Electromagnetic Technology

What are the two main forms of MAGLEV transportation?

The German system uses the attractive forces between electromagnets to lift the underside of the train 15 centimeters (6 inches) above its guide rail. The coils in the train and guide rail form a linear motor—like an ordinary motor that has been unrolled. The only commercial operation is a train in China that transports people 30 kilometers in slightly over seven minutes.

The Japanese have taken a slightly different approach toward MAGLEV technology. The track and train repel each other. Propulsion also uses a linear motor. Levita-tion works well at high speeds, but when starting and stopping traditional wheels must be used.


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