China has launched the world’s first suspended maglev line built with permanent magnets that can keep a “sky train” afloat forever – even without a power supply.
The 800-metre experimental Red Rail in southern China’s Xingguo county used powerful magnets rich in rare earth elements to produce a constantly repelling force strong enough to lift a train with 88 passengers in the air.
Unlike most existing maglev lines, the suspended rail operates about 10 metres above the ground. There is no physical contact with the rail as the train moves underneath the rail at a speed of 80km/h.
With free-floating conditions and an absence of friction, only a small amount of electricity is needed to propel the train.
The new maglev technology generated little electromagnetic radiation, and its construction cost was about a tenth of that to build a subway.
Local transport authorities said that after some test runs, the line would increase to 7.5km, and its top operational speed would reach 120km/h.
Source։ South China Morning Post
Image: Interesting Engineering