A programme of theoretical and experimental work has led to the successful demonstration of an electro-magnetic suspension unit for a small, driverless urban vehicle (minitram). The report describes the designs of both magnetically levitated and wheeled vehicles and their guideways and compares them in both technical and economic terms. The system based on magnetic suspension has been shown to be technically feasible with overall costs comparable with those for the equivalent wheeled vehicle system. The authors see more likelihood of cost reductions in a second generation magnetic suspension system than for a wheeled system which is already based on proven technology. They identify the narrower, lighter guideway and lower noise levels as further possible advantages of magnetic suspension over wheels. The authors also find that the magnetic suspension vehicle should have a higher reliability and availability than the wheeled vehicle which leads to a significant difference in maintenance requirements. The major disadvantage of a magnetically suspended vehicle is that the linear motor used for propulsion and braking is inefficient and requires heavy associated control gear. On balance, magnetic suspension does not at present have any outstanding advantage over wheels for the proposed application. /TRRL/

  • Corporate Authors:

    British Railways Board Research Department

    Railway Technical Centre
    Derby,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Dobbs, D J
    • Linder, D
    • Armstrong, D S
  • Publication Date: 1976-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 122 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00163758
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TR-EDYN5 Monog Rept
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 29 1981 12:00AM