A Train that Flies

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What kind of train can float in the air? The answer is one that runs on magnetic power. A Train that Flies a track using the basic principles Flying Along of magnets. Each end of a magnet 1 Picture yourself zooming across is called a polarity, which is either country at hundreds of miles an positive or negative. Magnets with hour. If you pictured yourself in a the same polarity repel each other. jet plane, you need to change the So, if you put the positive end of two picture. Instead, you are traveling magnets together, they push away on a train that flies through the air. from each other. Something very This might sound like science fiction, different happens when you turn but it is very real. Around the world, one of the magnets around. With the scientists have been developing positive end facing the negative one, maglev trains—trains that levitate, or the magnets will slam together. This rise and float, above a magnetic field. happens because opposite polarities attract. Now, if you turn one of the How Do Maglevs Work? magnets back and forth, you will 2 Just how do these trains work? repel and attract. This is how you To put it simply, the trains float over create a wave of magnetic current. ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only. 3 The special track for the maglev Great Promise train is called a guideway. There 4 Many believe that this kind of are two types of magnetized coils in transportation holds great promise. the guideway wall. The levitation For one thing, maglev trains are and guidance coil repels the large much faster than regular trains. They magnets on the train. The result is travel on air, so there is no friction. that the train levitates between .39 The lack of friction and the sleek and 3.39 inches above the track, design allow these trains to go more floating on a cushion of air. Once the than 300 mile per hour. Regular train is raised and centered, power trains go no faster than 130 miles per is supplied to the propulsion coil. hour. On a maglev train, you could Its polarity is constantly changed, travel from Paris to Rome in just over causing a strong magnetic wave. It two hours. is this wave that pushes or pulls 5 There are other advantages the onboard magnets of the passing to these trains. The maglev train train to move it along. So, the train is cars are less expensive to build pushed by the guideway itself rather than other railway cars, and there than by an engine. is little or no maintenance. In Levitation and guidance coil Beam Beam Propulsion coil Wheel support path ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only. an average speed of 267 miles per addition, the trains are fairly quiet hour. Several other countries, such compared to regular trains. In fact, as Germany and Japan, have maglev passengers will not even notice the train systems. And Japan recently train vibrations. Another plus is announced plans to launch its first how much energy is saved. These major maglev rail service in 2025. trains use far less energy than other forms of transportation, and they 7 What can you do if you want do not pollute the air. Finally, the to ride a maglev train in the United maglev train has a good safety record. States? You would have to go to Collision is not likely because only Georgia. The American Maglev sections of the guideway are made Company completed a model in active as needed. Some experts Powder Springs, Georgia, in the believe that travel by maglev trains is summer of 2007. People from all 250 times safer than travel by other over the country have visited the types of trains. site. If you wish, you can schedule an appointment to take a ride on a Maglevs in Use Today train that flies. Then you too can be 6 It was over a century ago that floating on air. maglev trains were first proposed. Yet, few countries have these train systems. One reason is that they are very expensive to set up. The first commercial maglev train operates in Shanghai, China. It opened to the public in 2003 and travels at ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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