A critical review of maglev trains and conventional wheeled trains is presented in an attempt to identify the performance advantages of maglev. Traditionally claimed advantages of maglev were not found to hold up to wheeled train systems incorporating similar non-contacting propulsion; however, performance advantages were identified for velocities greater than 500 mph (805 km/hr). Because travel at atmospheric pressure is not practical at these high velocities, an analysis was made for applications in tubes of reduced pressures. The feasibility of a personal rapid transit (PRT) system designed with maglev suspension and for travel in tubes of reduced pressure is evaluated. The PRT maglev appears to have superior service capabilities yet no obvious technological barriers. An economic comparison to maglev train systems suggests that the PRT maglev would cost about 40% less while providing appeal to a broader audience. Proposed performance advantages of the PRT maglev include reduced energy consumption, reliance on electrical power, and significantly reduced transit times compared to air or train systems. A practical approach to implementation is presented and consists of initially using lower velocities, higher tube pressures, and PRT vehicles connected as train units. Proposed evolution of the system includes attaining higher velocities and incorporating superconductive elements in the rail embodiments.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 103-111
  • Monograph Title: Public transportation 1995: current research in planning, management, technology, and ridesharing
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00714926
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309061741
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 15 1995 12:00AM