Trains on magnetic cushions - is the transport of the future? How does a magnetic pillow train work?

More than two hundred years have passed since that moment,when humanity invented the first locomotives. However, until now, railroad land transport, carrying passengers and heavy loads by the power of electricity and diesel, is very common.

It is worth mentioning that all these years, engineers-inventors actively worked on the creation of alternative methods of displacement. The result of their work were trains on magnetic cushions.

History of appearance

The very idea of ​​creating trains on magnetic cushionsactively developed in the early twentieth century. However, to implement this project at that time for a number of reasons and failed. The manufacture of such a train began only in 1969. It was then in the territory of Germany began to lay the magnetic track, which was to pass a new vehicle, which was subsequently called the train-maglev. It was launched in 1971. The first maglev train, called "Transrapid-02", passed the magnetic track.

magnetic pillow trains

Interesting is the fact that German engineersthey made an alternative vehicle on the basis of those records left by the scientist Hermann Kemper, who in 1934 received a patent that confirmed the invention of the magnetoplane.

"Transrapid-02" is difficult to call very fast. He could travel at a maximum speed of 90 kilometers per hour. Low was and its capacity - only four people.

In 1979 created a more advanced model of the maglev. This train, called "Transrapid-05", could carry sixty-eight passengers. He traveled along a line in the city of Hamburg, the length of which was 908 meters. The maximum speed that this train developed was equal to seventy-five kilometers per hour.

In the same 1979, another model of the maglev was released in Japan. It was called the ML-500. The Japanese train on a magnetic cushion developed speed to five hundred seventeen kilometers per hour.


The speed that trains can develop onmagnetic cushions, can be compared with the speed of aircraft. In this regard, this type of transport can become a serious competitor to those airways that operate at a distance of up to thousands of kilometers. The widespread use of maglevs is hindered by the fact that they can not navigate traditional railroads. Trains on magnetic cushions need to build special highways. And this requires large investments of capital. It is also believed that the magnetic field created for maglevs can adversely affect the human body, which will adversely affect the health of the driver and residents of regions located near such a route.

Principle of operation

Trains on magnetic cushions area special kind of transport. During the movement, the maglev as if hovering over the railroad without touching it. This is due to the fact that the vehicle is controlled by the strength of the artificially created magnetic field. During the movement of the maglev there is no friction. The braking force in this case is the aerodynamic drag.

Japanese Magnetic Cushion Train

How does it work? We know about the basic properties of magnets from each of the lessons of physics of the sixth class. If two magnets are brought to each other by the north poles, then they will repel. A so-called magnetic cushion is created. When connecting different poles, the magnets will be attracted to each other. This rather simple principle underlies the movement of the maglev train, which literally slides through the air at a slight distance from the rails.

Currently, two technologies have already been developed, with the help of which a magnetic cushion or suspension is activated. The third is experimental and exists only on paper.

Electromagnetic suspension

This technology is called EMS. It is based on the strength of the electromagnetic field, changing in time. It causes levitation (lifting in the air) of the maglev. For the movement of the train in this case, it is necessary to have T-rails, which are made of a conductor (usually metal). This operation of the system is similar to an ordinary railway. However, in the train, instead of wheel sets, support and guide magnets are installed. They are placed parallel to the ferromagnetic stators located along the edge of the T-shaped web.

magnetic cushion

The main disadvantage of EMS technology isThe need to control the distance between the stator and the magnets. And this despite the fact that it depends on many factors, including the non-constant nature of electromagnetic interaction. In order to avoid the sudden stop of the train, special batteries are installed on it. They are able to recharge the linear generators built into the reference magnets, and thus long enough to support the process of levitation.

The braking of trains created on the basis of technologyEMS, provides synchronous linear motor of low acceleration. It is represented by supporting magnets, as well as a roadbed over which the maglev soars. The speed and draft of the composition can be controlled by changing the frequency and the strength of the generated alternating current. To slow the course, it is enough to change the direction of the magnetic waves.

Electrodynamic suspension

There is a technology in which movementThe maglev occurs when two fields interact. One of them is created in the liner of the highway, and the second - on board the train. This technology is called EDS. It is based on the Japanese train on a magnetic pillow JR-Maglev.

maglev train

This system has some differences from EMS, where conventional magnets are used, to which the coils are supplied with electric current only when power is applied.

