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Université Saint Joseph

Faculté de Gestion et de
1ère année

Presented by:


English 25/02/07
 Introduction
 How does it work?
- propulsion
- suspension
- advantages and disadvantages
 Development of the concept
 Present using
 Future plans
 Conclusion
 References
 Out of science fiction books, a train running on
magnetic and electrical force only, no wheels, no
engine and the steel track replaced by a guideway,
the maglev (Magnetic Levitation) trains are
becoming a reality more then ever. With a record
of 581 km/h, these trains open new visions about
future transportation. Just like airplanes
revolutionize 20th century’s transportation, maglev
trains are expected to do the same thing with 21th
century’s transportation.
How does it work?
 Electromagnetic Propulsion:

In real life the opposite poles of magnets attract each other

and like ends repel, this is the simple principle behind
electromagnetic propulsion. However electromagnets
attract metal objects while charged with electricity, the pull
is temporary and dependent on the charge. For a train to
operate three major components must be present in the
system: a powerful electrical power source, large guidance
magnets attached to the underside of the train, a track
lined with metal coils.
The magnetized coil running along the track, is
called the guideway. This will repel the large
magnets on the underside of the carriage, causing
the train to hover above the track. The key
advantage of the Maglev train is that it floats on a
cushion of air, with virtually no friction. This allows
the train to reach such high speeds!

 There is 2 forms of suspension technology:

1-Electromagnetic suspension
2-Electrodynamic suspension

1-Electromagnetic suspension:

In current EMS systems, the train levitates above a steel rail

while electomagnets, attached to the train, are oriented
toward the rail from below. The electromagnets use
feedback control to maintain a train at a constant distance
from a track.
2-Electrodynamic suspension:

 In Electrodynamic suspension (EDS), both the rail and the

train exert a magnetic field, and the train is levitated by the
repulsive force between these magnetic fields. The
magnetic field in the train is produced by either
electromagnets or by an array of permanent magnets .
 At slow speeds, the force is not large enough to support
the weight of the train. For this reason the train must have
wheels or some other form of landing gear to support the
train until it reaches a speed that can sustain levitation.
+ and -
 Due to the lack of physical contact between the track and
the vehicle, there is no rolling friction, leaving only air
 Maglevs can handle high volumes of passengers per hour
and do it without introducing air pollution along the right
 Safest way of transportation, since its all automatically
controlled, no chance of collision or brake down.
 No burning of fossil fuel, so no pollution, and the electricity
needed will be nuclear or solar.
 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 and to operate.
 The weight of the large electromagnets in EMS
and EDS designs are a major design issue. A very
strong magnetic field is required to levitate a
massive train.
 Due to its high speed and shape, the noise
generated by a maglev train is similar to a jet
aircraft, and is considerably more disturbing than
standard train noise. A study found the difference
between disturbance levels of maglev and
traditional trains to be 5dB (about 78% noisier)
 Very costly to operate since it needs large
magnets and a very advanced technology and
huge amount of electrical power.
Development of the concept
 A U.S. patent, dated 1 October 1907, is 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. The inventor was Alfred Zehden.
 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 to1995.
Present using
 Shanghai Maglev Train:
Contracted from 2000-2004 with a cost of 1.2
billion $, it links the Pudong Airport and Shanghai
Metro, it is based on the maglev technologies of
Siemens. It caries about 7000 passengers per day
 Linimo:
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 train has a top speed of 100
Future plans

 London - Glasgow
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.
 Transrapid International are developing an
electromagnetic suspension system (EMS). They
have already demonstrated that it can reach
500Km/h with people on board. This speed can
get a passenger from Paris to Rome in 2 hours.
The Swiss are considering a new 700km system.
The developers of these trains will most likely be
connecting major cities up to 1600km away from
each other, linking the most busy routes and
exploiting their niche by being the fastest mode of
accessible transport. The costs of producing the
guideway at the moment still remains quite high at
$10 million to $30million per mile.

 Los Angeles, Southern California – Las Vegas

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.

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.
 In the far future Maglev trains 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 humans and cargo into
space at a lower cost. But most important is the New York-
London tunnel, which runs under the Atlantic’s water, to
form the last stage of the intercontinental highway.
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.
 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
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