We Have a Lift Off

By Hisagi - 投稿者自身による作品, CC 表示-継承 4.0, Link

Hyperloop seems to be all the hype these days. Given the progress in its development, it's about time we can call it for what it is (as far as a "new" invention goes). I won't directly address it, however. Instead, here is another system, currently under construction, that will serve as a case study to the rest of the world on the mass adoption of maglev technology.
Formally called the Chūō Shinkansen, the new central mainline in Japan is fundamentally different than the high-speed lines that come before it. It utilizes the SCMaglev, or Super Condicting Magnetic-levitation, technology that has been under development since 1962. The SCMaglev uses one of the three principal implementations of magnetic levitation, called EDS, or Electro Dynamic Suspension. The other two consist of EMS (Electro Magmetic Suspension), used by Transrapid, and Inductrack System (Permanent Magnet Passive Suspension, which is a passive EDS system), used by Hyperloop. On EDS, there are magnets both on board of the train and embedded into the guide way. This allows a larger margin between the track and the train. The EDS implementations are not able to provide levitation below a threshold speed, and therefore, the current SCMaglev trains run on wheels (see picture below) at speeds below 150 km/h.

JR Maglev-Model-truck.JPG
By No machine-readable author provided. Yosemite~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). - No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Chūō Shinkansen, with its first phase projected to be open in 2027, will link Tokyo and Nagoya at an operational speed of 505 km/h (315 mph). I can't wait until the day when I get to experience it first hand.

Other resources on Maglev technology and current operations are linked below. Happy Reading.


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