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Maglev begins testing at 4 miles per hour.
August 13, 2002 12:29 PM   Subscribe

Maglev begins testing at 4 miles per hour. Once testing is completed next month this could be the future of transportation. (if this 3 station maglev system is a success) A top speed of 40 mph now, on longer distances the speed can be over 200 mph.
posted by LinemanBear (10 comments total)

 
ODU seniors and graduate students have been hired to run the train each evening for hours at a time.``They'll run it back and forth like one big video game,'' Morris said.

This may be experimental tech and all, but its still a damn train! Isn't there some kind of training (no pun intended) or swearing-in ceremony before frat boys take the helm of these things?
posted by dr_dank at 12:43 PM on August 13, 2002


This, unfortunately, will probably not be the big break through for magnetic transportation for one reason---even the inventor admits that it only works properly on perfectly level track. From what I have seen, any new technology that requires any such exacting, idealistic criteria is still a long ways off from mainstream.

That said, it's still pretty cool.
posted by Denial of Service at 12:44 PM on August 13, 2002


even the inventor admits that it only works properly on perfectly level track.

We got lasers and pneumatically balanced tables for those lasers, don't we? I think a perfectly level track fabrication system could eventually be developed. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.

Because no one in the nation has ever built a maglev, no state or federal agency is charged with oversight.

This is a good thing in my opinion, because it gives the transportation industry less of a chance to kill this technology or regulate it out of existence as unsafe, kind of like what they did with the Tucker Torpedo.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:50 PM on August 13, 2002


even the inventor admits that it only works properly on perfectly level track.

I'm not sure if that is entirely true, in Germany they have a maglev test track up and running. According to their website :

"Because of its extremely favorable route alignement parameters (gradients of 10% can be climbed and curves with tight radii and cants of up to 16° can be travelled) the guideway can be flexible adapted to the landscape without massive earthworks and it is often possible, in contrast to existing railroads, to collocate it with existing traffic routes."

http://www.transrapid.de/en/index.html
posted by LinemanBear at 12:52 PM on August 13, 2002


The engineers at ODU are building a super-nifty-cool train, while the engineers in my part of Virginia paved over some of God's Most Beautiful Country™ to build a road that, supposedly, will drive our cars for us.

I'd prefer a train, thank you very much. Great link.
posted by junkbox at 1:21 PM on August 13, 2002


We got lasers and pneumatically balanced tables for those lasers, don't we? I think a perfectly level track fabrication system could eventually be developed. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all

fabrication may not be as much of an issue as long term durability of the structure or settlement of the supports (the latter could seriously effect sloping). Since the amount of precision in the construction directly relates to the cost we're probably not going to see these scooting around till the kinks are able to exist in the tracks. This type of technology is never impossible, it's just not economically efficient enough.

That said, i'd still love to ride it, MONORAIL!
posted by NGnerd at 4:22 PM on August 13, 2002


MagLev
posted by HTuttle at 9:15 PM on August 13, 2002


junkbox, even if we began building maglevs like crazy, we're still going to need smart roads. It's the only way to increase capacity on existing rights-of-way ... i.e. paving over less of God's Country, wherever that may be.

Sadly, the realistic fate of maglev seems more likely to be in the same range as high-speed rail: economically unfeasible over longer distances, economically and politically untenable in smaller markets (right-of-way acquisition). And this will have to make people-mover short-run applications amazingly cheaper to build and operate if it's ever to have an impact in that segment.
posted by dhartung at 12:47 AM on August 14, 2002


I though the, now ancient, disney roller coaster @Space Mountain was MagLev.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:02 AM on August 14, 2002


An interesting debate about the high-speed rail referendum recently passed in Florida, and the possible use of Maglev technology, was raging the other day at Slashdot.
posted by maud at 8:00 AM on August 14, 2002


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