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Maglev Trains

Trains that fly on air.

Presentation Outline

How Transrapid works.

Application information about Transrapid
magnetic lift trains.
Transrapid magnetic lift projects.
How Chuo Shinkansen works.
Application information about Chuo
Shinkansen works.

How Transrapid Works

Support System
The electromagnets on the
underside of the train pull
it up to the ferromagnetic
stators on the track and
levitate the train.
The magnets on the side
keep the train from moving
from side to side.
A computer changes the
amount of current to keep
the train 1 cm from the

This means there is no friction

between the train and the track!

Levitation Systems Power Supply

Batteries on the train power the system, and therefore

it still functions without propulsion.
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.
Levitation system uses less power than the trains air

Propulsion System
The system consists of
aluminum three-phase cable
windings in the stator packs
that are on the guideway
When a current is supplied
to the windings, it creates a
traveling alternating current
that propels the train
forward by pushing and

When the alternating current is reversed, the train brakes.

Different speeds are achieved by varying the intensity of the
Only the section of track where the train is traveling is

Application Information
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 movements.
There is very little maintenance because there is no contact
between the parts.

The ride is smooth while not
Economic Efficency
The initial investment is similar to
other high speed rail roads. (Maglift is
$20-$40 million per mile and I-279 in
Pittsburg cost $37 million per mile 17
years ago.)
Operating expenses are half of that of
other railroads.
A train is composed of sections that
each contain 100 seats, and a train can
have between 2 and 10 sections.

The linear generators produce electricity for the cabin of the


The train can travel at about 300 mph. (Acela can only go 150
For trips of distances up to 500 miles its total travel time is
equal to a planes (including check in time and travel to airport.)
It can accelerate to 200 mph in 3 miles, so it is ideal for short
jumps. (ICE needs 20 miles to reach 200 mph.)

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.

Noise Pollution
The train makes little noise because it does not touch the track
and it has no motor. Therefore, all noise comes from moving air.
This sound is equivalent to the noise produced by city traffic.

Magnetic Field:
The magnetic field created is low, therefore there are no
adverse effects.

How Chuo Shinkansen Works

Type of Magnet Uses
This train uses superconducting electric magnets in the vehicle to
levitate and propel the train. These magnets are cooled by liquid
helium or liquid nitrogen. This means that once electrified these
magnets do not require additional energy.

An alternating current is ran through electromagnet coils on the
guide walls of the guide way. This creates a magnetic field that
attracts and repels the superconducting magnets on the train and
propels the train forward.
Braking is accomplished by sending an alternating current in the
reverse direction so that it is slowed by attractive and repulsive

The passing of the superconducting magnets by figure eight
levitation coils on the side of the tract induces a current in the
coils and creates a magnetic field. This pushes the train upward
so that it can levitate 10 cm above the track.
The train does not levitate until it reaches 50 mph, so it is
equipped with retractable wheels.

Lateral Guidance
When one side of the train nears the side of the guideway, the
super conducting magnet on the train induces a repulsive force
from the levitation coils on the side closer to the train and an
attractive force from the coils on the farther side. This keeps the
train in the center.

Application Information

This system is not ready for use now, but it should be

ready in a few years.
Its top speed with people aboard is 350 mph.
The super conducting magnets create a strong
magnetic field that could be a problem for some

The train is earthquake proof because the greater space

(10 cm) between the track and the train leaves more room
for track deformation
Linear generators will produce all the electricity needed
in the trains interior.
Only the part of the track that is used will be electrified
so no energy is wasted.

Track for High Speed Trains on IR

Challenges Ahead
1. Necessity of High
Speed Trains in India.

Indian Railway is life line of our nation. In a
developing country like India where rapid
economy, socio-technological
advancement and multinational competitive
atmosphere are taking place, IR also needs to
develop its network and quality of service and
that to in a competitive atmosphere. Quality is
directly linked with the quality of service to the
customer in terms of physical comfort and time

Challenges Ahead
2. Scope of High Speed
Identification of corridors
for high speeds.

One can very well foresee
early requirement of
speed trains in India. In fact on
certain segments on IR like
Mumbai-Ahemdabad, MumbaiPune,
Delhi-LudhianaAmritsar, Delhi-Agra-Gwalior,
Delhi-Jaipur, one has to think
seriously for developing high
speed rail services in phases in
near future.

Challenges Ahead
3. Standardization of track
structure, bridges and other
engineering Department in
commensurate with the
development of rolling
equipments etc. suiting to
Indian conditions.

High speed rail services are
already running in many countries
of the world for both freight &
passengers. On most of the system
high speed rail corridors are laid
separately as per socio-economic
need and viability. Since, there is
vast existing railway network in
IR, separate corridor may not be
economical and so existing lines
on selective basis may be
developed for high speed as a
interim measure.