EDS technology implies a permanentsupply of electricity. This occurs even if the power supply is disconnected. In the coils of such a system, cryogenic cooling is installed, which saves considerable amounts of electricity.

Advantages and disadvantages of EDS technology

The positive side of the system working onelectrodynamic suspension, is its stability. Even a slight reduction or increase in the distance between the magnets and the web is controlled by repulsion and attraction forces. This allows the system to remain in an unchanged state. With this technology there is no need to install electronics for monitoring. No devices are needed to adjust the distance between the cloth and magnets.

EDS technology has some drawbacks. So, the force, sufficient for the levitation of the composition, can arise only at high speed. That's why the maglevs are equipped with wheels. They ensure their movement at a speed of up to 100 kilometers per hour. Another drawback of this technology is the frictional force that occurs in the rear and front of the repelling magnets at a low speed.

Because of the strong magnetic field in the section,intended for passengers, it is necessary to install special protection. Otherwise, a person with an electronic heart stimulant is prohibited from traveling. Protection is also needed for magnetic media (credit cards and HDD).

Developed technology

The third system, which is currentlyexists only on paper, is the use in the EDS version of permanent magnets, which for activation do not need power. Until recently it was thought that this was impossible. Researchers believed that permanent magnets do not have the kind of power that can cause levitation of a train. However, this problem was avoided. To solve it, the magnets were placed in the "array of Halbach". This arrangement leads to the creation of a magnetic field, not under the massif, but above it. This helps to maintain the levitation of the composition, even at a speed of about five kilometers per hour.

japan the train on a magnetic cushion
The project has not yet received any practical implementation. This is due to the high cost of arrays made of permanent magnets.

Advantages of the Muggles

The most attractive side of trains tomagnetic cushion is the prospect of achieving high speeds, which will allow the maglev in the future to compete even with jet aircraft. This type of transport is quite economical in terms of consumed electricity. Low costs and its operation. This becomes possible due to the lack of friction. Pleases and low noise of maglevs, which will positively affect the ecological situation.


The negative side of the maglevs is toothe large sum necessary for their creation. High costs and maintenance of the track. In addition, for this type of transport requires a complex system of paths and ultra-precise instruments that control the distance between the cloth and magnets.

Implementation of the project in Berlin

In the German capital in the 1980s,The opening of the first Muggle type system called M-Bahn. The length of the canvas was 1.6 km. A magnetic-cushioned train shuttled between the three subway stations on weekends. Passage for passengers was free. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city's population almost doubled. It was necessary to create transport networks with the ability to provide high passenger traffic. That is why in 1991 the magnetic canvas was dismantled, and in its place the construction of the metro began.


In this German city, the low-speed maglev was connected from 1984 to 1995. airport and railway station. The length of the magnetic path was only 600 m.

maglev shanghai

The road worked for ten years and was closed due to numerous complaints of passengers for existing inconveniences. Subsequently, the monorail transport replaced the maglev on this site.


The first magnetic road in Berlin was builtthe German company Transrapid. The failure of the project did not scare away the developers. They continued their research and received an order from the Chinese government, which decided to build a maglev route in the country. Shanghai and Pudong Airport linked this high-speed (up to 450 km / h) way.
The road length of 30 km was opened in 2002. In the plans for the future - its extension to 175 km.


In 2005, the exhibition Expo-2005 was held in this country.To its opening was commissioned a 9 km long magnetic circuit. There are nine stations on the line. Maglev serves the territory that adjoins the venue of the exhibition.

maglev in russia

Maglevs are considered the transport of the future.Already in 2025, it is planned to open a new super-high-speed route in a country like Japan. The magnetic-cushion train will transport passengers from Tokyo to one of the districts of the central part of the island. Its speed will be 500 km / h. To implement the project will need about forty-five billion dollars.


The creation of a high-speed train is planned andRUSSIAN RAILWAYS. By 2030 the maglev in Russia will connect Moscow and Vladivostok. The route to 9300 km passengers will overcome in 20 hours. The speed of the train on the magnetic cushion will be up to five hundred kilometers per hour.

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