull-neutral-then push system".
Only the section of the track where the train is traveling is needed to be

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor




Guidance or steering refers to the sideward forces that are required to make the
vehicle follow the guideway. The necessary forces are supplied in an exactly analogous
fashion to the suspension forces, either attractive or repulsive. The same magnets on
board the vehicle, which supply lift, can be used concurrently for guidance or separate
guidance magnets can be used.
The levitation coils facing each other are connected under the guideway,
constituting a loop. When a running Maglev vehicle, that is a superconducting magnet,
displaces laterally, an electric current is induced in the loop, resulting in a repulsive force
acting on the levitation coils of the side near the train and attractive force acting on the
levitation coils of the side farther apart from the train. Thus, a running train is always
located at the center of the guideway.


EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



High speed transportation patents would be granted to various inventors
throughout the world.
Early United States patents for a linear motor propelled train in which the motor,
below the steel track, carried some but not all of the weight of the train were awarded to
the inventor, Alfred Zehden (German) in 1907.
In 1910, French engineer Emile Bachelet applied for a patent on a rail car which
for purposes of levitation would use alternating-current electromagnets, and for purposes
of propulsion would use solenoids at intervals along a road-bed.
A series of German patents for magnetic levitation trains propelled by linear
motors were awarded to Hermann Kemper between 1937 and 1941.He demonstrated that
levitation must be achievable with economical power output.
Maglev technology began to be worked on, in a serious way, during the 1970s.
The most advanced work is largely done in Germany and Japan.
But it was in 1972, that the Germans conceived and began pursuing an
experimental maglev vehicle, called Transrapid 02, on the basis of the electromagnetic
(attractive) system.
Hamburg, Germany 1979
In 1979 a 908 m track was open in Hamburg for the first International
Transportation Exhibition. There was so much interest that operation had to be extended
three months after exhibition finished, after carrying more than 50,000 passengers.
Meanwhile, the Japanese concentrated primarily on electrodynamic (repulsion)
system. In 1979, Japan's Railway System, which runs its EDS maglev system, ran an
unmanned experimental vehicle using this system at a record speed of 310 miles per hour.
Birmingham, England 1984–1995
The world's first commercial automated system was a low-speed maglev shuttle
that ran from the airport terminal of Birmingham International Airport (UK) to the nearby
Birmingham International railway station from 1984 to 1995. Based on experimental
work commissioned by the British government at the British Rail Research Division
laboratory at Derby, the length of the track was 600 m, and trains "flew" at an altitude of

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor

15 mm. It was in operation for nearly eleven years, but obsolescence problems with the
electronic systems made it unreliable in its later years and it has now been replaced with a
cable-drawn system.
By 1988, on a 6 mile straight test track in Lathen, Germany, the Transrapid 06
achieved a speed of 250 miles per hour.
During the last two decades there are many developments in the field of maglev
by Germany and Japan. During the last decade, America has completed some impressive
concept design work, but is hampered by the lack of a test track.


Emsland, Germany
Transrapid, a German maglev company, has a test track in Emsland with a total
length of 31.5 km (19.6 mi). The single track line runs between Dörpen and Lathen with
turning loops at each end. The trains regularly run at up to 420 km/h (260 mph). The
construction of the test facility began in 1980 and finished in 1984.
JR-Maglev, Japan
Japan has a demonstration line in Yamanashi developed by the Central Japan
Railway Company (JR Central) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are currently the fastest
trains in the world, achieving a record speed of 581 km/h on December 2, 2003.
Shanghai Maglev Train
Transrapid, in Germany, constructed the first operational high-speed conventional
maglev railway in the world, the Shanghai Maglev Train from downtown Shanghai
(Shanghai Metro) to the Pudong International Airport. It was inaugurated in 2002. The
highest speed achieved on the Shanghai track has been 501 km/h (311 mph), over a track
length of 30 km. Construction of an extension to Hangzhou is planned to begin in 2010.
Linimo (Tobu Kyuryo Line, Japan)
The world's first commercial automated "Urban Maglev" system commenced
operation in March 2005 in Aichi, Japan. This is the nine-station 8.9 km long Tobu-
kyuryo Line, otherwise known as the Linimo. The linear-motor magnetic-levitated train
has a top speed of 100 km/h

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor

Many maglev systems have been proposed in various nations of North America,
Asia, and Europe. Many are still in the early planning stages, or even mere speculation,
as with the transatlantic tunnel. But a few of the following examples have progressed
beyond that point.
Melbourne Maglev Proposal, Australia
The proposed Melbourne Maglev connecting the city of Geelong through
Metropolitan Melbourne's outer suburban growth corridors, Tullamarine and Avalon
domestic in and international terminals in under 20 mins and on to Frankston, Victoria in
under 30 minutes.
London – Glasgow, United Kingdom
A maglev line has recently been proposed in the United Kingdom from London to
Glasgow, and is reported to be under favorable consideration by the government. A
further high speed link is also being planned between Glasgow to Edinburgh.
Tokyo — Nagoya — Osaka, Japan
This project is using the Superconductive Magnetically Levitated Train, which
connects Tokyo and Osaka by way of Nagoya, the capital city of Aichi, in approximately
one hour at a speed of 500 km/h. In April 2007, JR Central President Masayuki
Matsumoto said that JR Central aims to begin commercial maglev service between Tokyo
and Nagoya in the year 2025.
Mumbai – Delhi, India
A maglev line project was presented to India's railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav
by an American company. If approved, this line would serve between the cities of
Mumbai and Delhi; the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that if the line project is
successful the Indian government would build lines between other cities and also between
Mumbai centre and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
The State of Maharashtra has also approved a feasibility study for a Maglev train
between Mumbai (the commercial capital of India as well as the State government
capital) and Nagpur (the second State capital) about 1000 km away. It plans to connect
the developed area of Mumbai and Pune with Nagpur via underdeveloped hinterland via
Ahmednagar, Beed, Latur, Nanded and Yavatmal.

