Two areas have been considered for magnetic levitation, namely, low speed systems for city centres and very high speed systems for inter-city vehicles. As far as high speed systems are concerned, serious work is limited to West Germany and Japan. In Germany, both types of magnetic suspensions are being examined with speeds up to 400 km/h already being achieved. In Japan a two part vehicle and approximately 400 metres of track exist at the Japanese Railway Research Centre, the suspension of this vehicle being the high field super-conducting magnet. No nation has yet built a high speed magnetically suspended operational system. Difficulties do exist in identifying the need and raising the capital for investment. Furthermore, in spite of the many advantages claimed for the very high speed non-contact suspension over wheels, the wheel continues to serve and at speeds which at one time were considered only possible for magnetic levitation. In the low speed case, the technology has been devoted almost entirely to the attraction magnetic levitation system and a small vehicle capable of giving a high quality ride on relatively low grade track with a single stage suspension has been developed and built by the British Rail R&D Division. Although demonstration vehicles exist, nowhere in the world is there a fully operational system.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Summary of a paper with same title delivered by D.J. Dobbs (British Railways) at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Railway Division Midlands Centre, 21 October 1976.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Mechanical Engineering Publications

    Penthouse 1, 15 West 55th Street
    New York, NY  United States  10019
  • Publication Date: 1977-3

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00153799
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Railway Engineer
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 19 1977 12:00AM