Magnetic Levitation

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by hooknlad, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    I just watched a great show on the History Channel called Modern Marvels. The German company Transrapid just set China up with a Magnetic Levitation Train that soars a mere 270 miles per hour. The system uses no mechanical parts, ie, rails, wheels, etc.... The train has no onboard engineer, just a control center which monitors the trains via computer. They adjust the trains speed via Radio Signals. RealLife DCC. There is talk that the United States has 6 such projects on the drawing boards, just awaiting congress to approve a several billion dollar infrastructure deal. One of these works is a maglev from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. There will be very little costs in maintenance on this system, but the initial building costs are very high. Just imagine what the future in Model Railroading will be [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. sidneylopsides

    sidneylopsides New Member

    Ah, maglev. Years ago I tried to work out a model one, no luck. :p
    Don't the Japanese and French already use it partially in their high speed trains? i did I dream that...
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    No, I think you're right. As I remember, the technique uses magnets of opposit polarity to keep the train suspended, but the series of magnets in the rails change polarity to alternately attract then repell the train magnets, pulling and pushing the train to make it move forward. I think the Japanese have been doing it for a long time now.
  4. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    I saw the same program. With the rising prices of gas and failing airlines. Maybe this is a ticket for the United States. Why should the failing airlines gets billions and our railroads gets next to nothing?

  5. sidneylopsides

    sidneylopsides New Member

    Heh, that last post just reminded me, anyone seen The Island? That has a maglev style high speed train on it, although it doesnt have a track as such, just a series of some kind of emitter on the ground.
  6. zedob

    zedob Member

    I believe that one of the high costs of maglev is the use of super conductors, but with the use of SCs the temp has to be real low. That's why you always see them charging the experimental train with liquid nitrogen.

    That may be a thing of the past as the operating temperatures of SCs is increasing with better technology.

    I wonder what kind of curve radius one would need to operate a model train at a scale 275mph? 24 inch?:D
  7. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    hhm i was really thinkin of trying to model a maglev system (which is why im on this thread)
    but the whole thing with track magnets changing polarity to move the train seems like a pain in the butt to model.
    would it work if u were to take the magnets in the train and angle them to the track using little motors so that they would repel in a certain direction thus making the train move forward, and angle them the opposite way to make it move back? i know it may be a little hard to understand without a drawing
  8. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Mag-leve trains move by changing polarity. I remember seeing articles in Popular Mechanics on how they work. The only problem is, they use high voltage to leviate. This would inclued you model!

  9. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Just Imagine the electric bill!! :p My industrial technology teacher built one, she got the vechicle, in this case a magnetic sled (atop which object would sit) to levitate on a aluminuim channel U shaped with opposite polarity magnets in it, we as students, built a sail, with a fan at one end, and we were supposed to coast to the other side via wind power...not a bad idea for a toy, but wouldn't work unless you put the fan on the vechicle somehow...hmm... :) just my $0.02 of memory
  10. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    The one and only commercial maglev line is the Chinese Shanghai city - Shanghai Pudong Airport connection, about 20 miles (30 km) long. Here is a picture of the train and another of the line. Look at these turnouts - quite something to build a model! :D

    All other maglev lines still are experimental setups. At the moment you find them only in Germany (the 'Transrapid' since 1971), Japan and China.

    In Switzerland we have the interesting project of the 'Swissmetro', a sort of a maglev underground which would run in tubes with a partial vacuum, reaching more than 300 mph!

    While it might be fun to ride such a high-speed train, maglevs won't replace conventional railroads. They are extremely expensive to build, and you simply can't run freight trains, because they cars have to be very light. The proposed energy technology (super conductors kept at extremely deep temperatures) isn't cheap, either. The only real advantage for passenger traffic is high speed and less pollution.

    Just the same, it is a very interesting technology! :thumb:

  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Someone years ago built a model of a "linear Induction" type motor (used in some lines in Toronto and Vancouver and elsewhere), but with regular electromagnets. There was a rod wrapped with magnet wire with the insulation removed from the top. Contacts from the car magnetized a couple of inches of the rod and it moved a permanent magnet mounted under the car.
    The writer said that he applied a couple of volts to it and the trucks disintegrated against the far wall.

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