MAGNETIC LEVITATION

West Midlands county council have reaffirmed their decision to install a magnetically levitated passenger transport system between a proposed new second terminal at Birmingham Airport, and Birmingham International railway station which serves the national exhibition centre. The system that will probably be adopted is the one developed at British Rail's technical centre at Derby. British Rail estimates that the proposed 500 M double-track link would cost 1.25M Pounds and operating over a 24 hour day should be considerably cheaper to run than a conventional bus link. The levitation system developed is based on the "attraction principle". Information provided indicates that electromagnets at each corner of the car (the prototype 3.5 M car is designed to seat 12 people) are held beneath steel rails running along the undersides of the crosspiece of the "t" shaped concrete rail. The power to each magnet is continuously adjusted to the undersides of the crosspiece of the "T" shaped concrete power is provided by two centrally located linear induction motors which react against an aluminium strip on the top of the guideway. Research at Derby at the moment is focused on vehicle speeds of about 50 km/hour over a 110 M test track containing an 8 M radius curve and a 1 in 20 gradient, with power drawn from a five wire contact alongside the track. Information is also provided on an alternative design prepared by Warwick University, which is of the "electrodynamic" or "repulsive" type based on the use of superconducting magnets. This system has not yet passed the model stage due to financial constraints.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Institution of Mechanical Engineers

    1 Birdcage Walk
    London SW1H 9JJ,   England 
  • Publication Date: 1978-12

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 19
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00194146
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: May 26 1979 12:00AM