Maglev technology which is an abbreviated form of magnetic levitation is a high speed transportation technology in which the vehicle is propelled forward by the action of electromagnets without touching the ground. This technology is the most futuristic and advanced transportation technology and can decrease the travel time because of its high speed. Tough theoretically, this technology can be applied to any vehicle as shown in various sci-fi movies but actually it has only been applied to trains. The Maglev trains are relatively smoother and less noisy than the mass transit which is in use now days. As compared to the normal or conventional trains the Maglev trains are more efficient here construction is concerned as the hammer effect and the factor of wear and tear is absent in maglev trains.
On the other hand they are much more expansive to build it the maintenance cost is lower than the normal trains. The construction of these trains in vacuum tubes can increase the efficiency to a higher extent as the air friction will be subtracted from the factors affecting the speed of the train. When it comes to transportation Japan has proven itself time and again that it is an uncrowned king in this field. In a test drive on a train track near Mount Fiji the Japanese maglev train broke its own twelve year old speed record by surpassing an unparalleled speed of 603 km/hr. (373 mph) creating a word record. The test drive was conducted by the head of Maglev Test Center with 49 Central Japan Railway employees and was described as a comfortable and stale zip along the track. The train covered 1.8 k in just less than 11 seconds.
The head Yasukazu Endo gave the statement to the newspapers that we would like to continue analyzing data and make use of this technology for designing cars and other equipment. Japan intends to build a $47 billion high speed track between Tokyo and Nagoya. If it is completed as planned in 2027, the 280 km could be travelled in around 40 minutes which is half the time of normal train route in japan. The tracks are intended to be built 40 meters underground so as to minimize the noise the train creates when it travels at 500 kph. Another benefit of underground tracks will be that straight line track from one point to another can be created and the train will not have to navigate around the corners.
Japan is hoping to sell its technology to America as the Japanese prime minister also took a ride on the maglev train with US ambassador to japan Caroline Kennedy. Japan is hoping to recover some of its research and development costs by selling the technology to US so that it can be used on the planned high speed track between Washington and New York.
Critics of the Japanese technology have suspected that in a country like japan where earthquakes are too frequent this technology can be potentially harmful. A powerful earthquake can knock the train off its line and at such high speeds can create devastating effects.
Source: The Guardian UK