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor

Los Angeles, Southern California – Las Vegas, United States
High-speed maglev lines between major cities of southern California and Las
Vegas are also being studied. Originally, this plan was supposed to be part of an I-5 or I-
15 expansion plan.
Baltimore – Washington, D.C., United States
A 64 km project has been proposed linking Camden Yards in Baltimore and
Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Union Station in Washington, D.C. It is in
demand for the area due to its current traffic congestion problems.


1971 - West Germany - Prinzipfahrzeug - 90km/h
1971 - West Germany - TR-02 - 164km/h
1972 - Japan - ML100 - 60km/h - (manned)
1973 - West Germany - TR04 – 250km/h manned)
1975 - West Germany - Komet - 401.3km/h by steam rocket propulsion. (Unmanned)
1978 - Japan-307.8km/h by Supporting Rockets propulsion, made in Nissan. (Unmanned)
1978 - Japan - HSST02 - 110km/h (manned)
1979 - Japan - ML500 - 517km/h (unmanned) It succeeds in operation over 500km/h for
the first time in the world.
1987 - West Germany - TR06 - 406km/h manned)
1987 - Japan - MLU001 - 400.8km/h manned)
1988 - West Germany - TR-06 - 412.6km/h (manned)
1989 - West Germany - TR-07 - 436km/h (manned)
1993 - Germany - TR-07 - 450km/h manned)
1994 - Japan - MLU002N-431km/h unmanned)
1997 - Japan - MLX01 - 531km/h (manned)
1997 - Japan - MLX01 - 550km/h (unmanned)
1999 - Japan - MLX01 - 548km/h (unmanned)
1999 - Japan - MLX01 - 552km/h (manned/Five formation). Guinness authorization.
2003 - Germany - TR-08 - 501km/h (manned)
2003 - Japan - MLX01 - 581km/h (manned/Three formation). Guinness authorization.

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor

4.1 Safety
• 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
4.2 Maintenance
• There is very little maintenance because Due to the lack of physical contact
between the track and the vehicle, there is no rolling friction, leaving only air
4.3 Economic Efficiency
• The powerful magnets demand a large amount of electricity to function so the
train levitates. What makes the maglev trains much more expensive to build .
• Very costly to operate since it needs large magnets and a very advanced
technology and huge amount of electrical power
• Operating expenses are half of that of other railroads.
• The linear generators produce electricity for the cabin of the train.
4.4 Environment
• No burning of fossil fuel, so no pollution, and the electricity needed will be
nuclear or solar
• 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.

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor

4.5 Speed
• The highest speed achieved on the Shanghai track has been 501 km/h (311 mph).
• The highest speed achieved on the JR-Maglev has reached 581 km/h (367 mph).
• The highest speed achieved by any wheeled trains, the current TGV speed record
is 574.8 km/h, 357.0 mph.
4.6 Comfort
• The ride is smooth while not accelerating.
• But passengers traveling in a 250-mile-per-hour MAGLEV train will feel much
stronger gravitational forces in rounding an interstate curve than will passengers
in a car moving at 65 mi (105 km) per hour.
4.7 Noise
• Because the major source of noise of a maglev train comes from displaced air,
maglev trains produce less noise than a conventional train at equivalent speeds.
• Initial tests suggest that MAGLEV vehicles may produce a high level of noise
when they operate at top speed. Tests have shown that sound levels of 100
decibels at a distance of 80 ft (24 m) from the guide way may be possible. Such
levels of sound are, however, unacceptably high for any inhabited area.
4.8 Accidents
• In Japan test train was completely consumed in a fire in Miyazaki. As a result, the
political opposition claimed maglev was a waste of public money. New designs
were made.
• On August 11, 2006 a fire broke out on the Shanghai commercial Transrapid,
shortly after leaving the terminal in Longyang.
• On September 22, 2006 an elevated Transrapid train collided with a maintenance
vehicle on a test run in Lathen (Lower Saxony / north-western Germany). Twenty-
three people were killed and ten were injured. These were the first fatalities
resulting from a Maglev train accident. The accident was caused by a security
concept without tolerance for human error.

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



• In the far future Maglev technology are hoped to be used to transport vast
volumes of water to far regions at a greater speed eliminating droughts.
• Far more, space is an open door to maglev trains to propel space shuttle and cargo
into space at a lower cost. Artist’s illustration of Star Tram, a magnetically
levitated low-pressure tube, which can guide spacecraft into the upper

• Scientists hope future technologies can get the train to operate at a 6000km/h,
since theoretically the speed limit is limitless. But still it’s a long way to go.
• Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp have developed the world’s first
elevators controlled by magnetic levitation available as early as 2008.Using
maglev technology capable of suspending objects in mid-air through the
combination of magnetic attraction and repulsion they promise quieter and more
comfortable travel at up to 300m per-minute, some 700m per-minute.
It’s no longer science fiction, maglev trains are the new way of transportation in
the near future, just some obstacles are in the way, but with some researches nothing is
impossible. With no engine, no wheels, no pollution, new source of energy, floating on
air, the concept has token tens of years to develop, just recently it’s true capacities has
been realized. Competing planes with speed, boats with efficiency, traditional trains with
safety, and cars with comfort, it seems like it isn't a fair fight...

EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor



EEE Dept .College of Engineering Kidangoor