Challenges Ahead
4. Adversities of running
mix traffic and other usual
conflicting situations in
operation to be considered
in maintenance of track

running mix traffic and other
conventional wagons without
much control on overloading and
other such conflicting situations
maintenance of such track, model
of mixed traffic has to be studied
in detail by RDSO. For future, IR
should plan separate corridors for
high speed trains connecting big
cities with high rate of
economical growth.

Challenges Ahead


proposals of high
speed routes from
Commission - need

In view of the above, policy decisions- both administrative

as well as technical nature regarding standards of
infrastructure like track, bridges, level crossings, fencing,
grade separation, maintenance system, organizational setup
for day to day as well as periodical maintenance units to be
given proper thinking. Standardization of rolling stock,
signaling and other installations has to be done judiciously.
Present system of clearance from the Railway Safety
Commission is also to be suitably updated after thorough
experimentation and rail wheel interaction related studies
for such rolling stocks and track.

Challenges Ahead
6. Minimum Track
track structure being
adopted for high
density route on
Indian Railway may
be tried for high
speed trains.

As studies conclusively indicated that it is not
necessary to have heavy track structure involving
heavy cost for high speed trains but the track has to be
maintained to high standard. The improved
maintenance of PSC track by effective use of track
machines and imparting training to P.Way staff
appears to be one of the vital requirements of such
high speed routes.

Challenges Ahead
7. Maintenance of
standards to safety
as well as riding
comfort to users.

Corrective or smoothening system
of maintenance of track is not
sufficient to achieve the desired
riding quality and thus complete
switch over to Absolute Track
Geometry System of maintenance
would be essential to achieve the
desired level of comfort at high

Challenges Ahead
8. Upgradation of
Track machines on
Indian Railway for
high speed track.

As we know, at higher speeds
faults in Track geometry with
larger wave length also cause
considerable dynamic force and
therefore must be eliminated.
Wavelength of 100m & 200m fault
must be considered at speed of 160
Kmph and 350 Kmph respectively.
Hence, change in maintenance
strategy from smoothing mode to
absolute track geometry is
essential and track machines
upgraded accordingly.

Challenges Ahead
9. Threat to human
life from high speed
Routine Inspections
and maintenance.

Push Trolley Inspection by field
officials should be debarred at
least in two block sections ahead
in the face of high speed trains and
suitable automatic warning system
to be devised for alarming the
people working on track well
before . Alternatively a time slot
for all type of routine
maintenances and inspections may
be provided.

Challenges Ahead
10. Relaxation to
limits of maximum
cant, cant deficiency
and cant excess.
turnouts is also to be

Running of trains on curves with
high speed will enhance the need
of cant quadratically and therefore
achieving a revised and balanced
limits of the maximum cant, cant
deficiency and cant excess for
running of high speed trains with
operation system is a vital and
important area of concern.
Improvements in turnouts will also
be an area of concern.

Challenges Ahead
11. Speed limit on Speed limit on one degree curve
curves sharper than with existing norms of maximum
one degree.
cant and cant deficiency comes to
180 kmph. Therefore, an obstacle
in the way of high speed trains is
the population of curves of more
than one degree
existing on almost all routes of
Indian Railways. Solution to the
problem may be adoption of tilting
coach technology in our system.

Challenges Ahead
12. Inadequate
It is well known that with increase
transition length for of speed, the minimum required
high speed trains.
of transition curve
increases linearly
and thus
the increased
transition length will compel the
track to be realigned involving
shifting of curves etc. depending
upon the site conditions.

Challenges Ahead
withstand dynamic
impact of high speed
trains & Eco friendly

Dynamically augmented axle load
of high speed trains may cause
failure, Checking of some sort of
samples from existing bridges and
threat of it if some of the bridges
fails is required to be studied. It
will provide a foresight for
planning the future of high speed
trains. Eco friendly measures for
reducing noise, dust level and
vibration to nearby residents to be

Challenges Ahead
14. Bridge SleepersStability
against dragging and
other forces on high
speed movement of

Present mechanism of holding
down of bridge sleepers with
girders with the help of hook bolts
may defeat the purpose on high
speed. A dynamic studies to check
stability of bridge sleepers on
running of high speed trains may
be conducted by RDSO and
suitable mechanism for it may be
devised. Steel Channel sleepers
may, however be a better option.

Challenges Ahead
15. Revision of
Extra Clearances on
High speed routes.

For running of high speed trains,
requirement of super elevation will
go on increase. As super elevation
causes the lean of rolling stocks
on inner side of curves which
magnifies the
clearance of track from fixed /
temporary structures, revision of
SOD or correction to some of its
provisions will be required suiting
to the rolling stock for such


Maglev trains use magnets to levitate and

propel the trains forward.
Since there is no friction these trains can reach
high speeds.
It is a safe and efficient way to travel.
Governments have mixed feelings about the
technology. Some countries, like China, have
embraced it and others like Germany have
balked at the expense.