Imagine rushing across the countryside at astonishing speeds. The wheels of your vehicle do not even touch the ground. You are floating!
This dreamlike experience is a reality, it is the famous Maglev bullet trains, the fastest train in the world.
Now all will be wondering what is MAGLEV TRAIN?
➢ Maglev is a system of train transportation that uses two sets of the magnet; one set is to repel and push the train up off the track and the other is set to move the elevated train ahead by taking advantage of the lack of friction.
➢ Maglev = magnetic + levitation
➢ The first commercial maglev system was developed in Great Britain between 1984 and 1995, from Birmingham airport to a nearby rail station, some 600m
ERIC LAITHWAITE is known as the father of Maglev because he was the first to give the concept of powering a train using magnetic suspension.
➢ The world’s fastest maglev train achieved the astonishing speed of 603km/h, which happened in Japan, on the Yamanashi maglev line, on April 21st, 2015
➢ The countries that studied and tested Maglev technology are the UK, USA, Japan, Germany, USSR, China, and South Korea.
➢ Presently, Maglev transport systems are operational in three countries – Japan, South Korea, and China.
What if you could travel from Los Angeles to New York in just under seven hours without boarding a plane?
Yes, it could be possible on a Maglev train.
So now the question is how does this work?
“A Maglev train car is just a box with magnets on the four corners,” says Jesse Powell, the son of the Maglev inventor, who now works with his father. It’s a bit more complex than that, but the concept is simple. The magnets employed are superconducting, which means that when they are cooled to less than 450 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, they can generate magnetic fields up to 10 times stronger than ordinary electromagnets, enough to suspend and propel a train.
These magnetic fields interact with simple metallic loops set into the concrete walls of the Maglev guideway. The loops are made of conductive materials, like aluminium, and when a magnetic field moves past, it creates an electric current that generates another magnetic field.
Three types of loops are set into the guideway at specific intervals to do three important tasks: one creates a field that makes the train hover about 5 inches above the guideway; a second keeps the train stable horizontally. Both loops use magnetic repulsion to keep the train car in the optimal spot; the further it gets from the center of the guideway or the closer to the bottom, the more magnetic resistance pushes it back on track.
The third set of loops is a propulsion system run by alternating current power. Here, both magnetic attraction and repulsion are used to move the train car along the guideway. Imagine the box with four magnets: One on each corner. The front corners have magnets with north poles facing out, and the back corners have magnets with south poles outward. Electrifying the propulsion loops generates magnetic fields that both pull the train forward from the front and push it forward from behind.
This floating magnet design creates a smooth trip. Even though the train can travel up to 375 miles per hour, a rider experiences less turbulence than on traditional steel wheel trains because the only source of friction is air.
Talking about maglevs benefits, it is environmental friendly, it provides High energy efficiency, has a Long life cycle, Low operating and maintaining cost, consists High level of safety, exhibits High speed, Quietest transportation.
If there is merit there exist a demerit too!
Maglev guide paths are more expensive than conventional railway tracks because they need to use rare earth elements, which might be expensive.
Maglev has the potential to become a major mode of transportation. Maglev trains are the fastest mode of ground transportation and can be more efficient than cars and conventional trains at high speeds. The Shanghai maglev line proved that commercial high-speed maglev transportation is a reality. However, due to lack of new infrastructure and incompatibility with existing infrastructure large initial investment capital is required for the commercial use of maglev vehicles.
In conclusion, there are both good sides and bad sides to the environmental factor of the maglev train but altogether it is probably less polluting than the normal trains because of its very effective use of a magnet.