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Maglev Trains

Updated: Mar 11

Throughout human history, we have had one goal: to be better. We have always strived as a species to be stronger, faster, and smarter - Maglev trains are one of the best examples of us progressing. With less energy required, and so much less pollution, they are truly things of the future. However, to be something of the future, people need to understand how it is so. What is this miraculous invention? How does it revolutionise the way that we live? How does it really work? Well, it’s time to leave the station as we dive into the world of Maglev trains!

A maglev train is a system of train transportation that utilises powerful electro-magnets to travel fast and efficiently while also improving safety as it removes rail-to-wheel contact. Maglev trains are futuristic inventions, with many advantages over normal trains. Examples of these are higher top speeds, lower maintenance required, lower noise output and a reduced safety risk. Even as Maglev trains become more well-known, they remain rare as only 6 operate today in the world.

But how does it work? The front corners of the Maglev train have magnets with north-facing poles facing out, and the back corners of the train hold south poles, also facing outwards. Electrifying the proposition loop generates magnetic fields that both pull the train forward from the front and push it forward from behind. This floating magnet design makes a smooth trip and takes away rail-to-track contact. As well as this, due to the fact that maglev trains are controlled by electro-magnets, they can easily be turned on and off, allowing greater control when accelerating and decelerating.

Maglev trains are in use in two countries, and hopefully many more sooner rather than later.

China -  China's first full-scale superconducting test run for a train that uses magnetic levitation (Maglev) will allow trains to travel at speeds of up to 1,000 km/h in perfect conditions when finished.

The low-vacuum maglev train, created by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), is designed to transport people and goods at 1,000 km/h or more. It is anticipated that in the future, people would commute between clusters of megacities using it.

In the Shanxi Province of north China, near Datong City, a superconducting Maglev test line has been constructed.

Japan -  A new rail line in Japan called the Chuo Shinkansen will connect Tokyo and Nagoya with Maglev trains. Once completed, the line will cut travel time from an hour and a half down to only 40 mins (a 50% deduction). This train will open in 2027 and fly down the tracks at a maximum speed of 505 km/h. This train will act mainly as a passenger train; it’s total cost of production is US$52bn. 

So, that ends our quick and smooth journey on board the educational Maglev train. Are you convinced that this is the future? Maybe it will never catch on; maybe a better alternative ill soon overtake it. But, for now, Maglev trains are by far the most ingenious, modern and fast way to travel. Floating on thin air was thought to be a thing of imagination just 15 years ago, and now we have it in real life. Imagine what we’ll be able to do in another 15 years. The sky is the limit.

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